8th millennium BCE in North American history

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9th millennium BCE - 8th millennium BCE - 7th millennium BCE

The 8th millennium BCE in North American history provides a timeline of events occurring within the North American continent from 8000 BCE through 7001 BCE in the Gregorian calendar. Although this timeline segment may include some European or other world events that profoundly influenced later American life, it focuses on developments within Native American communities. The archaeological records supplements indigenous recorded and oral history.

Because of the inaccuracies inherent in radiocarbon dating and in interpreting other elements of the archaeological record, most dates in this timeline represent approximations that may vary a century or more from source to source. The assumptions implicit in archaeological dating methods also may yield a general bias in the dating in this timeline.

  • 8000 BCE: The last glacial ends, causing sea levels to rise and flood the Beringia land bridge, closing the primary migration route from Siberia.
Drawing of a mastodon skeleton by Rembrandt Peale
  • 8000 BCE: Sufficient rain falls on the American Southwest to support many large mammal species, such as mammoth, mastodon, and a bison species-—that soon go extinct.
  • 8000 BCE: Native Americans leave documented traces of their presence in every habitable corner of the New World, including the American Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and a cave on Prince of Wales Island in the Alexander archipelago of southeast Alaska, possibly following these game animals.
  • 8000 BCE: Hunters in southwest Europe and the American Southwest both use the atlatl.
  • 7500 BCE: Early basketry originates in America.
  • 7560—7370: Kennewick Man dies along the shore of the Columbia River in Washington State, leaving one of the most complete early Native American skeletons.[1]
  • 7001 BCE: Northeastern peoples depend increasingly on deer, nuts, and wild grains as the climate warms.
  • 7001 BCE: Native Americans in Lahontan Basin, Nevada mummify their dead to give them honor and respect, evidencing deep concern about their treatment and condition.

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