Outline of Archaeological Traditions (OAT)

The Outline of Archaeological Traditions (OAT), compiled by Peter Peregrine with the help of a Board of Advisors, is the sampling frame for eHRAF Archaeology. Only some of these traditions are currently included in eHRAF Archaeology (see traditions included). HRAF has employed two types of sampling. The first is simple random sampling from the OAT. These are identified under the column labeled “Random” in the pdf or Excel versions of the Traditions Covered List. We have also included sequences of archaeological traditions.

RegionCulture NameFromToDescriptionLocation
North AmericaEarly Paleo-Indian1220011000Nomadic peoples with an economy focused on the group hunting of pleistocene megafauna. Lived in small bands, perhaps within recognized territorial regions.Found throughout the non-glaciated regions of North America, and in the mountainous regions of Mesoamerica and South America.
North AmericaLate Paleo-Indian110006000Nomadic hunting and gathering peoples with an economy focused on big-game hunting, but including a mix of smaller game and collected foods. Lived in small bands, perhaps in recognized territories. Ends ca. 10000 BP in the region of the contemporary U.S.; somewhat later (ca 7000 BP) in the northern Plains; and ca. 6000 BP in the Sub-Arctic.Found throughout the unglaciated regions of North America and Mesoamerica except for the Arctic (see Paleo-Arctic).
North AmericaPaleo-Arctic110006000Nomadic hunters of terrestrial arctic big game.The non-glaciated arctic regions of North America.
North AmericaLate Tundra80006000Early nomadic hunter-gatherers of the western sub-arctic tundra.Aleutians, western and southwestern Alaska.
North AmericaNorthern Archaic60004000Nomadic hunter-gatherers of the western Sub-arctic.The unglaciated arctic and sub-arctic regions of North America.
North AmericaWestern Arctic Small Tool47002500Nomadic hunters with an economy focused on caribou and some sea mammals. Ancient ancestors of historic Inuit populations.Western arctic and sub-arctic regions of North America, but not central Yukon and British Columbia, where a related but temporally and geographically distinct culture, Northwest Microblade, is present.
North AmericaNorton30001000Semi-sedentary hunter / fishers.Western arctic regions of North America.
North AmericaThule2100100Prehistoric ancestors of the Inuit peoples. Nomadic hunter-gatherers living much of the year as independent nuclear families, and with an economy focused on arctic marine resources, especially sea mammals. The Dorset culture in the eastern arctic regions of North America is gradually replaced by Thule peoples beginning by 1000 BP.Western Arctic regions of North America, moving eastward beginning by 1000 BP, established across all of the North American arctic by 700 BP.
North AmericaEastern Arctic Small Tool40002700Early hunter-fishers of the eastern Arctic and Greenland.Eastern arctic regions of North America and Greenland.
North AmericaDorset2800700Semi-sedentary hunter-fishers of the eastern Arctic. Replaced by Thule peoples from the western arctic beginning by 1000 BP.Eastern arctic regions of North America and Greenland.
North AmericaShield Archaic60003000hunter-gatherers living in nomadic bands with a diverse subsistence economy.The eastern sub-arctic region of North America.
North AmericaInitial Shield Woodland3000600Seasonally nomadic hunter-gatherers with a diverse economy.The eastern sub-arctic region of North America.
North AmericaTerminal Shield Woodland600150Regionally distinctive and seasonally nomadic hunter-gatherers with a diverse economy.The eastern sub-arctic region of North America.
North AmericaNorthwest Microblade70002000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in the boreal forests of western Canada. This culture is related to the Western Arctic Small Tool culture, but is temporally and geographically distinct. May be directly ancestral to later Athapaskan speaking cultures inhabiting the same region.Northwestern Canada.
North AmericaProto-Athapaskans2000150Seasonally-sedentary hunter-gatherers of the western Subarctic.Central portions of contemporary Canadian provinces of Yukon and British Columbia and adjacent areas of central Alaska--the areas inhabited historically by Northern Athapaskans.
North AmericaEastern Early Archaic100008000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in bands with a broader economy than the Late Paleo-Indians who preceded them. Used woodworking tools and ground stone tools, and made some use of riverine resources. Overlaps with Late Paleo-Indian in many areas.Eastern North America south of the Canadian Shield.
North AmericaEastern Middle Archaic80006000Nomadic bands with a broad-spectrum hunting and gathering economy which included riverine resources and the extensive use of ground stone tools.Eastern Woodlands of the United States.
