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Late Prehistoric Period

The Late Prehistoric Period is commonly referred to as Fort Ancient in a large portion of West Virginia. During this period, people began to live in increasingly larger permanent villages along major river bottoms. This type of sedentary lifestyle is partnered by an increased dependance on growing maize, beans and squash. At Later Fort Ancient sites, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of palisades, which may be evidence for warfare.

Although Europeans had colonized parts of the East Coast, by A.D. 1600 they had not yet ventured into what is now West Virginia; however, the various trade items that Europeans used in trade with the Indians had reached the groups living here. Objects such as iron and brass trade axes, iron kettles, glass beads and trade pipes have been recovered from a number of Proto-Historic Period sites in West Virginia. Archaeological sites from the Proto-Historic Period are important because they help determine ties between prehistoric archaeological sites and the Indians that are living in our state and country today.