The Archaeology of North Carolina

North Carolina Archaeological Time

The Paleo-Indian Period in North Carolina

PALEO-INDIAN CHRONOLOGY || PALEO-INDIAN SETTLEMENT AND SUBSISTENCE

THE COAST || THE PIEDMONT || THE MOUNTAINS

Archaeologists working in the Southeast recognize differences in spear point forms and frequencies during the Paleo-Indian. By studying frequencies and distribution of the various types, questions regarding settlement and subsistence have been addressed.

Paleo-Indian Settlement and Subsistence

The earliest settlers in the Southeast arrived around 10,000 and found a rapidly changing landscape. Current evidence suggests that many of extinctions of Late Pleistocene megafauna - including the horse, mastadon, and mammoth - were complete by 8500 B.C.

East of the Mississippi River almost no Paleo-Indian tools have been found with these animals. Environmental differences between the Eastern and Western parts of the continent may have necessitated very different adaptions. By the middle Paleo-Indian period, if not earlier, the subsistence pattern was probably very similar to that of the Early Archaic period.

Most southeastern Paleo-Indian sites where more than a single point has been found are related to stone-quarrying activities. This pattern reflects a generalized foraging where groups rarely engaged in subsistence activities that produced recognizable traces in the archaeological record.

©2010 UNC-RLA