West Virginia Prehistory

The area now known as West Virginia was a favorite hunting ground of numerous Native American peoples before the arrival of European settlers. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various mound builder cultures survive, especially in the areas of Moundsville, South Charleston, and Romney. Although little is known about these civilizations, the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of a complex, stratified culture that practiced metallurgy.


Antiquity West Virginia, in a broad sense, can be characterized as evolving through acculturation and assimilation with a few exceptions. Nomadic Paleo-Indian hunted throughout the state using variations of spear points. These evolved into the Mountain State's Archaic Indians living in temporary villages on the Kanawha region streams, Monongahela and Potomac tributaries streams of the Allegheny Mountains who began to use basic Atlatls. An early Eastern Woodland culture began a friendly trade with the evolving Ohio Valley archaics. These continued the trade with Adena who also begin inhabiting the West Virginia's valleys. (Dragoo) This acculturation led to many of the Mountain State's mound builders. For example, the largest mounds include: the St Albans site (Broyles 1968), Goff Mound, Reynolds Mound, St Mary's Mound, Camden Park Mound, Criel Mound, Grave Creek Mound and Indian Mound Cemetery. The Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville is the largest. Woodland cultures basically means the coming of the bow for fire making, shaft-end dressing and some will later include the stone point arrow.

Paleo-Indian culture appears by 10,500 BC in West Virginia passing along the major river valleys and ridge-line gap watersheds. One of many cave shelters in the state can be exampled at the Paleo hunting shelter at "New Trout Cave" in Pendleton County. (Grady and Garton, 1981 Grady, 1986). The Faunmap for the cave shows an age from 17060 to 29400 years ago. To note, a "Faunmap" is not always directly concerned with artifacts find at a rockshelter site. However, a cut and charred fragment from a firepit becomes very significant. Kanawha Chert was found at Meadowcroft Rockshelter (36WH297) Washington County, Pa. Kanawha Chert source is 183.4 km (114 km) southwest of Meadowcroft (Vento and Donahue 1982:116). Quoting, "The lithic raw material data indicate the early inhabitants of Meadowcroft Rockshelter had been in the region long enough to discover local chert sources, but also utilized or exploited materials from a much larger territory than just the local region. Alternatively, the exotic lithic materials may indicate trade with neighboring groups, if they were present at that time." Paleo occupation has been dated from 11,320~14,225 B.C. (radiocarbon date, Sciulli 1982:176).

The chronological cultural changes in general seems to have been by influx from the surrounding regions to the Mountain State. "The Fort Ancient tradition follows the Late Woodland period within the Ohio River Valley. Joining trees (DNA ANALYSIS) revealed that the Ohio Hopewell do not group with samples from Fort Ancient populations of the Ohio River Valley, but with samples from Glacial Kame, Adena or Norris Farms, possibly indicating some relationship between the groups. This in part could be due to small sample size and a low number of sites that have been amplified. More work within all of the Ohio River Valley cultures is needed to give a clearer picture to archaeologists, linguists and biological anthropologists alike.

The West Virginia Golden Antiquity Periods
  • Paleo-Indian (before 11000 BCE),
  • Late Paleo (~9000 BC),
  • Early Archaic (~6000 BC)
  • Archaic (7000-1000 BCE),
  • Late Archaic (3000 – 1000 BC)
  • Adena (1000 BCE-500 CE),
  • Eastern Woodland (1000 BCE-1250)
    Late Armstrong Indians (100 B.C. to 500 AD)
    Buck Garden Indians (500-1000 AD)
  • Hopewell (500 BCE-1000 CE.) ("Effigy Mound")
  • Fort Ancient (~850-1680 CE)
  • Monongahela (~900-1630 CE)
  • Late Prehistoric (1000-1650 CE)
  • Protohistoric Clover Complex (tribe unknown)
    Shatteras (Big Sandy)
    and Susquehanna (Eastern Panhandle)
    These dates vary to province.

    Flint Point Periods (pike and atlatl heads, ie. arrow heads)

  • 6980 B.C. Kirk Stemmed Period

  • 6200-6300 B.C. LeCroy Period

  • 5745 B.C. Stanley Period Based

  • 4365-4790 B.C. Amos Period

  • 3600-3700 B.C. Hansford Period

  • 4000 B.C. Altithermal Period is the dramatic climate shift around the globe.*

  • 1200-4000 B.C. Kanawha Tansitional Archaic Cultures is the appearance of early kame burials (small gravel mounds) with ceremony objects in the graves. These dates vary from province to province.
  • ~2000 B.C. Brewerton point of Panhandle Archaic Complex is Late Archaic of the Northern Panhandle region, below the "Forks of Ohio" (Pittsburgh) to Wheeling area.

  • Neighboring Archaic Cultures:

  • Red Ocher (Upper Ill./Ind.)
  • Old Copper (Wis./Mich.)
  • Glacial Kame (area between Lakes Mich. & Erie)
  • Point Peninsula (around Lakes Erie & Ontario)
  • Baumer (lower Ill.)
  • Copena (Ky. Ten. Ala. Ark.) Lower half of the Mississippi River.
  • Laurentian Late Archaic (Cincinnati region, Maple Creek Phase) .
      Archaic are evidenced by the frequent use of ground-stone implements and flint woodworking tools in sites having bowls, knives, net sinkers, and elaborate weights for spear throwers called atlatl and become rather common about 4000 B.C. A few uncommon "Pointed Pole Adzes" are suspected to have been used for heavy wood works at one late "Panhandle Archaic" site (~2000 B.C.) by recent studies. A dug out canoe has been suggested awaiting further field work and research. Not many centuries after the 4000 B.C. ear-mark date, the earliest Adena (Mound Builders) culture began to appear, rising from these. They in general are Red Ocher and Glacial Kame (Dragoo, 1963) having connections with archaic Copena culture variation on the Tennessee River system assimilating with trade route. These trade mix will derive the state's fort builder cultures over a millennium later.(Dragoo) Meanwhile, Hopewell will appear relatively sparse compared to Adena large hill mound builders, no longer making effigy mounds. This will be after Hopewellian become scattered and less structured to bring their smaller mounds to the state. West Virginia Middle Woodland Period was redefined to include Adena. This is based on recent excavations and studies conducted at the Gallipolis Dam expansion project.(Maslowski, CWVA) "The introduction of the bow and arrow coincides with the development of, or adoption of, a triangular tradition of point manufacture," to quote Dr. Billy Oliver, North Carolina Office of State Archaeology. Jack’s Reef and the common Levanna projectile points are thought by many to represent the initial introduction of the bow and arrow to West Virginia.
  • Paleoclimatology

    Towards the end of the Archaic period, the weather was a time of meridional circulation and penetrations of large storms coming from the Gulf of Mexico. With some overlapping, the western and northern valleys of West Virginia, in general, became warm and dry with less effective precipitation circa 4500 BP causing the bottom land flora to thin. This in turn caused an occasional major flood and serious erosion during the early part transitional weather pattern. The fickle drought period was followed by the following periods: Sub-Boreal climatic phase (ca. 4200-3000 BP) cool and wet period, Sub-Atlantic climatic phase (ca. 3000-1750 BP) warm and moist climatic conditions, Scandic climatic phase (ca. 1750-1250 BP), Neo-Atlantic climatic phase (ca. 1100-750 BP) meta-stable conditions, Pacific climatic phase (ca. 750 BP, Little Ice Age) cool and wet periods.(USACE) The weather patterns influenced the early people's culture of the state.