North AmericaEastern Late Archaic60003000Specialized adaptations to local resources are common among these semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers. Long-distance trade in raw shell, stone, and ochre, and some finished goods occurs as well as burial ceremonialism including mound building and grave goods.Eastern Woodlands of North America.
North AmericaEastern Early Woodland30002100Pottery-manufacturing hunter-gatherers with economies focused on localized resources. There is the beginning of a reliance on domesticated plants in some areas. Little inter-regional interaction and perhaps a strong territorial pattern is present. Represents a continuation of cultural patterns from the Eastern Late Archaic in many areas.Eastern North America south of the Canadian Shield and east of the Great Plains.
North AmericaAdena26001900Sedentary, mound-building peoples with distinctive burial ceremonialism. Interaction was apparently intense among Adena communities, in contrast with the apparent territorialism in other Early Woodland cultures. The economy is a diverse mix of hunting and gathering. Status differences appear to be present.Central Ohio River valley and adjacent regions.
North AmericaEastern Middle Woodland21001300Represents a general continuation of cultural patterns from Early Woodland in most areas, but with greater reliance on domesticates, a more focused economy overall, and some regionally distinct cultural patterns. Most areas also displayed greater political centralization than earlier cultures.Eastern North America
North AmericaHopewell21001700Politically centralized and sedentary peoples with elaborate burial ceremonialism, partly relying on domesticates by 1800 BP. There is a distinct settlement hierarchy in some areas, and extensive long-distance trade.Central Ohio River valley north to the Great Lakes and west to the Mississippi.
North AmericaNortheast Middle Woodland24001000These sedentary peoples show some similarity to Hopewell, but built effigy mounds rather than burial mounds, manufactured unique dentate-stamped pottery, and did not rely on domesticates. Rather, their economy was focused on forest resources.New York, Ontario, Quebec, New England.
North AmericaEastern Late Woodland1300500Semi-sedentary peoples with an economy focused on forest resources, but with some reliance on domesticates later in time. Most appear to have a simple and egalitarian political organization, but more complex ranked polities appear later in some areas. Somewhat of a catch-all for peoples of the Eastern Woodlands who were not influenced by regional cultural developments beginning ca. 1100 BP.Eastern Woodlands of North America.
North AmericaNortheast Late Woodland1000500Sedentary village horticulturalists, with subsistence substantially augmented by hunting and gathering forest resources.Northeastern portions of the United States and Canada south of the Canadian shield.
North AmericaMississippian1100500Sedentary, ranked or stratified, horticultural peoples living in large, planned communities in major river valleys of southeastern North America. Practiced extensive inter-regional trade and warfare. Were present during the early period of European exploration of the Southeast. Ends earlier (ca. 800 BP) in the northern range of Mississippian culture.Central Mississippi River valley from northern Illinois to the Gulf, and the Ohio River valley and south throughout southeastern North America.
North AmericaOneota1000230Sedentary or semi-sedentary peoples living in villages in riverine environments. Economy based on a mix of horticulture and hunting and gathering. Communal bison hunting was important for some communities. Political organization varied from simple village headmen to chiefs.The western Great Lakes region, south into northern Illinois and Indiana.
North AmericaFort Ancient1000200Sedentary village horticulturalists living in ranked societies with a centralized political organization.Central Ohio River valley and adjacent regions.
North AmericaProto-Iroquois950350Sedentary agriculturalists living in large, palisaded communities composed of multi-family longhouses. Ranking and political centralization is present. Ancestral to historic Iroquois populations.Western New York state and southern Ontario.
North AmericaPlains Archaic90002500Small nomadic or semi-nomadic band-level hunter-gatherers, subsisting on a seasonal round of local plant and animal resources. Bison was an important resource for some groups, but not for all Plains Archaic peoples nor for the entire Plains Archaic time period.Eastern and southern Great Plains. Some parts of this region appear to have been uninhabited for long periods of time.
North AmericaPlains Woodland2500200Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers focused on creek-valley resources. Deer and small mammals are important resources, and in some areas domesticated plants gain importance. Plains Woodland culture appears to be influenced by Eastern Woodland culture, particularly Hopewell. Pottery is first made on the Plains by these peoples.Eastern and southern Great Plains.
North AmericaCentral Plains Village1050150Semi-sedentary horticulturalists who lived in villages with large, multi-family dwellings. Cord-marked pottery is characteristic. Most villages were in river valley locations, and were occupied only part of the year. Communal bison hunts were an important aspect of subsistence for some Central Plains Village groups.Central and southern Great Plains. The central Plains seem to have been abandoned around 600 BP.
