Native Mississippi: Some New Perspectives

Theme and Time Period

Mound building

In recent years scientists have begun to reconsider some old assumptions about the earliest people in the New World. Perhaps the biggest revolution in archaeology has occurred because of research done in Louisiana. This research suggests that the earliest mounds and mound groups in the world were built in Louisiana and Mississippi during what is referred to as the Middle Archaic period (8000 to 4500 BP) by archaeologists. These dates predate the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.

Archaeology and Prehistoric Mississippi

Theme and Time Period

Virtually all that is known about the North American indigenous peoples before European contact comes from the discipline of archaeology. Archaeology is that branch of anthropology that investigates people's past by studying their material remains. Lacking written records, archaeologists could not give most of the prehistoric groups specific names. Therefore, archaeologists created names such as Paleo-Indian, Middle Woodland, Mississippian, Marksville, and Plaquemine to identify distinctive pre-contact Native American groups by culture and time of existence.