Americans have long traveled to the Old World to marvel at the antiquities of Europe, but right here in North America there remain today the vestiges of equally ancient culture to fascinate and inspire the modern imagination. Many hundreds and even thousands of years before Columbus sailed, citizens of complex cultures lived and worked, hunted and traded, made intricate and beautiful crafts, and built monuments and dwellings that rival the pyramids in architectural expertise. Until this century, however, little was known of the prehistoric peoples. Today archaeological excavations have allowed us to understand better what they were, what they looked like, what they wore and ate, and how they lived. In this remarkable guide the sites of the ancients come alive as the author takes us through the Eastern Woodlands (the home to the Mound-building cultures) to the western desert, the Great Plains, and the far west, where the cliff-dwellers carved their homes in the rocky hillsides. Among these excavations open to the public are Mesa Verde National Park, in Colorado, site of Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America; and Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, the largest of which covered 14 acres. Beautifully written, with attention to historical accuracy, this book provides the interested visitor with all the information he she needs to plan a fascinating tour of the past.