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Archaeology of North America The Late Archaic of the Eastern Woodlands.

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Presentation on theme: "Archaeology of North America The Late Archaic of the Eastern Woodlands."— Presentation transcript:

1 Archaeology of North America The Late Archaic of the Eastern Woodlands

2 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Introduction  By the end of the Mid Holocene, 4000 BC, most of the Laurentide ice sheet was gone Deciduous trees spread north, including the nut bearing trees (especially hickory) Sea levels rose and opened up fishing areas along the northeast coast The Great Lakes rose and warmed, and fish populations increased The rising sea levels, lake levels and water tables created many swamps in the southeast, and the main rivers slowed, which was great for fishing and game

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5 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Introduction  All of these changes are likely the reasons behind the population increase  As was the case in the Middle Archaic, the building of trade alliances was very important and continued to be  The Early & Middle Archaic date to: c – 6000 BC (Early) 6000 – c BC (Middle)  The Late Archaic dates to: c – 1000 BC (as early as 6000 BC)

6 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Population Growth and Sedentism  The beginnings of sedentism were seen in the Middle Archaic (increased temp and aridity)  Base camps were set up as storage facilities to survive through poorer seasons or years  Along with the storage pits, baskets and organic containers, ceramics begin to appear

7 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Population Growth and Sedentism  The first ceramics appear in Southern Carolina around 2500 BC  These were created in the same forms as the organic baskets, trays etc.  They were simple and functional  Ceramics were somewhat slow to be adopted at first, but then took off due to the fact they could also be used to store water and cook with  However, ceramics are not very transportable and therefore were common only in the sedentary sites

8 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Population Growth and Sedentism  As populations increased and sedentary sites appear, 5 distinct Late Archaic cultures are seen in the Eastern Woodlands The Shield Late Archaic, Mast Forest Late Archaic The Maritime Tradition,Central Riverine Archaic Lake Forest Late Archaic  They are differentiated on the basis of their projectile points and other artefacts  These cultures grow over the next 3000 years

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10 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Shield Late Archaic c BC - Contact  The Shield area includes the Great Lakes and northwards to the Hudson Bay and eastward into Quebec  The environment is full of lakes, rivers, and boreal forest, with sparse game and vegetal resources Caribou and fish were the main staples, but bear, beaver, moose and muskrat were also eaten During the spring and summer a variety of plants were collected

11 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Shield Late Archaic c BC - Contact  The earliest points are Plano like in form, and change to stemmed points later on  Heavy scarpers and knives are common  Many of these tools are made with exotic cherts  These groups continue for 1000s of years in almost complete isolation from the groups to the south

12 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic The Northeast  The northeast region is subdivided into 3 zones: Maritime, Lake Forest and Mast Forest  The vegetation is dominated by pine, hemlock and spruce forests with lots if lichen that the caribou feed on  The large number of rivers would have also attracted these animals, and many sites are strategically positioned in these areas  Along the coasts, the sea mammals include: seals, whales, porpoises, black fish, swordfish and cod

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14 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Maritime Tradition c – 1000 BC  James Tuck introduced the name Maritime Archaic based on a cemetery of 99 people at the site of Port aux Choix, Newfoundland Dated to 2350 BC All the dead (equal males and females, infants and elderly) were sprinkled with red ocher and were buried with artefacts (spearheads and ground points) Other artefacts at the site include axes and adzes to work wood, harpoons, bone needles, bone combs, pendants and carved bird and whale effigies

15 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Maritime Tradition c – 1000 BC  It is suggested that the Maritime groups hunted caribou and sea mammals, as these remains are found at sites throughout the region  There is more local diversity in this region than in the Shield Region however Along the coast different fish and mammals were hunted, while inland the caribou and some fishing were common

16 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Maritime Tradition c – 1000 BC  To hunt swordfish (which swim offshore) the people used dugout canoes and harpoons  It is likely that the groups hunted sea mammals and fish during the summer months and then moved inland to hunt caribou and take advantage of the spanning fish (like salmon) in the spring  Many of the sites contained cemeteries, meaning they were organized groups that had a connection with their lands and ancestors

17 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Lake Forest Archaic c – 1000 BC  This area is north and inland from the Maritime region, and is dominated with pine and hardwood forests  The many rivers are full of fish and in the spring and fall seals could be hunted in Lake Ontario, coming in from the St. Lawrence  Other animals include: deer, shellfish, waterfowl, reptiles, birds and other medium and small animals  A variety of plant foods could be collected

18 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Lake Forest Archaic c – 1000 BC  Population in this region was generally low except isolated site in rich areas  Base camps were common but seasonal mobility was maintained  There is diversity in the region, which makes it confusing to link the sites together at times, but for broad relations the Laurentian and Old Copper Cultures are used

