Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Louisiana Prehistory
Author: Neuman, Robert W., Neuman, Nancy W. Hawkins
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Louisiana Prehistory" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



             Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
       Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission
                      Anthropological Study No. 6



                          LOUISIANA PREHISTORY


    [Illustration: A hunter using an atlatl.]

                         Baton Rouge, Louisiana



                           STATE OF LOUISIANA


                            Edwin W. Edwards
                               _Governor_

             DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE, RECREATION AND TOURISM

                             Noelle LeBlanc
                              _Secretary_

            ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY AND ANTIQUITIES COMMISSION

                           Ex-Officio Members

               Dr. Kathleen Byrd    _State Archaeologist_
  Mr. Robert B. DeBlieux    _Assistant Secretary_, Office of Cultural
                              Development
   Mr. B. Jim Porter    _Secretary_, Department of Natural Resources
 Ms. V. Elaine Boyle    _Secretary_, Department of Urban and Community
                                Affairs

                          _Appointed Members_

                       Dr. Charles E. Orser, Jr.
                           Mr. Brian J. Duhe
                          Mr. Marc Dupuy, Jr.
                        Dr. Lorraine Heartfield
                         Dr. J. Richard Shenkel
                          Mrs. Lanier Simmons
                          Dr. Clarence H. Webb

  First Printing                                       June 1982
  Second Printing, with revision                      April 1987

  This public document was published at a total cost of $7,520.00. 8,800
  copies of this public document were published in this second printing
  at a cost of $3,419.25. The total cost of all printings of this
  document including reprints is $7,520.00. This document was published
  for the Division of Archaeology by Bourque Printing, Inc., P.O. Box
  45070, Baton Rouge, LA 70895-4070 to make available to the citizens of
  Louisiana information about prehistoric and historic archaeology under
  authorization of La. R.S. 41:1601-1613. This material was printed in
  accordance with standards for printing by state agencies established
  pursuant to R.S. 43:31. Printing of this material was purchased in
  accordance with the provisions of Title 43 of the Louisiana Revised
  Statutes. This publication has been funded in part by the Department
  of the Interior, National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund.



                          LOUISIANA PREHISTORY


    [Illustration: Replica of a Mississippian effigy pipe.]

                            Robert W. Neuman
            Museum of Geoscience, Louisiana State University

                            Nancy W. Hawkins
                        Division of Archaeology



                             Editor’s Note


Louisiana’s cultural heritage dates back to approximately 10,000 B.C.
when man first entered this region. Since that time, many other Indian
groups have settled here. Each of these groups has left evidence of its
presence in the archaeological record. The Anthropological Study series
published by the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism provides
a readable account of various activities of these cultural groups.

Robert W. Neuman, Curator of Anthropology at the Museum of Geoscience,
Louisiana State University, and Nancy W. Hawkins, outreach coordinator
for the State Division of Archaeology, coauthored this volume. It is the
result of the realization that relatively few Louisiana residents are
aware of the state’s rich archaeological heritage. Furthermore, there is
little introductory information available to them about Louisiana’s
past. _Louisiana Prehistory_ was written to meet this need. It is a
short summary of the state’s prehistory and is meant to be a person’s
first exposure to the state’s prehistoric archaeology. For this reason
theoretical and technical discussions are kept at a minimum.

Louisiana Prehistory tells the story of man’s occupation of the state
during its first 11,600 years. It begins with the big game hunters of
10,000 B.C. and describes the changing life styles brought about by the
end of the Ice Age. It relates the influences of various people moving
into and out of Louisiana and their effects on Louisiana cultures.
Finally it recounts the development of mound building which culminated
in the large ceremonial centers described by the early European
explorers.

I trust that the reader will enjoy this introduction to Louisiana’s
prehistoric Indian heritage.

                                                           Kathleen Byrd
                                                   _State Archaeologist_



                            ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Although many individuals have contributed to the development of this
volume, special appreciation goes to Dr. Clarence H. Webb of Shreveport
for allowing us the use of artifacts from his private collection. Mr.
George A. Foster, Chairman of the Board of Guaranty Corporation,
assisted us greatly by providing photographs of drawings from the
Corporation’s lobby Indian displays for use in this publication. We also
thank Dr. Judith A. Schiebout, Director of the Museum of Geoscience,
Louisiana State University, who provided continuous cooperation in the
development of this project, and Mr. Daniel S. Peace, photographer of
the Museum of Geoscience, for his efforts in photographing the artifacts
used in this booklet.

    [Illustration: INDIANS OF PREHISTORIC LOUISIANA]

  NEO-INDIAN
    1,500
    1,000    CADDO/PLAQUEMINE-MISSISSIPPIAN
    500    TROYVILLE-COLES CREEK
    A.D.    MARKSVILLE
    B.C.
    500    TCHEFUNCTE
    1,000    POVERTY POINT
    1,500
    2,000
  MESO-INDIAN
    2,500
    3,000
    3,500
    4,000
    4,500
    5,000
  PALEO-INDIAN
    5,500
    6,000
    6,500
    7,000
    7,500
    8,000
    8,500
    9,000
    9,500
    10,000
    10,500
  ?



                              INTRODUCTION


Tens of thousands of years ago, when the world was in the midst of the
Ice Age, the first humans made their way into North America. At that
time, thick sheets of ice covering the polar regions had tied up so much
of the earth’s water that the oceans were approximately 400 feet lower
than they are today. All around the world sections of land that are now
underwater were then above sea level. An extensive land bridge connected
Siberia to Alaska across what is now the Bering Strait and people from
Asia used this route for their passage into North America.

The land bridge between the two continents was clear of ice for
thousands of years, and vegetation from both sides intermixed. Grazing
animals, and the people who hunted them, gradually wandered from Asia
into North America, probably without ever realizing they were moving
into a new region. Although the earliest immigrants may have reached
North America over 40,000 years ago, most of the present evidence dates
from between 23,000 and 8,000 years ago.

Much of Canada was covered with ice during this time, but periodically,
ice-free corridors of land connected Alaska with the Great Plains of the
United States. Over hundreds of generations nomadic people spread
throughout southern North America, Central America, and South America.
At least by 12,000 years ago, the first Indians lived in the
southeastern United States. The prehistoric era in Louisiana begins with
these first inhabitants and concludes with the arrival of the Europeans.
The chart at the left outlines the long, rich prehistory of Louisiana.



                              PALEO-INDIAN


Twelve thousand years ago, the average temperature in the southeastern
United States was five to 10 degrees cooler than it is now, and the
climate was drier. The landscape was covered with oak and pine forests
mixed with open grasslands. Some familiar animals such as rabbits and
deer lived in the area, but many other animals that have become extinct
in North America, were also common then. Included were the camel, giant
armadillo, short-faced bear, long-horned bison, mastodon, tapir, ground
sloth, saber-toothed tiger, mammoth, dire wolf, and horse (the horse was
later reintroduced by the Spanish).

