The Archaeology of North Carolina

Select North Carolina archaeological treatments by region or time period

select a region Western Foothills Appalachian Summit Southern Piedmont NW Piedmont NC Piedmont C Piedmont NE Piedmont N Coastal Plain S Coastal Plain N Coast S Coast

This on-line supplement to Time Before History allows the viewer to navigate the state's archaeology either by time period or by region.

To navigate by time period, visit our overview of the state's archaeological time periods, then select specific archaeological periods from the upper left sidebar. View or download a chart of North Carolina archaeological periods for each region.

To view the sequence relevant to a specific region of the state, click on that region on the map above or in the lower left sidebar. As you are lead through your region's particular archaeological sequence, continue to return to the sidebar to find your region's next time period.


Although native cultural diversity gradually increased over time, the archaeological records of the earliest two periods - Paleo-Indian and Archaic - are similar from the coast to the mountains. In contrast, Woodland and later periods are marked by the emergence of distinctive cultural traditions within the states major physiographic regions. During the Historic period, these regional traditions coincided with four distinct linguistic and cultural groups: Algonkian, Tuscarora, Siouan, and Cherokee, which occupied the Coast, Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountains, respectively. Different regions have different cultural sequences.


©2010 UNC-RLA