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This painting by George Catlin shows a young Native American boy. His ancestors were the first skywatchers of North America.
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Image courtesy Corel Photography

The Skywatchers of the Americas

There were people living in North and South America before any explorers like Christopher Columbus came over to America. But how did these people get there? Many think that long ago people crossed over from Asia to Alaska on the Bering Strait. That area is water now, but long ago it was frozen over so people could walk on it. So those people walked over that frozen bridge into North America. From there, they just kept traveling...all the way to South America!

These people were the Natives of the Americas. Even long, long ago, they watched the Moon and Sun and stars. Let's look at the astronomy practiced by the Native Americans of North America, the Maya of Central America and the Inca of South America.

Last modified August 2, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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