For thousands of years, the first residents of the Western Hemisphere had established unique worlds for themselves. From their earliest Ice Age ancestors' arrival across the Bering Land Bridge in 10,000 BCE until 500 years ago, American Indians flourished on the North, Central, and South American continents. Highly sophisticated tribal or national identities, based on social, political, and religious customs, were developed. Establishing the cornerstones of civilized native life, including hunting, fishing, gathering, and farming, these peoples fashioned weapons and tools out of simple materials, such as bone, stone, and wood. They used the land and its resources to their advantage. But the Indians' world would one day intersect with a people as curious as the their migrating ancestors had been. After thousands of years of Indian dominance over the future United States, Europeans introduced new ideas, new technologies, and a new religion. In The New World: Prehistory to 1542, learn how these newcomers forever affected the lives of those native peoples who had long called America their home.