The earliest Indians in Louisiana, called Paleo-Indians, hunted these
animals with spears tipped with stone points. The points were two to six
inches long, and lanceolate, with bases that were either straight or
rounded inward. The Paleo-Indians in Louisiana made their points from
carefully selected varieties of stones that appear to have come from
neighboring regions in Texas and Arkansas.

The first step in making a point was to strike a selected stone from a
strategic angle with another stone, detaching a relatively large, flat,
oval piece called a flake. The second step was to shape the large flake
by chipping off smaller flakes with a rock, bone fragment, or antler
tip. The final steps were to remove the delicate finishing flakes by
firmly pressing against the edge of the point with an antler or bone
tool, and then to grind the base of the point smooth with a stone. The
point then was fastened directly to a wooden shaft with hide, fiber or
an adhesive substance, or it was attached to a bone section that was
connected to the spear shaft.

    [Illustration: (actual size)]

To pierce the skin of one of the large animals, such as a mastodon or
mammoth, the hunters had to be close to the powerful beast. They hurled
or jabbed their spears at the animal, and tried to confuse and
immobilize their prey. Perhaps several hunters surrounded an isolated
animal waving their arms and distracting it while one or two others
speared it. If the animal was wounded, the hunters would have tracked it
until it became very weak or went to water to drink. Even a mastodon,
wounded and exhausted, or mired in the mud of a shallow lake, would have
been relatively easy game for a small group of experienced hunters.

Men and older boys almost certainly were the hunters for the
Paleo-Indian groups. Women and children collected fruits, seeds, roots,
and other plant foods to supplement their diet.

Paleo-Indians lived in small nomadic groups that remained in one area
only as long as the animals and plant foods were plentiful. The evidence
indicates that they camped near streams in temporary shelters made of
branches, grass and hides. At other times, they preferred high ground
where they could see the countryside to watch for animals. The camp may
have had a central area for group activities surrounded by living areas
where families cooked and slept. These people probably used animal skins
for clothing and as blankets, and may have had dogs as pets. They did
not raise other animals or grow crops. They used no metal and made no
pottery.

    [Illustration: Mastodon hunt]

Louisiana Paleo-Indian sites (areas where remains are found) are not
common, because the small groups of nomadic Indians left very few
artifacts at any location. High rainfall and humidity then led to decay
and erosion of many ancient sites while changing geography led to the
disappearance of others. The sea level has risen, so any Paleo-Indian
coastal remains are now on the ocean floor. Sites once along the
Mississippi River have been washed away or deeply buried as the river
shifted its course and deposited silt. Most Paleo-Indian spear points
found in Louisiana have been collected from ridges, hills and salt
domes. Generally, these areas have not been affected by stream changes
and sea level fluctuations that have occurred since the Ice Age.

As the Ice Age drew to a close, Louisiana began to change. The climate
gradually became warmer and wetter and many large Ice Age animals became
extinct. The way of life of the Paleo-Indians began to change, too. They
started hunting smaller game and collecting and eating more plant foods.

The late Paleo-Indians fashioned a variety of stone tools that could be
used for butchering game, preparing hides, and working bone and wood.
They also manufactured many kinds of stone points that were generally
smaller than the earlier points. These late Paleo-Indian tools were made
from Louisiana stone, a change from the earlier time.

Sites of the late Paleo-Indian period are more numerous than early
Paleo-Indian sites. This suggests that the population increased and that
these people camped longer in one place. Their sites are characterized
by more artifacts, and more varieties of artifacts, than earlier
Paleo-Indian sites.



    [Illustration: John Pearce Site]

Both early and late Paleo-Indian Period materials have been found at the
John Pearce Site in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. At the lowest (oldest)
level, two early Paleo-Indian stone points were uncovered. A wide
variety of later materials were excavated from higher levels. The site
was used by small groups of people who camped there temporarily. The
groups used the site as a base camp for hunting, butchering, and
hideworking activities.

    [Illustration: Stone tools]

  Early Paleo-Indian:
    a-c, Stone Points
    (¾ actual size)

    [Illustration: Stone tools]

  Late Paleo-Indian:
    d-e, Stone Scrapers
    f-h, Stone Points
    (¾ actual size)



                              MESO-INDIAN


The gradual transition from the late Paleo-Indian to the early
Meso-Indian Period had occurred by 5000 B.C. Meso-Indians, also called
Archaic Indians, lived in small nomadic groups. Unlike their
predecessors, however, they remained longer in each camp location and
exploited smaller geographical areas. Whereas a Paleo-Indian might roam
from Texas to Mississippi in his lifetime, returning rarely to the same
place, a Meso-Indian might spend his whole life in a six-parish area,
returning each season to favored campsites.

The seasonal movements of the Meso-Indians were determined by the best
times to hunt and gather certain foods. Clams, fish and deer were
available year-round, so Meso-Indians often stayed near streams, where
these were plentiful. This strategy was especially critical in the
winter months when plant foods were least available. The Indians camped
where they could collect tender, young plants in the spring; fruits in
the summer; and pecans and walnuts in the fall. Meso-Indians had a
varied diet, eating seeds, roots, nuts, fruits, fish, clams, reptiles,
game birds and mammals.

As Meso-Indian family groups traveled, they met other hunting groups,
and sometimes camped together. These were important times for social and
ceremonial activities. They probably smoked pipes together and shared
information about good hunting, fishing, and plant collecting areas.
They exchanged gifts of tools, food, stone, and shell. Sometimes these
large groups camped together for a season or more, near rivers or near
the coast where dependable food resources could support many families.



    [Illustration: Banana Bayou Site]

The Banana Bayou Site, located on the Avery Island salt dome in Iberia
Parish, consists of a low, man-made earthen mound, 80 feet in diameter.
Charcoal from the mound gives the radiocarbon date of 2490 ± 260 years
B.C. Nut shells and fish, deer and turtle bones have been found in the
mound as well as two stone points that are characteristic of the
Meso-Indian Period. These findings lead archaeologists to conclude that
the site is one of the earliest mounds in the United States.

Dogs may have been kept as pets, and may have helped in hunting.
Meso-Indians developed many new hunting and fishing techniques. They
used fishhooks, traps, and nets for catching fish and other small
animals, and they used a new weapon called the atlatl (pronounced
at′lat′l) to help kill their most important prey, deer.

An atlatl was made from a flattish, two-foot long piece of wood and was
used as a spear-thrower. It had a hook, made of bone or antler, attached
on one end and a hand grip carved on the other end. A stone, clay, or
shell weight was sometimes attached toward the hooked end to increase
the force of the throw, or perhaps only for decoration. A spear was
rested on the atlatl with the end of the spear shaft inserted into the
atlatl hook. The hunter held the atlatl grip and the middle of the spear
in the same hand, then he hurled the spear from the atlatl (see cover
illustration). The atlatl acted as an extension of his arm, giving extra
power and accuracy to the throw.

