|An Archaic Village|
Ohio's Archaic Heritage
Native Americans first dwelt in Southern Ohio because they could not go further north. Most of Ohio had been covered in glaciers. Once the glaciers retreated back into Canada, the prehistoric Native Americans began to explore the newly transformed Ohio. Mankind had to adapt when the mammoths and other large mammals went extinct. They developed new hunting techniques and weapons that granted them more freedom. These changes began at the start of the Archaic Period. Eventually the Paleoindians disappeared and the Archaic Culture thrived. The lifestyle changes did not happen overnight but had taken several decades for the new to replace the old.
Although the Archaic Native Americans were highly mobile they did establish settlements. Each of the settlements are completely diverse based on the local resources. Ohio, during the Archaic Period, had four different geographic areas that each presented the prehistoric man with a wide range of diverse resources. These areas are seen in this graphic.
Villages and Camps
The Archaic people had two different types of camps that they used, larger villages and smaller hunting camps. Villages were established where there was a large food source. Depending on the region where these camps were established, the food source could be fish or nuts. According to archaeologists, Ohio was home to at least ten different distinct cultures through the Archaic Period. These cultures are identified in the graph below taken from The Ohio Archaic: A Review. The time period of their occupation is given on the left side of the graph while they are arranged underneath the region of Ohio in which they were located.
During the Spring, the family units would gather once again in the village. It was here they would supplement their diets with fish, berries, plants and nuts. Fishing required a team effort as the Archaic people used nets, spears, hooks on a line, and perhaps even poison to catch a large number of fish. Spring was the perfect season for the Archaic people to fish in because many types of fish swam up river in order to spawn.
Annual Spring gatherings were a joyous time in the village. Many social and ceremonial gatherings took place in the village.