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Native Americans of Oklahoma

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1 Native Americans of Oklahoma
Ancient Peoples

2 Big Game Hunters 25,000 (?) B.C. to 5000 B.C. – Paleo-Indians – the old ones – cultures were spread across the Americas and lasted several thousand years. Burnham Site, Woods County, northwestern Oklahoma – possible evidence (flakes near a bison skull) of people from twenty-eight to thirty-four thousand years ago.

3 Big Game Hunters Cooperton mammoth kill site in Kiowa County indicate dates from seventeen thousand to twenty-one thousand years ago. Broken bones consistent with human activity, as well as rocks that could have been hammer stones, and an anvil stone were found.

4 Clovis People Clovis site in New Mexico.
Hunted wild game, collected edible wild plants. Made many types of tools – scrapers, drills, and knives, but best known for their spear points.

5 Clovis Spear Points Many clovis points have been found in Oklahoma.
The Domebo site in Caddo County yielded many mammoth bones and spear points. Mammoths have been extinct 10,000 years.

6 Cooper Bonebed Site Cooper Bonebed in Harlan County, OK.
Dates between 10,200 and 10,800 years ago. Residents noted bones sticking out of an eroding bank on the North Canadian River. In 1992, archaeologists began looking at the site, and in 1993 found a Folsom spear point.

7 Folsom Spear Points Different shape than the Clovis points.
Were made from stone normally found near Austin and Amarillo, Texas, as well as NW Kansas. Suggests mobile groups.

8 Cooper Bonebed Residents noticed bones sticking out of North Canadian Riverbed. Dates to 10,200 to 10,800 years ago. Archaeologists arrive in 1992, by 1993 find Folsom point fragment. Most startling find was the discovery of a bison skull with a red zigzag painted on it, suggesting clear evidence of ritual (dance and/or song?)

9 Cooper Bonebed

10 The Foragers 5000 B.C. to A.D. 1 More in wooded, eastern Oklahoma
Used wooden digging sticks with fire-hardened tips. Made baskets, nets, and string from plant fibers Domesticated dogs

11 The Foragers Used axes, hammerstones to shape tools, completed final forms by using sandstone, or sand. The first evidence of the Atlatl, or dart throwers appear in this period.

12 Calf Creek Culture Between seven and four thousand years ago, the state experienced warm conditions and drought. The Calf Creek people adapted to this culture. Hunted bison, small game, gathered edible starchy plants plentiful in drought conditions.

13 Calf Creek Culture Spearpoints Knives Scrapers Deep hafting notches
Due to drought conditions, limited knowledge exists about these people.

14 Early Farmers A.D. 1 to A.D. 1000 Sunflowers, native squash and gourds, various weeds with seeds that could be harvested. Grand River in NE OK, Ouachitas in SE OK, Canadian and Washita Rivers in Central, OK, and the Cimarron River in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

15 Early Farmers Ground corn and other foods in sandstone grinding basins. Pottery starts to come into play. Tools of stone and wood. By A.D. 500, small farming villages exist along the Arkansas, Verdigris, and Grand Rivers. Prairies were unsuitable for farming.

16 Early Farmers Selected places where mixed forest and prairie existed.
Prairies were mainly for hunting bison, deer, and other game. Early houses included poles driven into the ground for a framework, cane walls, thatched roofs. Circular hearths, and trash pits were common.

17 Plains Village Farmers
A.D. 800 to A.D. 1400 Bows and arrows used widely for game Population expanded due introduction of three sisters from the south: Beans Corn Squash

18 Plains Village Farmers
Food stored in underground cache pits. Farming implements made from buffalo shoulder blades (hoes), and deer jaws (sickles). Cook pots were used that could two or three gallons. Clay figurines.

19 Plains Village Farmers
Buried their dead in cemeteries near villages. Allowed for study pre-NAGPRA. Men averaged about 5’6” and women averaged about 5’1”. Healthy. Half of all deaths occurred between birth and age four.

20 Plains Village Farmers
One third of the population lived beyond age 30 17 percent reached the age of 50 or 60 Major maladies included tooth decay and arthritis Body was usually placed in a curled up position facing east. Prominent people may have been buried with a few items such as pots, or items they used in life.

21 Roy Smith Site From 1250 to 1450, people inhabited this site in Beaver County along the Beaver River in the semi-arid high plains region. Walls were built of stone. Cook rooms Articles found that indicated trade with other plains and southwestern people.

22 Caddoan Mound Builders
A.D to A.D. 1500 Spiro is one of the most important Mississippian sites in North America. Located in eastern Oklahoma, the site is characterized by three types of mounds; one burial mound, two temple mounds, and nine house mounds; ceremonial plazas and supporting city environs.

23 Spiro Mounds

24 Spiro Mounds

25 Early Historic Buffalo Hunters
A.D to A.D. 1700 After 1500, the climate in western Oklahoma became too dry for farming, and people turned to buffalo as their primary subsistence. People lived in tipis to follow the buffalo. Horses did not reach Oklahoma until around 1700.

26 Early Buffalo Hunters Hunted the buffalo on foot
Eastern Oklahoma had a wetter climate, which farming easier, but Eastern OK farmers would make periodic hunting trips to the west for buffalo, then returned to their villages. Archaeologists have found many buffalo bone tools from this period.

27 Formation of Modern Tribes
Plains tribes had diversified enough to have different customs, beliefs, and languages. Different tribes communicated with Plains sign language. Plains Apache – Na-I-Sha Ancestors of modern Wichita (Ouasitas, Taovayas, Tawakonis, Iscanis) Caddo

28 Sources Brooks, Robert L. and Claudette Marie Gilbert. From Mounds to Mammoths: A Field Guide to Oklahoma Pre-History. 2nd ed. Norman: U of Oklahoma Press, 2000.

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