The Meso-Indian spears used with the atlatl differed from those used by
Paleo-Indians. They were shorter, and the stone points were different.
Meso-Indian spear points were chipped from local stone, and they were
slightly larger and not as artistically made as late Paleo-Indian
points. Beyond these general trends, however, many Meso-Indian points
found in Louisiana have little in common with each other. The sides of
some are curved, others are straight, and some are serrated. Some are
wider at the base, some are narrower, and others have notches in the
base. The variations in shape seem almost unlimited.

    [Illustration: (¾ actual size)]

In contrast to the changes in styles of points, Meso-Indians continued
making their stone butchering and hideworking tools in much the same way
as the Paleo-Indians. Meso-Indians also fabricated non-stone tools and
ornaments. They made bone needles, awls, fishhooks, beads, and hairpins;
and antler atlatl hooks, handles, and spear points. Less common objects
were tortoise shell rattles and shell ornaments.

Meso-Indians developed new tools as they increased their knowledge of
plant resources. They made baskets to carry and store seeds, roots,
fruits and nuts. They cracked nuts with specially shaped stones, and
ground nuts and seeds into flour with grinding stones.

    [Illustration: Meso-Indian: Grinding Stones (½ actual size)]

The Meso-Indians also made axes and chopping tools for cutting down
trees and hollowing out tree trunks. Like the atlatl weights, grinding
stones, pipes, and stone ornaments, some of these axes were made using a
new technique. Instead of being flaked, these stone tools were roughly
pecked into desired shapes with a hard hammerstone, then ground smooth
with sandstone or sand and water. When completed, some of these ground
stone tools had a highly polished surface.

    [Illustration: (½ actual size)]

Although the methods of hunting, gathering plants, and making tools
remained relatively unchanged throughout the Meso-Indian Period, some
things were changing. Gradually the population expanded. Groups began to
move less frequently, and to travel over smaller areas. They learned
more about their environment as they began living, from one season to
another, in the same general area. Apparently some Louisiana
Meso-Indians remained in one place long enough to build earthen mounds.
If the dates for these mounds are correct, then they are the earliest
known mounds in the United States.



                               NEO-INDIAN


During the Neo-Indian Period the population expanded and some groups
became sedentary, staying in one place for several years or more. Most
Meso-Indian tools continued to be used by Neo-Indians, but added to
these were stone and pottery vessels, baked clay balls, and many
decorative or ceremonial objects. Also, for the first time, shell and
earthen mounds were regularly built.

The Neo-Indian Period lasted from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1600 and included
the following cultures: Poverty Point, Tchefuncte, Marksville,
Troyville-Coles Creek, Caddo and Plaquemine-Mississippian. These groups
differed from one another in when and where they lived, as well as in
the objects and earthworks they made.


                             Poverty Point

The Poverty Point Culture flourished from approximately 2000 B.C. to 700
B.C. The culture is named for the famous Poverty Point Site where the
largest earthworks of the period were built. During this time, Poverty
Point people lived in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, and they
usually settled near major rivers, junctions of lakes and rivers, or in
coastal marshes. These locations supported a wide variety of plants and
animals that could be used for food.



    [Illustration: Poverty Point Site]

The Poverty Point Site is near Epps, Louisiana, in the northeastern
corner of the state. The site is now a State Commemorative Area that can
be visited by the public. It covers more than a square mile, and when
the ridges and mounds were built they were the largest earthworks in the
Western Hemisphere. Although the exact function of the ridges is as yet
unknown, it is speculated that the aisles may have been used in
astronomical observations because two of them line up with the summer
and winter solstice sunsets.

Like Meso-Indians, some Poverty Point Indians lived in small dispersed
groups, but others established regional centers where large populations
lived throughout the year. Oval or horseshoe-shaped structures of earth
or shell were usually built at these centers. The reason for the
construction is unknown, but it is likely that the Poverty Point leaders
lived at such sites and that the sites functioned as ceremonial,
political and trading centers.

The Poverty Point Site in northeastern Louisiana was the largest
regional center. It was built between the Mississippi and the Arkansas
rivers. Using these rivers, as well as land routes, Poverty Point
Indians traded with other Indians as far away as Illinois, Virginia and
Florida.

At the Poverty Point Site, the Indians built earthen ridges that form
six semicircles, one inside the other. The ridges are interrupted by
four aisles that radiate out from the inner area. The outer ridge of
these earthworks measures nearly three-quarters of a mile across.
Immediately to the west is an earthen mound 70 feet high and just north
of it is another mound, 21 feet high.

The ridges and mounds were built by hand. Workers loosened dirt with
shells or stones used like hoes, then filled baskets and animal hides
with soil and carried them to the construction area. It took
approximately 30 million 50-pound loads to build the earthen ridges and
the two large mounds at Poverty Point. The construction must have taken
many generations to complete.

Poverty Point Indians probably had a ruling class, perhaps with a chief,
to direct earthwork construction and long-distance trade. The leadership
also may have helped organize food collecting and hunting activities.

People living at the regional center relied on hunting, fishing, and
plant collecting to supply their food, just as Meso-Indians had. They
may also have sown seeds of favorite wild plants in cleared garden
areas. There are indications that the Poverty Point Indians grew
pigweed, marsh elder, knotweed, lamb’s quarters and sunflowers using
this cultivation technique. This gardening, though helpful, would not
have been essential to feed the people in the rich natural environments
where they lived.

Poverty Point Indians continued to use the tools that Meso-Indians had
used for hunting, collecting, and food preparation. They were likely,
however, to get some of the stone for these tools through long-distance
trade. The Neo-Indians also made new tools that were added to the
Meso-Indian ones.

They made oval-shaped stone plummets that were used as weights on bolas
or nets. A bola could be flung so that it wrapped around the feet of
wild game. Weighted nets could have trapped both fish and small game.
Stone for the plummets used by Louisiana Indians was magnetite and
hematite from Missouri and northern Arkansas.

The Poverty Point Indians cooked their food in a new way. They made clay
cooking balls that probably were used like charcoal briquettes for
roasting and baking. They rolled clay in their hands, then squeezed or
shaped it into one of many forms. These were dried and heated in a fire
until hot, then up to 200 were placed in a roasting pit. The different
shapes may simply indicate the maker’s design preference or may have
controlled temperature and cooking time.

Another change in food preparation was the introduction of stone, and
later, pottery vessels. The stone cooking or storage bowls were made
from steatite (soapstone), or less commonly from sandstone. Later in the
period, the first Louisiana pottery vessels were made, and these
probably were modeled after the earlier stone bowls.

