Some indigenous peoples of the Americas supported agriculturally advanced societies for thousands of years.In some regions they created large sedentary chiefdom polities, and had advanced state level societies with monumental architecture and large-scale, organized cities.Another reason for the dramatic decline of the Native American population were the continuing wars with either Europeans or between feuding indigenous communities.More recently, collective mobilization among the indigenous peoples in the Americas has required the incorporation of closely-knit local communities into a broader national and international framework of political action.While these peoples have traditionally remained primarily loyal to their individual tribes, ethnologists have variously sought to group the myriad of tribes into larger entities which reflect common geographic origins, linguistic similarities, and lifestyles.Remnants of a human settlement in Monte Verde, Chile dated to 12,500 years ago (another layer at Monteverde has been tentatively dated to 33,000-35,000 years ago) suggests that southern Chile was settled by peoples who entered the Americas before the peoples associated with the Bering Strait migrations.Some recent finds (notably the Luzia skeleton in Lagoa Santa, Brazil) are claimed to be morphologically distinct from Asians and are more similar to African and Australian Aborigines.These American Aborigines would have been later displaced or absorbed by the Siberian immigrants.
Interestingly, the horse had originally evolved in the Americas, but the last American horses (species Equus scotti and others died out at the end of the last ice age with other megafauna.
The impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time and work in reshaping, taming and cultivating the flora and fauna indigenous to the Americas.
According to the New World migration model, a migration of humans from Eurasia to the Americas took place via Beringia, a land bridge which formerly connected the two continents across what is now the Bering Strait.
It is suggested that a coastal route via canoes could have allowed rapid migration into the Americas.
The traditional view of a relatively recent migration has also been challenged by older findings of human remains in South America; some dating to perhaps even 30,000 years old or more.
The first indigenous group encountered by Columbus were the 250,000 Tainos of Hispaniola who were the dominant culture in the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas.