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Archaic period (North America) facts for kids

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Copper knife, spearpoints, awls, and spud, Late Archaic period, Wisconsin, 3000 BC-1000 BC - Wisconsin Historical Museum - DSC03436
Copper knife, spearpoints, awls, and spud, from the Late Archaic period, Wisconsin, 3000-1000 BC

In the classification of the archaeological cultures of North America, the Archaic period or "Meso-Indian period" in North America, starts from about 8000 BC, and it ends at about 1000 BC. In the sequence of North American pre-Columbian cultural stages, is a period defined by the archaic stage of cultural development. The Archaic stage is characterized by subsistence economies. These economies were supported through the use of nuts, seeds, and shellfish. Because it ended when people started using sedentary farming, this date can be different by a lot across the Americas.

The rest of the Americas also have an Archaic Period.


This classification system was first proposed by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in the widely accepted 1958 book Method and Theory in American Archaeology.

In the organization of the system, the Archaic period is after the Lithic stage. THe Archaic period is before the Formative stage.

  1. The Lithic stage
  2. The Archaic stage
  3. The Formative stage
  4. The Classic stage
  5. The Post-Classic stage
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