Early Cultures: Pre-European Peoples of Wisconsin
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More About Rockshelters
Image of a Rockshelter
Rockshelter

Image of an Artist's Rendition of a Rockshelter
Artist's rendition of a rockshelter
The smaller game hunted by the Archaic hunters roamed over smaller distances than the large animals of the earlier Paleo times. Because of this, people during this time could hunt and gather in smaller territories. They still needed to move around to take advantage of seasonal resources, but they didn't have to roam over as large a territory as the Paleo people did. During this time groups were beginning to develop their own territories for hunting and gathering. They still, however, traded over large distances for particularly good stones to make tools, or perhaps for other things that have not been preserved.

Archaeologists know little about the shelters in which Archaic people lived since evidence of structures has not been found. The shelters still needed to be movable, or quickly made from local material, since people were still moving frequently. They were still probably made with hides, sticks and/or brush. Moving to sheltered areas such as caves or rockshelters during the winter provided protection from the elements.

People continued to live in small family groups as they moved to take advantage of seasonal resources. Summer camps may have consisted of 25-30 people with groups breaking into smaller segments during the winter. Heavier household goods were now being used because they could be left at a campsite that people would return to the next year. Textiles and basketry originated during this time. Grinding stones were used to process food products.














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