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North Carolina Native Societies NCST 2000 “Introduction to North Carolina Studies” Fall 2001 Dr. Tom Shields.

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Presentation on theme: "North Carolina Native Societies NCST 2000 “Introduction to North Carolina Studies” Fall 2001 Dr. Tom Shields."— Presentation transcript:

1 North Carolina Native Societies NCST 2000 “Introduction to North Carolina Studies” Fall 2001 Dr. Tom Shields

2 Sources Assigned Readings: –William Powell, North Carolina Through Four Centuries. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, Chapter 1, –"North Carolina's First Colonists: 12,000 Years Before Roanoke".http://www.arch.dcr.state.nc.us/1stcolo.htm –"The Prehistory of North Carolina A Basic Cultural Sequence".http://www.arch.dcr.state.nc.us/basicseq.htm Other Sources of Interest: –Intrigue of the Past: North Carolina's First Peoples.http://www.rla.unc.edu/intrigue/ –Ward, H. Trawick, and R.P. Stephen Davis, Jr. Time Before History: The Archaeology of North Carolina. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1999.

3 North Carolina Native Societies Prehistoric Cultural Sequence –Paleoindian Period Arrival in North Carolina Artifacts –Archaic Period Artifacts Camps –Woodland Period Artifacts Housing –Late Woodland/ Mississippian Period Artifacts Buildings The Historic Period –First encounters –Linguistic Divisions –Modern-Day Tribes

4 Cultural Sequence of North Carolina Prehistory There are four major cultural periods of North Carolina Native American societies: –Paleoindian Period: 12,000 (or more) to 9,500 years BP (Before Present) –Archaic Period ca. 9,500 to 4,000 years BP –Woodland Period 4,000 to ca. 400 years BP (varies across the state) –Mississippian Period ca 700 to 250 years BP

5 Paleoindian Period Dates: 12,000 (or more) to 9,500 years BP Climate: cooler and wetter than today, with temperatures from 5 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit lower on the average, and more abundant rain, though spread more evenly through the year. Sea level was over 100 feet lower than today. Vegetation: spruce-pine parklands and near tundra conditions in the mountains and foothills; oak-beech-hickory-hemlock forests in the piedmont and coastal plain. Artifacts: fluted and unfluted (Clovis, Hardaway, and possibly Palmer) spear points and knives; scrapers made on large flakes for working hides, wood, and bone; baskets may also have been used. Settlements: poorly understood, but probably small camps of seasonally-mobile family groups who hunted deer, elk, bear, and possibly caribou. No evidence exists for hunting of extinct animals like the mastodon or ground sloth. Gathering of plant foods was probably important.

6 Arrival of the First Americans Land bridge formed twice: –50,000-40,000 BP –28,000-10,000 BP People most likely first crossed the land bridge during its second formation.

7 Three Types of Paleoindian Evidence 1. Stone spear points and tools 2. Bones of animals hunted and eaten 3. Traces of campsites

8 Paleoindian Artifacts The Atlatal, or Spear Thrower

9 Archaic Period Dates: ca. 9,500 to 4,000 years BP. Climate: gradual changes; temperatures and rainfall similar to today, with some evidence of a particularly warmer and drier period ca. 6,500 BP. Vegetation: similar to today, with deciduous forests and developing pine forests, especially in the coastal plain. Swamp communities developed as sea level rose. Artifacts: variety of stone projectile points (Kirk, bifurcates, Stanly, Morrow Mountain, Guilford, Halifax, Savannah River, and others), knives, scrapers, drills and others. Ground stone tools, including axes and atlatl weights, were developed, along with carved stone bowls (soapstone). Baskets, nets, mats, canoes and other items of wood or other perishable materials were also probably common, but have not survived at sites. Settlements: many Archaic period sites are known, ranging from small hunting camps to large base camps or small villages; stone quarries are also known. Campsites are assumed to have been occupied seasonally to take advantage of the seasonally available plants and animals. Group sizes may have ranged from single families to several families (bands).

10 Archaic Artifacts Polished Stone Axe from Nash County, BP (above); polished bannerstones for atlatal weights (below). Changes in spear points during the Archaic Period

11 Comparative Camps Paleoindian Short-Term Camp Archaic Base Camp

12 Woodland Period Dates: 4,000 to ca. 400 years BP (varies somewhat across the state) Climate: essentially the same as today, with some minor fluctuations. Vegetation: same as today, with the addition of virgin forests and better soil conditions before disturbance by European-style farming practices. Artifacts: first use of the bow and arrow; introduction of pottery vessels for cooking and storage; development of agricultural practices (corn, beans, squash, sunflowers). Small triangular arrowheads are common, along with many varieties of pottery. Earthen burial mounds were used, but were not common. Settlements: large and small camps are common, as are larger and permanently occupied villages with substantial houses of wood or wattle and daub with thatched roofs. Some seasonal movements to collect available plants or hunt animals were still common.

13 Woodland Artifacts Pottery vessel from Haywood County, 1700 BP Partially reconstructed Swannanoa Pot

14 Woodland Housing Typical Woodland house made of poles and bark.

15 Late Woodland/Mississippian Period Dates: ca 700 to 250 years BP. Climate: much like today. Vegetation: much like historically documented forest types, with localized modifications due to burning for agriculture or hunting. Artifacts: similar to the more generalized Woodland period items, with the addition of new ceramic designs and art motifs, and the construction of elaborate temple mounds and political centers. Settlements: probably much like the settlements of the Woodland cultures, plus villages associated with the temple mounds. (Note: Mississippian groups appear to have been limited to the southern and western portions of the state, and may, in some instances, have been intrusive to otherwise Woodland level cultures. Both the later Woodland and Mississippian peoples often built stockades or palisades around their villages.)

16 Late Woodland/Mississippian Artifacts Pottery vessel from Rockingham County, ca. 800 BP. Colington cooking pot.

17 Mississippian Buildings Archaeological traces of a round house at the Wall site along the Eno River. A platform mound such as might have been at the Town Creek site. The Pisgah village at the Warren Wilson site.

18 Native American Society in Historic North Carolina First encounters between Native Americans and Europeans: –Roanoke Colonies (1580s) Algonquian peoples on the Coastal Plain –John Lawson’s Journey Through North and South Carolina (1701) Saw such places as Occaneechee Town.

19 Interactions with Euopeans Powell’s five major tribes interacting with European settlers: –Algonquian: Hatteras Chowanoc –Iroquoian: Tuscarora Cherokee –Souian Catawba

20 Native American Settlements on Early European Maps

21 Selected Native American Place Names in North Carolina

22 Tribes Recognized by the State in Present-Day North Carolina


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