|Paynes Prarie Preserve State Park|
By: ryan griffis @http://www.flickr.com/photos/grifray/435635066/
A few weeks ago I had presented to you a blog posting concerning the first inhabitents of Ohio. These Native Americans were known as Paleoindians. The Paleoindian Period of history lasted between 13,000 -7,000 B.C. The earliest evidence of human occupation in Ohio dates to 13,000 B.C. Ohio's Paleoindian period overlaps with the introduction of the Archaic Native Americans arriving in Ohio around 8,000 B.C. Scientist had hypothesis that the Younger Dryas impact may have eliminated the paleoindians yet this is still being researched. You can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_event Whatever the cause may have been for the destruction of the Paleoindians in Ohio there is no archeaological evidence to support their existence in Ohio past 7,000 B.C.
Ohio during the Paleolitic Period was different than the Ohio we know today. Lake Erie and the Ohio
River did not exist before the glaciers came to Ohio. Instead Ohio had one major river, The Teays River. You can learn more about Ohio's Ancient Nile River at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/magazinehome/magazine/sprsum04/teaysriver/tabid/364/Default.aspx
|Map of Landscape Before the Paleoindian Period|
This video is from the Kentucky Educational Television and shows how the glaciers formed the Ohio River. http://www.teachersdomain.org/asset/ket08_vid_ohioriver/
Thirteen thousand years ago, the northern part of the state was completely covered by a glacier. Only 1/3 of the state was free from ice. It was very cold and moist. This slowly began to change as the glaciers retreated. The glaciers formed the Great Lakes.
Between 10,000 to 9,000 B.C, the northwestern portion of Ohio was covered by clumps of dwarf willow growing aling the river banks. There were many small groves of spruce, pine, aspen, and fir trees separated by open ground. Mastodons, mammoths, elk, caribou, deer, giant beaver and caribou lived in this region. The Paleoindian hunters would often hunt in this region in order to provide for their families. Although several prehistoric animals and Paleoindian points have been found throughout Ohio there has never been a Paleoindian point found with the remains of the animals dated to the Paleoindian Period. The Paleoindians favored hunting Caribou and possibly hunted them using the same methodology that current Eskimo groups in Alaska use today. If we study the Eskimos and their hunting methods we may have a glimpse into how the Paleoindians hunted in Ohio so long ago. You can learn more about the Paleoindian hunting patterns here http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=1200
Ohio's Paleoindians may have been living in the southeastern portion of Ohio as early as 17,000 B.C. The land above the Southeastern portion of Ohio was slowly exposed as the glaciers retreated throughout the Paleoindian Period. The Ohio River and the Great Lakes never existed before the glaciers came. The Paleoindians lived during a time where the land was being slowly and dramatically changed. Paleoindians had to live on the high ground or in caves in order to avoid the flooded valleys that the glaciers left behind as they retreated. Southeastren Ohio was a safe place for the Paleoindians to live since it had not been exposed to glaciers. Here the land was covered with oak, walnut, and hickory trees along the hillsides. The nuts were gathered by the Paleoindians and used as a supplement to their diets.
Although archeologists have never found the skeletal remains of a Paleoindian they can hypothesis what their life may have been like through archeaological records. The Ohio Paleoindians used flint that they found in river beds to make their points. Archeologists have found Paleoindian quarries and workshops along the Walhonding River in Coshocton County.
You can learn more about Ohio's Paleoindians at