First Peoples > An Aboriginal Presence > Our Origins > Archaeology > At the Edge of the Ice > Early Postglacial: 8,000 years ago

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Our Origins

Archaeology - At the Edge of the Ice

Early Postglacial: 8,000 years ago - Much of the ice sheet covering northern North America collapsed about 8,400 years ago, and huge volumes of melt water drained out through Hudson Strait between Quebec and Baffin Island. The heavy ice had greatly depressed the earth's crust around Hudson Bay. The ocean poured into this area, forming a large body of water known as the Tyrrell Sea.

The Bering Land Bridge was flooded by 10,000 years ago. Along the East Coast, some continental shelf areas remained exposed, and Prince Edward Island was still attached to the mainland.

The continued spread of human populations in North America brought people to southern Labrador, the Gaspé Peninsula, Northern Ontario and the southern regions of modern Nunavut.

Map - Early Postglacial - Courtesy of Richard Morlan

 Land   Ice   Water
 Dated archaeological site

Northern North America, Early Postglacial, 8,000 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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