The Archaeology of North Carolina

North Carolina Archaeological Time

The Archaic Period in North Carolina : COAST || PIEDMONT || MOUNTAINS

The Archaic Period (8000 - 1000 B.C.) is an overarching time period covering over half of the timespan people have lived in North Carolina. This vast time has been explored by finding well-preserved deposits in rock-shelters and stratified, deeply-buried open sites in alluvial floodplains. The Archaic is generally thought of as a period dominated by nomadic, relatively small bands pursuing a hunting and gathering way of life, but there is evidence that some Archaic people settled into larger and more permanent sites relatively early.

Paleo-Indian and Archaic sites in North Carolina

From the coast to the mountains, the Archaic period began with wandering bands of hunters and gatherers who faced a wide variety of changing environmental conditions. These bands occasionally came together at favored locations along major river valleys, but most of their time was spend in small groups scattered across the landscape foraging for food and raw materials.

Toward the end of the Archaic period, large groups began to settle down and live most, if not all year in areas rich in raw material and food resources. This settled life spawned the beginnings of plant domestication and use of pottery, hallmarks of the succeeding Woodland period.

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