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.
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.
Last updated: April 14, 2015