Paleoindian and Archaic Period Archaeology
This exhibit showcases aspects of Paleoindian and Archaic period material culture in Virginia. These artifacts date to between 19,000 and 500 B.C.E.
People first arrived in the Americas between 18,000 and 20,000 years ago, spreading across the continent. North Americans then formed the widespread Clovis culture, leaving characteristic stone points at ephemeral camp sites before moving to follow large game animals. People continued living a mobile lifestyle for a long time, and by the Late Archaic period they had formed regional trade networks along major river drainages. The practices of Late Archaic people directly contributed to the development of soapstone-tempered ceramic technology in the Early Woodland period, leading to a sedentary lifestyle in the Middle and Late Woodland periods.