The earth is only six thousand years old, and humans lived here since the first week. All the Ice Age peoples were descendants of Noah’s three sons, who already knew how to build ships, towers, and cities.
We would expect the people who scattered from Babel to share many of the same technological skills. They also lived longer than we do, sometimes over four centuries. So they could pass down technology to many generations. In fact, it is conceivable that most of the stone tool innovations occurred within a single generation. Noah’s son Shem was still alive when Abraham was growing up.
Just down the road from Cincinnati in the north central USA is Big Bone Lick, “the cradle of American paleontology.” The discovery of huge bones from mastodons, giant sloths, and other Ice Age creatures sparked the first scientific expedition to collect vertebrate fossils in North America.
After two centuries of research, we now have enough information to begin recreating scenes from the rise and fall of the Ice Age. As a massive ice sheet expanded over Canada, it drove out most living things, and then it continued to push south into the Ohio valley. Eventually, the heavy snows stopped and the earth warmed. Once the ice began to melt, animals returned to Big Bone Lick, along with spear-wielding humans. Museums worldwide depict similar scenes from this unique era.
Big Bone Lick is a stark reminder of this difficult time in earth history. The “lick” was a salt deposit that appeared as the ice sheets began retreating. Animals came to lick the salt and then got trapped in the boggy ground. Humans arrived in the area later, at the end of the Ice Age. Their weapons show up in the fossil record about the same time that the large Ice Age mammals went extinct — around 2100 BC. Only later would various cultures begin building pyramid-like mounds and well-defined cities in the Americas, as they did elsewhere in the world.