Prior to about 1870’s the American Settlers had a tacit respect for the knowledge, skills and achievements of the “Amerinds “. They recognized many of the monuments, standing stones, art works and burial mounds to be similar to those found in their homelands.
As Americans began to “master” nature through technology, this respect for these indigenous peoples began to fail. Their sites were plundered, desecrated and ploughed under.
Hollywood, popular literature and historical revision took hold. Only recently has our respect and admiration returned for these past civilizations, their culture and their reverence for the natural environment which sustained them.
The purpose of the RTHS presentation was to increase the awareness of these matters and to give an overview and extent of past civilizations, with examples which spread from Tallahassee, to the Lower Mississippi, from farmlands of Iowa and southern Manitoba to the floodplains of Ohio, even into Ontario’s Humber Valley and the shores of Rice Lake.
These civilizations, with extensive trade routes across the continent, were sedentary agriculturalist, growing the “Three Sisters” of corn, beans and squash on the rich alluvial soils of the major rivers, providing healthy, well balanced societies.
The Adena peoples built a civilization starting about 500BC. It collapsed around 1 AD.
The Hopewell (Woodland) culture evolved about 100 BC lasting 500 years.