• Dragonfly

    Russell Cave

    National Monument Alabama

Woodland Time Period

Woodland People at Russell Cave
Woodland Band Cooking After A Long Day Of Work
Billy Mack Steele
 

In Woodland times in the Southeast, settled village life grew more important as agriculture and trade with people to the north allowed more time for refinement of political and ceremonial life. The inhabitants of Russell Cave, while retaining many of the characteristics of Archaic life, were influenced by the region's religious and political developments. Significant material changes included the introduction of pottery and the bow and arrow.

 
Animal Effigy

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NPS

Trade contacts undoubtedly accounted for much of the change, but some archeologists believe that these technologies indicate the arrival of new people in the area. Domestic artifacts from the early Woodland, including the first evidence of gardening, suggest renewed use of the cave as at least a semi-permanent domicile. Later in the period the cave was used mostly as a winter hunting camp when river villages dispersed into more efficient smaller groups at the onset of cold weather.

Did You Know?

Atlatal and Spear

The atlatl, a spear thrower, was used for hunting at Russell Cave National Monument. This tool multiplies the force and distance of the spear and acts as an arm extension. The archeological evidence at this site includes deer antler hooks, deer antler handles, and stone weights.