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Chapter 2. The First Arkansas People. Scientist & Archaeology. Many scientists believe that people first arrived in North America during the last Ice Age.

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chapter 2

Chapter 2

The First Arkansas People

scientist archaeology
Scientist & Archaeology
  • Many scientists believe that people first arrived in North America during the last Ice Age.
  • Historians rely on archaeology (the study of the unwritten past) and artifacts (remains of objects made by humans) to determine when people crossed into North America.
artifact examples
Artifact Examples
  • Spear tips
  • Arrow points
  • Pottery
  • Jewelry
  • Baskets

1st People

Don’t know


about them.

Ancestors of






12,500 years


time periods
Time Periods
  • Paleo-Indian Era 9500 BC-8000 BC
  • Archaic Era 8000 BC- 500 BC
  • Mound Building Period 1000 BC-1700 BC

Woodland Era 500 BC-900 AD

Mississippian Era 900 AD- 1541 AD

  • Historic Era 1541 AD- 1850 AD
the first migration to the americas
The First Migration to the Americas
  • Migrations, movement of people from one region to another, took place over a long period of time.
  • Artifacts suggest that Paleo-Indians, the first Americans, crossed into Alaska from Asia sometime between 38,000 and 10,000 b.c. across Beringia, a land bridge.
paleo indians 9500 bc 8000 bc
Paleo-Indians9500 BC-8000 BC
  • Hunters
  • Used spear and dart throwers
paleo indians 9500 bc 8000 bc1
Paleo-Indians9500 BC-8000 BC
  • Small population
  • Died out or assimilated by later tribes
  • Findings of Clovis points prove they lived in the region
paleo people
Paleo People
  • Nomads who wandered hundreds of miles to search for food
  • Resourceful people
  • Fully developed language
  • Belief in the afterlife
  • Made clothing from animal skins
  • Baskets from split-cane
  • Spear point and tools from flint
paleo culture
Paleo Culture
  • Left no clues, that they had no written language; stories & traditions passed down orally
  • Traveled in small family groups
  • When they killed an animal:
    • Set up camp
    • Butchered the animal
    • Then, moved on in search of another; didn’t stay in one place for very long
paleo indians in arkansas
Paleo Indians in Arkansas
  • Around 9,500 B.C., small population of Paleo Indians arrived in Arkansas
  • Most of northern regions of North America was covered with glaciers.
  • Arkansas was mostly tall grasses and wide prairies with a few large forests
the first people of arkansas
  • They were the tough big-game hunters.
  • They tracked game in small groups.
  • Mastodon, an ancestor of the modern day elephant, were hunted.
prehistoric animals in arkansas



Woolly Mammoth

Giant Beaver


Musk Ox













Saber-tooth tiger

Prehistoric Animals in Arkansas


Wooly Mammoth

Musk Ox

Giant Beaver

clovis points
Clovis Points
  • Fluted spear points of the period
  • A picture of a Clovis can also be seen on page 35 of your textbook
dalton culture
Dalton Culture
  • Different from earlier Paleo Indians
  • Made a more distinctive spear point called a Dalton point.
  • Advanced tool called the adze.
    • Adze: chisel-like stone tool that was used to shape wood into bowls
  • Climate warmed becoming more hot and humid
  • Mastodons, mammoths and saber-tooth tigers died out
  • With extinction of ice age animals, they began to hunt smaller animals.
  • Began to gather nuts from the hickory trees and acorns form the oaks.
  • Caught fish, harvested shellfish from the rivers, and steamed what they caught over a fire.
  • Increased plant life, meant they were able to add berries and roots to their diets
  • Hunter-gatherers: traveled shorter distances in search of food, they gathered seasonal plant life nearby and followed migrating herds of animals
maximum efficiency
Maximum Efficiency
  • Used nearly every part of the animal or plant
  • Wasted or discarded almost nothing
  • Animals:
    • Fur and skins used for clothing and shelter
    • Bones used for tools
    • Meat was eaten
plants in arkansas