19 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Lake Forest Archaic c – 1000 BC  Laurentian Culture (3200 – 1400 BC)  A number of diverse sites in the Lake Forest region are groups together based on their woodland adaptation, variety of mammal, fish and vegetal subsistence, and seasonal exploitation of these resources  A subdivision is also seen in the Laurentian, in relation to more local diversity

20 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Lake Forest Archaic c – 1000 BC  The Laurentian Culture has characteristic artefact forms including: Broad-bladed and side-notched Otter Creek points, polished atlatl weights, ulu knives (to skin fish and treat sea mammal hides), adzes (woodworking), and a wide variety of antler and bone points, ornaments and small tools There is some difference in the quantities of these artefacts from the east to the west. Copper artefacts for example are much more common in the west (were copper is found), but is also traded to the east

21 Side Notched Otter Creek points Ground-slate ulu Goundstone bannerstones (atlatl weights)

22 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Lake Forest Archaic c – 1000 BC  Old Copper Culture (c – 2500 BC)  Most information on this loosely defined culture comes from three disturbed cemeteries, but seems to connect to a large number of small diverse groups that share the copper technology  In the Lake Superior Basin copper outcrops were mined and used as raw material for tools and ornaments, hence the classification of this culture

23 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Lake Forest Archaic c – 1000 BC  Old Copper Culture tools include: Projectile points, axes, adzes, fish hooks and gorges, ulus, and awls Ornaments include: beads, bracelets and headdress pieces  These objects were traded throughout the northeast and eventually into the Midwest and southeast, where their value increased In the far sites, copper objects were held with great prestige and often buried with the dead as grave ornaments

24 Old Copper Culture Two copper spearheads Raw Material from Lake Superior

25 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Mast Forest Archaic c – 1200 BC  This is the southern most region of the NE  It is a forested area with high numbers of oaks  Deer were the main game hunted, but fish were hunted with harpoons and nets along the rivers and lakes. Other animals include: shellfish, turkey, pigeons and other small mammals  Nuts (especially hickory) and acorns were very important plant food

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27 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Mast Forest Archaic c – 1200 BC  The main difference between this region and the others is the presence of grinding stones connected to the preparation of vegetal foods  Most sites were small camps, but a few contained dwellings and were slightly larger in size. The larger groups seem to concentrate near the Atlantic coast  Like the other areas this area is also subdivided based on the projectile points, including the Susquehanna tradition, and the Lamoka tradition

28 Susquehanna point Lamoka antler pendant with geometric design, bone awl/dagger, adze (above) Lamoka points (2 stemmed and 1 side-notched (left))

29 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Mast Forest Archaic c – 1200 BC  The Lamoka tradition has evidence of rectangular dwellings and acorn roasting pits and fish and meat drying racks  As well, heavy woodworking tools, perhaps to make canoes, and pendants with geometric designs were common  These groups buried their dead in the village middens, very carefully in the flexed position. Most graves contained red ocher and some grave goods

30 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Mast Forest Archaic c – 1200 BC  Interesting is that several people have been found with Lamoka projectile points embedded in them, beheaded or with appendages chopped off, so there were times of fighting in the area  Unlike the other regions there seems to be little trade between the groups in this region, and the result is a more singly diverse set of groups when compared to other areas

31 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Central Riverine Archaic c. 4000–1000 BC  In the Midwest and Southeast the populations also tended to concentrate along the river valleys  The area is dominated with rich deciduous forests and floodplains that provided an abundance of aquatic, game and plant foods  The Central Riverine Archaic was the most well developed of all the Late Archaic cultures

32 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Central Riverine Archaic c. 4000–1000 BC  The Helton Phase at Koster (Horizon 6) between 3900 – 2800 BC marks a time when people were living there year round people Houses were constructed Catching the shallow water fish was common (even poisoning them) Hickory and other nuts were very important resources As were waterfowl (caught with nets), deer and other small animals

33 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Central Riverine Archaic c. 4000–1000 BC The Helton phase points to an increased variety of resources being collected and also stored, which is directly connected with the sedentary occupation and restricted territorial mobility Population likely increased with this change The site was abandoned around 2800 BC, perhaps due to population pressures exceeding the resources and storages It was only occupied 800 years later by a deer hunting group (The Titterington Phase)

34 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Central Riverine Archaic c. 4000–1000 BC  Other cultures including the Green River (3000 – 2000 BC), known for their shell middens, and the Riverton Culture (1500 – 1000 BC), concentrating on upland and floodplain resources, show the variety in the region  All groups showed degrees of sedentism and cemeteries (in many of which were relatively young individuals that died violently)  These cultures are connected with concentrations of people and slightly higher population densities

35 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Poverty Point Culture 2200 – 700 BC  Along the Lower Mississippi Valley and Gulf coast are more than 100 Poverty Point sites from 10 discrete clusters, each with its own centre  The earliest site dates to 2200 BC, and the culture will last for 1500 years  Poverty Point is the largest of these centres