North AmericaNorthern Plains Village950150Settled village horticulturalists living in large, multi-family dwellings. Villages are located in river valleys and are sometimes fortified. Horticultural products are important to subsistence, as are deer, small game, and bison.Eastern and northeastern regions of the Great Plains.
North AmericaEarly Desert Archaic100008000Nomadic hunter-gatherers with a diverse subsistence base focused on locally available and seasonal resources.Great Basin and desert Southwest.
North AmericaMiddle Desert Archaic80001600Semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers who lived in mobile bands. Population apparently expanded over those of the Early Desert Archaic, and moved into more diverse environments. Some populations built semi-permanent villages in lakeside or riverine environments, although even these peoples ranged broadly to hunt and gather. Subsistence was diverse, and based on localized and seasonal resources.Great Basin and desert Southwest.
North AmericaMiddle–Late Desert Archaic8000150[eHRAF Archaeology combines the Middle and Late Desert Archaic traditions.]Great Basin and desert Southwest.
North AmericaFremont1600500Sedentary horticulturalists who moved into marginal horticultural environments of the eastern Great Basin replacing hunting and gathering populations there. They lived in villages with substantial, rectangular houses, made pottery, and had a subsistence based on corn.Northeastern portions of the Great Basin west of the Colorado River and north to the Great Salt Lake.
North AmericaLate Desert Archaic1600150Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, mobile bands adapted to the desert Southwest. These were the first peoples in the region to use the bow and arrow, and this apparently led to a considerable expansion of the subsistence base. These were also the first people in the region to make pottery. They are likely the direct ancestors of the region's historic Numic speakers.Desert Southwest and Great Basin.
North AmericaSan Dieguito100008000Nomadic hunter-gatherers who made unique crescent-shaped stone tools and used stones to hold down or reinforce the bases of their dwellings. Subsistence was regionally diverse, but was focused on big-game animals.Desert Southwest, Baja California, and along the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains to Oregon.
North AmericaHigh Plains Early and Middle Archaic80003000Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. The first side-notched points, pithouses, and stone circles (tent bases?) in the area are made by these people.High Plains and northwestern Great Plains region.
North AmericaHigh Plains Late Archaic30001500Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. Bison may have been an important subsistence item for these people, as communal kill sites become common; although there also appears to be great regional diversity in subsistence strategies.High Plains and northwestern Great Plains region.
North AmericaHigh Plains Late Prehistoric1500150Semi-nomadic hunting and gathering peoples. The bow and arrow appears to have been first used by these people (based on the presence of small, triangular projectile points), and subsistence practices change from a focus on communal bison kills to one with a broader range of target species and more individual hunting. Pottery is also first manufactured by these people. Somewhat arbitrary beginning date, based on the appearance of the bow and arrow.High Plains and northwestern Great Plains region.
North AmericaEarly Hohokam2000900Sedentary village horticulturalists living in large pithouse villages. They manufactured paddle-and-anvil pottery and built platform mounds and ball courts. Practiced extensive irrigation agriculture. Time frame includes two well-defined Hohokam periods, Pioneer and Colonial.Southern Arizona.
North AmericaHohokam2000500[Combines Early and Late Hohokam]Southern Arizona.
North AmericaLate Hohokam900500Sedentary pueblo-dwelling agriculturalists. By the time of Spanish exploration, most Hohokam villages appear to have been abandoned.Southern Arizona.
North AmericaEarly Mogollon20001000Sedentary rainfall horticulturalists living in villages composed of pithouses. Manufactured coiled pottery. Encompasses three major Mogollon periods, 1, 2, and 3, and is commonly broken into several branches including Mimbres, Forestdale, and San Simon.Central Arizona, New Mexico, extreme western Texas, and adjacent regions of Mexico.
North AmericaMogollon2000600[Combines Early and Late Mogollon]Central Arizona, New Mexico, extreme western Texas, and adjacent regions of Mexico.
North AmericaLate Mogollon1000600Settled rainfall horticulturalists living in large Pueblos. A variety of pottery with sophisticated designs was manufactured. Marked regional variation in architecture and artifacts. Area was abandoned by the time of the first European exploration.Central Arizona, New Mexico, extreme western Texas, and adjacent portions of Mexico.
