Published on September 7, 2010 by John
Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for many millennia before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. During the Archaic period Louisiana was home to the earliest mound complex in North America and one of the earliest dated, complex constructions in the Americas, the Watson Brake site near Monroe. Later, the largest and best-known site in the state was built near modern-day Epps, Louisiana, at Poverty Point. The Poverty Point culture may have hit its peak around 1500 BCE, making it the first complex culture, and possibly the first tribal culture in North America. It lasted until approximately 700 BCE. The Poverty Point culture was followed by the Tchefuncte and Lake Cormorant cultures of the Tchula period, local manifestations of Early Woodland period. The Tchefuncte culture were the first people in Louisiana to make large amounts of pottery. These cultures lasted until 200 CE. The Middle Woodland period starts in Louisiana with the Marksville culture in the southern and eastern part of the state and the Fourche Maline culture in the northwestern part of the state. The Marksville culture takes its name from the Marksville Prehistoric Indian Site in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. These cultures were contemporaneous with the Hopewell cultures of Ohio and Illinois, and participated in the Hopewell Exchange Network. Trade with peoples to the southwest brought the bow and arrow. The first burial mounds are built at this time.
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