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The First Inhabitants of America The First "Europeans" attained the Western Hemisphere in the late 15th century. Upon arrival they encountered a rich and diverse culture that had already been occupied for thousands of years. The Europeans were utterly unprepared for the people they stumbled upon. They couldn't understand cultures which were so different and exotic out of their very own. The discovery of the occurrence of anything beyond their prior experience could threaten the stability of the complete social and religious arrangement. Viewing the Indians as savages they left them over in their own image as soon as possible. In doing this they overlooked the roots which attached the Indians to their own fascinating past. The significance of this past is frequently overlooked. Most history or text books begin the story of the Americas in the very first European settlement and disregard the 30,000 decades of different, previous cultural development (Deetz 7). The going theory of the First Americans is the ever-popular land bridge theory, which connected Siberia and Alaska. This is believed to have happened at least twice through the ice ages between 32,000 and 36,000 years ago and, again between 13,000 and 28,000 years ago. This replicated connection took place where the western and eastern hemispheres come the nearest to one another. The best illustration that I discovered describing the land bridge was the analogy made to your seesaw. On one side being the glaciers and on the other hand is sea level. When the glaciers get bigger or "go up" the sea level withdraws or "goes down". Basically when all of the planet's water is in the kind of ice or snow sea level is lowered. At least 180 ft lower to form which Siberian land connection. Immediate proof of this...