In prehistoric times, a land bridge joined Alaska to Asia where the Bering Strait now lies. Across this bridge, most archeologists believe, came Asiatic peoples—ancestors of the Indians—who migrated to the North and South American continents 12,000 to 14,000 years ago. Probably 8,000 to 5,000 years ago the ancestors of the Eskimos and the Aleuts also crossed the land bridge to Alaska. The European discovery of Alaska did not come until the 18th century.
Three of the most ancient peoples of the Americas are named for sites in New Mexico where relics of them were first found.
Indians first entered the area several thousand years ago. These early inhabitants depended mainly on hunting, fishing, and food gathering for survival.