Archaic Period: 8,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C.
(Ten thousand to three thousand years ago)
As food gathering became more efficient, Archaic Indians were able to develop more sophisticated tools, including the atlatl for hunting and weighted nets for fishing. Mega fauna such as the woolly mammoth became extinct, and smaller animals like the white-tailed deer became an important source of food.
In the late Archaic Period, Indians began to cultivate plants such as marsh elder, lambsquarters, sunflowers, pigweed, and some native squash. From the southern Americas, the bottle gourd and the squash were introduced. Both were productive and easy to cultivate, and gourds were also used as containers.