The first people in the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. On a side of the planet no human had ever seen, different groups arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The land they reached was fully inhabited by megafauna—mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. These Ice Age explorers, hunters, and families were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals.
In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs blends science and personal narrative to upend our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era, and reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Through it, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America
Vintage Books 2019. New paperback; 288 pages