North AmericaBasketmaker30001300Sedentary horticulturalists mostly living in small villages composed of small pithouses. Pottery is not used, but sophisticated fiber baskets are characteristic. Encompasses three recognized periods, Basketmaker I, II, and III.Northern Arizona and New Mexico, southern Colorado and Utah.
North AmericaEarly Anasazi1300700Settled horticulturalists living in villages of pithouses early in the period and in small pueblos later. Great regional variation in settlement, architecture, and artifacts, but with a general pattern of elaborate black-on-white coiled pottery. Encompasses three recognized periods, Pueblo I, II, and III, as well as several sub-cultures, including Mesa Verde, Virgin, and Kayenta.Northern Arizona and New Mexico, southern Colorado and Utah.
North AmericaLate Anasazi700450Large pueblo villages of up to several thousand rooms clustered in regional systems of 10 to 20 villages. Commonly divided into Eastern and Western Pueblo, with some separating Chaco into an entirely separate tradition. Continued into the historic period.Northern Arizona and New Mexico, southern Colorado and Utah.
North AmericaPatayan1600500Semi-sedentary horticulturalists living in small villages primarily in riverine locations. Hunting and gathering remained important to subsistence. Ancestral to historic Yuman-speaking peoples of the Colorado River region.Western Arizona, extreme southern Nevada and California.
North AmericaWindmiller80003000Riverine focused, broad-spectrum hunter-gatherers.Central valley of California.
North AmericaCosumnes30001500Sedentary or semi-sedentary village dwelling hunter-gatherers. Economy focused on riverine resources (especially fish) and acorns. Broad regional exchange of goods.Central valley of California.
North AmericaHotchkiss1500150Sedentary or semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers with economies focused on intensely harvestable localized resources such as acorns. Extensive inter-regional exchange and some status differences present.Central valley of California.
North AmericaEarly Southern California80003000Nomadic hunter-gatherers with mixed economies based on plants and shellfish and some marine mammals and fish.Coastal regions of southern California from Santa Barbara to Baja.
North AmericaLate Southern California3000150hunter-gatherers living in large, sedentary communities. Economy focused on marine resources including mammals, fish, and shellfish. Long-distance exchange and complex political structures present.Coastal regions of southern California, from Santa Barbara to Baja.
North AmericaEarly Sierra Nevada100003800Nomadic hunter-gatherers subsisting primarily on big game and diverse plant resources.The Sierra Nevada mountains in California.
North AmericaLate Sierra Nevada3800150hunter-gatherers living in villages in foothill river valleys. Some villages have populations of several hundred. Regional and inter-regional trade is practiced, and there are status differences present. War appears to be common, especially later in the tradition.The Sierra Nevada mountains of California.
North AmericaCascade80005000Semi-sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherers, with an economy focused on salmon during the Fall, and otherwise diverse.Plateau region of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the United States.
North AmericaTucaunon50002500Semi-sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherers with an economy focused on big game (deer, elk, and antelope) and salmon.Plateau region of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
North AmericaHarder2500500Sedentary or semi-sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherers living in large, multi-family pit houses. Economy focused on big game and salmon.Plateau region of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
North AmericaPiquin500150Sedentary or semi-sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherers living in large, multi-family pit houses. Economy focused on bow and arrow hunting of a variety of game, and on salmon during the fall. Ancestral to historic peoples of the region.Plateau region of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
North AmericaArchaic Oregon Coast100002000Generalized hunter-gatherers living in small, nomadic bands. Some use of marine resources, but an overall mixed economy.Coastal regions of Oregon from the Columbia River mouth to California.
North AmericaFormative Oregon Coast2000150Sedentary or semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers living in coastal villages and subsisting largely on marine resources.Coastal regions of Oregon from the Columbia River mouth to California.
North AmericaEarly Northwest Coast95005500Localized semi-sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherers with an economy focused on marine resources. Diverse local cultural traditions.Coastal regions of northwestern North America from Alaska to Oregon.
North AmericaMiddle Northwest Coast55001500Large localized populations of hunter-fisher-gatherers with economies focused on marine resources. Considerable inter-regional interaction.Coastal regions of northwestern North America from Alaska to Oregon.
North AmericaLate Northwest Coast1500200Large villages of hunter-fisher-gatherers with an economy focused on marine resources. Status differences and a chiefdom form of political organization is present.Coastal regions of northwestern North America from Alaska to Oregon.