    Rise and decline of the state's two true farmer culture's weather:

  • Medieval Warm Period (~800-1300 AD)
  • Little Ice Age Period (~1400-1900 AD)
  • Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA

    Transition to mounds

    The West Virginia Archaic Traditions evolved from the nomadic Paleo-Indian already in the region. The Archaic characteristics are not shared in any way with Asian people and rising Eastern Woodland period with exception of the Eskimos and the Athapascans of the north west North America. (Stewart 1960, p.269) and (Dragoo 1963, p.255) The burial mound complex of the Adena (Ohio Valley Mound Builders) is unlikely related to those in Asia because it was not in use in northeastern Asia at an early enough date according to Chard. (1961, p. 21-25) The general area of archaic include the Kanawhan, Monongahela and Panhandle Archaic Complex. See articles: Archaic period in the Americas, Athabaskan languages and Eastern Woodland tribes for details. Kanawha Tansitional Archaic to Adena on Central Ohio Valley
    Red Ocher and Glacial Kame
    These two archaic's evolving together resulted:
    • 1. Small Gravel Mounds (drainage-way sedimentary) at first
    • 2. The use of red ocher in burials,
    • 3. Cremation,
    • 4. Animal masks and head dresses,
    • 5. Medicine bags,
    • 6. Conical tubular pipes,
    • 7. Grooved axes,
    • 8. Atlatls now with atlatl weights for better leverage.

    Conical Mound Builders

    The Classic Adena inherited their archaic ancestor's crafts. Their houses were single poled, wickered sided with bark-sheet roofs. A few sites show a double pole method. The mounds were made more elaborate inside including burial with small log caskets inside them. On their still small patches, they grew a little more local variety of vegetables and roots. They are not known to clear-burn large bottoms for garden nor for wild life habitat attraction. One and only one site has what some scholars suspect to be a small bird pen. Notwithstanding suspicion, they did not practice complex garden nor animal husbandry. Their society was localized to the village's mound. At cultural zenith, villages spread throughout the Mid-west by the village tribal trade system lacking sophisticated centralized political cohesion.

      Tobacco was used in pipes having effigy shapes of ducks and others forms of nature. The turtle figurines seem to have held a special iconization that might have been similar in meaning to the Late Woodland totem. Not many, but some copper adornment and tinklers came from the Wisconsin copper mines and from the Atlantic, sea shells. It is not clear if their trading partner, Old Copper archaic culture, would derive earliest Hopewellian whom were known to trade with Classic Adena of central Ohio-Indiana, above the Ohio Valley. The Latest technology and continued studies may provide an understanding how and if Appalachian copper outcrops were utilized or not by the Mountain State's Conical Mound Builders.

      Adnea made gourd rattles. Adena noble wore tanned heads of animals during their ceremonies. They had a couple of weaves for coarse cloth and dyed these from local roots and berry, using red ochre above all colors in their nobles' graves. They practiced cultural deformation of the skulls (Sciulli and Mahaney 1986). A braid twine was from leg tenons, leather and fibrous plants. There is no evidence of a raft nor burned out log canoes. Lashed log raft and recent studies suggest a dug out is possible on the Northern Panhandle. Their sachem did not live on a flat topped mound as the "Priest Mound" or better known as the Mississippian culture nor Cahokia. These weighted atlatl users continued to have that friendly Woodland trade coming through the Allegheny Mountain's gaps and the following Late Adena trade of the Tennessee River valley.(Dragoo)

    Woodland cultures

    Early Woodland peoples established sites on floodplains, terraces, saddles, benches and hilltops (Herbstritt 1980; McConaughy 2000). Burial ceremonialism and mound construction gradually becomes smaller which is phased out by the end of the period (McConaughy 2000; Dragoo 1956). The Mid-Atlantic region cultural pattern is found early in the state. Later, some will be along side Late Adena and assimilating on the Greater Kanawhan region (Dragoo 1963). The Middle and Late Woodland Periods for the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia will include the Mid-western cultures of primarily Adena and Late Hopewell (McConaughy 2000). The earliest ceramics of the region's Woodland Culture is called the Half-Moon Ware. It has been suggested that oval or circular structures were used as houses. In 1986, Grantz attempted to test in Fayette County, Pennsylvania several post mold arcs for a pattern to confirm the suggestion of early village houses. Fragile understood and earnest effort, it was not confirmed. Because these phases lack funding and resources, more field work and studies are needed to get a clearer view of these cultures. However, because tobacco was probably being grown and used, McConaughy in 1990, suggests the development of complex society and institutions as Doctor Dragoo's field work and the Geological Survey abstracts of 1963 being cited. Early Woodland peoples lived a more settled or sedentary existence.

    Fairchance Mound and Village (Hemmings 1984) is a Middle Woodland complex in the southern part of the Northern Panhandle in the state. The mound artifacts carbon dates to the Third Century A.D. One of the tombs in the mound is unique as being a stone lined crypt. The pottery included Watson Ware that was lime stone tempered. The stone points were Fairchance-notched and Snyders points. The foods found through screening were the simi-domesticated "wild plants" listed in the summary below for this period. The nearby Watson Farm village dated between 1600 to 1400 B.P. and its small one yard high mound also contain a stone crypt. The limestone tempered Watson Ware along with a limited amount of grit tempered Mahoning Ware was found. Flotation samples were performed at this site, but, these have not been analyzed by botanical specialists. Chenopodium sp. was found and even it is not clear if it was domestic grown or wild gathered. These Middle Woodland people were subsisting primarily on wild plants and animals, fish and shellfish. Each site had but one single circular structure found which may be due to limited excavation.

