50ANCIENT PEOPLES OF THE SYDENHAM

This longhouse at Ska-Nah-Doht is a recreation, typical of the Iroquois tradition in Southwestern Ontario.
This longhouse at Ska-Nah-Doht is a recreation, typical of the Iroquois tradition in Southwestern Ontario.
By looking at the things people have left in the ground, archaeologists are able to uncover parts of history that would otherwise be a mystery. Archaeologists have discovered many interesting sites along the Sydenham River. This story is fairly typical of settlement and cultural development in Southwestern Ontario.

After the retreat of the glaciers, the first Palaeo-indians began foraging for food and hunting in the Great Lakes region. Between 9000 B.C.E. and 7000 B.C.E., this zone was more like the arctic than the region it is today. Its inhabitants had a very complex culture and specialized in hunting big game animals like the caribou.

When the climate of the Sydenham region became warmer, the environment changed. As a result, people developed specialised skills to acquire food. They also learned to use the growing forest to their advantage. This time period is called the Archaic Period, and lasted from 8000 to 2500 B.C.E. There is archaeological evidence that very distinct cultures were thriving in this area and that there were extensive trade networks throughout the Eastern Woodlands.

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