North AmericaAleutian6000250Sedentary hunter-fishers living in small villages with an economy focused on fish and marine mammals, and manufacturing unique chipped stone and bone tools.Aleutian Islands.
North AmericaOcean Bay80004000Semi-sedentary hunters with an economy focused on marine mammals.Kodiak Island and adjacent coastal areas.
North AmericaKodiak4000700Semi-sedentary hunters with an economy focused on marine mammals. Had unique ground stone and bone tool industries.Kodiak Islands and adjacent coastal regions.
Middle America and the CaribbeanTrincheras3000450Sedentary or semi-sedentary horticulturalists of the desert and coastal regions of northwest Mexico. Interacted with pueblo regions of the southwest U.S. and may have traded Pacific shell with them.Northwestern Mexico (Sonora region).
Middle America and the CaribbeanHuatabampo1800500Sedentary or semi-sedentary horticulturalists of the coastal and desert regions of the Sonora region of northwestern Mexico.Northwestern Mexico (Sonora region).
Middle America and the CaribbeanCoahuila8000500Nomadic, desert-dwelling hunter-gatherers with a very low population density.Northeastern Mexico, southern Texas.
Middle America and the CaribbeanEarly Mesoamerican Archaic96007000Nomadic hunter-gatherers subsisting on localized, seasonal resources.Mesoamerica.
Middle America and the CaribbeanHighland Mesoamerican Archaic70004000Semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers with some domesticated plants used seasonally. Reliance on domesticates increases during this tradition, as does sedentism.Highland Mesoamerica.
Middle America and the CaribbeanLowland Mesoamerican Archaic70003800Semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers with some domesticated plants used seasonally. Reliance on domesticates increases during this tradition, as does sedentism.Lowland Mesoamerica in Belize and Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanHighland Mesoamerican Early Preclassic40002600Sedentary village horticulturalists with a simple, decentralized political organization.Highland Mesoamerica.
Middle America and the CaribbeanHighland Mesoamerican Late Preclassic26001600Sedentary village horticulturalists living in politically centralized societies. Some urban centers are present late in this tradition. Ranking and / or stratification is present.Highland Mesoamerica.
Middle America and the CaribbeanPreclassic Maya38001850Sedentary horticulturalists living in villages and small cities. Political centralization increases during the period. Ranking and / or stratification is present.Lowland Mesoamerica in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.
Middle America and the CaribbeanOlmec34002100Sedentary horticulturalists of the Gulf Coast. Political and religious centers present. Unique iconography and artifact styles appear and spread across central Mesoamerica.Gulf Coast of Mexico east of Veracruz to near the southern edge of Yucatan.
Middle America and the CaribbeanWest Mexico Classic18001100Regional states of highly varying size and political centralization, but with widely shared iconography and artifact styles.Western Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanSouthern Mexican Highlands Classic17001300Large, regional states of highland Mexico.Valley of Oaxaca and surrounding highland valleys of southern Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanCentral Mexico Classic21501350Large, regional states of highland Mexico.Valley of Mexico and surrounding highland valleys in north-central Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanGulf Coast Classic2100800Localized states with a common iconography and artifact style.Gulf Coast of Mesoamerica.
Middle America and the CaribbeanClassic Maya21001100Localized but interacting states based on sophisticated lowland agriculture.Lowland Mesoamerica in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Middle America and the CaribbeanPostclassic Maya1100400Small militaristic states.Lowland Mesoamerica in Honduras, Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala.
Middle America and the CaribbeanWest Mexico Postclassic1100480Small, militaristic regional states, many unified by the Tarascan empire.Western Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanCentral Mexico Postclassic1300479Large regional states which conquered and unified many smaller city-states in highland Mexico.Central highland Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanSouthern Mexican Highlands Postclassic1300430Small, militaristic regional states.Valley of Oaxaca and surrounding highland valleys of southern Mexico.
Middle America and the CaribbeanEarly Caribbean30001000Sedentary horticulturalists maintaining a diverse economy including collected plants, fish, and shellfish. Manufactured the first pottery in the region.Coastal Colombia and Venezuela, islands of the West Indies.
Middle America and the CaribbeanLate Caribbean1000500Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in politically centralized societies with ranking or stratification.Coastal Colombia and Venezuela, islands of the West Indies.
Middle America and the CaribbeanCoclé2000400Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in large villages with a complex political organization, likely a chiefdom.Southern Panama.
Middle America and the CaribbeanChiriquí1200500Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in large villages with a complex political organization, likely a chiefdom.Southwestern Panama, southern Costa Rica.