    Maize horticulture appears in the Late Middle Woodland (1400 to 1000 B.P.) and seems to be an "economy" crop (McConaughy 2000, Dragoo 1956). "Climbing beans" similar to today's Kentucky Wonders planted beside "hills" of corn (The Three Sisters Crops) appear in the Northern Panhandle and Monongahela drainage system by the 14th century A.D. This is after the northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania "Hamlet Phase" of the Monongahela Culture (Monongahela Drew "tradition", R L George et al of Pa) which transitions to Fort Farmers (~800 BP) now located on higher creek flats and ridge line gaps. The grit tempered Mahoning Ware pottery becomes the primary ceramic form. Stone points, the Jack’s Reef Corner Notched, Jack’s Reef Pentagonal, Kiski Notched and Levanna, indicate that the spear thrower was gradually gradually replaced by the bow-and-arrow during the Late Middle Woodland.

    Late Woodland peoples Wigwam settlements increased in size within relatively fixed territories. Hypothesized, Late Woodland utilizing temporary hunting rockshelters increased the distances to procure resources. Facing Monday Creek Rockshelter (33HO414) in Hocking County, Ohio documents this resource expansion process. The value of knowledge sharing across borders today can be exampled by quoting one of several. In his 2006 abstract, Steven P. Howard sums up his field team's findings, "Elements of the Ohio Hopewell fluorescence are evident at the Caneadea (Allegheny County, New York) and other northeastern mounds, but direct Hopewell influence appears to have been minimal. Data from northeastern mounds indicate that Hopewell may not be appropriate as a universal label for Middle Woodland mound building cultures."

    The Woodland (1000 BC – AD 1200) on the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers settlement patterns at Winfield Lock Site and the Burning Spring Branch site (46KA142) have provided radiocarbon dates and good physical descriptions of the earliest pottery in southern West Virginia. West Virginia's Middle Woodland Period (A.D.~650) was redefined to include Adena with conical burial mounds. Gallipolis locks expansion project on the Ohio River for industrial navigation upgrading allowed the Kirk and Newman Mounds and an Adena ceremonial circle at the Niebert Site to be totally excavated. This provided for new interpretations of Adena ritual associated with burial mounds (Clay 1998, Clay and Niquette 1992). The paired post circle at Niebert consisted of outward sloping posts forming an open air structure. No artifacts were found in the structure but one large pit contained charcoal and fragments of cremated human bone. The structure was interpreted as a place where bodies were cremated and the remains reburied in local burial mounds like Kirk and Newman (Maslowski 2003).

    Latest Woodland

    During the early Late Woodland (A.D. 350-750) maize (corn) is rare. The indigenous people of the Kanawha Region during the Late Woodland period is represented by Woods phase populations. This is exampled at Woods site (46MS14) which has very little occurrences of corn as a staple food. These camps are found above the flood terrace with linear and dispersed household groups. Small sherds of Woods phase pottery can easily be mistaken for Parkline pottery.(O’Malley 1992) Parkline phase people were also present in the region, however, there appears to be no intensively occupied sites. This period seems to be a peaceful trade era for the latest Woodland cultures of the region.

    Late Woodland Parkline phase appearance on the Kanawha Valley is found at site 46PU99 in Putnam county. Their decorative pottery attributes are grit tempered pottery with folded rim strips, cordwrapped paddle edge impressions placed on vessel collars and lip notching and/or cord wrapped dowel impressions. Parkline phase "are thought to be inhabited for very brief periods of time by highly mobile, nuclear family groups (Niquette & Crites)." Corn was not a major subsistence. They are also thought to be frequent visitors to the Woods phase site (46MS14) as some sherds are found similar. "Currently, no intensively occupied Parkline phase sites have been identified" in West Virginia.

    Fort Ancient vaguely appear, perhaps in trade, during the late Late Woodland Period by the Vintroux site 46PU69 (A.D. 1170-1290) dates on the Kanawha Valley. There are no clearly Fort Ancient sites during this late Late Woodland Period in West Virginia. The Vintroux site (46PU69) consisted of grit tempered (siltstone/sandstone) pottery. No shell tempered pottery has been found of these late Late Woodland people. The triangular arrow points and notched dart points such as Jacks Reef and Raccoon Notched are common at the Vintroux site. Corn appears sparingly and thought to becoming a trade.

    Stone Industry

    Partial list of finds of the adjoining area Northern Panhandle tributaries by amateurs and farmers follows:
      Archaic Bevel,
      Archaic Dovetail,
      Archaic T-Drill,
      Big Sandy,
      Brewerton Side Notched,
      Brewerton Corner Notched,
      Brewerton Eared Triangle,
      Chesser Corner Notched,
      Clovis Fluted,
      Dalton-like drill,
      Early Adena Stemmed,
      Early Archaic knife,
      flint reduction flakes,
      hammer stones,
      full groove aze,
      hafted scrapers,
      Jack's Reef Corner Notched,
      Jack's Reef drill,
      Jack's Reef's Pentagonal,
      Jack's Reef Side Notched,
      Kirk Corner Notched,
      Large Bifurcate- MacCorkle,
      Late Adena Robbins,
      Late Archaic Stemmed,
      Late Archaic Brewerton Corner Notched,
      Late Prehistoric triangle (Railey type #4, #5, & #6),
      Levanna Triangle,
      Madison Triangle (Railey type #4, #5, & #6),
      Perkiomen Broad,
      Raccoon Notched,
      Shaft end dressing/nutting stones,
      Small Bifurcate,
      Stanley Stemmed,
      thumb scrapers.

    For hobbyist considerations, recorded details and location photos of the find increases value if not to the scientific community. It is legal to dig for "arrow heads" on one's own private property. However, for any suspected human bone find, one must stop digging and report the questionable bone to the county sheriff in West Virginia. This lawful department will notify the appropriate people for you. The West Virginia Archaeology (CWVA) and the West Virginia Archeology Society (WVAS) offers a list of resources to both formal school and "club" educators. They promote the understanding of our prehistoric heritage. "Since ours is only part of a larger regional picture," CWVA and WVAS have selected some credible Internet resources. Their link can be found in the reference section below.

    Traditionally, archaeologists visually identify the geological origin of cherts using color and texture as the principal criteria. Officials and scientists from the Midwest to included Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Virginia, working together in workshops, are now using Neutron Activation Analysis, Macroscopic, microscopic, and geochemical identification techniques to help identify regional cherts and chert sources. Rarily seen in the mountain valleys of West Virginia, Indiana, to date, has 23 distinct chert types which is considerably more of variation than West Virginia. Documentation in a large-scale data set from Kirk horizons at Indiana's Farnsley Site (12Hr520) near Louisville, Kentucky, the Muldraugh chert and Wyandotte chert, among minor representations of exotic and other local or semilocal types, have suggested a pattern of more routine movement of Archaic Kirk towards the south and east.

    Hunters from neighboring lowland states ventured into West Virginia's mountain valleys making temporary camp villages since the early archaic period. The Archaic classification of point periods is listed above.

