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100 Years Ago

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About The Archaic Period

As early as 8,000 BC, the aborigine civilization progressed into what is now known as the Archaic Period (8,000 BC - 1,000 AD), which, because of alterations in the region’s climate and the extinction of the large mammals, brought cultural and lifestyle changes for the natives. The Indians that lived during this period are called the Archaic Indians. They survived in this pre-agricultural era by hunting antelope and smaller game such as rabbit, wild turkey and quail. Fish were also a part of their diet along with wild vegetables and grains. They were armed with throwing sticks and spears when hunting game, and used flint points (arrow heads, spear heads) that are easily recognized today.

Around 5,000 BC, in the Great Lakes region, the Archaic Indians began to produce spear points, axes and knives from copper. Because they buried their dead in huge gravel deposits left by the glaciers, many of their skeletal remains have been uncovered by archeologists.

When the European pioneers moved into Ohio they began to replace early mud roads with gravel mined from some of these deposits, and, in doing so, many skeletons were uncovered. Human bones have been found throughout the state, including Shelby County, Ohio. Analyses of these remains has revealed that the males averaged 5 feet, 4 inches in height, and the women 5 feet. Their spoken language was never documented and will probably remain unknown.

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge


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excavatingindian.gif (111135 bytes)

In this 1960s photo, Piqua Historian Leonard Hill looks at a male Indian skeleton unearthed in a gravel pit, east of Boone's hill.

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