North America, 500–1000 A.D.

  • Bowl with Pair of Rabbits
    1978.412.118

Timeline

500 A.D.

625 A.D.

EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Late Eastern Woodland cultures, ca. 200–800
WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Archaic cultures, ca. 7000 B.C.–1800 A.D.
SOUTHWEST
Pre-Puebloan cultures, ca. 1000 B.C.–700 A.D.
Hohokam cultures, ca. 200–1450
NORTHWEST COAST
Late Marine cultures, ca. 500–1700
ARCTIC
Old Bering Sea cultures, ca. 500 B.C.–700 A.D.
Ipiutak cultures, ca. 50 B.C.–800 A.D.

625 A.D.

750 A.D.

EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Late Eastern Woodland cultures, ca. 200–800
WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Archaic cultures, ca. 7000 B.C.–1800 A.D.
SOUTHWEST
Pre-Puebloan cultures, ca. 1000 B.C.–700 A.D.
Puebloan cultures, ca. 700–1600
Hohokam cultures, ca. 200–1450
NORTHWEST COAST
Late Marine cultures, ca. 500–1700
ARCTIC
Old Bering Sea cultures, ca. 500 B.C.–700 A.D.
Punuk/Bimick cultures, ca. 700–1000
Ipiutak cultures, ca. 50 B.C.–800 A.D.

750 A.D.

875 A.D.

EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Late Eastern Woodland cultures, ca. 200–800
Mississippian cultures, ca. 800–1600
WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Archaic cultures, ca. 7000 B.C.–1800 A.D.
SOUTHWEST
Puebloan cultures, ca. 700–1600
Hohokam cultures, ca. 200–1450
NORTHWEST COAST
Late Marine cultures, ca. 500–1700
ARCTIC
Punuk/Bimick cultures, ca. 700–1000
Ipiutak cultures, ca. 50 B.C.–800 A.D.

875 A.D.

1000 A.D.

EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Mississippian cultures, ca. 800–1600
WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Archaic cultures, ca. 7000 B.C.–1800 A.D.
SOUTHWEST
Puebloan cultures, ca. 700–1600
Hohokam cultures, ca. 200–1450
NORTHWEST COAST
Late Marine cultures, ca. 500–1700
ARCTIC
Punuk/Bimick cultures, ca. 700–1000

Overview

Populations grow and permanent settlements increase throughout the period, while regional adaptations to environmental conditions and the consequent specialized lifestyles evolve. In the Southwest, farming becomes more important and pithouses and storage structures are grouped into villages. The influential presence of Mexico to the south continues to be felt. In the Eastern Woodlands, mound groups that include residential areas are initiated in locations adjacent to major rivers, and the cultural pattern subsequently known as Mississippian begins. In the Arctic, whales are successfully hunted and the presence of a new archery/armor complex implies serious competition for available resources.

Key Events

  • 500

    Semi-subterranean chambers known as kivas are built in the Southwest, some used for ceremonial purposes.

  • 500

    The bow and arrow are in use on the Great Plains.

  • 600

    The population grows in the Southwest and cotton cultivation spreads northward from Mexico; regional differentiation develops and is reflected in the pottery styles.

  • 750

    Corn is increasingly present among native crops in the river valleys of the Midwest and Southeast.

  • 800

    In the central Mississippi region known as the American bottom, mound centers—some with structures placed around community plazas—become politically dominant.

  • 800

    Pithouses give way to surface structures in the Southwest.

  • 850

    Intensive maize agriculture is practiced in the Southwest, and durable shell-tempered pottery is produced. Ballcourts are present at Snaketown in Arizona.

  • 850

    In the Arctic, settlements grow larger on St. Lawrence Island; a body armor and archery complex develops.

  • 900

    Construction of large multiroomed buildings, known as great houses, begins in Chaco Canyon in the central San Juan Basin of southwestern New Mexico.

  • 950

    Effigy-mound groups, representing animals and birds, are erected in the Midwest; Great Serpent Mound rises in Ohio.

  • 1000

    In the Mimbres Valley of New Mexico, a distictive type of ceramic decoration develops.

Citation

“North America, 500–1000 A.D.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=06&region=na (October 2001)

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