    Upper Ohio Valley Lithic Sources
    (Mayer-Oakes, Carnegy Museum)

    - Kanawha Flint
    - Slade (aka Newman) Southwest to East in Kentucky

    Bedrock chert along the both sides of the Upper Ohio Valley to the Big Sandy River's lower stream region is called:

    - Brush Creek

    Bedrock chert from counties surrounding Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania include:

    - Loyalhanna
    - Monongehela
    - Uniontown
    - Ten Mile

    Stream cobble cherts of north eastern Ohio and western most Pennsylvania along Lake Erie (Alluvial cherts) include:

    - Onondaga, Secondary to Ohio Valley
    - Gull River, Secondary to Ohio Valley

    Exotic to Upper Ohio Valley types include:

    - Upper Mercer, counties of Coshocton, Ohio area
    - Flint Ridge (Vanport cherts) southeast of Upper Mercer
    - Delaware chert Franklin County, Ohio area, common west of the Scioto River. ASC Group, Inc. Ohio Valley Archaeological Consultants, Ltd.

      Bow and Arrow

      The introduction of the bow and arrow for hunting into the Mountain State appears to have come from the north to the northern and western valleys and to the eastern Allegheny Mountains slopes from the Piedmont Plateau (Griffin, Tuck). There is evidence of the triangular point size in the mountainous regions progressively diminish in size from lower land's gradual evolutions (Oliver). Not only does the triangle point signal bow hunting in the state, it also sees a few examples of curious small stone walls on the ridge line flats of the south eastern region followed by the palisaded wood pole fort builder cultures in the northern and western valleys.

      Fort building farmers who trade with the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico coincide with hunting bows and the stemless triangle points for them in West Virginia. Although, other stemmed "bird points" can occasionally be found, but, not as often as the archaic stemmed and notched atlatl points. Paleo spear points can be found requiring sometimes years devoted to searching. River boating becomes significant during the bow and arrow stone point transitioning and coastal trade. The main water way was the Ohio River tributaries to the Tennessee River system (Dragoo) and the James and Potomac rivers to the Chesapeake Bay. The fort building farmer culture's transition to historic appears to have occurred through A.D. 1660~1671(3) on the Kanawha Valley.

    Stone Walls and Petroglyph

    Nearly every county have rather large stones with Native American art pictured or Petroglyphs. Most are on Homocline out-crops and boulders over looking stream valleys or are engraved on creek bed boulder's sides and some top-side, a variety. Below the mouth of Paint creek was a large "flat sided" stone imbedded in the river the early settlers called the "picture rock" with many animals and a person engraved on it. Stone cutters used it for 19th century foundation construction. Another reported stream-bed stone, twenty miles above Charleston, had a notable large fish engraved of which stone received a similar fate as "picture rock". Near the mouth of Campbell's creek a large stream-bed stone with Petroglyphs was cut for making a hearth, it is recorded. A portion of this "picture rock" still remains.

    It is not only many Petroglyph boulders that have been quarried and removed for building purposes in the state. Alfred Beckley made a drawing and measured an enclosed stone wall with entrances in 1836 he found on Big Beaver creek near Beckley at the town of Blue Jay. Growing from the simi-inclosure walls were a few trees. One pine was measured to be over three feet in diameter as recorded by Beckley. It has more often been described as a "fort" wall. A few folk guess it as a holding lot and still others an early Spanish prospector's seasonal encampment. The site did not receive the benefit of modern science other than the discoverer's foresighted efforts. Mr Beckley's report was published by Craig's "Olden Times" magazine which was in circulation from 1838-1840 at Pittsburg. It is reported the Blue Jay Lumber Company used the stone for an office building still standing. There are also reports of Native American laying low and small stone jetties in creeks for following fish into these for easier gigging.

    Below the mouth of Loup Creek was a salt spring and was a noted "buffalo lick." On the ridge above it is the remains of a stone wall with gaps running along the ridge line. Around these gaps great quantities of elk, deer, bear and other bones were and are still found today. The 19th century Dr. Thomas S. Buster, a some five decades resident of Fayette County then, wrote of the ancient wall lying immediately above Armstrong's Creek, about one hundred yards from the top of the mountain to Loup Creek, near the Big Falls, "When I first saw it, fifty-eight years ago, it was in a much better state of preservation than it now is. At that time a large portion of it was standing fully six or seven feet high, and was well built. Its thickness was about two feet at the base, and slightly tapered towards the top. There were a number of gates, or openings, in the wall, that are quite perceptible even at this time. They were, however, very plainly perceivable a half century ago. From the number of stones promiscuously scattered in the vicinity of the wall, my impression is that it was originally greater than seven or even eight feet in height." This wall was nearly three and a-half miles long. Some have suspected it was nearly 10 miles long connected and having short branching elements also connected. Parts of some examples of these walls have been damaged during the Twentieth Century. Immediately above the mouth of Paint creek on the Kanawha River, a similar stone wall was nearly five feet wide at some locations. This example was only about a-half mile in length, but had higher walls of nearly ten feet high. A long held theory has watering and salt licking animals driven to the wall's gaps where waiting hunters had an advantage over the "herded" game. On bottom land near Mount Carbon, excavations of the 1961-1962 dated back to about the sixth century (A.D.) to the 16th century Fort Ancient occupation. The nearby Robson Mound was reported to be a stone and earthen mound of about fifty five feet high before fortune hunters reduced it to a couple of feet long before modern science arrived. The nearby Dempsey Mound in Fayette County, along Laurel Creek, also was reduced before modern science arrived. Beards Fork Petroglyphs are a few miles away. The site at Alloy in Fayette County, 46FA189, is a Woodland occupation site.

    Ceramic Industry

    Monongahela Cordmarked, Plain, and Incised pottery is found to be tempered with crushed shell. They used a coiling technique with malleation, tapping, by paddle and anvil. A cord-wrapped paddle was made to create the Cordmarkings. Interiors are smoothed and are plain or cordmarked with some smoothing. Decorations are found near the lip and adjacent lower rim. Monongahela Incised has the addition of incised parallel or rectilinear lines.

    Mahoning Plain and Cordmarked Pottery(Mayer-Oakes’ 1955:192-195) type description includes three main types that date to the Middle-Late Woodland: Mahoning cordmarked, Mahoning plain, and Mahoning incised (MacDonald 2000b). A coil method, using crushed igneous rock (e.g., granite) or quartz temper are called Monongahela cordmarked and Mahoning incised. Mahoning incised is more common on the Ohio Valley. Mahoning cordmarked decoration was crafted on the lip area. It may also be notched or impressed. A few sherds have shown evidence of fabric impressions. The rim is slightly flared and sometimes found folded. Decoration is confined along the rim to the necks . Mahoning ware “seems to occur on sites which are Middle Woodland or Hopewellian” (Mayer-Oakes 1955:193).

