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Early Inhabitants of North America


Title: Early Inhabitants of Georgia Author: Johnny Griffin Last modified by: Johnny Griffin Created Date: 8/16/2007 7:34:18 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Inhabitants of North America

Early Inhabitants of North America
  • Paleo
  • Archaic
  • Woodland
  • Mississippian
  • Historic

Native Americans or 1st Immigrants?
  • One of the first questions that scientists try to
    decide is where did the 1st people come from that
    lived in America come from and why were they
  • Were they always here?
  • Did they come from Asia?
  • Did they come from South America?
  • Did they sail over the Pacific?
  • DNA testing, the study of skeletal remains , and
    a comparison of languages also lend support of
    special affinities between Native Americans and
    the peoples of Siberia.

PALEO ICE AGE (Hollywood style)
  • The Ice Age locked up more of the worlds water
    in polar icecaps that allowed a land crossing
    over the Bering Sea from Asia to North America.
    Also, similar archaeological sites on in such
    faraway places on North American continent such
    as present-day California and Florida.

Animals of the Paleo Tradition
  • Prehistoric Camel
  • Mastodon

Animals of the Paleo Tradition
  • Saber-Tooth Tiger
  • Giant Sloth

Animals of the Paleo Tradition
  • Fossilized Skull of Saber-Tooth Tiger
  • Saber-Tooth Tiger Attacks Giant Sloth

PALEO (10,000-8,000 B.C.) Very Old
  • The Band Because the survival of the group
    depended on a successful hunt, the number of
    people in the band was usually 20-30 people.
  • Men The men would hunt together with large
    spears called Clovis Points and stabbed the
    large animal until it died. They would run up and
    try to stab the animal in its soft underbelly or
    joints. Once the animal died, the group would
    move near the kill site. Young boys would hunt
    when he was a teen.
  • Women The women would quickly pack up the camp
    site and move to the kill site. The women and
    girls would help prepare the slain animal for all
    of its different uses.
  • FYI The average age span of Paleo 40-45 years.

PALEO (10,000-8,000 B.C.) Very Old
  • Over these 2000 years, Paleo groups chased big
    game into North America. At the end of this time,
    these animals began to die off. Scientists have
    many theories
  • -End of Ice Age (early version of Global
  • -Overhunting
  • -Disease
  • Humans began to move less and develop cultural
    ties more.

Paleo Camp A Modern Version of a Paleo
Pleistocene Overkill intensified hunting efforts
brought on in response to lowered reproduction
and survival rates of large animals.
PALEO (10,000-8,000 B.C.) Very Old
  • The Clovis Point was the large spearhead that
    was used to stab the animal in the soft
    underbelly. (Clovis was the site where this
    technology was discovered
  • These stone points later became more delicate and
    lighter to be on throwing spears (rather than
    stabbing spears). These were called Folsom
    Points and showed how technology was improving.

Paleo Humor End of Ice Age OR The 1st Global
ARCHAIC (8,000 -1,000 B.C.) Old
  • Why the Change?
  • When the Ice Age ended, the larger animals became
    extinct, and the people in North America did not
    have to travel as far to hunt the smaller
    animals. So these Archaic Indians moved on a more
    seasonal basis winter on the seashore, summer
    in the mountains might be a years plan.
  • Though these Indians were still hunters food
    gatherers, they did live longer in an area before
    moving. So, they lived in groups of bands,
    numbering 40-60 people and moved just a few times
    in a year.
  • All tools continued to be made from wood, stone,
    or bone no metal tools were used by these Native

ARCHAIC (8,000 -1,000 B.C.) Old
  • Atlatl A new weapon for hunting smaller game was
    created the atlatl.
  • By shrinking the size of the spear, and
    transferring energy from the person to the atlatl
    to the spear, a hunter could throw this weapon
    from a great distance. It was a perfect
    adaptation for hunting smaller game.
  • FYI An atlatl could throw a spear the length of
    a football field on a straight line.

  • Atlatl Throwing Motion
  • Close-up View of Atlatl

  • How does the weight help the atlatls aim power?
  • Atlatl bringing home the bacon! (or at least the

Woodland (1000 B.C.- 1000 A.D.)
  • Eventually, people in America made an important
    discovery. Besides gathering food and hunting,
    they could plant seeds and expect a corn crop to
    grow during the summer. The discovery of farming
    gives incentive for people to stay to harvest the

ARCHAIC (8,000 -1,000 B.C.) Old
  • Innovations
  • Stone Boiling
  • Rocks were placed in a fire, and then moved with
    two forked sticks into a pit that was lined with
    an animal skin and filled with water. The sticks
    would be used to drop the rocks in the water. The
    rocks would make the water boil and the
    vegetables could be cooked!
  • --Pottery
  • As people needed less time to gather food, they
    had time to invent things, such as simple pottery
    to use in cooking.

