Talk:Archaic period (North America)

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This article seems very focused on the Archaic Stage in the south eastern USA, my understanding of the term is that it varies from region to region in terms of subdivisions. Is this correct? adamsan 19:22, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The word "archaic" is extremely generic: there's Archaic Athens, Archaic China, Archaic Mesoamerica, etc. etc. These terms are not rare (cf. search engines). This article, on the other hand, is very specific, and it seems unlikely that the ordinary user would expect "Archaic" to refer specifically to this area. So shouldn't the title of this article be something more specific, e.g. "Archaic period in southeast North American archaeology"? --Macrakis 20:41, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

I think Archaic Stage may be a feasible place for this article as it refers to one of the five stages in American cultural development that Gordon Willey came up with and a Google search looks promising. Even the Archaic Stage has variations within it though and I agree that currently something like the title you suggest would be more accurate. I'd do a rewrite but I have few sources on American archaeology. I think making this a glorified disambig is the way forward. Archaic Greece refers to the period between 700BC and the Persian Wars and I'm sure there are other defined uses for the term adamsan 11:28, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree that, given that the article is about America, either "America" should appear in the title, as Macrakis suggests, and this page should be made a disambiguation page, as the unsigned comment suggests. I can't imagine that anyone would argue for the status quo. Could we get some sort of consensus on the proposed name that this article be moved to? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:37, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

How about "Archaic period, North America"? The current article is more specific than that, but I'll leave it to the experts to sort that out.... --Macrakis 02:31, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

The very first message, at the top of the page, suggests Archaic Stage in the south-eastern United States. Perhaps editors on this page could decide. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 08:27, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Sorry folks, forgot to sign my earlier comment. I think Archaic Stage orArchaic Stage (Americas) would serve as a reasonable introductory article with similar pages such as this one linking from it (Arctic Archaic, Mesoamerican Archaic etc ). Then we'd need to do the same for the Lithic, Formative and the rest of the stages...quite a project! adamsan 11:28, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
It appears that "Archaic period" (not stage) is the commonly used term nowadays, see, e.g. [1]. Is "stage" specific to Willey, or is there still a distinction between "stage" and "period"?
As for "Archaic period (Americas)", that would be fine if the article was edited heavily. The current article mixes general comments about the Archaic period with southeast-specific content; it should probably be split in two. --Macrakis 13:11, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Alas we are at the limits of my knowledge of American archaeology, I will leave a message on the Talk pages of some of the contributors I've noticed working on articles like Clovis culture etc to see what they think and if they want to contribute. adamsan 13:43, 5 May 2005 (UTC)


There's an entire era of ancient egyptian history that is not recieveing any web space. 18:23, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think the term Archaic Period has even been applied to Egypt though, it uses Pre-Dynastic, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Ptolemaic Period, etc...--Dcsmith 05:33, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


There is also an Archaic Period for Greece (ca. 700-479 BCE) depending on which dates you follow.--Dcsmith 07:02, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Copyright Violation[edit]

All but the first paragraph of this article is taken directly from the only reference source listed. It happened so long ago that it is difficult to see if the user who did it is still active. They were just listed as an IP address which has since changeed. Anyway, it is not as important as to who did it as to get this article fixed. Anyone reading these comments would be appreciated to help with this monumental task. Hughey 19:28, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the copyrighted material. Normally I should have deleted the whole article, but in this case, the intro and list of references+external links appeared to make an useful (if short) article on their own, and these were not a copyvio. --Alvestrand 06:47, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Defining Prehistoric North America[edit]

There seems to be a huge disconnect between how Wikipedians have defined prehistoric North American Periods and how text books, academic archaeologists, and educational websites have defined them. Some good examples of how periods are defined:

Summary (all ages approx and vary from region to region):

  • Paleoindian period (13,500-10,500 years ago) While Paleoindians were traditionally viewed as big game hunters, more recent research suggests much of their subsistence was derived from small game and wild plants.
    • Clovis
    • Folsom
    • Dalton and other Late Paleoindian
  • Archaic period. Overall, populations appear to have increased during the Archaic, despite a changing climate. During this time American Indians transitioned from highly mobile hunters and gatherers with large ranges towards a focus on local resources and ecosystems. Domesticated plants appeared at the end of the Archaic.
    • Early Archaic (10,500-7,500 years ago)
    • Middle Archaic (7,500-5,000 years ago)
    • Late Archaic (5,000-2,800 years ago)
  • Woodland period. During the Woodland period, many American Indians shifted away from hunting and gathering and used more domesticated plants, although wild food was still important. Ceramics, the bow and arrow, burial mounds, and evidence of political and social hierarchy became common at Woodland sites.
    • Early Woodland (800 B.C.-200 B.C.)
    • Middle Woodland (200 B.C.- A.D. 400)
      • Havana and Hopewell
    • Late Woodland (400-1250)
      • Effigy Mound Buildiers
  • Late Prehistoric (900-1600)The appearance of extensive maize farming leads to large centers and extreme social compexity.
    • Cahokia
    • Mississippian
    • Oneota

Bill Whittaker (talk) 18:18, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

I think a greater broader view then just that of a sub region cultures should apply to articles about Indians I mean..Indigenous peoples that cover all the Americas. What you have here is just regional classifications. The sub-divide above only covers parts of the United states and does not reflect the divers cultures from the rest of the Americas. Each area of the Americans has its own sub regional cultures so this is why we sill use this old system as its the only one that covers the entire Americans. The Woodland period as you have it shown implies all the Americans were part of this culture, but as we all know its not so.... pls see Archaeology of the Americas and List of archaeological periods....Moxy (talk) 19:04, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, we need sources that cover the Archaic period outside the U.S. I've been adding a little bit about the appearance of ceramics in the Late Archaic in different areas in Ceramics of indigenous peoples of the Americas, and I may be able add something about the Archaic period in the Caribbean here, but I have more access to materials about the Southeastern U.S. than other areas. -- Donald Albury 14:28, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Oldest mounds in Southeast U.S.[edit]

This paper has some interesting dates for mounds. -- Donald Albury 14:28, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

New Information Proposal[edit]

Hello, in order to create a more concrete understanding of the Archaic period in North America I would like to introduce a few of the various Traditions as well as the projectile points they made use of. Anthro100 (talk) 16:18, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

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