American West •  Anthropology and Archaeology

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Bones, Boats, and Bison: Archeology and the First Colonization of Western North America

E. James Dixon

This revolutionary archeological synthesis argues an alternative model of the earliest human population of North America. E. James Dixon dispels the stereotype of big-game hunters following mammoths across the Bering Land Bridge and paints a vivid picture of marine mammal hunters, fishers, and general foragers colonizing the New World. Applying contemporary scientific methods and drawing on new archeological discoveries, he advances evidence indicating that humans first reached the Americas using water craft along the deglaciated Northwest Coast about 13,500 years ago, some 2,000 years before the first Clovis hunters. Dixon's rigorous evaluation of the oldest North American archeological sites and human remains offers well-reasoned hypotheses about the physical characteristics, lives, and relationships of the First Americans. His crisply written analysis of scientific exploration is essential reading for scholars, students, and general readers.


E. James Dixon is curator of Museum and Field Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


"Dixon's book is a must read. . . . The writing is clear and easy to follow. . . the frequent use of maps, figures, and tables keeps the book from bogging down in minutia. Now, that's a real find!"


Scientific American Discovering Archaeology

"Dixon's work . . . brings many of the earlier theories into clearer focus. . . . (His) analysis of scientific exploration, to date, should be essential reading for scholars, students of Native American history, and general readers."


The Indian Trader

" . . . this book does a fine job of reviewing the available information on the peopling of the Americas and comes up with a hard-to-beat conclusion. . . . no one prior to Dixon has amassed the data to support the coastal migration theory . . . Bones, Boats, and Bison is the most comprehensive review of pre-8,000 B. P. culture history in the Americas to date and is well worth reading."


New Mexico Historical Review

" Bones, Boats, and Bison is a valuable, easy-to-read book with essential new information and ideas about the earliest prehistory of western North America. . . The book is a likeable source of information and ideas, and I recommend it."


North American Archeologist

" Bones, Boats, and Bison suceeds in advancing our understanding of the colonization of North America. The book is well written, concise, and light on jargon."


GeoArchaeology Journal

6.13 x 9.25 in. 336 pages 253 figs., 4 tables