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Artifacts can be thought of as shadows of people projected into the earth. They are more than just things; they create a path to a people’s legacy.

—Janet Spector, What this Awl Means

The following material is drawn from Intrigue of the Past. It presents an overview of North Carolina’s Native American history from the time ancient people migrated across the now submerged land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska during the last Ice Age until European contact. This period spans at least 12,000 years. We break the period down into four periods from oldest to most recent: Paleoindian (“The Path Finders”), Archaic (“The Forest People”), Woodland (“The Pottery Makers”), and Mississippian (“The Village Farmers”). To navigate between each period,use the sidebar on the left-hand side of this page.

This material was put together primarily by Margo L. Price, with help from Patricia M. Samford and Vincas P. Steponaitis. It has also been updated from the print version of Intrigue of the Past to include information drawn from pre-Clovis sites.