    Watson ceramic pottery appear during the end of the Middle Woodland period, ca. A.D. 100 – A.D. 800. This type of ceramic post-dates Classic Adena occupations on the upper Ohio River Valley. Watson immediately precedes the Page ceramic components towards eastern West Virginia. Watson ceramics are found on the upper reaches of the Potomac River Valley in western most Maryland, West Virginia, eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, otherwise over a large area in the upper Ohio River Valley. (Type Site, Watson 46HK34, Maryland sites with Watson components Mexico Farms (18AG167) ref. Dragoo 1956; Mayer-Oakes 1955; Wall 1993a, 1993b) Radiocarbon date; Adell, WV (46GT67) Radiocarbon Dates 1270 + 60; A.D. 625-980; intercepts @ A.D. 720,745,760 Sample #Beta-51491 Wall 1993a. Radiocarbon date; Mexico Farms (18AG167) Radiocarbon Dates 1620 + 170; A.D. 50? – 710, intercept @ A.D. 420, Sample #Beta-42753, Feature 1a, Wall 1993a, 1993b.

    Page pottery dates from ca. A.D. 900 – A.D. 1450 western Piedmont Plateau region and west through the Great Valley, Ridge and Valley, and Appalachian Plateau regions of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Somerset phase ceramics are similar to Page ceramics of the upper Potomac River Valley. (Type Site, Keyser Farm 44PA1) Maryland sites with Page components Nolands Ferry (18FR17)*, Mason Island (18MO13)*, Cresaptown (18AG119), Barton (18AG3), Sang Run 918GA22)*, Friendsville (18GA23)* (* collections at MAC Lab).

    A partial list of Mid-Atlantic States Ceramics follows:

  • Accokeek pottery dates from ca. 900 B.C. – 300 B.C. throughout the Coastal Plain of Maryland and into Virginia to the James River. (Type Site Accokeek Creek 18PR8 ref. Egloff and Potter 1982; McLearen 1991b; Mouer 1991; Stephenson et al. 1963)

  • Clemson pottery Island dates from ca. A.D. 800 – A.D. 1400 of Great Valley (upper Potomac River tributaries), Ridge and Valley regions of Maryland, central Pennsylvania, Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and north-western Virginia. Keyser pottery dates from ca. A.D. 1400 – A.D. 1550 throughout the Piedmont, Great Valley, and Ridge and Valley regions of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. (Type Site, Clemson Island ref. Garrahan 1990; Hatch 1980; Kavanagh 1984; McCann 1971; Prezzano 1992; Stewart 1982; Wall 1992)

  • Marcey Creek pottery dates from ca. 1000 B.C. – 750 B.C. (Stewart 1982:74);1200 B.C. – 800 B.C. (Egloff and Potter 1982:97) throughout the Coastal Plain and Piedmont Regions, from Delaware south to the James River in Virginia. (Type Site, Marcey Creek site ref Ayers 1972; Egloff and Potter 1982; Manson 1948; Stephenson et al.1963; Wall et al. 2000; Wise 1975.)

  • Schultz pottery dating to ca. A.D. 1600 has incised decoration, usually in triangular or diamond shaped patterns. These are found in western Maryland, south western Pennsylvania, western West Virginia and north western Virginia.

  • Selden Island pottery dates from ca. 1000 B.C. – 750 B.C Virginia to Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, throughout the Maryland Coastal Plain and Piedmont. (Type Site, Selden Island 18MO20 ref. Artusy 1976; Egloff and Potter 1982; Evans 1955; Manson 1948; Slattery 1946; Wise 1975)

  • Shepard pottery dates from ca. A.D. 900 – A.D. 1450 throughout the Piedmont and Great Valley regions of Maryland, and rarely in the western Coastal Plain (Chesapeake Bay). (Type Site, Shepard Site 18MO3, Maryland sites with Shephard components Biggs Ford (18FR14)*, Devilbiss (18FR38)*, Rosenstock (18FR18)*, Shepard (18MO3), Hughes (18MO1)*, Winslow (18MO9) *collections at the MAC Lab. Curry and Kavanagh 1991; Griffith 1981; MacCord et al. 1955; Schmitt 1952; Slattery and Woodward 1992; Stephenson et al. 1963)

  • Vinette pottery dates from ca. 600 B.C. – A.D. 200 east coast from New England to Maryland and west to central New York and the Ottawa valley of eastern Ontario, primarily in rockshelter and in surface collections in Maryland (Gross 1972; Stewart 1981). (Type Site, Vinette Site, NE of Finger Lakes, New York. ref. Gross 1972; Ritchie and MacNeish 1949; Ritchie 1944; Stewart 1981; Spence et al. 1990; Wall 1992. Maryland sites with Vinette components Chickadee Rock Shelter (18WA13), Bushey’s Cavern (18WA18); Barton Complex (18AG3, 18AG8) nor radiocarbon dates in Maryland.

  • Washington Boro pottery (ca. A.D. 1615–A.D. 1630) has stylized face effigies on the castellations. These are found in western Maryland, south western Pennsylvania, eastern West Virginia and north western Virginia.

    Late Prehistoric Regional Cultures

    Lithics from the adjoining states are found in West Virginia. Like their ancient ancestors, to delineate tribal occupation, historic tribes often had concurrent villages resting across today's surveyed state border lines. It was the drainage systems and the natural mountain range divides that influenced trade routes, migration and village settlements before colonial surveying arrived. Gaps between ridge-ranges, mountains and their associated mountain range, connect the tributary system's trails. Today's Topographic maps show these for the multi-state region.

    There were three different Late Prehistoric farming societies and settlement patterns in the region. The Mississippian peoples of western and southern Kentucky built large flat-topped earthen temple mounds. The early Fort Ancients built low earthen burial mounds. These people inhabited the region of southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky and western West Virginia. Although, the Godwin-Portman site, 36AL39, located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, had possible Fort Ancient presence during the 15th century A.D. Sometimes, the Kanawha Fort Ancient burials were in layers for the larger villages. The Monongahela people sometimes buried their sachem under a charnel house within their palisaded village, a several hundred years earlier trait at Chillicothe, Ohio's Hopewell site on the Scioto River. Monongahelan were inhabitants of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. A Late Woodland people lived north of the Ohio Valley cultures as Lake Erie's drainage system's farming cultures, Whittlesey culture (A.D. 1350-1650) and Sandusky culture, arose. Traits of Monongahela were similar to the Shanks Ferry People of the lower Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna of the protohistoric period buried their people outside of their palisaded village showing an influx coming from the north to the north-eastern West Virginia. The Susquehanna spoke an Iroquois dialect. They were allies with the Huron Confederacy. A Susquehanna site, 46Hy89, is located in the Eastern Panhandle at Moorefield, West Virginia (Brashler 1987).

