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.
The first inhabitants of what is now New Jersey were prehistoric Indians of the Algonquian language family who arrived some 7,000 years ago.
Prehistoric peoples who roamed the Atlantic coast reached what is now South Carolina possibly 10,000 to 15,000 years ago.