In addition to these practical goods, Indians of this period made many
exotic ornamental objects including stone and clay figurines, beads, and
pendants. The figurines were about 2.5 inches tall and represented
seated females, but usually the heads were removed. This may indicate
that the clay figurines were used in some kind of ceremony. The beads
were made from copper and clay, as well as gems and other stones.
Pendants, also made from clay and stone, were in the shape of birds,
insects, miniature tools, and geometrical shapes.

The Indians may have cut and drilled stones to make pendants and beads
with small stone tools usually less than an inch in length. These tools,
called microtools, were also used for cutting, scraping, sawing and
engraving bone, antler, and wood.

Many distinctive traits of the Poverty Point Culture were shared by
people living in Mexico and Central America at that time and even
earlier. These traits included earthwork construction, planned villages,
clay figurines, stone beads and pendants, and microtools. These southern
Indians almost certainly influenced the development of certain aspects
of Poverty Point culture, either by direct contact or by descriptions
shared by travelers.

    [Illustration: Poverty Point: a, Plummet; b, Atlatl Weight; c-f,
    Clay Cooking Balls; g, Clay Female Figurine; h, Stone Point; i,
    Gorget; j-n, Stone Beads and Pendants; o, Microtools (½ actual
    size)]

The Poverty Point Culture that flourished for over 1,000 years had
virtually disappeared by 500 B.C. There is no evidence of warfare or
conflict with another group, so perhaps internal political or religious
changes caused the decline. In any event, people gradually abandoned the
regional centers and returned to living in small scattered settlements.
Never again in Louisiana did the Indian people build such massive
earthworks or trade over such an extensive area.


                               Tchefuncte

The simplified lifestyle that developed at the end of the Poverty Point
Period continued throughout the next cultural period. During the time of
the Tchefuncte (pronounced Che-funk′tuh) Culture, from 500 B.C. until
A.D. 200, people lived in small scattered settlements. Long distance
trade was much less important, yet people in Louisiana were in contact
with people in western Mississippi, coastal Alabama, eastern Texas,
Arkansas, and southeastern Missouri.

In Louisiana, most Tchefuncte people seem to have lived in coastal areas
and in lowlands near slow-moving streams. In these areas, they camped on
natural levees, terraces, salt domes, cheniers and ridges that provided
dry ground in this wet environment. Here they built their houses,
probably temporary circular shelters having a frame of light poles
covered with thatch or grass mixed with mud.



    [Illustration: Tchefuncte Site]

The Tchefuncte Site, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, was so
named because it was situated inside Tchefuncte State Park (renamed
Fountainebleau State Park). The site had two shell middens, one that
measured 100 feet by 250 feet and another 100 feet by 150 feet. Both
were excavated, and archaeologists found 50,000 pieces of pottery, as
well as artifacts made from bone, shell and stone. Forty-three human
burials were recovered, none of which had objects buried with them.

    [Illustration: Building a circular shelter]

They continued to depend on wild game and collected plant foods. In the
coastal areas, they ate tens of thousands of brackish water clams and
oysters, leaving behind piles of shells called shell middens. Because of
the number of shells, it once was thought that clams provided the major
protein source for Tchefuncte people. However, clam meat is actually low
in protein and also in other nutrients and calories. Clams were probably
eaten because they were always available, but they were not very
important in nourishing the people. Surprisingly, Tchefuncte people
apparently never ate crabs or crawfish, which also were plentiful.

Tchefuncte Indians obtained most of their protein from deer, raccoons,
alligators, and fish, but many other animals, especially small animals
and migratory birds were also eaten. The Indians used atlatls to kill
large game like deer and bear. For smaller mammals and birds, they
preferred traps, nets and bolas. They probably had several techniques
for fishing including netting, spearing, and fishing with hook and line.
Like the Meso-Indians before them, they gathered plant foods, including
grapes, plums, persimmons, acorns, and hickory nuts. They also grew
squash and gourds in small gardens.

Tchefuncte people were the first Indians in Louisiana to make large
amounts of pottery. They rolled coils of clay into shape and then
smoothed them to form a container. Many shapes of pots were made, but
characteristically they had “footed” bases. The Indians often decorated
the vessels by pressing fingernails, twigs or tools into the surface or
by rocking a small tool across the wet clay. After decorating the pots,
they fired them by slow baking.

Later Indians almost always kneaded the clay thoroughly and mixed it
with a small amount of another substance, called temper. These two steps
strengthened the clay and helped prevent it from shrinking unevenly and
cracking. Tchefuncte potters often omitted these steps, perhaps because
they were unaware of their importance, or perhaps because clay was
available and they could easily make another vessel if one cracked.

The introduction of pottery was an important improvement in food
storage. When these pots were kept covered, they provided a relatively
dry and animal-proof container that was portable. This made it easier to
store food in times of plenty for use in leaner times. The Tchefuncte
pots also meant that stewing and other new cooking techniques could be
experimented with and developed for the first time.

    [Illustration: Tchefuncte: a-d, Vessel Rim Sherds; e-f, Vessel
    Footed Bases; g, Clay Pipe; h, Stone Point; i, Stone Axe; j, Bone
    Fishhook; k, Antler Point (½ actual size)]

Most of the other utensils and tools that Tchefuncte Indians used were
very similar to those that Poverty Point Indians made. These included
smoking pipes; stone, bone, and antler spear points; ground stone atlatl
weights; mortars; bone fishhooks; clay cooking balls; and other
butchering, hideworking, and woodworking tools.

In contrast to Poverty Point Indians, the Tchefuncte Indians did not
specialize in making stone beads, pendants, or microtools, and they did
not usually import materials to make tools and ornaments. Although some
innovations from the Poverty Point Culture were carried over, most
Tchefuncte tools and most Tchefuncte settlement patterns resemble those
of the Meso-Indians.

The majority of the information about this era comes from coastal
regions of the state. Archaeologists are not sure how Indians in the
rest of Louisiana were living at this same time, but it is likely that
their culture somewhat resembled that of the Tchefuncte Indians.


                               Marksville

Sometime after 200 B.C., Indians of the highly influential Hopewell
Culture, centered in Ohio and Illinois, sent representatives throughout
the eastern United States. By at least the first century A.D., groups of
Louisiana Indians had met these travelers and had learned about their
culture. Hopewell people had powerful leaders who supervised a cult
centered around lavish burial rituals. Leaders organized construction of
large mounds in which certain high-status people were buried along with
exquisitely crafted objects made of copper, stone, bone, shell, pottery,
and rare minerals.

The Hopewell representatives may have been sent south in search of a
valued raw material or may have been sent as “evangelists” whose mission
it was to explain the virtues of Hopewell ceremonial life. Intentionally
or not, they introduced some Louisiana Indians to Hopewell practices.
The Louisiana manifestation of Hopewell life is called the Marksville
Culture.



    [Illustration: Marksville Site]

The Marksville Site, in Avoyelles Parish, was the first scientifically
excavated site of the Marksville Culture. Burial mounds at the site are
encompassed by a horseshoe-shaped earthen embankment almost 3,000 feet
long. The site is now a State Commemorative Area open to the public. A
museum at the park houses an exhibit describing the site and the people
who lived there.

