The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Category:Pre-Contact Period

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Pre-Contact Period: The era before significant European influence, e.g., prior to 17th Century, when the Native American Peoples, the American Indians and their ancestors, e.g., the Adena, occupied the lands that are now West Virginia.

Quoting statement made in 1926 by an agent of the Bureau of Ethnology:

"There was during the mound building age a powerful tribe or association of tribes occupying the Ohio valley, whose chief seats were in the Kanawha, Scioto and Little Miami valleys. The works are relatively contemporaneous in these valleys."

But even in 1926, it was an established fact that some American Indian tribes were still building mounds at the time of the white man's arrival to the Americas, long after the time of the Adenas.

Evidence that the so-called "Mound Builders" had developed an extension trade system, i.e., a system of commerce, is rarely mentioned, despite the fact that grizzly bear teeth and volcanic glass, found only in the Rocky Mountains; copper, obtained only in the Great Lakes region; and shells and other relics of salt water orgin, were found in mounds throughout the state.