Woodland Period

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American Indian Life in the Early Woodland Period.jpg

==800 B.C. to A.D. 1200==The Woodland Period generally marks the appearance of pottery, cultivated plants, settled village life and mound building. In addition, the pace of cultural change began to quicken. Archaeologists have defined several cultures within the Woodland Period. ===Tillers of the Soil===The Woodland Period marks an important change in the way of life of Ohio's prehistoric people. Archaeologists in other parts of the world have called these changes revolutionary. The changes included a shift to a more settled way of life and the use of more and more plant foods that are not simply gathered from Ohio's forests, but are rather planted, tended, and harvested. Archaeologists recognize this new way of life by the appearance of more permanent houses, ceramic vessels (usually found broken into bits), and burial mounds. Eastern North America was one of the few places in the world where plant domestication began. There are only six other places in the world where the shift from hunting and gathering to farming took place without significant outside influences: the Fertile Crescent of the Near East (wheat, barley, lentils), north China (millet, sorghum), Mesoamerica (maize, beans), Africa (barley, yams), southeast Asia (yams, rice), and South America (manioc, potatoes). In the Ohio Valley, native peoples grew a variety of local plants such as squash, sunflower, erect knotweed, lamb's quarter, and maygrass. Ohio's earliest gardners/farmers lived in small communities of two or three households. However, by Late Woodland times villages were larger, perhaps occupied by up to 100 people Woodland people began to build mounds of earth to cover the graves of relatives. The Adena and particularly the Hopewell people also constructed elaborate geometric earthworks such as those at Newark (Newark Earthworks), Chillicothe (Hopewell Culture National Historical Park), Marietta, and Portsmouth, to serve as social and ceremonial centers.