Indians of the Marksville Culture began living in larger, more permanent
settlements, building burial mounds, and making Hopewell-styled pottery,
pipes, and ornaments. They most likely had leaders who directed
craftsmen, organized community life, and officiated at burial
ceremonies.

Burial rituals must have been a very important part of the Marksville
Culture. Large mounds were constructed in several stages over many
years. The first stage usually was a flat low platform approximately
three feet high and 40 feet in diameter. Burial ceremonies were held
months or perhaps years apart and those who had died between ceremonies
were buried together. Some remains had been temporarily interred in
other areas, so these were reburied along with primary burials, and even
cremations.

A pit was dug into the mound surface, and sometimes lined with logs and
matting. Human remains were placed in the pit with pottery, pipes, stone
points, shells, asphaltum, quartz crystals, and other valuable objects.
The bodies might be ornamented with jewelry such as copper beads,
earspools, bracelets, and necklaces of shell, pearls, or stone.
Occasionally, a dog was placed in the grave. The pit was filled with
dirt. Later, other pits might be dug for another occasion or burials
might be made by placing remains on the mound surface and covering them
with a layer of earth. Eventually, more construction increased the
overall size of the mound and shaped it into a dome.

The people buried in the mounds may have been high status individuals
who lived in villages near the mounds, while ordinary people lived in
scattered villages away from the ceremonial centers. Marksville Indians
in the coastal areas lived far from the elaborate burial mounds, but
they still practiced new styles of making pottery and other objects.

    [Illustration: (¼ actual size)]

The new Marksville pottery was made from local clay, but it was quite
similar in shape and decoration to pottery of the Hopewell Culture in
Illinois and Ohio. A typical Hopewell vessel would be a bowl three to
six inches tall. The rim would have cross-hatched lines on the exterior
at the top and the design on the rest of the pot would be outlined with
bold lines cut in the clay. Quite often the designs were geometric
shapes and stylized birds. The background would be textured by rocking
or stamping a small, toothed tool across the wet clay. These decorated
pots were made primarily for ceremonial uses.

The Marksville people also made other Hopewell-like objects including
copper and stone jewelry, platform pipes and figurines. The pipes had
relatively broad flat bases (platforms) approximately three inches long.
At one end was a hole for a wooden or reed pipe stem and in the center
was a bowl. Sometimes an animal figure was on the platform, with the
bowl formed in the animal’s back. Animal and human figurines were also
made. Most of these Hopewell-like objects were buried in mounds as
religious or burial offerings.

    [Illustration: Marksville: a-c, Vessel Rim Sherds; d, Clay Effigy
    Pipe; e, Copper Ear Spool; f, Asphaltum Effigy; g, Ceremonial Stone
    Point (½ actual size)]

In contrast, Marksville people made most of their utilitarian objects
the same way as Tchefuncte people before them. Marksville people hunted
with atlatls, bolas and nets, and fished with hooks and line. They
gathered wild plants and shellfish, and probably grew a few domesticated
plants in small gardens. They stored food in pots and baskets, and
cooked in pots.

It seems that despite the Hopewellian influence, much of the culture was
unaffected by contact with the northerners. Through time, Hopewellian
influence diminished. Louisiana Indians built fewer burial mounds,
developed their own distinctive pottery, and began a new way of hunting.

    [Illustration: Fishing]


                         Troyville-Coles Creek

The Troyville-Coles Creek Period lasted from approximately A.D. 400 to
A.D. 1100. By the beginning of this period, influence from the
Ohio-Illinois Hopewell people had ceased, and pottery styles, mound
building, and ceremonial life had gradually changed.

The Troyville-Coles Creek people continued building ceremonial centers
with mounds, but these mounds differed from earlier ones. They were
larger, shaped differently, and more numerous. They also served a new
purpose. Instead of being primarily for burials, these mounds were
constructed to support temples or civic buildings. Pyramidal mounds with
flat tops, and sometimes with stepped ramps leading up one side, came
into style. They were constructed over hundreds of years, and usually
were enlarged one or more times. Although the total height might reach
only 20 feet, the base might eventually be enlarged to more than 200
feet on each side. At certain sites, three to nine mounds eventually
were built, all around an open, central plaza.

A temple and one or more other buildings were usually built on a mound
summit. These buildings were either circular or rectangular with walls
of wattle and daub. Wattle is a construction technique whereby branches,
twigs, cane, or vines are interlaced around upright posts that have been
sunk in the ground. These are then plastered with mud or clay daub. The
Troyville-Coles Creek people probably used grass thatch or palmetto
fronds for the roof.



    [Illustration: Greenhouse Site]

The Greenhouse Site, in Avoyelles Parish, is the most extensively
excavated site that is typical of the Troyville-Coles Creek Period.
Seven earthen mounds there surround an open plaza that measures 200 feet
by 350 feet. No village or campsite remains were found in the plaza or
outside the mound area. This leads archaeologists to conclude that the
mound group was used for ceremonial activities only, and that villagers
lived elsewhere.

Some people were buried in the mounds, but in contrast to Marksville
burials, the bodies were not accompanied by a rich assortment of
objects. One or more bodies were buried in pits, or simply laid upon the
mound summit and covered with dirt. People were also buried in village
areas away from the mounds. Why some were buried in the mounds and some
were not, remains a mystery. It may be that people associated with mound
construction, with temple activities, or those of significant social
status were buried in the mounds. Alternatively, if many people died
from illness, famine, or disaster, that might have signaled a time for
special ceremonies and mound enlargement. Those victims might have been
buried in a mound.

Villages and campsites were often a mile or more from these ceremonial
centers. There, daily life was more focused on maintaining a stable food
supply than on ceremonial activities. During the Troyville-Coles Creek
Period, important changes in hunting techniques and garden crops helped
guarantee this food supply.

It was during this period that the bow and arrow came into use in
Louisiana. First invented in Europe thousands of years before, bows and
arrows were gradually adopted by people in Asia and eventually by people
in North America. The introduction of the bow and arrow meant hunters
could shoot further, more accurately, and with more firepower than
before. The arrow points were generally smaller than those used on
spears. These then, were the first true arrowheads made in Louisiana.

    [Illustration: (¾ actual size)]

Troyville-Coles Creek people also continued using the atlatl, as well as
the traditional butchering and hideworking tools that had been made
since Meso-Indian times. There was no dramatic change in the types of
animals hunted during this time. The Indians killed game such as deer,
bear, small mammals, and game birds. They also ate fish and mollusks as
had their ancestors.

