The establishment of the Archaic as an archaeological entity in eastern North America is traditionally traced to William Ritchie’s research undertaken during the 1930s at the Lamoka Lake site in central New York State. Since that time many others have reported additional details on the Archaic across eastern North America. By the 1950s, the Archaic period had become the subject of serious research within the Chesapeake region where it was recognized as the missing link between the then newly established Paleoindian period and the already well-known archaeological materials of the Woodland period. If debate on the earlier Paleoindian period has sometimes been acrimonious, study of the Archaic period has been comparatively sedate. To many, the Archaic period neither presented the intrigue of the earliest archaeological material nor matched the more spectacular remains of some later archaeological manifestations. Yet, in many ways, the Archaic period does represent an important key toward understanding all subsequent aboriginal lifeways, both here and elsewhere in eastern North America. Most now agree that it contains a remarkable record of cultural change that is of great interest in its own right.
KeywordsArchaeological Record Settlement System Projectile Point Late Archaic Archaic Period
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