Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the Archaic and Late Prehistoric periods?

The Archaic period or era is a very long span of human history in North America that began about 9,500 years ago (7,500 B.C.) and lasted, in the Camp Bowie area, until about 1200 years ago (A.D. 800). The Archaic concept was originally conceived of as an evolutionary stage of cultural development during which prehistoric peoples lived as hunter-gatherers and adapted to virtually every environment in North America. Today, however, archeologists realize that hunting and gathering was the dominate way of life during the preceeding Paleoindian era. And while the Archaic period was followed by the rise of agriculture and settled life in some areas of North America, peoples in other areas including much of central and southern Texas, continued living much as they had for thousands of years. In the Camp Bowie area, the Archaic period is said to end about 1200 years ago (A.D. 800) when the bow and arrow replaced the atlatl and dart at the beginning of the Late Prehistoric period. Some late prehistoric groups learned to make pottery at about the same time, but they maintained a traditional way of life based on hunting and gathering. The Archaic and Late Prehistoric periods are really somewhat arbitrary classifications of convenience. Archeologists have subdivided the periods into subperiods and phases in various ways based on changes in certain artifact styles (mainly projectile points). The arrival of Spanish explorers in the late 17th century marks the beginning of the Historic period and the era of written history.


Close Window