Paleo-Indian Archaic Woodland Mississippian European Contact

Mississippian Technology

Mounds, Farming, and Fishing

Mississippian technological innovations mirror the revolutionary changes in subsistence economy, works of art, and a more tightly organized and hierarchical society.

The most important Mississippian farming implement was the chert hoe. Much like today's farmers require high quality steel for their plows, Mississippian farmers used hoes fashioned from a particularly fine grained chert from southern Illinois quarries, the Mill Creek chert. The numerous hoe fragments, and small, blunt and highly polished discarded hoes bear testament to the quality of this chert for working Mississippian fields.

The Mississipian people also developed very standardized styles for arrow points. The bow-and-arrow technology had been developed toward the end of the Woodland period.

Mississippian ceramics (jars, bowls, bottles, and plates) were both visually appealing as well as technologically sophisticated and durable. The shell tempering and thin vessel walls became hallmarks of Mississippian ceramics.

Finally, on a grander scale, architectural innovations are seen in the mounds and large ceremonial lodges of larger towns and mound centers.

Paleo-Indian Archaic Woodland Mississippian European Contact