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An Aboriginal Presence

Our Origins

Archaeology - At the Edge of the Ice

Late Glacial: 11,000 years ago - As the glaciers melted, huge lakes formed at the edge of the ice, remnants of which include the modern Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg, Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake. The earth's crust had been so deeply depressed by the weight of the ice that the ocean flooded into the interior of the continent, to form the now vanished Champlain Sea in the lower St. Lawrence and Ottawa valleys.

Despite melting ice, sea levels remained low enough to keep the Bering Land Bridge exposed.

As the ice melted, extensive corridors of unglaciated terrain were opened up in mid-continent and along the West Coast. People may have used these corridors as travel routes into North America to spread rapidly into the ice-free areas of the continent.

Map - Late Glacial - Courtesy of Richard Morlan

 Land   Ice   Water
 Dated archaeological site

Northern North America, Late Glacial, 11,000 years ago
Courtesy of Richard Morlan, Canadian Museum of Civilization



Full Glacial: 18,000 years ago

Late Glacial: 11,000 years ago

Early Postglacial: 8,000 years ago

Middle Postglacial: 5,000 years ago

Late Postglacial: 1,000 years ago

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