The world is familiar with the well documented cultures and structures that existed in Peru and Guatemala; the world is aware of the societies that existed there – the Maya, the Inca or the Aztec. But the outstanding cultures found in the present-day US are often neglected. The prehistoric Americans subsisted and constructed cultures from the freezing Alaskan tundra to the Pacific Northwest. The Natives established societies that braved the aridity of the South and made the best of the fertile valleys of the Southeast. Archaeological findings show how the Native Americans acclimatized to the diverse conditions of the US and settled to form cultures and societies resourcefully.
Of the most advanced setups, findings reveal a migrated group, The Hohokam, in the Arizona region that had built irrigation systems to man the aridity of the desert and convert it into farmable land. Archaeologists have found signs of well construction, ponds and dams as means of collecting rainwater. Traces of canals and ditches have also been discovered, highlighting how the group was well ahead of its time and made great leaps in setting up an effective irrigation setup. Some of the earliest societies and cultures probably developed around the Southwest, according to the widely held opinion amongst archaeologists.
The Haidas or the famous Tlingits existed along the Pacific Northwest, a region favoring a more primordial lifestyle with its thick forests, wildlife and the fertile sea life. Given its abundant supply of easily obtainable food, the people of this region had more time to themselves, something that afforded them the liberty to develop amazing art forms. From this region, there is evidence of construction of large plank-houses, emblems on totem poles, utensils, elaborately carved masks and massive canoes.
Archaeological conquests have also stumbled upon extensively constructed societies and cultures thriving through trade and agriculture. In fact, some of the most complex societies established such a setup along the Midwest and Southeast. Trading towns dating back to nearly 1400 B.C. have also been discovered in the Mississippi region, close to the river. Similar settlements dating back to 700 B.C. have also been discovered in the Ohio region, highlighting the variation in lifestyle that people embraced at such a time.
An interesting discovery in the archaeological archives is that of a culture called the Mississippians, which was situation in the Gulf Coast. The people of this culture made great advances in agricultural progress and productivity. Such innovations and advances laid the foundations of some large cities in prehistoric US. One of the biggest cities was called ‘Cahokia’ – it had a population of around 20,000.
Many such societies and cultures have been discovered in the US pre-history, giving it a rich sense of history, culture and diversity of tradition. Civilizations existed in all parts of the region, and adapted miraculously in all kinds of conditions. The cultures found in the US pre-history, while overshadowed by the Maya or the Aztec culture, themselves boast of many complex structures and arrangements that deserve more attention and scrutiny.
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