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On the next two pages, we have timelines that provide a more visual experience of how archaeologists split up time periods in North Carolina history. The Pre-Colonial Periods Timeline provides an overview of the Paleoindian through the Late Woodland/Mississippian time periods, while the Historic Periods Timeline begins with shorter term settlements during the Early Colonial and currently goes through the Civil War.

While the Pre-Colonial-Historic split may seem like it delineates the presence and absence of American Indians, we want to stress that this is not the case. American Indian groups were alive and important contributors throughout the historic period and continue to be important to the state of North Carolina today. The primary reason for splitting the timelines the way we have is because the spans of time within the Pre-Colonial and Historic are so different and do not lend themselves well to being expressed on the same scale.