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Woodland Indians

From before 1000 BC until 1000 AD the North American continent was inhabited by prehistoric Native Americans of the Woodland era. These were culturally and technically advanced tribes who began permanently inhabiting villages, unlike their nomadic predecessors the Archaic Indians. Woodland Indians are noted for the cultivation of crops in the fertile valleys of North Georgia, creating intricately designed, tempered pottery with the ubiquitous red Georgia clay, building burial mounds and other ceremonial structures and effigies, and developing a system of trade relying on inland waterways and coastal passages.

Early Woodland Indians (before 1000 BC) probably continued to be nomadic to some extent, but did begin to develop ritualistic burials and extended trade networks.Modern science has allowed us to track pottery found found in Mississippi to the hills of North Georgia. Only limited evidence of the Early Woodland Indians exists in North Georgia.

In 1000 BC there appears to have been a revolution of sorts as the Woodland Indians began to permanently inhabit settlements. At this time came the rise of agriculture. Pottery technology also made a dramatic leap forward with improved firing and tempering techniques. Trading networks that spanned a hundred miles began to span a thousand miles, weapons were fitted with precision heads, and art took many forms including ceramics and carving.

Finally, around 500 AD, came the Late Woodland Culture. Weapons such as the bow and arrow spread throughout the tribes, making hunting much more efficient. Cultivation of crops was widespread, specifically corn (maize), beans and squash. The most important development of this final era, however, was a dramatic increase in population.

The enigmatic wall at Fort Mountain State Park is the lasting legacy of North Georgia's Woodland Indians


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