Life during the last Ice Age was hard. Can you imagine being a child growing up 12,000 years ago in frigid Alaska? The world was very different way back then, so I wondered what girls’ lives were like.
Being born into the freezing Ice Ace climate was no easy task. Infant deaths were common. Two Ice Age infants were found buried in Alaska last year and researchers are studying them to learn more about the hardships of being a young child during that time. Of course, lots of children did survive infancy. They lived in hunter-gatherer tribes that traveled from Asia across the land bridge called Beringia to reach Alaska. These people are called Clovis by scientists today.
The Clovis people shared the land with many fascinating creatures. Did you know that Alaska used to have lions, giant beavers, and camels? Woolly mammoths, bison, bears, and caribou also roamed Alaska during this time period. Imagine playing outside and having to be on the lookout for those types of animals! Many of these animals were hunted by the Clovis people. Girls likely helped with preparing the enormous portions of meat harvested from mammoths and helped turn fur into warm clothes for the tribe. It was a lot of work to stay warm and well fed in the Ice Age!
Life was short for Clovis people so girlhood didn’t last long. Girls started doing chores to help the tribe as soon as they were physically able to perform the tasks. Girlhood ended around age 13 as girls reached puberty. Girlhood quickly turned into motherhood as most of the young women had their first baby by the age of 15 or 16. So childhood was a short experience in Ice Age Alaska, but little ones all bundled up in furs probably enjoyed playing in the snow just like kids do today.
Girl Museum Inc.