One of the displays in the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, California, is entitled Sacred Earth and subtitled Understanding our past and honoring cultures that thrive today. The first section of this display looks at American Indian cultures between 16,000 years ago and 8,000 years ago.
According to the Museum display:
“Some archaeologists believe humans first came to this continent by following the great bison and other megafauna over the Beringia land bridge at the end of the last Ice Age. Others contend that humans arrived by boat across the Pacific. Either way, people quickly spread across the continent, settling on the California coast around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.”
Some archaeologists use the terms Paleoindian and paleoarchaic to describe these earliest American cultures. Shown below are some of the displays in the San Bernardino County Museum used in the discussion of this time period.
Shown above are some Bering Strait stone spear points of the type often associated with this time period. Shown on the left is a Sandia point and on the right is a Clovis point. In the archaeological record, both of these point styles have been associated with the hunting of megafauna. Shown above are some stone tools. Shown above is a pestle and mortar. Shown above is a petroglyph (rock carving) with a cross-hatch designs. Artifacts such as this are difficult to date. Shown above is another petroglyph. The petroglyph of an Ice Age Camel is from the Rodman Mountains of San Bernardino and dates to more than 10,000 years ago. Shown above is a sandal made from tree bark. Shown above is a Mojave olla from southern California. This type of artifact would not have been made during this time period. Shown above is a basket. It is generally assumed that Indian people were making baskets at this time, but this type of material rarely survives in the archaeological record.