    Protohistoric Upper Potomac Valley

    West Virginia and Maryland share the Potomac River as a border. Both states, West Virginia's Grant, Hampshire and Hardy counties and Maryland's Allegany County region (Brashler 1987) possess archaeological sites having Susquehannock Ceramics. In Maryland, the Friendsville site (18GA23) on the upper Youghiogheny River Valley and the Folly Run site (18GA53) on the headwaters of the Potomac River share similarities of southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia during the post-Contact period Monongahela culture ceramics. Monongahela River tributaries are across the Allegheny Mountains western slopes and divide of which the Monongahela culture was named. Washington Boro ceramics have been found on the Barton (18AG3) and Llewellyn (18AG26) sites in Maryland of the late Susquehannock sequence. These are on the upper North Branch River Valley and Maryland Oldtown area. Schultz cermics dating to ca. A.D. 1600 have incised decoration, usually in triangular or diamond shaped patterns. Washington Boro ceramics (ca. A.D. 1615– A.D. 1630) have stylized face effigies on the castellations. Schultz and Washington Boro phases (ca. A.D. 1600– A.D. 1630) are the only ones that have been identified in Maryland for these sites and period. Kent, "Susquehanna’s Indians" (revised 2001), examined detailed ceramic descriptions of pre-Contact Susquehannock sequence which originates in the upper Susquehanna River Valley in central Pennsylvania.

    Old Theory

    In the 1960s-70s decade's archaeology publications, there have been doctorates of anthropology characterize Late Adena and again Fort Ancients as having taken refuge to their kindred south of the Ohio shores. Today, this is called the "Old Theory."

    The traditional phases of the Adena Mound Builders are found in great numbers in the state. These phases in the Mountain State are Early (before 1800 B.C), Classic (~500 B.C.), Late (~200 A.D.), Adena-Woodland (~650 A.D.). The early Adena southern trade route through the Tennessee Valley from the upper Ohio River was originally with Tennessee Valley archaic Copena who traded with the Gulf of Mexico coastal culture. The resulting Copena-Adena mix of the southern trade route continued the trade with the Ohio Adena, kindred Adena and Woodland in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. According to Dragoo et al, the Hopewellian (Linid, Dr Neuman's established definition of skull classification which is still the bases yet today) came at first as a friendly trade to the Ohio Classic Adena.

    The second group of Linid Hopewell arrived from the north to as far as the Ohio shores in mass. This was an invasion wave who were the credit for the fall of the Classic Adena Phase in Ohio. According to Dragoo, this is based on his contemporary findings of the mass graves of the Hopewell's apparently slave graves and the midden mixed mass graves found. The fortunate of Ohio Classic Adena took refuge south of the Ohio River with kindred Adena groups long settled here prior to Classic phase. These Adena grave's bone and skull conditions shewed evidence of prolong war during this Late phase. These Conical Mound Builders, Adena with their alliance Allegheny Woodland appear to have held their ground below the Ohio's shores for a considerable length of time. This was based on subtle craft methods among many other examples by the Geological Survey teams of the Classic phase's following dates at sites south of the Ohio River. Other refugees moved onto the direction of New York and others towards the Chesapeake Bay, traditional trading areas. (Dragoo et al 1963, Geological Survey)

    Late Adena traits also have been identified to as far as the Chesapeake Bay region. Their mounds became progressively smaller as they passed beyond the gaps of the Allegheny Mountains. Those who did not remain in West Virginia were soon absorbed by their ancient Eastern Woodland trading partners. Other Late Adena took refuge to their ancient archaic Point Peninsula (New York) trading partners of the eastern Great Lakes whom by this time had evolved to a North Eastern Woodland culture. Their mounds were also becoming smaller as these Late Adena soon became absorbed into that location's trading partners.

    The "Old Theory" also has the Adena-Copena evolving to early Fort Ancient, "Hamlet Phase", of central Kentucky and Tennesee. Hopewellians of Ohio-Indiana had become scattered, otherwise described as nebulous, over the vast regions from as far as the Rocky Mountains through the Great Lakes. Their effigy mound sachem-priests, Elites, had long lost political cohesion across this vast culture several hundred years before. ("Mounds For The Dead", Dragoo 1963) The Fort Ancients were also partly Hopewellian kindred through trade relations. To note, this "old" statement shows what is appearing to be a modern conflict do to technology, another reason to collect more DNA samples before reburial which is the "right thing to do" (reburial), given DNA funding or not. At about AD 800 a new tradition, with much stronger and more specific Middle American elements, moved up the Mississippi Valley.(Dragoo 1963, Encyclopaedia Britannica 1988). Progressively, the early Fort Ancient were found to have taken refuge to the upper Ohio Valley, by now small groups of harmless Hopewellian trading partners and their Adena-Woodland trading partners of the Allegheny Plateau as the Mississippian Culture arose. This invasion, this time coming from the Mississippi River, was characterized as the reason palisaded villages were developed at first in Kentucky. Palisading villages as a defense was thought to have arrived to the Late Adena-Copena mix from distant trade partners. The Monongahela Culture was the northern most element trading partner of this period of the Greater Ohio Valley trade eras.

    Past millennium

    There are two traditions recognized which influenced the ancient's culture in crafting tools and daily living: lacustrine cultures (upland lake-streams) and riverine cultures (low land river-delta) to use Doctor Dragoo's (Carnegy) terminology. The ecological surroundings at various regions influence early boat making and their fishing methods which help identify the archeological sites. At the base of Seneca Rocks, there were two different fort villages. This mountain stream culture has seemingly appeared and then vanish which is often called the Monogahela Culture. It is not clear if this culture was assimilated by protohistoric tribes in the region. A broader study has shown no clear border in geography due to migration, trade routes and overlapping periods especially of the Protohistoric influx. About the year of A.D. 1635, it appears that a group of Monongahela refugees resettled in south-central Virginia at Halifax County (Wells 2002). The highland stream Monongahela Culture was contemporaneous with the region's low and broad river valley Fort Ancient Culture.

    The US Army Corp Of Engineers (USACE) Abstract states, "The most significant site encountered in the Kanawha Navigation Project is the Clover Site (46CB40), the type site for the Clover Complex (Griffin 1943, Maslowski 1984, Mayer-Oakes 1955). This Protohistoric Village dating to AD 1600 was designated as a National Historic Landmark and is federally protected as part of the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area. Besides the characteristic lithics and pottery, Clover has well preserved burials, bone artifacts in all stages of production and shell artifacts. It is one of the Protohistoric villages that may eventually be connected with historic Indian tribes." It is located in Cabell County, a western most county along the Ohio River. The USACE was able to work around, saving, over two and a half dozen ancient locations during this project.

