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 the wooden posts, 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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