The concrete staircase follows the approximate course of the ancient wooden stairs. An artistic recreation of The Kincaid Site from the prehistoric Mississippian culture as it may have looked at its peak — CE. Mississippian culture[ edit ] Mississippian culture: The Mississippian culture which extended throughout the Ohio and Mississippi valleys and built sites throughout the Southeast, created the largest earthworks in North America north of Mexico, most notably at Cahokia , on a tributary of the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois.
Cahokia was a major regional chiefdom , with trade and tributary chiefdoms located in a range of areas from bordering the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
Kincaid Mounds has been notable for both its significant role in native North American prehistory and for the central role the site has played in the development of modern archaeological techniques. The site had at least 11 substructure platform mounds ranking fifth for mound-culture pyramids.
Artifacts from the settlement link its major habitation and the construction of the mounds to the Mississippian period, but it was also occupied earlier during the Woodland period.
The Mississippian culture developed the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex , the name which archeologists have given to the regional stylistic similarity of artifacts , iconography , ceremonies and mythology. The rise of the complex culture was based on the people's adoption of maize agriculture, development of greater population densities, and chiefdom -level complex social organization from CE to CE.
Cahokian pottery was espically fine, with smooth surfaces, very thin walls and distinctive tempering, slips and coloring. It has been suggested that their culture contributed to political thinking during the development of the later United States government. Their system of affiliation was a kind of federation, different from the strong, centralized European monarchies. The Oneida and Mohawk people had nine seats each; the Onondagas held fourteen; the Cayuga had ten seats; and the Seneca had eight.
Representation was not based on population numbers, as the Seneca tribe greatly outnumbered the others. When a sachem chief died, his successor was chosen by the senior woman of his tribe in consultation with other female members of the clan; property and hereditary leadership were passed matrilineally. Decisions were not made through voting but through consensus decision making, with each sachem chief holding theoretical veto power.
The Onondaga were the " firekeepers ", responsible for raising topics to be discussed. They occupied one side of a three-sided fire the Mohawk and Seneca sat on one side of the fire, the Oneida and Cayuga sat on the third side. For example, it is based on inherited rather than elected leadership, selected by female members of the tribes, consensus decision-making regardless of population size of the tribes, and a single group capable of bringing matters before the legislative body.
The Iroquois invaded and attacked tribes in the Ohio River area of present-day Kentucky and claimed the hunting grounds. By the midth century, they had resettled in their historical lands in present-day Kansas , Nebraska , Arkansas and Oklahoma. The Osage warred with Caddo -speaking Native Americans, displacing them in turn by the midth century and dominating their new historical territories. It hangs in the United States Capitol rotunda. After , European exploration and colonization of the Americas revolutionized how the Old and New Worlds perceived themselves.
Many of the first major contacts were in Florida and the Gulf coast by Spanish explorers. Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas From the 16th through the 19th centuries, the population of Indians sharply declined.
The most well-known example occurred in , when Sir Jeffrey Amherst , Commander-in-Chief of the Forces of the British Army , wrote praising the use of smallpox-infected blankets to "extirpate" the Indian race.
Blankets infected with smallpox were given to Native Americans besieging Fort Pitt. The effectiveness of the attempt is unclear.
Andrew White of the Society of Jesus established a mission in what is now the state of Maryland , and the purpose of the mission, stated through an interpreter to the chief of an Indian tribe there, was "to extend civilization and instruction to his ignorant race, and show them the way to heaven. Andrew's diaries report that by , a community had been founded which they named St. Mary's, and the Indians were sending their children there "to be educated among the English.
The same records report that in , "a school for humanities was opened by our Society in the centre of [Maryland], directed by two of the Fathers; and the native youth, applying themselves assiduously to study, made good progress. Maryland and the recently established school sent two boys to St. Omer who yielded in abilities to few Europeans, when competing for the honor of being first in their class.
So that not gold, nor silver, nor the other products of the earth alone, but men also are gathered from thence to bring those regions, which foreigners have unjustly called ferocious, to a higher state of virtue and cultivation. During the war the Iroquois destroyed several large tribal confederacies, including the Huron , Neutral , Erie , Susquehannock , and Shawnee , and became dominant in the region and enlarged their territory.
In , the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula founded Ursuline Academy in New Orleans , which is currently the oldest continuously operating school for girls and the oldest Catholic school in the United States.
From the time of its foundation, it offered the first classes for Native American girls, and would later offer classes for female African-American slaves and free women of color. Those involved in the fur trade tended to ally with French forces against British colonial militias. The British had made fewer allies, but it was joined by some tribes that wanted to prove assimilation and loyalty in support of treaties to preserve their territories.
They were often disappointed when such treaties were later overturned. The tribes had their own purposes, using their alliances with the European powers to battle traditional Native enemies. Some Iroquois who were loyal to the British, and helped them fight in the American Revolution , fled north into Canada. For the next eighty to one hundred years, smallpox and other diseases devastated native populations in the region.