History of Native Americans in Southeast Missouri

Native Americans in S.E. Missouri

Great evidence exists that this area was inhabited or explored by Native Americans 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. This era is known as the Paleo Indian period.

After this period natives from the Archaic era (800 B.C. to 600 B.C.) extensively hunted and gathered turtle, muskrat, beaver, mussels, and aquatic life. About 600 B.C. until around 800 A.D. the Woodland period occurred. People living in the Woodland period liked to live in the valleys. Archaeological evidence reveals that they grew things such as pigweed, goosefoot, lamb quarter, sunflowers, and squash.

The next group would be the Hopewell, who lived here from about 400 A.D. to 800 A.D. The Hopewell were a group of Native Americans who built the first mounds in this area.

The Hopewell culture gave way to the Mississippian culture in 800 A.D. and lasted until about 1300 A.D. They basically ate anything that crawled, walked, ran, swam, or flew. The Mississippians used a powder that they threw into the water to stun the fish.

Archaeological evidence of natives who explored the Mississippi River Valley during the Paleothethic period shows that these natives were nomads. Not until the Hopewell culture do we see dwellings in this part of Missouri. When early settlers came to this area they saw many earth mounds and found numerous stone projectiles.

Mississippians in this area were probably associated with the Tausagi fortified village near what we now call Sikeston. About 1300 A.D. Mississippian culture disappeared and gave way to the Creek and Chickasaw cultures.


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Last up Date 11-16-99