Long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the American continents had been home to a thriving indigenous population of perhaps 70 to 90 million people for more than 30,000 years. The first humans to inhabit North America most likely arrived from Asia by land bridge or sea, long before European contact.

Some 35,000 years ago, when much of the northern oceans were massive glaciers and ocean levels were much lower, the Bering Strait land bridge connected northern Asia and Alaska.

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