    The "classic period" Fort Ancient Culture in West Virginia on the Ohio River is exampled at site 46MS57 which appears in the 14th century and siding three Adena mounds. This old field is a few miles above the mouth of the Kanawha River. One of the latest Fort Ancient villages, below the mouth of the Kanawha River (Rolf Lee 46Ms51), has a firm radiocarbon date of A.D. 1666. Marine shell gorgets are found disproportionately on certain village sites. This Late Pre-Contact appearance of more than 26 examples of shell gorgets is either as trophy of raid, through trade or migration of Southeast people. European trade goods with many glass beads along with copper and brass tubular beads, and flat pieces of copper and brass have been found at Rolf Lee 46Ms51, more than any other site in West Virginia.

    Another major nearby Fort Ancient occupation is at the Orchard Site (46MS61) dating between A.D. 1550 and 1650. This site is a multiple stratum occupation having Woodland Indian just below and off-set the Fort Ancient level. It is above the first Ohio River flood plain on a very wide valley (creek-flat) and about five miles from the three Adena mounds mentioned. This site was disturbed, off and on, until the 1960s causing a less reliable carbon dating. It is almost identical to two sites found in Ohio with firm radiocarbon dates. This site, "Orchard", has over 300 known burials. European glass trade beads have been uncovered and apparently showing an acculturation period for this "Old Field". Also, Fort Ancient Thirteen Mile Creek 46MS43 site was recorded in 1953. The Buffalo Fort Ancient (46PU31) site was excavated by the Geological Survey. It is one of the largest, latest (A.D. 1650 & 1680) and most continuous occupied location having well over 600 graves. It was still occupied during the historical influx and about the time Virginia explorers arrived. It is about 20 miles away from these in Putnam County on the Kanawha River. Rolf Lee 46Ms51 and the disturbed 46MS61 were excavated by the West Virginia Archeological Society and excavated by the Geological Survey.

    Clover Site (46CB40), Buffalo (46PU31) and Rolf Lee (46Ms51) are suspected to be the same population rotating to each location upon resource depletion, firewood and soil.(Maslowski) All three sites have multiple village occupations and within a day's canoe or hike from each other. According to the scientist who used modern methods, West Virginia does not have the earliest of the Fort Ancient nor Monongahela culture's sites. But, the state does have some of the latest sites. "So far, archaeologists have not been able to determine what historically known Indian tribes have ancestral ties to the Kanawha Valley." One of the state's long standing puzzle is the identification of the protohistoric Monetons tribe.

    Protohistoric period

    A large portion of the state's predominate Late Prehistoric culture is referred to as Fort Ancient. Hamlet Phase villages are shown to transition to the wood post palisade villages and some with shooter’s platforms, bastions. Towards the Protohistoric period, palisade is suspected to be evidence of warfare. Village movement is traditionally based on often only two major considerations, game and crop ground depletion. Yet, some scholars also consider wood rot of the structures. Reposting holes or major repairs to walls are not shown in the abstracts.

    Palisade villages appear several hundred years before the Les Tionontatecaga (Guyandottes) taking refuge to the state's hollows from the great heat of the Beaver War influx. This is reported to be in 1701 and shown on 1710 maps. These appeared in the lower Big Sandy and Mud rivers area. It is not clear if these preasured the Big Sandy Shatteras of that area into Virginia. It has been written by a number of earlier historians that several decades earlier there is evidence that eastern Siouan occupied this western West Virginia area. Still early authors, while citing La Salle in 1669 at the Falls of Ohio and other considerations, seem not aware of modern archaeology would find them coexisting with their neighbor Fort Ancients in western West Virginia, too. The term, Fort Ancient, had not been "coined" at that time. With carbon dates averaging some two hundred years before, the Man site (46LG5 AD~1450, Moxley, 1985), up Mud River's watershed in Logan County, is a Fort Ancient site. It is on the next drainage system, just east, of the historic Siouan, on the Big Sandy.

    Oddly, in 1728 a group of ancient "Monecans" near Lynchburg, Virginia joined the Iroquois, others did not. The companion article, Monetons, provides treatise and documention of the 17th century West Virginia and adjoin watershed’s geography. Historic records show historic nearby Overhill Cherokee, "this kind of acculturation process", for West Virginia to be in the 1690s exampled historically by Captain Vielle of Albany's expedition of 1692-94, see the companion article West Virginia Waterways. Traditional historians declared Vielle's expedition began the "British Patrols" on the Ohio Valley. Today's, finding by A.D. 1600, modern science has shown iron and brass trade axes, iron kettles, glass beads and trade pipes which have been uncovered at a few latest, and large for, Fort Ancient villages on the Kanawhan region before direct contact. It is not clear if villages were merging during this final phase of ancient culture, Fort Ancient. The trade goods appear to cloud acculturation and assimilation as the traditional hostilities were from the western, down-stream, of the Ohio River long before protohistoric Iroquois League nation building era. It is not clear concerning the 17th Century feuding Nation of Fire and Nation of Cat extended into West Virginia or not.

    Certainly, centuries of western hostile incursions is not the case, however, on the Monongahela watershed. Failing crops to colder weather and the pressure groups coming from the opposite direction caused the Monongahela culture's decay and collapse. Their neighbors in the west central of the state, however, perhaps the old local telling of the Kanawhan descent were happy to trade the clay pot for the iron kettle and joining those pioneers in the following Fireside Cabin Culture. Somebody was trading with the latest Fort Ancients before the culture disappears and they could have offered protection from the ancient western enemies, perhaps. Traditional archaeology demonstrates the Fort Ancient were either driven very far away or destroyed, a similar fate of the Monongahelan. Regardless of which, it is the culture that vanishes to the Fur Trade influx period. Present work with the latest tools by our regional scientists will hopefully close this chapter in the state's history.

    County sites

    Today, commercial complexes and highway construction sites require a geological and archaeological survey (industrial archeology and bioanthropology) before building can begin. Archaeologists and anthropologists identify the state's investigative "dig sites" using a standardized nomenclature. The first element of this system is the state's National "ID" number which for West Virginia is "46". The second element is the county in which the site is located, an abbreviation. For example, the 1st site in Mingo County is site 46MO1, Cotiga Mound, listing a Woodland burial mound dating to 1400 B.C. on the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River. Another example, Marshall County's site number seven is an Adena Culture mound (1735 BC) called Cresap Mound, 46MR7. Burning Spring Branch site #142 in Kanawha County would be(46KA142), a site listed as having a multiple occupation of a Fort Ancient Village and a historic stratum. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers also provide their required work in abstract to the public such as that on the "Great Kanawha". The following is a list of the amount of sites in each county.

