What Is The Bering Land Bridge, How Did It Come About And Why Is It Important To The Peopling Of The Americas?

709 words - 3 pages

In my short essay I will be giving a brief description on what is the Bering Land Bridge, how did it come about and why is it important to the peopling of the Americas?The Bering Land Bridge or also known as Beringia was a piece of land that connected Alaska and Siberia during several times during the Pleistocene. The distance between Asia and North America is only about 85km. The land bridge became as much as 1,500 km wide from north to south during various times of the Pleistocene. What created this to happen were periods of glaciation during the last 1.8 million years. What this means is that the earth's temperatures were low enough to turn much of the Earth's water into ice and the entrapment of water on the continents. The sea level dropped considerably up to as much as 100 - 150 meters and the shallow Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia became a natural land bridge on which grazing animals, and the humans that hunted them, could pass over into North America. People were able to cross the land bridge anytime between 35,000 and 11,000 years ago.Other examples of land bridges around the world have been created and re-flooded in the same way: approximately 14,000 years ago, mainland Australia was linked both to New Guinea and to Tasmania, the British Isles were an extension of continental Europe via the English Channel, and the dry basin of the South China Sea linked Sumatra, Java and Borneo to the Asian mainland.The original settlers of the Americas are believed to have entered the continent during the Pleistocene period, some 20,000 to 35,000 years ago. The bridge is important to the peopling of Americas because they were travelling in small bands when they followed the herds, which led them in isolated groups across Beringia into the New World. Slowly making their way through the continent in waves following the re-emergence of Beringia in each successive glacial period, they are estimated to have reached the southern tip of South America by as early as 10,000 bc.Beringia has played a key role in the evolution and...

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