Archaic Period

At the beginning of the Archaic (old) Period, temperatures became warmer and drier. What had been a landscape characterized by grasslands and open forests transformed into denser forests of pine, oak, and hickory. Although the last megafauna became extinct at the onset of the Archaic period, other animals became more common and could be hunted, such as deer, turkey, bear, rabbit, elk, and even fox.  American Indians also gathered a more diverse range of plant foods, including fruit and nuts. Toward the latter part of the Archaic Period, some American Indians began to intentionally plant a wide variety of edible weeds and flowers.  Chipped stone tools varied considerably in size and shape during the Archaic Period, and many have notches along their sides, corners, or in their bases to haft them to knife handles or spears.

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