Late Archaic Period

4.1 Late Archaic Cultures

Late Archaic Period

In the last 2000 years before the birth of Christ, the number of people living in Ohio during the Archaic period increased. Camp sites of that time were larger, and there were more of them. The Late Archaic people still moved to different sites according to the seasons. They also ate much the same food--game, fish, wild plants – as earlier Archaic groups. They may have grown some sunflowers, sumpweed, and squash, but these were probably small additions to their diet. What is most notable about Late Archaic cultures is an increased interest in trade, ceremony, and social status, all of which are shown in their burial practices.

Concern for "proper" burial of the dead is common among all cultures. Yet, there are many different ideas about what is "proper.'' Much can be learned about the beliefs, social structure, and rituals of prehistoric people by careful and respectful excavation and study of burials. In addition, skeletons often provide knowledge about the physical traits, diet, and general health of past groups.