Friday, November 14, 2008

Schoharie Is Peopled

Since 9000 B.C., people have populated Schoharie County. Since then, people have lived in and around Schoharie County, going from nomads to villages in a few thousand years.

Following the retreat of the last glacier, around 11000 years ago, people have lived in and around Schoharie County. The stage from 9000B.C. to 3000B.C. is called the Paleo-Indian Stage. Hunters of this stage survived primarily by hunting large animals, but also fished, collected wild plants, and hunted small game. These people, who were probably nomadic, created fluted projectiles, and hunted mastodons and mammoths. Sadly, though, all that remains of these Stone Age people are their stone tools, and evidence of their camps. Very little is know about them otherwise.

The following stage is called the Archaic Stage, which lasted from 3000B.C. to 1300B.C. This period began after the end of the Ice Age. These people hunted, fished, and gathered nuts. They were less nomadic than Paleo-Indians because they lived in more restricted territories. Projectile points, net sinkers, fish hooks, and other artifacts have been found in Schoharie County, but there is no proof of crop cultivation. There is a good amount of proof of the Archaic Stage culture in Schoharie County, in fact most projectile points that have been found are from this period. Hundreds of projectile points were found near Scotia, dating from the Archaic Stage, and the most recent points from that period are “Snook Kill” points, from about 1470B.C.

After the Archaic Stage was the short Transitional Stage, which lasted from 1300B.C. to 1000B.C. During this stage, the first pottery of fired clay was made. Artifacts from this stage are also abundant. Many projectile points that have been found belong to the Susquehanna tradition, some of which were made of volcanic material. Apparently, the Susquehanna culture migrated here from Pennsylvania.

After the Transitional Stage came the Woodland Stage which was from 1000B.C. to when the Europeans arrived. Woodland” refers to pottery throughout the eastern woodlands. This stage was divided into three periods: Early, Middle, and Late. The Woodland stage is characterized as a period of growing population, the appearance of large villages, and frequent warfare.

It is amazing that the place where we are standing is a place where an Indian stood thousands of years ago.

No comments: