SS Unit 1 Lesson 1b
How have Indigenous cultures in Louisiana changed over time?
What do the terms ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Indigenous people’ mean?
Archaeology is the study of people in the past.
Using the remains of broken tools, mounds of earth, foodstuff, and soil colors and textures, archaeology provides information about early people.
The stories of American Indian life in Louisiana before contact with Europeans are available through the study of prehistoric archaeology.
Source B: Image Bank: Louisiana Archeology
Archeology is responsible for much of what we know about Indigenous prehistoric peoples. This photo is of archeologists uncovering a skeleton in a mound in Catahoula Parish in 1939. These large mounds built of soil were an important element in many Indigenous prehistoric cultures.
Image 1: Excavation of Indian mound in Catahoula Parish in 1939
What are the archaeologists doing in the picture from the previous slide?
Image 2: Excavation of Site in Natchitoches Parish
Excavation is an important step in the archaeological process. “Excavation” refers to the controlled, careful digging that takes place at a site. Indigenous people began living at this site about 2,000 years ago. Archaeologists discovered that the site was used for over a period of 500 years.
What is excavation and why is it an important part in the archeological process (Archaeology is the study of people in the past)?
Image 3: Archaeologist Analyzing Pieces of Pottery
Analysis is another step in the process of making sense out of artifacts recovered during excavation.
This photo is of an archaeologist analyzing pieces of pottery. He is using a book on pottery styles as a guide to identify the design of the pottery. This information helps him determine the time period the pottery is from.
Archaeologist analyzing a piece of pottery
He is also using a tool called a rim chart to measure the broken piece. The rim chart gives the archaeologist an idea of the size of the pot before it was broken.
How is the archaeologist in the photo analyzing the piece of pottery recovered from an excavation?
Image 4: Archaeologist Labeling Evidence
Archaeologists study people who lived long ago, the things they made, and the changes they made to the land. An archaeologist is like a detective, collecting evidence to understand what happened in the past. In this photo, an archaeologist is labeling artifacts from El Nuevo Constante, a Spanish shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico.
How are archaeologists similar to detectives?