Early Woodland Period: (800 B.C. – A.D. 1) This period is known in Louisiana for the first widespread use of pottery. However, although people made a lot of pottery, it was mostly of very poor quality. The Tchefuncte culture is associated with this period. At this time, Tchefuncte-style pottery was made at sites throughout the Lower Mississippi River Valley.


Earthworks: American Indians sometimes built mounds, ridges and other things using nearby soils. Since these things are made of earth, they are called earthworks.


Hematite: A form of iron ore that can be used to make red dye or paint.


Limonite: A form of iron ore that can be used to make a yellow or brown dye or paint.


Midden: A midden is an area of trash and debris that accumulated where people lived. A shell midden contains a very large amount of shell from bivalves like clams or mussels. This usually suggests a place that was used repeatedly for meals.


Posthole: A posthole shows where a wooden pole or post once stood. When archaeologists find them, postholes usually look like dark circular or semi-circular stains in the soil because the hole was filled with different dirt. Sometimes, there are stains remaining from wooden posts that rotted or burned in place, and they are called postmolds.


Screen: A technique using a wire mesh screen to trap artifacts from excavated dirt. Sometimes, archaeologists use water hoses to wash the dirt through the screen.


Unit: Archaeologists typically plan a grid over a site before they excavate. Each square on this grid represents a single unit that could be excavated. When a square is excavated, it is called a unit. Units make mapping and excavation more orderly.

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