Plants in Arkansas


Marsh elder


archaic indians 8000 bc 500 bc
Archaic Indians8000 BC-500 BC
  • Direct ancestors to modern Indians
  • Mainly in northwest Arkansas
  • Bluff Dwellers
  • Hunter-gatherers
  • Practiced basket weaving
  • Earliest group in Arkansas around 8000 BC
  • Art appeared during this period
development of archaic tradition
Development of Archaic Tradition
  • Conditions that allowed the Archaic Tradition to develop:

1. The glaciers melted.

2. The Ice Age ended.

3. The climate became drier and


archaic indians
Archaic Indians
  • Traded with others
  • Began to grow plants for food
  • Grew sunflowers to harvest the seeds
  • Ate squash and barley
  • Dug pits in the ground where they stored food for the winter
items traded between the tribes
Surplus food










Items Traded Between The Tribes
minerals in arkansas






Minerals in Arkansas




archaeologists finds
Archaeologists Finds
  • Uncovered fish hooks made of bone
  • Small stones (Hematite) used as weights for fishing nets
  • Harpoon points
important new tools
Important New Tools
  • Unique tools discovered:
    • Tools used for butchering
    • Making jewelry
    • Stones for grinding food
    • Rock anvils for cracking nuts
    • Axe head and celts (ungrooved axes)
    • Most important find
      • Atlatl was used by the Archaic Indians to throw their spears farther and faster
  • A stick about 18 inches long that had a grip on one end and a bone or antler hook, on the other end
  • Hunters attached a spear to the hook and then held the spear & Atlatl in one hand about shoulder level
  • To release the spear , they would pitch the Atlatl overhead from back to front-much like throwing a ball
  • Made it easier to catch large prey
  • Picture on page 38 of your text book
making a dugout canoe
Making a Dugout Canoe
  • Long and difficult process
  • Suitable tree was found
  • Tree was cut all the way around, taking off bark and a layer of wood
  • This process called girdling and would eventually kill the tree
making a dugout canoe1
Making a Dugout Canoe
  • Begin to shape the canoe with stone axes or an adz
  • Repeatedly, they burned the middle of the trunk until a hollow area was formed
  • This became the center where someone would sit
  • Dugouts were important because they were used for fishing, trade, and transportation
mound builders 1000 bc 1700 ad
Mound Builders1000 BC-1700 AD
  • Woodland Tradition

500 BC-900 AD

  • Mississippian Tradition

900 AD-1541 AD

mound builders
Mound Builders
  • Mainly southern and eastern Arkansas
  • Burial mounds, ceremonial mounds, and residential mounds
  • Food options expanded: produced squash, corn, barley, and beans
  • People stayed closer to home to take care of their crops
clay pottery
Clay Pottery
  • Important trademark of the Woodland Indians
  • Stored part of their harvest in jars for the winter
    • Dried acorns over the fire to make them easier to eat & rid them of the acid.
mound builders1
Mound Builders
  • Hunters traveled to obtain meat less often
  • Traded goods with other Indian cultures
  • Possible assimilated by the Quapaw
woodland tradition
Woodland Tradition
  • Utilized burial mounds
rock art
Rock Art
  • Woodland Indians left behind many paintings and carvings on cave and rock walls in Arkansas
  • Pictographs were painted on rock walls
  • Petroglyphs were carved into the rock
plum bayou culture
Plum Bayou Culture
  • Mound builders who lived in Arkansas towards the end of the Woodland period
  • Built elaborate city of 18 mounds made of earth near Scott, Arkansas
  • Some mounds were nearly 50 feet tall
  • To see these mounds you can visit the Toltec Mounds State Park near Scott, AR
from hunting tool to war
From Hunting Tool to War
  • Indian skills continued to increase
  • By eighth century A.D., Arkansas Indians were using the bow and arrow for hunting
competing for land meat
Competing for Land & Meat
  • Bow and arrow improved chances of getting meat to sustain a family
  • Eventually, tribes may have started to compete with each other for hunting grounds & other resources
competing for land meat1
Competing for Land & Meat
  • Trade disagreements may have caused conflicts that led to war.
  • Once various groups, turned to warfare to solve their problems, the fighting continued
  • When preparing for battle, they would perform rituals for good luck
  • Rituals: ceremonies in order for them to receive blessings from their gods
  • Also, performed to celebrate events or religious practices
  • Great advance was the growing of corn
  • Extremely useful food
  • Eventually spread throughout the world
important changes because of agriculture
Important Changes because of Agriculture
  • Eliminated or reduced hunger
  • People had to stay in one place to protect and cultivate crops
  • Tribal government had to exercise more power
  • Religious beliefs and practices started to appear
the mississippian tradition
The Mississippian Tradition
  • The Arkansas Indian culture had grown into the Mississippian Tradition by about the year 700.
  • The number of people grew very large, living for the most part in villages or farmsteads.
mississippian tradition
Mississippian Tradition
  • Inhabited areas from the White River to the Mississippi
  • Full time farmers
  • Had an over-dependence on corn
  • Built large platform mounds
  • Use of pottery, weaving, and wood carving
Located in the center of the village