The Troyville-Coles Creek people continued collecting wild seeds,
fruits, roots, and other plant foods. They cultivated squash, gourds,
and native plants such as sunflowers and lamb’s quarters, but a most
important addition to these garden crops was corn, which had been
domesticated earlier in Mexico. The Indians no doubt experimented with
it for many generations, developing strains and cultivation techniques
best suited to Louisiana conditions. Certain plant foods were still
ground with mealing stones and probably stored in pottery vessels.

    [Illustration: Tending corn]

In this period, pottery styles changed, producing more durable pots with
more diversified uses. The Troyville-Coles Creek Indians tempered their
clay with particles of dried clay before coiling it to shape the pot.
They specialized in rounded or barrel-shaped jars and in deep or shallow
bowls. The potters removed coil marks by patting the surface with a
smooth wooden paddle.

Sometimes they used a carved wooden paddle to stamp designs onto the
entire outer surface of the vessel. At other times they decorated only
the top half of the pot with designs formed by incising lines or
pressing tools into the damp clay. The colors of the clay were usually
tan, brown, gray or black. On rare occasions vessels were colored red on
the outside or shaped into human effigies.

    [Illustration: Troyville-Coles Creek: a-e, Vessel Rim Sherds; f-h,
    Stone Points (½ actual size)]

Late in the Troyville-Coles Creek Period, changes began to occur.
Indians in the northwestern part of the state developed close ties with
people living north and west of them, while those in the east became
more closely aligned with people to their east. Descendants of the
Troyville-Coles Creek people were Indians of the Caddo and of the
Plaquemine-Mississipian cultures.


                                 Caddo

By about A.D. 800, descendants of the Troyville-Coles Creek people
living in northwestern Louisiana had developed close ties with people in
southeastern Oklahoma, northeastern Texas and southern Arkansas. From
this region emerged the Caddo Culture. These Indians developed a fine,
new style of pottery, and used special ornaments and objects made from
imported materials. They also performed elaborate burials of upper class
people.

There was little change in the daily life of the ordinary Indians. Most
people spent their lives in small villages and hamlets near streams or
lakes. Many trends established in earlier generations persisted. New
garden crops such as beans were introduced and were added to the corn,
squash, gourds and native plants already grown. It seems that people
from these small settlements were governed by high status individuals
living at the ceremonial centers. Common people were probably required
to help build mounds, to supply food, or to make tools or special
objects for their rulers. They gathered at the centers when they were
needed or when special ceremonies or festivals were celebrated.



    [Illustration: Gahagan Site]

At the Gahagan Site, in Red River Parish, early Caddo Indians built
mounds and a village around a large open plaza. One mound had three deep
shaft burials, each with three to six bodies and 200 to 400 burial
offerings. Some of the unusual burial objects from this site are two
clay human effigy pipes, two copper cutouts of human hands, two copper
long-nosed mask ear ornaments, two frog effigy pipes, and numerous
triangular stone blades called “Gahagan knives.”

Early Caddo people continued the Troyville-Coles Creek custom of
constructing ceremonial centers with mounds around a central plaza. They
built temples or special buildings on top of the mounds and also dug
graves into the mounds for burials of important people.

These mound burials, however, differed somewhat from those of earlier
cultures. To bury an honored priest or chief, Caddo people dug a large
deep shaft, often all the way from the top of the mound to the ground
level. Then they placed the chief’s body, and other bodies (possibly of
sacrificed servants or family members) in the grave side by side.
Special objects were piled in the corner or along the wall of the pit.

Burial offerings included well-made tools, ceremonial objects and
jewelry designated only for high status people. Typical objects were
fine pottery, carefully flaked stone knives, arrow points, bows, turtle
shell rattles, polished stone axes, rare minerals, stone or clay smoking
pipes, animal teeth pendants, bone hairpins, ear ornaments of bone,
shell, or copper, and beads of copper, shell, and stone. Unusual objects
were pipes in the form of humans and frogs, sheets of copper cut in the
shape of hands, and ear ornaments resembling small copper masks. The
face of each “mask” was an oval about three inches long, but the nose
was seven inches long. Interestingly, at the same time, identical masks
were also used by Indians as far away as Missouri, Wisconsin and
Florida.

Caddo potters made special new shapes such as bottles, and bowls with
sharply angled rims. They fired the pieces in a new way so they would be
black or dark mahogany in color, then polished the dark surfaces to make
them glossy. Some common ornamental designs were curved lines cut into
the surface and sometimes highlighted with red or green-colored pigment
rubbed into the engraved lines. Not surprisingly, much of the
utilitarian pottery remained quite similar in appearance to the late
Troyville-Coles Creek pottery. Caddo Indians probably still used it for
daily chores, while they saved more ornate wares for special occasions.

The ordinary Caddo Culture people lived in villages away from the mound
center. Their lives were centered around hunting, fishing, collecting,
and gardening activities. When a commoner died, he or she was buried in
a simple grave without objects. Although this way of life seems totally
separate from the elaborate life of the elite, the two worlds overlapped
at ceremonial occasions, when everyone gathered at the mound centers.

    [Illustration: Caddo: a-c, Clay Vessels; d-e, Clay Pipes; f,
    Engraved Shell Cup; g, Shell Pendant; h, Stone Points (⅓ actual
    size)]

Between A.D. 1100 and A.D. 1400, Caddo ceremonial life seems to have
been less important. All burials were simple, with only one person in a
grave. Fewer imported stones and minerals were used to make high status
objects, and more ordinary pottery was made.

After A.D. 1400, there was a return to Caddo ceremonialism. Many early
Caddo customs were revived, but new practices were also added. Mound
construction resumed, with temples, lodges, or chiefs’ houses being
built on top. These structures characteristically were built of wattle
and daub and had thatched roofs. They were used for a time, then they
were burned, probably when the leader or an important person died.
Workers covered the ruins with sand or clay, and eventually replaced the
old building with a new one. Sometimes graves were dug through the floor
of standing buildings or through the rubble of burned ones. As many as
seven people have been found buried together in these graves, along with
food offerings and large numbers of objects.

As in earlier times, important people had special customs and belongings
that ordinary people did not have. One custom was that of binding an
infant’s head to a cradleboard so that as the person grew to maturity
the head was noticeably flattened and therefore distinguished the high
class person from people of the lower class. Upper class people used
ornate clay pipes, conch shell cups, ceremonial objects, fine pottery,
and jewelry. Their jewelry included anklets, necklaces, bone hairpins,
and bone pottery and shell discs that were worn through the ears. Some
pendants were fashioned from mammal teeth or shells, and occasionally a
large sea shell pendant had a lizard or salamander engraved on it.

Caddo leaders of this late period probably used the most delicate and
decorated pottery. Pots ranged in size from miniatures to large
wide-mouthed storage vessels. Many shapes were made, but special vessels
were formed to resemble birds and turtles, or to act as rattles. Popular
designs were circles, scrolls, and crosses engraved into the vessel
after firing. Engraved designs were often highlighted with red, white or
green pigments.

