15,000 BC – 7,000 BC
The first peoples to occupy Belize were Paleo-Indians who were the first people to enter the Western Hemisphere by walking across the land bridge which joined Alaska to the extreme eastern seaboard of Russia during the last Ice Age. Scientists have referred to this land bridge as Beringia. The Paleo-Indians who entered the Western Hemisphere from North America were explorers and quickly moved southward. Not much is known about how long they reached Belize but their presence has been detected by archaeologists working in our country. Archaeologists know that they were here because the stone tools which they used have been found at various locations in the country. The Paleo-Indian period occurred between 15,000 BC to 7,000 BC. The Paleo-Indians hunted large animals such as wooly mammoths, mastodons and giant sloths. They also ate roots and fruits.