Cultural History of Georgia
The cultural context of Georgia spans approximately 12,000 years, beginning with the earliest recorded Native American populations and continues through the historic period. Archaeologists have divided the prehistory of Georgia and the Southeastern United States in general into a series of cultural time periods and phases based on material culture, subsistence strategies, and environmental adaptations.
A brief discussion is provided here for these periods. It should also be noted that the peopling of North America remains a contentious issue among scientists, and recent investigations at the Cactus Hill Site in Virginia may have revealed “pre-Clovis” deposits up to 15000 B.C. At the Topper Site in South Carolina, “pre-Clovis” deposits have also been identified and may extend the prehistory of North America back to 50000 years ago. There has not been scientific consensus as to the validity of these finds and dates.
Paleoindian Period (12000-8000 B.C.)
Archaic Period (8000-1000 B.C.)
Woodland Period (1000 B.C. – 1000 A.D.)
Mississippian Period (1000 – 1540 A.D.)
Historic European Period (1540 A.D. to Present)