Daily life of ordinary people was much different than that of the elite.
As far as we know, the former continued to live as they had during the
earlier part of the period. They lived in circular houses in small
villages located near their gardens and buried their dead in simple
graves with few goods.

By the time the first Europeans reached Caddo villages in the mid-1500s,
Caddo Indians were divided into several distinct groups. In Louisiana,
these were the Adaes, Doustioni, Natchitoches, Ouachita and Yatasi. The
Indians supplied the Europeans with salt, horses, and food in exchange
for glass beads, kettles, guns, ammunition, knives, ceramics, bells and
bracelets. Contact with the Spanish and French explorers ended the
prehistoric era, and led to rapid and devastating changes in the
traditional life.


                        Plaquemine-Mississippian

While Caddo Indians flourished in northwestern Louisiana, those in the
rest of the state by approximately A.D. 1000 had a slightly different
way of life. Many of the latter were part of the Plaquemine Culture, who
like the Caddo, were descendants of Troyville-Coles Creek Indians. In
keeping with the patterns established by their ancestors, Plaquemine
people built large ceremonial centers with two or more large mounds
facing an open plaza. The flat-topped, pyramidal mounds were constructed
in several stages, and eventually measured more than 100 feet on a side
and 10 feet high. Sometimes they were topped by one or two smaller
mounds.



    [Illustration: Medora Site]

The Plaquemine Culture was so named because the Medora Site, typical of
the period, is near Plaquemine, Louisiana, in West Baton Rouge Parish.
The site had two mounds approximately 400 feet apart with a plaza in
between. One was a flat-topped pyramid 125 feet on a side 13 feet high
with a small domed mound three feet high and 25 feet in diameter on top.
The other one was two feet high and 100 feet in diameter. Eighteen
thousand pieces of broken pottery were found at Medora, along with a few
stone tools.

Plaquemine Indians often built the mounds on top of the ruins of a house
or temple, and constructed similar buildings on top of the mound. In
earlier times, buildings were usually circular, but later they were
likely to be rectangular. They were constructed with wattle and daub,
and sometimes with wall posts sunk into foot-deep wall trenches.

At times, the Indians dug shallow, oval or rectangular graves in the
mounds. These might be for primary burials of individuals, but more
frequently they were for the reburial of remains originally interred
elsewhere. Some graves contained only skulls, and one of these had 66
skulls. Burial offerings included pottery, pipes, stone points, and axes
made of ground stone.

One type of pottery occasionally placed in the graves is called “killed”
pottery. This type has a hole in the base of the vessel that was cut
while the pot was being made, usually before it was fired. The
Plaquemine Indians also decorated their pots in other characteristic
ways. They sometimes added small solid handles called lugs, and textured
the surface by brushing clumps of grass over the vessel before it was
fired. They often cut designs into the surface of the wet clay, and like
their Caddo contemporaries, the Plaquemine Indians engraved designs on
pots after they were fired. Plaquemine Indians also had undecorated pots
which they used for ordinary daily tasks.

    [Illustration: (⅓ actual size)]

Not surprisingly, the ordinary people lived much as the average Caddo
Indians. They participated in festivals and ceremonies at the mound
centers, but spent most of their time with families and neighbors
collecting and producing food, or participating in village activities.

During the early part of the period some hunters still used atlatls, but
soon bows and arrows predominated. The Indians hunted deer, bear,
rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, turkey and duck; fished for gar and drum; and
collected mussels. Although the Plaquemine Indians tended gardens of
corn, squash, pumpkins and beans, they still collected many wild seeds,
roots, nuts and fruits.

At approximately the same time as Caddo and Plaquemine Indians were
living in Louisiana, Mississippian Culture people in the St. Louis area
had developed the largest prehistoric center in the United States. This
was a ceremonial, residential, and trading center with a population of
35,000-40,000 people. The Mississippian Culture spread throughout the
southeastern United States, and was characterized by huge earthen temple
mounds, widespread trading networks, and a ceremonial complex
represented by elaborately shaped pottery and stone, bone, shell and
copper objects.

    [Illustration: Plaquemine: a. Clay Pipe; b, Stone Gaming Piece; c,
    Stone Celt; d-g, Stone Points; h-j, Clay Ornaments (½ actual size)]

    [Illustration: Mississippian: a, Vessel Rim Sherd; b, Effigy Vessel
    (⅓ actual size)]

As far as we know, no major Mississippian centers developed in
Louisiana, although ones were established in Georgia at Etowah and in
Alabama at Moundville. There is evidence that sometime between A.D. 1000
and A.D. 1600 small groups of people from the eastern Mississippian
centers made their way to Louisiana. They came to the Avery Island area
to collect and refine salt, and to other parts of the state to search
for other materials. Perhaps through repeated contacts, a few groups of
Louisiana Indians learned classic Mississippian techniques of making
pottery and other ceremonial objects. Some Indians in the southeastern
and northeastern parts of Louisiana may even have established close ties
with their eastern neighbors and added Mississippian customs to the
Plaquemine Culture. Louisiana groups that may have descended from those
Mississippian groups are those who speak the Tunican, Chitimachan, and
Muskogean languages. Those who probably descended from Plaquemine
Culture Indians are the Taensa and Natchez.



                  EUROPEAN TRAVELERS DESCRIBE INDIANS


Early European descriptions of the Natchez and Taensa Indians help us
understand their life, and give an idea of the way many of the late
prehistoric Indians throughout Louisiana lived. European travelers
reported that some Indians lived near the ceremonial centers that had
mounds surrounding a central plaza. The two most important buildings,
the temple and the chief’s house, were at the center.

The temple was on the summit of one of the mounds, or was in a prominent
place facing the plaza. It had thick wattle and daub walls and a
thatched roof with carved and painted wooden animal effigies on top.
Inside, a sacred fire was tended by several Indians, whose job it was to
keep the fire always burning. Bones of past chiefs, and servants who had
died with them, were stored in baskets or on a low clay altar. Also,
valued objects such as clay figurines, crystals, and carved wooden
objects were kept in the temple.

The temple faced a plaza that was the scene of community feasts and
rituals, as well as games, such as chunkey. In chunkey, opponents hurled
long poles after a rolling disc. The one whose pole landed closest to
the place where the disc stopped rolling won a point, or valued
possessions, if bets had been made.

The chief’s house, situated on top of a mound, overlooked the plaza
area. The chief used the house as his living quarters as well as a
reception area for visitors and subjects. The furnishings of the house
included wooden beds covered with matting, and perhaps a wooden stump
used as a stool. Reed or cane torches provided light. Servants waited on
the chief, always keeping a respectful distance, and quickly meeting all
of his needs. No one ever used the chief’s belongings or walked in front
of him.