Archaic Differences Begin to Emerge
  • While some groups moved seasonally, some began to
    stay more stationary, depending on the food
  • The Chumash (in present-day California) benefited
    from the food resources such as acorns, plants,
    etc. in the forests.
  • The Northwest Peoples (in present-day Washington)
    benefited from the abundant salmon supplies.
  • (This period covers the same time as the
    Mesolithic period in European chronology.)
  • Trading occurred between the bands, as marine
    shells from the oceans were found by the Great

Woodland (1000 B.C.- 1000 A.D.)
  • Because food was easier to get, the need for
    movement was reduced. The groups of bands (of the
    Archaic period) grew to be tribes (200-400) of
    people by the Woodland period.
  • Men still hunted, and farming was left to the

Woodland (1,000 B.C.- 1000 A.D.)
  • Technology
  • Bow and Arrow for hunting small game such as
    deer or squirrel.
  • Dart/Blow Gun for hunting very small game such
    as birds, rabbits, etc.

Bow and Arrow
Woodland (1,000 B.C.- 1000 A.D.)
  • Examples of Woodland Tradition
  • Hohokam (Southwest)
  • Anasazi (Southwest)
  • Rock Eagle (Southeast)
  • Corn (maize) was the major crop in most areas.

Woodland (1000 B.C.- 1000 A.D.)
  • Horticulture Techniques
  • Girdling This is the process of cutting down a
    tree with a stone axe. The Woodland Indian would
    cut a circle around the base of the tree trunk.
    Eventually, the tree would die, and could be
    pushed over easily.
  • Slash Burn This process involves cutting away
    all vegetation on the ground, and then burning
    it. The soil can then be used for planting, or
    allowed to grow back naturally. (The young
    plants that grow there attract deer, rabbits,
    etc. because those plants are the best to eat)

Woodland Landmark
  • One of the signs of the Woodland period in
    Georgia is the Rock Eagle Effigy Mound.
  • Quartz Rocks were piled 10 ft. high, 102 feet in
    length, and 120 ft. wide.
  • Archaeologists think Rock Eagle might have been
    used as a religious center for many groups in the

Rock Eagle Today
Mississippian Culture 1000 A.D.- 1492
  • Carrying Capacity the number of people a given
    area can support with food.
  • The Cahokia (near present-day St. Louis) had a
    population that was estimated as high as 25,000.
    Though no written Indian language would occur
    until the 1840s, the Cahokia did leave
    pictographs in clay tablets.
  • The Aztecs (in present-day Mexico) developed
    great pyramids and practiced human sacrifice in
    their religious ceremonies. This mesoamerican
    culture existed from central Mexico to Central

Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • As time went on, cultures got even better at
    growing food. Where the Woodland Indians grew
    corn (maize), the Mississippian Indians grew a
    variety of crops such as pumpkin, squash, beans,
  • and many other crops.

  • Etowah is a Mississippian chiefdom in Northwest
    Georgia (near Cartersville).
  • Archeologists think that the closer you lived to
    the center, the more important you were in the

Etowahs Changing Technology
  • V Trap Rocks were placed in Etowah River for
    Fast Food Fishing. The fish had to swim through
    the hole at in the V, so a basket could be held
    there to catch them for dinner!

  • Ocmulgee Mounds are located near Macon. The
    mounds have one of the few hollow mounds that
    served as a meeting place for the leaders of the
  • The Black Drink was consumed in the Earth Lodge
    (sweat lodge) as part of the purification
    process- it made you throw up! Example if you
    killed someone in battle, you needed to be rid of
    the evilness of that deed!

  • The leaders would sit on a platform in the shape
    of an eagle. The chiefs seat was directly in
    line with the door. Twice a year the 1st sunbeam
    of the morning would shoot in and land on the
    chief like a spotlight. They calculated which day
    this would occur and would meet before daybreak
    to spotlight the mico.

  • Kolomoki Mounds are near the Walter George
    Reservoir by the Alabama state line.
  • When a chief died, theyd burn his body house
    on his mound. Then, after dirt was added, the son
    would build his new house on the grave of his

Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • Because food was easily provided, group size grew
    to chiefdoms (2000 people) for this tradition.
  • The Chief, or mico, was the spiritual political
    of the chiefdom. He could be carried down from
    his mound on a litter (a seat carried between
    two poles by warriors).

Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1492 A.D.)
  • He could be carried down from his mound on a
    litter (a seat carried between two poles by
  • Effigy statues were often made and buried at the
    king at the burial.

Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • The chief lived on man-made mounds of dirt. Other
    smaller mounds might be for a lesser chief
    (medicine man) or a burial mound.
  • When a chief died, his body house might be
    burned on top on the mound. Then, more dirt would
    be added and the new chief (his son) would live
    on top of the mound.

Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • The bow and arrow was improved with the
    triangular arrowhead
  • Pottery was decorated with patterns. It was also
    made into many different shapes forms.

Triangular Arrowheads
Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • Chunkey- A game in which two spears are thrown
    at a rolling stone. The one that lands closest to
    the stone (without hitting it) would score a
  • Bear Skull- A game in which a skull is tied on
    top of a pole. The two teams try to take a dear
    skin ball and hit the skull with it. If they do,
    they get a point. If not, everyone goes for a
    rebound. Teams try to tackle players with the
    ball and steal it. If a team scores, then the
    other team gets the ball.
  • Stick Ball A game like our modern-day of
    lacrosse. Players use two netted sticks to pass
    the ball to teammates to get across a goal.
    Sometimes two chiefdoms might agree to play this
    game to settle a dispute rather than going to

Baggataway Stickball Lacrosse (as later named
by the French)
Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • The Native Americans called the stickball game
    baggataway (bag AT uh way). It could be used to
    decide disputes, instead of a war. The game of
    lacrosse came from this game.

Mississippian (1000 A.D.-1540 A.D.)
  • Famous sites
  • Etowah located in NW GA (near Cartersville),
    this site has 7 mounds and used the V trap for
    fishing. The chief would live on the highest
  • Ocmulgee located in middle GA (near Macon), this
    site also has mounds, including an earth mound
    that was hollow so that meetings could be held in
    there. A raging fire would make it a sweat
    lodge and the Black Drink would make people
    vomit before entering.
  • Question Why would sweating and purging with the
    Black Drink be used at these meetings? (Hint
    think about symbolism)

Mississippian Culture
  • When the mico died, sometimes his wife and slaves
    were killed to accompany him to the afterlife
    with the Creator.
  • Chiefdoms would dominate, then be overwhelmed by
    a neighboring chiefdom, or split from within.
    Disease and drought were other threats to the
    health of the chiefdom.
  • The Aztecs (present-day Mexico) was the strongest
    chiefdom in mesoamerica during this time period.
  • Animism was a conviction that the supernatural
    was a complex diverse web of power woven into
    every part of the natural world. (American
    Colonies, pg. 18) The European cultures would
    struggle with this concept.

Historic Period 1492-???
Question for the Day Wheres the Food?
  • This led to a 3rd way that anthropologists
    describe how a group of people got their food
  • These people could grow many different foods to
    feed a large number of people.

Archaeology 101
  • Hi, my name is
  • Dr. U. R. Ancient!
  • Im Shilohs resident archaeologist. I hope you
    will learn a few things about the people who were
    here before the Europeans arrived.

The P.A.W.M. Pilot
  • Our graphic organizer for this unit will be a
    paper P.A.W.M. Pilot. (Its cheaper than a real
    Palm Pilot). The letters stand for the 4 time
    periods of the Native Americans in Georgia. They
  • --Paleo
  • --Archaic
  • --Woodland
  • --Mississippian

The P.A.W.M. Pilot
  • 1st Step Fold your paper in half (hot dog down)
  • 2nd Step Fold the paper into four parts by
    folding in half (across), and then fold it in
    half again (across).
  • 3rd Step Take the front flap and cut it into 4
    lids do NOT cut through the fold of the paper.

The P.A.W.M. Pilot
  • On the Cover
  • Write one letter per flap P, A, W, M. Make it
  • (Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian)
  • On the Flip Side of the Cover Inside Section
  • Write a summary of each Native American
    tradition. Tell about
  • Family
  • Food
  • Weapons (draw a picture)
  • Group Size
  • Technology

The P.A.W.M. Pilot
  • On the Back of the Uncut Page
  • Make a timeline that shows when all the time
    periods occurred.
  • (Hint make each inch 1000 years
  • or each ½ inch 1000 years)

Time Periods
  • When archaeologists study past cultures, they
    estimate when these people might have lived in
    Georgia. For example, the term, Paleo means
    very old and refers to any person who was alive
    in Georgia during that time period. So, Paleo is
    more of a time period than a name of a tribe.

Indiana Jones v. CSI
  • In the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana
    Jones plays a scientist who looks for valuable
    artifacts of the past at archaeological sites
    (while fighting bad guys). These clues to the
    past can be found in middens or trash piles
    that were left behind.
  • Anthropologists are like the experts on CSI, who
    look for how different crime scenes may be
    related. They also try to describe how one
    culture is different from another. They explain
    how humans changed their living styles over time.

Georgia Story Archaeology
  • Archaeologists want to know how cultures solved
    our basic needs
  • F ___ ___ ___
  • W ___ ___ ___ ___
  • S ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
  • By examining the artifacts left behind, the
    archaeologist can make educated guesses about how
    people lived.

