Archaic Period (Americas)
|Periods in North American prehistory|
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Several chronologies in the archaeology of the Americas include an Archaic Period or Archaic stage etc. It is often sub-divided, for example into "Early", "Middle" and "Late", or alternatively "Lower" and "Upper", stages. The dates, and the characteristics of the period called "Archaic" vary between different parts of the Americas. Sometimes also referred to as the "Pre-Ceramic stage" or period, it followed the Lithic stage and was superseded by the Formative stage, or a Preformative stage. The typical broad use of the terms is as follows:
- In Mesoamerican chronology the Archaic runs from about 3500 BC to 1800 BC; sites include Coxcatlan Cave, Tehuacán, showing the development of maize.
- In the periodization of pre-Columbian Peru the term may not be used, replaced by the Pre-Ceramic.
- In the North American chronology the Archaic period in North America may run from about 8,000 to 1,000 BC. Other names include "Meso-Indian" and local terms.[clarification needed]
Cultures of the Archaic Stage are at some point in the development of the technologies of pottery, weaving, and developed food production; normally they are becoming reliant on agriculture, unless reliant on seafood. Social organization is developing into permanent villages. In the early parts of the period, hunting is gradually replaced by gathering, as the megafauna hunted in the Lithic stage decline.  By the end of the Archaic, in parts of South America, there is "a stable agricultural system utilized by people living in permanent villages with ceremonial architecture".
- "Method and Theory in American Archaeology" (Digitised online by Questia Media). Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips. University of Chicago. 1958. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- Gordon R. Willey and Philip Phillips (1957). Method and Theory in American Archaeology, from p. 104, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-89888-9.
- Silberman, Neil Asher, The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Volume 1, p. 151, 2012, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0199735786, 9780199735785, google books
- Willey, Gordon R. (1989). "Gordon Willey". In Glyn Edmund Daniel and Christopher Chippindale (ed.). The Pastmasters: Eleven Modern Pioneers of Archaeology: V. Gordon Childe, Stuart Piggott, Charles Phillips, Christopher Hawkes, Seton Lloyd, Robert J. Braidwood, Gordon R. Willey, C.J. Becker, Sigfried J. De Laet, J. Desmond Clark, D.J. Mulvaney. New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05051-1. OCLC 19750309.