36 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Poverty Point Culture 2200 – 700 BC Poverty Point is situated overlooking the Mississippi floodplain near the confluences of 6 rivers This was a strategic point for trade The site has great horseshoe earthworks made up of 6 concentric semi-circular earthen ridges divided into segments about 25m wide and 3m high. They are about 40m apart. They may have been used to elevate the houses about the floodplain

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39 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Poverty Point Culture 2200 – 700 BC To the west lies an artificial mound more than 20m high and 200m long, possibly connect with the equinoxes In terms of the habitation area, Poverty point covered 200ha between 1000 – 700 BC and took more than cubic m of basket- loaded soil to build Poverty Point served as a well positioned trading centre (which peaked BC). Following this however, the exchange system and political forces forced it to collapse

40 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Summary  By 4000 BC the populations of the Eastern Woodlands were starting to socially rank themselves  Each group was becoming more restricted in their territory. This territory closure is marked by 2000 BC with the local artefacts and styles  As a result, relations with their neighbours needed to be defined. Groups needed to trade artefacts and come together for communal hunts and ceremonies

41 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Summary  The change in social organization was slow, as populations remained relatively low (a few 100 people a most), and most remained egalitarian for years  Over the 3000 years the trade of valued items increased, and the distances reached increased as well  As trade became more intense and controlled a modest degree of social of social differentiation based on reciprocity may have emerged

42 The Eastern Woodlands: Late Archaic Summary  By 1000 BC social ranking is seen in the burials in the Central Riverine Archaic  After 1000 BC the individuals that became the leaders of the groups would lead even more complex societies, which lead into the Woodland Period

43 Archaeology of North America Early Woodland and the Adena Complex of the Eastern Woodlands

44 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland Introduction  After 1000 BC the Eastern Woodland societies become much more complex, culminating in the Mississippian culture in the closing centuries of ancient times  During these 2500 years the Woodland people grew from their Archaic roots, becoming permanently settled, with established territorial boundaries, defined exchange networks and complex social orders

45 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland Introduction  The beginning of the Woodland period is marked with 3 things: pottery deliberate cultivation of native plants interment under funerary mounds  Pottery: Utilitarian pottery was being made throughout the Eastern Woodlands 2000 – 500 BC This is termed the Container Revolution

46 Middle Woodland vessel Woodland (Mississippian) vessel Late Woodland storage vessel

47 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland Introduction  Cultivation: Small scale plant cultivation began around 2000 BC to aid in times of shortages Cultivated were gourds and squashes Sunflowers, Sumpweed or marsh elder Goosefoot and knotweed Tobacco lastly around AD 250 It wasn’t until AD 800 that maize agriculture was adopted in some areas

48 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland Introduction  Burial mounds: Burials are seen throughout the Eastern Woodlands, and other areas of NA for that matter, long before 1000 BC But in the Woodland period burial mounds become an important part of mortuary ceremonialism This is most marked with the Adena Complex in the central Ohio Valley

49 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland The Adena Complex  Adena is connected with a ceremonial complex marking the climax of the Early Woodland Period  Most Adena sites are burial mounds  They began as simple, single person burials (cremated or interred) in a shallow elliptical lit lined and covered with bark  As more burials were added the tumulus grew reaching huge sizes

50 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland The Adena Complex  Later Adena burials changed to very elaborate interments often with large burial chambers or enclosures that contained more than 1 body  The structures lay on or beneath house floors and remained open for a time, which is different than the continual build up of mound deposits in the earlier types  Many bodies were painted with pigments, and even some of the bones  Grave goods became more and more elaborate

51 Adena burial from the Wright mound, Kentucky Reconstruction of an Adena structure that likely has a mortuary function

52 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland Summary  It is important to remember that the distinctive, elaborate and varied Adena complex and Early woodland culture had its roots in the Archaic period of the Eastern Woodlands  Throughout the Early Woodland period populations began to rise and local groups defined their territories  As a result the projectile points and other artefacts show more variation after 1000 BC

53 The Eastern Woodlands: Woodland Summary  Throughout the Woodland period exchange networks continued and became more defined as did social systems and organization  The latter became well-integrated replacing the more flexible ones of the Archaic period

54 The Eastern Woodlands Conclusion  The Paleo-Indian cultures evolve into the Archaic populations spread across the Eastern Woodlands  The appearance of ceramics, domesticates and burial mounds around 1000 BC mark the appearance of the Woodland, which continues to develop until around 1600 AD  The Mississippian marks the climax Eastern Woodlands (AD 1000 – 1500) Known for the large chiefdoms and their socio- religious organization (cults, cemeteries and earthworks)

55 Great Serpent Mound, Ohio


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