Was a large open field (Plaza)

Mound or several mounds

Housed government functions and also served as house for the chiefs

plaza and temple mounds
Plaza and Temple Mounds
  • Used for special occasions
  • Surrounding villages would gather for a meeting, a harvest festival or a religious service
  • Sometimes was surrounded by wooden and dirt walls
  • A moat was also used
  • Looked like a fort and probably used for protection

One of the largest temple mound cities in Arkansas was located at Parkin.

  • Pottery became more sturdy when the Indians started mixing crushed & burned mussel shells (contained lime) with the clay
  • Pots were lighter and stronger
  • Could be shaped into larger bowls with very beautiful designs
  • Pictures of pottery on pages 13-16 in your book
  • Children were a big help
  • They planted seeds and cared for growing plants
  • Babies could switch from milk at a much earlier age
  • They were fed a sort of corn gruel as baby food
  • Corn contains a lot more starch than the earlier diet of the Indians
  • They began to suffer from tooth decay and other nutritional problems
indian accounts
Indian Accounts
  • There is a lot about this time we don’t know.
  • This chapter covers 10,000 years and hundreds of generations
  • When the Europeans arrived, our knowledge expanded but we must remember that we are seeing the Indians through the eyes of European culture
first explorers in arkansas
First Explorers in Arkansas
  • Arrived soon after the year 1500 A.D.
  • This is called the Historic Period because we have written records from the European travelers
distinct tribes
Distinct Tribes
  • By 1500, Indians in Arkansas were organized in distinct tribes.
  • Europeans gave each a name.
historic era
Historic Era
  • Quapaw Indians
  • Osage Indians
  • Caddo Indians
quapaw indians
Quapaw Indians
  • Arrived between 1540-1670
  • Visited by Marquette and Joliet in 1673
  • Known as the “Downstream People”
  • Removed from Arkansas in 1833
  • Lived in the river valleys of eastern Arkansas
  • The “first” to be discovered by the Europeans.
  • Inheritors of the Temple Mound Tradition
quapaw housing
Quapaw Housing
  • Usually shared by several families
  • Were long rectangles with curved roofs
  • Made of wood and covered with bark

