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Apart from the brief visit of the Scandinavians in the early eleventh century, the Western Hemisphere remained unknown to Europe until Columbus's voyage in 1492. However, the native peoples of North and South America arrived from Asia long before, in a series of migrations that began perhaps as early as forty thousand years ago across the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska.
Wyoming Early History
First Early Inhabitants of Wyoming
Early history examines the archaeological record that tells the story of the first inhabitants of Wyoming. Learn about the history and culture of the first inhabitants, and what lessons it might teach us about the early history of Wyoming.
Wyoming First Early Inhabitants
People were living in the area we now call Wyoming more than 12,000 years ago. These people were probably part of the Clovis culture. In the next two to four thousand years, there is evidence of other cultures living and moving through this area including people who hunted big game, including animals that no longer exist, like the wooly mammoth.
The area that would become Wyoming was inhabited by several Native American groups before the arrival of Europeans. The Shoshone, Arapaho, Cheyenne and Crow lived in the eastern portion of the area. They hunted bison, following the tremendous herds through their seasonal migrations, and lived in tepees. The Ute people inhabited Wyoming's western mountains, depending less on bison and more on the gathering of wild foods, the hunting of smaller game (antelope, rabbit, deer, elk) and fishing. One Indian reservation remains in Wyoming today. It is home to over 5,000 Shoshone and Arapaho Indians.
Understanding history is empowering. An incident is but the furthest ripple of an ever-expanding wave that may have started eddying outward hundreds of years ago. One who has "insight" in history is able to harness the power of that wave's entire journey.
United States of America has an early history beginning sometime prior to 15,000 years ago, as well as the past 200 years or so of rich and proud history, which is relatively short compared to other countries and nations. From Independence to the Civil War to the World Wars to the Cold War, we have a lot of things to tell and things to be proud of.