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Point Peninsula Complex

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Title: Point Peninsula Complex  
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Subject: Laurel Complex, Saugeen Complex, History of Canada, List of Hopewell sites, Point Peninsula Complex
Collection: Mound Builders (People), Point Peninsula Complex
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Point Peninsula Complex

Point Peninsula and Saugeen Complexes

The Point Peninsula Complex was an indigenous culture located in Ontario and New York from 600 BCE to 700 CE (during the Middle Woodland period).[1] Point Peninsula ceramics were first introduced into Canada around 600 BCE then spread down into parts of New England around 200 BCE.[2] Some time between 300 BCE and 1 CE Point Peninsula pottery first appeared in Maine, and "over the entire Maritime Peninsula." There is little evidence that it was derived from the earlier, thicker pottery, known as Vinette I, Adena Thick etc...[3] Point Peninsula pottery represented a new kind of technology in North America and has also been called Vinette II. Compared to existing ceramics that were thicker and less decorated this new pottery has been characterized by "superior modeling of the clay with vessels being thinner, better fired and containing finer grit temper."[4] It is not known for sure where this new pottery technology originated. The origin of this pottery is "somewhat of a problem." [5] The people are thought to have been influenced by the Hopewell traditions of the Ohio River valley. This influence seems to have ended about 250 CE, after which they no longer practiced burial ceremonialism.[6]


  • Hopewell Interaction Sphere 1
  • Point Peninsula Complex 2
    • Serpent Mounds Park 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Hopewell Interaction Sphere

The cherts. It has been suggested that the exotic goods among the burials provides evidence for inherited status differentiation among Point Peninsula groups.[6] Panpipes, which have been found in burial mounds from Florida to Minnesota, considered to be a diagnostic trait within the Hopewell inventory, appear suddenly in North America around 200 BCE,. then disappear as do certain other Hopewell traits, around 400 CE.[7] Found mostly in the United States, nine panpipes curiously appear in the LeVesconte Mound, a Point Peninsula site located in Campbellford, Ontario. Though the Hopewell interaction sphere generally is confined to the United States much of the silver found in mound artifacts, such as panpipes, actually comes from Cobalt, Ontario, far up the Ottawa River.[8]

Point Peninsula Complex

The Point Peninsula people of the Middle Woodland period lived by hunting and gathering, supplemented by agriculture. Around 900 CE, Point Peninsula artifacts in New York were replaced by Owasco culture artifacts. However, a 2011 paper by archaeologist Dr. John P. Hart argues there was no definable Owasco culture.[9] Archaeologists believe these indicated the presence of Clemson Island peoples' spreading northward and intermingling with the Point Peninsula complex through the years of 1300.

The Owasco peoples practiced different pottery techniques and were more sedentary agriculturalists than the Point Peninsula people. They cultivated a variety of types of maize, squash and eventually beans, and lived in larger villages of several hundred to a thousand people. Warfare was prevalent, as is shown by archeology. The people built fortified villages but many still died violently. Gradually smaller bands and tribes formed into larger groups. The Owasco are thought to have eventually developed into the several Iroquoian-speaking nations of Pennsylvania and New York in the present-day United States. The Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy likely formed in an effort to avoid the continual warfare of years past.[10]

Some important sites are the Rice Lake/Lower Trent River area, including the Serpent Mounds Park, Cameron's Point and LeVescounte Mounds in Prince Edward County.[11]

Serpent Mounds Park

The Serpent Mounds Park at Rice Lake was occupied during the prehistoric Middle Woodland Period. The burial mound was shaped like a giant snake.

See also


  1. ^ "Middle Woodlanmd Natives". Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  2. ^ Fiedel, Stuart (1987). "Algonquian Origins: A Problem in Archaeological-Linguistic Correlation". Archaeology of Eastern North America 15 (Fall): 5. 
  3. ^ Bourque, Bruce (2001). Twelve Thousand Years American Indians in Maine. pg. 76, 79: University of Nebraska Press. p. 368. 
  4. ^ Wright, J.V. (1999). A History of the Native People of Canada. pg. 633: Canadian Museum of Civilization. p. 1184.  
  5. ^ Wright, J.V (1972). Ontario Prehistory. pg 44: National Museums of Canada. p. 120. 
  6. ^ a b "The Archaeology of Ontario-The Middle Woodland Period". Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  7. ^ Turff, Gina (1996). A Synthesis of Middle Woodland: Master Thesis Dissertation Panpipes in Eastern North America. Peterborough,Ontario: Trent University. pp. i. 
  8. ^ Turff, Gina (1996). A Synthesis of Middle Woodland: Master Thesis Dissertation Panpipes in Eastern North America. Peterborough,Ontario: Trent University. pp. 75–77. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Miller, Randall M. (2002). Pennsylvania: a history of the Commonwealth.  
  11. ^ "Archeology in the County", Prince Edward County, Ontario, accessed 24 Feb 2010

External links

  • Radiocarbon Dating the Middle to Late Woodland Transition and Earliest Maize in Southern Ontario, University of Toronto
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