Quapaw Village

Inside of a long house

osage indians
Osage Indians
  • Related to the Quapaw
  • Raiders and hunters
  • Used Northwest Arkansas as a hunting ground
  • Removed from Arkansas in 1807
  • About 700, the Osage would dominate the northwest part of the state.
  • Hunting tribe
  • Lived in villages based on family ties
osage housing
Osage Housing
  • Round and made of small tree trunks
  • Covered with animal skins or mats woven out of brush
  • Shared with several families
osage culture
Osage Culture
  • Did not actually live in Arkansas
  • Home villages were in what is now southern Missouri
  • Did some farming but relied mainly on hunting
  • Sometimes attacked the Quapaws & Caddo settlements
osage clothing
Osage Clothing
  • Dressed in animal skins
  • Men: breech cloths and leggings
  • Women: Shirts and dresses
caddo indians
Caddo Indians
  • Probably direct descendents of Mound Builders
  • Inhabited Southwest Arkansas
caddo indians cont
Caddo Indians Cont……
  • Built ceremonial and burial mounds
  • Quality pottery and bows
  • Removed from the region in 1835
caddo living
Caddo Living
  • Had outdoor fireplace for cooking with a garden nearby
  • Grew tobacco for special occasions
  • Depended on corn
caddo living1
Large and complex farm culture

May have been as many as 8,000 of them

Excellent farmers

Large crops of corn and beans

Did some hunting also

Caddo Living
caddo clothing

Wore tanned deerskins.

Sometimes, they were decorated with fringe and small seeds.


Wore skirts made of woven grass or a kind of cloth made from plants.

Caddo Clothing

Both men & women thought that tattoos and

body paint made them more attractive.

important industry of the caddo
Important Industry of the Caddo
  • Making salt
  • Poured water through sand to dissolve the salt out
  • Then boiled water to evaporate all the water out
  • Chunks of useable salt remained
  • Traded the salt widely because humans must have it to survive
caddo mounds
Caddo Mounds
  • Important leaders were buried in the mounds
  • Temples were also built on the mounds
others tribes that moved through arkansas
Others Tribes That Moved Through Arkansas:
  • Cherokees
  • Choctaws
  • Coushattas
  • Shawnees
  • Delawares
types of housing
Types of Housing
  • Igloos
  • Wigwams
  • Longhouses
  • By the time Europeans arrived, native societies had adopted the practice of chiefdoms.
  • Chiefdoms: Power was shared by a group of leaders instead of one chief
  • One leader may have been in charge of war, another seasonal hunts and another in charge of spiritual matters
  • Important decisions were NEVER made without a lengthy discussion by all tribal leaders
  • Had great power and influence within the Native American society
  • In Arkansas, they lived in a “matriarchal system”
  • Matriarchal System: property inherited through the mother’s bloodline instead of the father’s
  • Usually owned the houses and sometimes the fields and crops
  • Had the right to divorce their husbands, which they did by placing their belongings outside of their home
  • Custody disputes over children never occurred because children always stayed with the mother’s family and clan
crime punishment
Crime & Punishment
  • Did not have strict rules dealing with wrongdoing
  • They did punish those who committed crimes against others
  • Leaders listened to evidence and then decided what was best to do
crime punishment1
Crime & Punishment
  • Thieves were beaten or forced to replace what they stole
  • Occasionally the guilty party was forced to give their victim a gift
  • Only in extreme cases was the death penalty enforced
arkansas s cherokee immigrants
Arkansas’s Cherokee Immigrants
  • Arrived in the 1700’s after being driven from other states
  • Eventually settled in the Arkansas River Valley
  • Adapted many European ways
arkansas s cherokee immigrants1
Arkansas’s Cherokee Immigrants
  • They had become farmers and cleared land for pastures
  • Built mills, raised cattle and other livestock
  • Built homes like other settlers
  • Although they worked & dressed like settlers, they tried to hold onto their culture and traditions
naming of arkansas places
Naming of Arkansas Places
  • Native Americans were the first to name places and features of our state
  • Europeans changed some of these but many still are called by the Native American names
preserving their way of life
Preserving Their Way of Life
  • Many Native Americans still live in Arkansas today
  • They work very hard to preserve their ancient cultures & skills
  • They work very hard to preserve ancient Indian sites
  • The tribes include: Caddos, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Delewares, Osages, Quapaws, Shawnees, and more
native american pictures
Native American Pictures




  • Culture: set of common values or traits
  • Maize: corn
  • Hunter-gatherers: lived by hunting animals and gathering wild plants
  • Societies: group that shares the same culture
  • Migration: movement of people from one place to another