Question for the Day Wheres the Food?
  • Because food was the main concern of each day,
    people were always looking for ways to make the
    search easier and less time-consuming. As
    anthropologists study the past, they describe
    cultures by how they got their food. The first
    category is
  • FOOD GATHERERS these people hunted, fished,
    collected nuts, and ate whatever food that they
    could find as they walked about the land.

Question for the Day Wheres the Food?
  • As time went on, people wanted to have some
    control of where they found their food. They
    grew tired of packing up and moving every time
    food got scarce in an area.
  • This led to the 2nd category that anthropologists
    use to describe a culture

Question for the Day Wheres the Food?
  • these people continued to be food gatherers but
    they added one great new skill the ability to
    farm. Farming means you can decide that a crop
    such as yellow corn can be grown in a certain
    spot, and it will (with some work) appear there
    to provide food for all at some point during the
  • That is a huge burden to be lifted if you KNOW
    youll have food growing in a certain spot during
    the year. When the crop does comes to harvest,
    food will be plentiful.

Question for the Day Wheres the Food?
  • Eventually, people got very proficient at growing
    their food. Diversity in crops occurred, and
    groups quit moving around so much.
  • Cultures got more complex as people had more free
    time than every before.

Question for the Day Wheres the Food?
  • These people still hunted, fished, and gathered
    food like their ancestors but the main staple
    of their diet came from their great ability to
    grow crops wherever they wished.

SO Time to play Detective
  • As you learn about the four time periods (or
    eras) of Native Americans in Georgia that lived
    before the Europeans arrived, think about how
    they collected their food.
  • Food Gatherers hunt, fish, collect (no farms)
  • Hunting Farmers hunt, fish, collect, farm corn
  • Master Farmers hunt, fish, collect and grow a
    variety of crops to feed thousands of people

Why didnt the Native Americans leave us some
written clues?
  • One interesting thing about all 4 of these
    cultures is that all of their story-telling,
    laws, religious beliefs, and values had to be
    taught verbally to each generation. No group
    created their own written language until Sequoyah
    did it for the Cherokees in the 1800s.
  • --U.R. Ancient (archaeologist)

Myths A Tool for Teaching
  • After a full day, a grandparent may sit down and
    tell a story to their grandchildren around the
    campfire. It usually tried to do 3 things (3
  • Entertain (no TV or I-pod)
  • Explain the unexplainable about nature ( Why
    is there thunder? Why does a raccoon wear a mask?
    Why does a skunk stink?)
  • Enlighten children on values that are important
    to the culture (Honesty, bravery, sharing,
    equality, etc.)

Myths A Tool for Teaching
  • Listen to this Cherokee myth about fire. Answer
    these questions after hearing the story
  • -How was it entertaining?
  • -What things in nature were explained?
  • -What values were learned?

Georgia Story Cherokee Myth
  • Grandfather, where did fire come from?
  • Oh, dear granddaughter, we have the animals of
    the forest to thank for fire. For in the
    beginning, there was no fire and the world was
    cold. Then the lightning came down and put fire
    in a hollow sycamore tree that grew on an
  • The animals saw the smoke and knew that fire had
    come down from the sky. So, they held a council
    to see what they could do to get the fire and
    bring it back to the forest . It was decided that
    every animal that could swim or fly would try to
    retrieve it.

  • The raven went first because he was big and
    strong. But his feathers got scorched black by
    the fire, and he had to return without the fire.
  • The owl tried next, but the smoke nearly blinded
    him and the hot ashes blew up in his face,
    leaving white rings around his eyes. He, too,
    came home without the fire.
  • The little snake then swam across and crawled in
    a hole at the bottom of the tree. But the hot
    coals made him slither back and forth in close
    quarters to get out he moves now as a sidewinder.

  • Oh, grandfather, surely someone would be brave
    enough and smart enough to get the fire for us!
    After all, were by a camp fire now, arent we?
  • Granddaughter, you are wise beyond your years.
    Yes, one animal did get the fire. It was a little
    water spider who wove a bowl out of a thread. She
    then lifted one little coal, put it in her little
    web bowl, and brought it back for all to share.
  • And ever since, we have had fire, and the water
    spider still carries her web bowl wherever she
    goes. (Myths of the Cherokee by James Mooney).

Myths A Tool for Teaching
  • Try to write your own Native American Myth. It
    should have these parts to it
  • --Title
  • --Minimum One Page in length (use a lot of
  • --Explain 1-2 things about nature that a child
    might want to know. (fire, animals
    characteristics, etc.)
  • --Teach 1-2 values that a grandparent might want
    a child to know. (Last sentence Moral of story
  • --Give a full-page illustration of your myth.

A Myth is Born
WHEW! Were Done!
  • I hope youve learned a lot about the Native
    Americans of Georgia. Between your P.A.W.M. Pilot
    and your Indian Myth, Im sure you will wow
    your teacher with your knowledge!
  • --U.R. Ancient
  • (archaeologist)
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