Prehistory of Ohio

9,500 BC – 1650 AD = 11,150 years Paleo Indians → Archaic Indians → Woodland Indians → Prehistoric Indians → Historic Indians

Archaeology in NW Ohio

Archaeology in NW Ohio

Archaeology in NW Ohio

Regions of Ohio
• Glaciers covered most of North and Western Ohio until about 14,000 years ago Ice thickness over 8,000 feet thick at Cleveland at one point > 1 mile This scooped out the Great Lakes Lake Erie was 2 lakes just after glaciers left, could walk to Canada •

• •

Flint Ridge Upper Mercer


Paleo Indians:
• • • First arrival in Ohio about 9,500 BC Climate very unstable, Ice is gone from Ohio Hunter-gatherer people, chasing Megafauna
– Animals now extinct

• The first people most likely entered Ohio from North or West, following animals Most evidence suggests that People came to North America from Asia to Alaska and went South People were in North America by 12,400 BC, and Ohio by perhaps 9,500 BC

Paleoindians: Tools
• • • • Tools were carefully made High quality flint Built in Recyclability = Mobile Hunters and Gathers More Paleoindian Fluted points found in Ohio than any other state

Clovis Points

Paleoindians: Other Tools

Drills and Blades

Side Scrapers

End Scrapers


Archaic Indians: 8,000 – 1,000 BC
• • • • • • Climate begins to stabilize People begin using seasonal camps, less mobile Very little Archaic found in Northern Ohio No pottery yet – Stone bowls People begin to use plants + hunt deer First Dogs

Late Archaic dog burial

Archaic Indians: Tools
• • • • Many different styles and sizes of points, lower quality flint = regional settlement Serrations Corner Notches No more gravers, drills, etc.

Archaic Indians: Other Tools
• Ground stone tools = use of plants, wood technology
– Axes – Grinding stones

Nutting stones Axes

• • •

Atlatl Weights = Bannerstones Smoking Pipes Stone boiling

Slab grinders Bannerstones/Atlatyl Weights Smoking Pipes

Archaic Indians: Atlatyl

Woodland Indians: 1000 BC –1000 AD
• • • • • First Ceramic/Pottery Appears Increasing use of Plants Flattening of Foreheads Cemeteries = Less Mobile Ceremonialism and the Beginning of Mound-building
– Adena: 1000 BC - 0 – Hopewell: 0 – 400 BC

Woodland Indians: Pottery
• First pottery appears around this time (1,000 BC) Starts out very thick and large, and later becomes thinner Grit Temper Decorations:
– – – – – – Cordmarking Punctates Dentates Incizing Crosshatching Stamping

• •

Woodland Indians: Moundbuilding
• 1914: 3,500 mounds in Ohio
– Mostly in Southern Ohio along Rivers – Less than 1,000 survive today

• • • •

“Vertical Cemeteries” Items of significance buried with people First Europeans believed it was a “lost civilization” Chillicothe, Ohio = center of it all

Woodland Indians: Exotic Materials, Art, and Rituals

• • • • • • • • •

Mica from the Southeast Obsidian from Wyoming Shells and Barracuda Jaws from Florida, Atlantic Coast Copper from Michigan Meteoric Iron from Kansas Galena from West Quartz Crystals from the South Grizzly Bear teeth from Rocky mountains Freshwater Pearls from Mississippi

Woodland Indians: Exotic Materials, Art, and Rituals

Woodland Indians: Earthworks
• • Hills, Ditches, and Platforms Often Aligned with Moon

Prehistoric Indians: 1,000 AD -1650 AD
• • • • • • Movement to fortified hilltop enclosures with defensive fortifications This suggest warfare or threat of attack Use of bow and arrow around 700-1000 AD Houses were often smaller family unit dwellings Underground Storage Pits Shell-tempered Pottery