The chief was a highly honored and respected person, and his death was a
time for great mourning. Ceremonies, dancing, and processions were part
of the burial rituals that continued for several days. The chief’s wife,
servants, and others who volunteered for the honor, were sedated and
ritually strangled as part of the ceremonies. The bodies were placed on
special raised tombs covered with branches and mud. After many weeks,
the bones were removed and placed in baskets that were stored in the
temple. Eventually, the bones were buried in a platform in the temple,
or were buried in the mound when it was expanded. The deceased chief’s
house was usually burned and might be covered with another layer of
earth before the new chief’s house was built. The son of the dead
chief’s sister would become the next ruler.

    [Illustration: Mound ceremony]

People from miles around came to participate in the burial ceremonies,
after which they returned to their villages and resumed their normal
lives. Some lived in small communities near the mounds, but others lived
in scattered settlements miles away.

Their clothing was very simple. The men wore only a cloth or deerskin
breechcloth, unless the weather was cold. Then they added long deerskin
shirts and leggings. Women wore skirts of skin or of cloth woven from
tree bark, and in cold weather they also wore a skin wrap.

Women usually wore their hair long, sometimes tying it back, or braiding
it. Men wore theirs short, and in many styles. Sometimes they even
completely removed the hair from one side of their head. Women often
decorated themselves by blackening their teeth with ashes and by rubbing
red pigment on their faces, shoulders, and stomachs. Men decorated
themselves, too, especially on ceremonial occasions when they painted
themselves with red, white or black markings and tied feathers in their
hair. Both men and women wore earrings in their pierced ears and large
pendants or strings of shells or seeds around their neck. Honored
warriors and upper class people wore red and black tattoos on their
faces and other parts of their bodies.

The men and women had very different daily tasks. Women took care of the
young children; planted, tended and harvested the crops; cooked the
meals; and made the pottery, baskets, mats and clothing. Men’s work
consisted of housebuilding, canoe-making, and clearing land for gardens,
along with defense, hunting, woodcutting, and making the tools for these
chores. The men also had primary responsibilities for ritual and
political activities.

The European explorers traded with the men. Europeans provided guns,
ammunition, metal kettles, iron tools, glass beads, and metal ornaments.
These were sometimes given as gifts to hosts, guides, or to the chief
and they were also exchanged for pearls or baskets, and for necessities
such as meat, oil, salt, skins and horses.



                    ARCHAEOLOGY AND LOUISIANA’S PAST


Upon the arrival of Europeans in Louisiana and their written
descriptions of the Indians, the prehistoric period came to an end.
However, our understanding of this prehistory is still incomplete.
Hundreds of major questions remain, including very basic ones: When did
the first Indians reach Louisiana? What sparked the development of the
Poverty Point Culture? Where and how were the Mexican plants of corn,
beans and squash introduced to Louisiana? Which prehistoric groups were
the ancestors of each of Louisiana’s historic Indian tribes? The answers
to these and many other questions remain buried in archaeological sites
throughout the state. If enough sites can be studied before they are
destroyed, there is hope that the story of the state’s prehistory can be
better explained.

The importance of archaeology in understanding Louisiana’s past does not
stop with the end of the prehistoric era. Historic archaeologists also
study Indian sites that date after the contact with Europeans. In this
way, archaeologists can document the many dramatic changes in Indian
culture during historic times. Archaeologists also excavate sites
associated with African-American and European-American life in
Louisiana. These archaeological investigations supplement, and often
correct, the written documents that describe the state’s history.

With the cooperation and participation of Louisiana’s citizens, the
archaeological study of our state will continue. Through the protection
of sites and the funding of scientific excavations, we can discover more
about the past. Then the story of Louisiana’s prehistory and early
historic development can be retold, more accurately and more completely.



                        OTHER BOOKS AND ARTICLES


  Louisiana Geography:
    Kniffen, Fred B.
      1968 _Louisiana, its land and people._ Louisiana State University
          Press, Baton Rouge.

  Louisiana Prehistory:
    Haag, William G.
      1971 Louisiana in North American prehistory. _Museum of
          Geoscience, Louisiana State University, Mélanges_ 1.

    Neuman, Robert W.
      1984 _An introduction to Louisiana archaeology._ Louisiana State
          University Press, Baton Rouge.

  Poverty Point:
    Webb, Clarence H.
      1982 The Poverty Point Culture (second edition). _School of
          Geoscience, Louisiana State University, Geoscience and Man_
          17.

  Tchefuncte:
    Ford, James A. and George I. Quimby, Jr.
      1945 The Tchefuncte Culture, an early occupation of the Lower
          Mississippi Valley. _Memoirs of the Society for American
          Archaeology_ 2.

  Marksville:
    Toth, Alan
      1974 Archaeology and ceramics at the Marksville Site. _Museum of
          Anthropology, University of Michigan, Anthropological Papers_
          56.

  Troyville-Coles Creek:
    Ford, James A.
      1951 Greenhouse: a Troyville-Coles Creek Period site in Avoyelles
          Parish, Louisiana. _Anthropological Papers of the American
          Museum of Natural History_ 44: Part 1.

  Caddo:
    Webb, Clarence H. and Hiram F. Gregory
      1978 The Caddo Indians of Louisiana. _Louisiana Anthropological
          Survey and Antiquities Commission Anthropological Study_ 2.

  Plaquemine:
    Quimby, George I., Jr.
      1951 The Medora Site, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.
          _Anthropological Series, Field Museum of Natural History_ 24:
          81-135.

  Mississippian:
    Brown, Ian W.
      1981 The role of salt in eastern North American prehistory.
          _Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission
          Anthropological Study_ 3.

  Early Descriptions of Louisiana Indians:
    Swanton, John R.
      1911 Indian tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and adjacent
          coast of the Gulf of Mexico. _Bureau of American Ethnology,
          Bulletin_ 43, Smithsonian Institution.

  Other References:
    Neuman, Robert W. and Lanier A. Simmons
      1969 A bibliography relative to Indians of the State of Louisiana,
          _Department of Conservation, Louisiana Geological Survey,
          Anthropological Study_ 4.



                      Anthropological Study Series


                       No. 1 On the Tunica Trail
                          by Jeffrey P. Brain

          No. 2 The Caddo Indians of Louisiana, second edition
                 by Clarence H. Webb & Hiram F. Gregory

      No. 3 The Role of Salt in Eastern North American Prehistory
                              by Ian Brown

                        No. 4 El Nuevo Constante
                     by Charles E. Pearson, et al.

                  No. 5 Preserving Louisiana’s Legacy
                          by Nancy W. Hawkins

                       No. 6 Louisiana Prehistory
                 by Robert W. Neuman & Nancy W. Hawkins

                          No. 7 Poverty Point
                            by Jon L. Gibson

                           No. 8 Bailey’s Dam
             by Steven D. Smith and George J. Castille III

             These publications can be obtained by writing:

                        Division of Archaeology
                            P. O. Box 44247
                         Baton Rouge, LA 70804



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is a government public document, and can be freely copied and
  distributed.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Louisiana Prehistory" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home