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Ice Age Columbus ~ Who Were the First Americans?

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Traditional history tells us that European settlers discovered America about the time of the Renaissance. But revolutionary new archaeological data and the latest DNA research reveal that Europeans visited our shores far earlier - some 17,000 years before Columbus was even born. Filmed in glorious high definition, this two-hour, epic drama follows an intrepid family of stone age hunters as they trek from their homeland in southwestern France, cross 3,000 miles of ocean and eventually make their first permanent settlement in what is today the northeastern U.S. Along the way, they overcome starvation and storms with the help of a revolutionary weapons technology they would later bequeath to the native peoples of the Americas. But awaiting the pioneers' arrival is a stark, empty continent, filled with a plethora of bizarre and lethal animals - all brought to life by brilliant computer animation. Firmly rooted in the latest scientific discoveries, it's a compelling vision of the greatest migration in human history.

Product Details

  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Discovery Channel
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NNN7TK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,934 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary on November 21, 2009
According to the traditional and now obsolete history of the Western hemisphere, the Americas were originally populated by Asians who crossed the Bering Strait land bridge during the last Ice Age. These Paleo-Indians were the ancestors of today's "Native Americans" and Europeans didn't come onto the scene until Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492. That's the story, anyway.

No one doubts that Asians crossed the land bridge which connected Alaska and Siberia during the Last Glacial Maximum, but a lot of evidence has emerged which suggests that they weren't the first Stone Age people to set foot on the continent. For various reasons, many of them political, these recent discoveries haven't penetrated into our public school system--let alone the public consciousness--but it's clear now that the early history of the Americas is much more complicated than we have been led to believe. The story is one of successive waves of migration from all around the world. In fact, there is reason to believe that the true "Native Americans" could have been Solutreans from what is now France.

This is called the Salutrean Hypothesis. Strange as the idea may be to people who have never heard of it before, the idea that the original Americans may have come from Europe is based on solid archeological and DNA evidence. In the first case, various cutting tools like spear points and arrowheads have been discovered in Virginia which were created using Solutrean technology--a Stone Age flint technology which only existed in certain regions in France at that time. The presence of Solutreans in the northeast is also supported by the DNA evidence, which shows that some North American tribes share a common ancestor with present-day Europeans identified by Mitochondrial DNA Hapologroup X.
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It may not please the Amerindian or casino lobbies:-) but this documentary offers proof -- and dramatization with excellent actors and script -- of the now decade-old and revolutionary theory that white Europeans arrived in North American very long ago, perhaps 5,000 years before the Siberian Asiatics did over their Alaskan land bridge, and thus that Europeans are (also) Native Americans. This is the "Solutrean" theory, named after Solutré in France. Arrowheads and spear heads from Solutré and other areas of Ice Age France were discovered only in the 1990s in Virginia, and this opened a Pandora's Box of further politically incorrect questions.

This is part of a continuum of new knowledge that got kick-started by the discovery, also in the 1990s, of "Kennewick Man"'s skeleton inland from Portland, Oregon, who, many scientist insist, was almost certainly a white European -- or rather a "European-American" from 10,000 B.C. (Indians demanded that his skeleton be immediately given to them -- for proper Indian burial as per federal law or so it could not be studied?)

Whatever one's leanings, this drama-documentary provides a gripping education regarding Ice Age life for Europeans, the harshness of life then, the huge and dangerous animals they faced and hunted (mammoths) or ran from (saber-tooths) and the incredible character and innovativeness needed to survive a transatlantic journey 17,000 years ago. One learns to truly care for the individuals whom fate first sent over the ocean, and this is based on a minimalist script without any hokey Hollywoodism, fine acting (especially by the actress playing "Zia") and interviews with recognized anthropological experts of the Stone Age and ancient North America.
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This is a great film, very entertaining and very informative. It shows how European people came to America 17000 ago. The story is well explained and proven by archeological and DNA facts.
This was the time of the last ice age. Half of the Atlantic was covered with ice. People crossed Atlantic in small boats along the edge of the iced region. DNA analysis confirms this theory. Some Indian tribes have a significant admixture of European mtDNA. Another proof is that these people developed unique stone tools, which are found frequently in Europe and same tools are found in America. Carbon dating shows their age is close to 17000 years.
The Solutrean-Clovis connection is the theory of the peopling of the American continents that suggests that Upper Paleolithic Solutrean culture is ancestral to Clovis culture. Recently a new article appeared in Science magazine (Vol. 320. no. 5872, p. 37 (2008)) titled "DNA From Fossil Feces Breaks Clovis Barrier". This article provides the strongest ever DNA evidence to the history of colonization of America by European Solutrean people.
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When I purchased this DVD I thought that I was going to see a very detailed documentary about the first Native Americans and their arrival to the American Continent. I was quite surprised by what the movie suggested. Ice Age Columbus discusses how the Eastern US was originally inhabited by tribal cultures from Europe prior to the First Native Americans arriving across the Bering Straits land bridge. As presented in the documentary, the oldest Clovis spear point found in the Eastern United States is connected with similar spear points and artifacts discovered in Europe. The movie demonstrates how the Atlantic Ocean would freeze over allowing European tribal peoples to arrive in the new Continent after thousands of years of migration. I found the movie fascinating and extremely educational. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who is interested in the Native culture or the history of mankind.
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