Early Native American Cultures (1000 BCE-1600 CE)

Adena - The Adena people differed from the Archaic because they organized villages, developed more extensive gardens, wore jewelry, and played games. The most lasting record of their culture are ceremonial burial mounds. Many of these mounds still exist, the most notable being in Moundsville and South Charleston.

Hopewell - The Hopewell culture apparently developed in the Illinois Valley around 500 BCE. As the Hopewell people moved east, their culture had the most significant impact of any of the early Americans. By the year 1 CE, members of the Hopewell culture began migrating into the Kanawha Valley and erected mounds in the South Charleston and St. Albans area, most notably the Murad Mound. Other evidence of their presence has been found at Buck Garden Creek in Nicholas County, the Watson Farm Mound in Hancock County, and the Fairchance Mound near Moundsville. One remarkable archaeological discovery was at Mount Carbon in Fayette County. A variant of the culture called the Armstrong people erected stone walls and earthworks around the top of the mountain, possibly as a religious rite. Most of these discoveries were later destroyed by strip mining.

Late Prehistoric period - During the late prehistoric period (1000 CE - 1600 CE), West Virginia was occupied by Native Americans of various tribes. They lived in small villages and hunted, fished, and cultivated corn, beans, and squash. In addition to many burial sites and petroglyphs, one of the largest excavations of a Native American village is Buffalo Village at Buffalo, Putnam County.

Native Americans

West Virginia Archives and History