The first Americans were nomadic hunter-gatherers that began wondering across the Bering Land Bridge during the last ice age about 40,000 years ago. Thousands of years after they arrived in the Americas the ice receded and left them stranded. Eventually they dominated both continents and would go on to create some of the most amazing societies in world history. Many of their decedents would be the very people mentioned by explorers such as Christopher Columbus. Their contact with Europeans would become one of the most destructive and beneficial events in human history.