People first entered the Americas some 13,000 years ago.  They settled a wide range of environments including the ice-bound Arctic, the temperate forests and plains of North and South America, the highlands of the Andes, the humid tropical forests of Amazonia and Central America, the islands of the Caribbean and the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego.  They developed societies and cultures as diverse as those known as Mississippian, Olmec, Aztec, Maya, Moche and Inca.  Whereas some of these societies and cultures are known purely from the study of archaeology, others continue to shape the Americas today.  Currently some of the most exciting archaeological research is taking place in the Americas.  Knowledge of cultural developments in the Americas, past and present, can contribute to contemporary awareness of the time depth and importance of cultural diversity. The Institute currently has 7 staff and 10 PhD students conducting research in Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Belize, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina. These researchers contribute to general teaching and overviews as well as more in-depth courses on cultures of the Caribbean islands, the Amazon, and Mesoamerica. 







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