Glacial Kame/Red Ocher Cultures

From Ohio History Central

Circa 3000 B.C. to 500 B.C.

The "Glacial Kame" and "Red Ocher" cultures are names for the burial practices of certain Late Archaic groups of pre-contact North American Indian peoples. ("Late Archaic", itself, is an archaeological designation.) The Glacial Kame "culture" is found in northwestern Ohio and parts of neighboring states as well as southern Ontario. These people sought out large, natural mounds of earth, called "glacial kames" because they formed along glaciers, in which to bury their honored dead. Glacial Kame burials are known for a particular style of shell gorget, or ornament, shaped like the sole of a sandal.

The so-called Red Ocher culture is found in western Ohio and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Red Ocher burials also were placed on natural hills or high spots. Red Ocher burial sites are known for the use of red ocher and for a distinctive style of flint spear point called a Turkey-tail point.

See Also


  1. Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005.