    State, FIPS, Code, County, FIPS Class

    WV,54,001,Barbour,H1 = 18 sites WV,54,003,Berkeley,H1 = 95 sites WV,54,005,Boone,H1 = 122 sites WV,54,007,Braxton,H1 = 63 sites WV,54,009,Brooke,H1 = 57 sites WV,54,011,Cabell,H1 = 139 sites WV,54,013,Calhoun,H1 = 3 sites WV,54,015,Clay,H1 = 6 sites WV,54,017,Doddridge,H1 = 9 sites WV,54,019,Fayette,H1 = 202 sites WV,54,021,Gilmer,H1 = 10 sites WV,54,023,Grant,H1 = 110 sites WV,54,025,Greenbrier,H1 = 95 sites WV,54,027,Hampshire,H1 = 75 sites WV,54,029,Hancock,H1 = 44 sites WV,54,031,Hardy,H1 = 190 sites WV,54,033,Harrison,H1 = 7 sites WV,54,035,Jackson,H1 = 80 sites

      WV,54,075,Pocahontas,H1 = 62 sites WV,54,077,Preston,H1 = 28 sites WV,54,079,Putnam,H1 = 147 sites WV,54,081,Raleigh,H1 = 137 sites WV,54,083,Randolph,H1 = 142 sites WV,54,085,Ritchie,H1 = 28 sites WV,54,087,Roane,H1 = 32 sites WV,54,089,Summers,H1 = 539 sites WV,54,091,Taylor,H1 = 14 sites WV,54,093,Tucker,H1 = 41 sites WV,54,095,Tyler,H1 = 10 sites WV,54,097,Upshur,H1 = 267 sites WV,54,099,Wayne,H1 = 101 sites WV,54,101,Webster,H1 = 16 sites WV,54,103,Wetzel,H1 = 42 sites WV,54,105,Wirt,H1 = 13 sites WV,54,107,Wood,H1 = 155 sites WV,54,109,Wyoming,H1 = 29 sites

    The following short list of more studied sites are examples of abstract site's name, there code and period kind: Childers 46MS121 Woodland/Newton, Watson 46HK34 Woodland/Watson, Fairchance 46MR13 Woodland/Fairchance, "x" ("x" = no given name) 46CB41 Woodland/Woods, Niebert 46MS103 Woodland/Woods, Woods 46MS14 Woodland/Woods, Cash Farm 46PPU79 Woodland, Weed Shelter 46CB 56 Woodland, Alloy 46FA189 Woodland, Jarvis Farm 46KA105 Woodland, Reed WV 46KA166 Woodland, Big Run 46WD53 Woodland, Muskingum Is. 46WD61 Woodland, "x" 46PU99 Woodland, Buck Garden 46NI49 Woodland (?46N149 multi-level component), Morrison Shelter 46NI8 Woodland (?46N18 multi-level component), Green Sulphur 46SU67/72 Woodland and "x" 46PU4 Woodland.


    Doctor Smith (1992) suggests plants already “naturally” occurring on flood plains and their life cycle were being intervened by human by about 5000 to 3000 B.P.. To quote Harris (1997),“farming is defined as a system of agricultural crop production that employs systematic soil preparation and tillage.” Yerkes (2000) observed that Hopewell culture utilized sumpweed, sunflower, chenopodium, knotweed and maygrass which were likely domesticated hundreds of years before, but, lacked true farming stone tools. The extent as true farmers is still in debate. The Eastern Agricultural Complex (EAC) included gourds, squash, marshelder, sunflower, maygrass, erect knotweed, and goosefoot (Chenopodium). The increase in caries in teeth can be accounted for by an increased reliance on maize-- simple carbohydrates in the diet (Sciulli 1997). "Maize (corn) did not make a substantial contribution to the diet until after 1150 B.P.," to quote Mills (2003). The region's Fort Ancient included definable farming stone tools and domesticated the cereal, goosefoot (Wymer 1992) which will include their upper Ohio River tributaries neighbor and sister culture, the Monongahela Culture.

    In summary to quote Dr. Robert F. Maslowski, "The Adena Indians used pipes for ceremonies. They were carved of stone and they were exceptional works of art. Pipes and the smoking of tobacco became more common during the Late Prehistoric period. They were often made of clay and rather plain." "Nothing is known about Paleo-Indian and Archaic houses in the Kanawha Valley, but archeologists have found evidence of Woodland and Fort Ancient houses." "Woodland Indians lived in wigwams...The Woodland Indians grew sunflowers, gourds, squash and several seeds such as lambsquarter, may grass, sumpweed, smartweed and little barley." "Fort Ancient Indians lived in much larger square or rectangular houses...The Fort Ancient Indians can be considered true farmers. They cultivated large agricultural fields around their villages. They no longer grew such a variety of seeds but concentrated on growing corn, beans, sunflowers, gourds and many types of squash including the pumpkin. They also grew domestic turkeys and kept dogs as pets."



    Council for West Virginia Archaeology and West Virginia Archeological Society.

    "The Kanawha Valley and its Prehistoric People" by Dr. Robert F. Maslowski

    Archeology of the Great Kanawha Navigation" by Robert F. Maslowski, Archeologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (retired). A paper presented the Fifth World Archeology Conference, Washington, DC, June 2003
    A Presentation by Dr. Robert Maslowski: "Forensic Archaeology and the MIA Mission in Southeast Asia"

    "Mounds for the Dead", Prof Dragoo, Carnegy Vol #37 (1963)

    Mason County, WV - An Archaeological Treasure by Darla Spencer, RPA, is Secretary/Treasurer of the West Virginia Archeological Society and member of the Council for West Virginia Archaeology. Photos and descriptions:

    West Virginia Archeological Society, C. Michael Anslinger.
    Doctor Sciulli, Ohio University
    Upper Panhandle Archaic

    West Virginia Historic Preservation Officer, Department of Culture and History, Cultural Center, Charleston, West Virginia, 25305. Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex

    Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. (CRAI) of Kentucky, West Virginia, Illinois, Rocky Mountain West (Longmont, Colorado), and Ohio

    "Doing archaeological research on the World Wide Web", A workshop presented at the 1997 Society for America Archaeology Annual Meeting, Nashville TN by W. Fredrick Limp, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

    "How Science Works - And How It Doesn't" By W. Hunter Lesser, The West Virginia Archeologist Volume 41, Number 1, Spring 1989

    "A MESSAGE FROM THE PAST" By Robert L. Pyle, © 1983 WV Division of Natural Resources

    ^The Golden Antiquity Periods dates are from the Amus Plant on the Kanawha River. The Kanawha Valley Archaeology Society folks provided AEP Power Company the artifact display during construction of the plant. At the plant museum, their explanations are found about the site. The public is encouraged to visit the Amus Plant Museum when near Winfield, West Virginia. Other periods are from Encyclopaedia Britannica (1988 Ed.) Note, some dates have been updated to 21st Century archaeology results in West Virginia.


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