Cultures of the Manitoba Archaic Period

The Archaic Period in Manitoba is divided into Early Archaic, a time for which little evidence of extensive settlement, is available, and the Late Archaic, when Native groups migrated to every region of the province, populations increased substantially, and numerous traditions developed in response to increasing ecological and cultural diversity.

Archaic period - diagram

Early Archaic: (6,000 - 3,500 B.C.)

The Early Archaic is poorly represented in Manitoba, perhaps because of the drought conditions that were prevalent during the time. What little evidence has been uncovered has been located mainly in the river valleys of the Plains region. Limited remains of Logan Creek and Mummy Cave complexes indicate a movement into the province from the south and west. Small side notched atlatl points are typical of the traditions. Hunting of modern bison formed the dominant subsistence base, although increasing extensive use was made of a broad spectrum of animal and plant resources.

Late Archaic (3,500 B.C. - 1 A.D.)

In contrast to the previous period, the Late Archaic is well represented in Manitoba and was probably a time of substantial in-migration and population increase that occurred with an increase in precipitation. Numerous complexes developed in many parts of the province including:

The Plains, represented by three distinct traditions, possibly indicative of an emerging cultural diversity:

Late Plains Arachaic Point Styles



Pelican Lake

The Boreal Forest, represented by

Old Copper Points

Although not formally included in the Archaic, the Subarctic and Arctic zones underwent similar types of transformations in the course of development of the PreDorset phase, also known as the Arctic Small Tools Tradition.

Around two thousand years ago the Archaic Period gave way to a new era of major technological and cultural development, known as the Woodland Period.

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