The Woodland Period (English Woodland period ) is an archaeological period in the eastern United States and Canada. Its beginning lies in the transition from the Archaic period, depending on the region 1000-500 BC, with starts on the southern Atlantic coast to the west of present-day Florida's earliest and at the headwaters of the Mississippi River running at the latest. In the Great Plains of the beginning is sometimes only dated to the time of Christ and ends depending on the region between 1000 and about 1200. In the southeastern United States, it was replaced by the Mississippian culture.
Typical of the Woodland period are mounds called artificial hill, which began as a small grave hill, but were later built to worship purposes and finally went to parts of the territory of the so-called temple mounds, large hills on which took place acts of worship or buildings were built.
The Woodland period differs from the preceding Archaic period through the widespread use of ceramics and the increasing use of crops, although the focus of the period is still on the nomadic life of hunters -gatherers.
The Early Woodland period was marked by the life of a family or small groups that followed the available food sources on the season. Summers were spent at the water where shellfish and fish constituted a large part of the food, along with joined the incipient cultivation of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, as well as the collection of wild rice water and other crops. In autumn and winter, the people joined together to form larger groups and moved depending on the region in the hills, where they subsisted by hunting and gathering acorns and other fruits. The main weapon was the spear in connection with the spear-thrower, the projectile points of the early Woodland stage were straight. The pottery was simple and thick-walled. The Mounds of the time were small, round and often have reddish colored by hematite interspersed as in the preceding Archaic period. The early period ended in 300-100 BC
In the Middle Woodland period in what is now Illinois was the Hopewell culture, which quickly spread across the valley of the Ohio River and a center near present-day Kansas City had. It is characterized by an intense long-distance trade, the network ran through the whole eastern part of the North American continent. Obsidian from the Rocky Mountains, copper from the Great Lakes, mica, galena shells, high-quality flint from specific sites such as the Alibates area were spread between Florida and the prairies. The spearheads of the time were flat and wide and have sharp edges, the thick-walled ceramic remains and is decorated with the imprints of tools and textiles. The mounds were slightly larger and are characterized by carefully crafted curves.
The transition to the Late Woodland period is approximately between the years 300 and 700, the long-distance trade was in crisis since about 200, then most of the tools were made from local materials. The land use changed, towards more intensive agriculture, corn was spread throughout the area, including the tobacco cultivation increased. The spear has been largely displaced by the bow hunting. The cause is considered a significant population growth and the consequent scarcity of traditional food sources. New ceramic styles were characterized by the addition of shell fragments in the sound to compensate for thermal stresses during firing, therefore the possible thinner walls and decorating with the impressions of cords and ribbons. The mounds in the south are larger, occur on the upper Mississippi in the transition zone between the prairies and the Great Lakes figurative Mounds, the so-called Effigy Mounds in animal form. Typical are birds, bears, panthers and reptiles such as lizards and snakes, including human figures were occasionally found.
In parts of the range around the year 1000, the Mississippian culture arose in the north broke soon after the settlement together, only a few villages talked, in 1200 there arose under unclear circumstances not exactly the Oneota.