Walt Summers to give prehistoric Upper Michigan presentation at Bay LIFE meeting


IRON MOUNTAIN — Walt Summers will give a presentation on prehistoric Upper Michigan at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Bay West LIFE meeting at the Bay West College campus in Iron Mountain.

“You’ve seen our programs on early Iron Mountain history, now see this one on early Upper Michigan,” Bay LIFE spokeswoman Lola Johnson said. 

Summers is the author of “Michigan Prehistory.”

The prehistory of Michigan is predated in many parts of the world by a great number of geological, environmental, and evolutionary events. Although the area now known as Michigan has been on the surface of the world as long as has any other portion of it, its traceable prehistory is confined by certain of these events. The existence of massive glaciers across all of Michigan precluded the arrival and development of people until they melted away.

The evolution of humans on Earth probably began within the past 100,000 years in Africa and moved onto other parts of the world after this time. The first humans to enter into Michigan likely arrived about 10,000 years ago.

The known — or discovered — distribution of human occupation across a defined landscape, such as Michigan, provides information about how a people use (or used) that landscape, about patterns of economic development, and about social interactions of human groups. When these distributions are examined over several hundred or thousand years — through archaeological discoveries and studies — we gain an evolutionary understanding, not only of the people and their cultural patterns but also of physical landscape development.

The primary focus of this publication was to examine and compare the geologic evolution, the arrival settlement patterns and the cultural development of Native Americans.

A secondary focus was to provide information and materials that can be used to compare and evaluate Native American populations in Michigan, while gaining a sensitivity and cultural awareness for those peoples.

The publication “Michigan Prehistory” has been transformed into a PowerPoint presentation. In order to properly convey the extensive materials included in the book, it became necessary to add a considerable amount of new narrative to this PowerPoint program.

The book and PowerPoint program complement each other by providing their topics and information somewhat differently and with different emphasis and topic consideration to detail in the two formats.