Middle America and the CaribbeanPaya1500500Semi-sedentary horticulturalists living in large villages, some with mounds reminiscent of the Maya region.Eastern Nicaragua, eastern Honduras.
Middle America and the CaribbeanNicoya3600500Sedentary horticulturalists living in large villages with centralized political organization.Western Nicaragua, northwestern Costa Rica.
South AmericaOld South American Hunting-Collecting130009000Nomadic hunters with a focus on cervids, camelids, and ground-dwelling birds.Andean region.
South AmericaOld Amazonian Collecting-Hunting110007000Nomadic food collectors and hunters of lowland South America.Amazon basin.
South AmericaLate Andean Hunting-Collecting90007000hunter-gatherers showing marked seasonal migration between highland and coastal sites. Restricted to western Argentina by 7000 BP.Andes region, highland Colombia and Venezuela, western Argentina.
South AmericaEarly Northwest South American Littoral90005500Nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples with an economy focused on fish and shellfish. Lack chipped stone projectile points.Coastal regions of Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama.
South AmericaLate Northwest South American Littoral55003000Nomadic or semi-nomadic populations with an economy focused on fish and shellfish, but including the use of diverse plant resources.Coastal regions of Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela. Islands of the West Indies.
South AmericaEarly Amazonian70002000hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Amazon basin.
South AmericaLate Amazonian200050Sedentary horticulturalists living in large communal structures. Rapidly expands across the Amazon basin from west to east.Amazon basin.
South AmericaEarly Paraná-Pampean70001500Nomadic hunter-fisher-gatherers of the Pampas and Patagonia,Paraná-Pampas region.
South AmericaLate Paraná-Pampean1500500Hunting-fishing-gathering of localized resources is important for all these peoples. Some practice horticulture as well (Lower Paraná River region). Sedentism increases and pottery manufacturing spreads north to south across the region.Paraná-Pampas region.
South AmericaMagellan-Fuegan630050Nomadic, extended-family microbands subsisting off sea resources, particularly mammals and shellfish.Tierra del Fuego.
South AmericaEarly East Brazilian Uplands110005000Nomadic hunter-gatherers subsisting on diverse upland resources. Lasts until the historic period in remote areas, but not on the coast or major rivers.Brazilian uplands.
South AmericaLate East Brazilian Uplands500050Semi-nomadic peoples intensively using localized resources.Brazilian uplands.
South AmericaSambaquí7000500Semi-sedentary hunter-fisher-gatherers subsisting primarily on shellfish.Coastal areas of northeastern South America.
South AmericaTupi1500150Sedentary or semi-sedentary lowland horticulturalists.Southeastern Brazil lowlands, but spreads rapidly northward.
South AmericaEarly Chibcha35001200Sedentary horticulturalists living in small villages. Political centralization and status differences present in some areas. Ceremonial centers present in some areas.Southern Central America and western Colombia.
South AmericaLate Chibcha1200500Sedentary village horticulturalists living in complex, "regionalized" polities. Stratification present in some areas. Fishing important in some areas. Sophisticated polychrome pottery and figurines, and metalworking present.Southern Central America, western Colombia.
South AmericaEcuadorian Coast Regional Development23001200Centralized polities with large villages containing platform mounds and ceremonial buildings. Manufactured unique pottery and figurines.Central coast of Ecuador from La Plata Island north to the Manabí Coast.
South AmericaManteño1500500Complex, centralized polities with large towns and large populations. Inter-polity interaction continuous. Stone architecture was present including ceremonial buildings and palaces. Complex metallurgy is present.Coastal Ecuador.
South AmericaEcuadorian Highlands3500500Complex horticulturalists living in large communities with house platforms and burial mounds. Ranking and perhaps stratification present. Manufactured coarse pottery but highly sophisticated metal objects.Guayas River basin and surrounding highland regions of Ecuador.
South AmericaCoastal Andean Archaic70003800Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers with some domesticated crops. Heavy reliance on fish and shellfish, but highly seasonal in their exploitation.Pacific coast of South America from southern Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaHighland Andean Early Archaic70004500Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, but with domesticated llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs and some domesticated plants.High Andes from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaHighland Andean Late Archaic45003500Sedentary village dwellers, relying in part on domesticated plants and animals supplemented by seasonal exploitation of wild resources.High Andes from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaHighland Andean Archaic70003500[eHRAF Archaeology combines the Highland Andean Early and Late Archaic traditions.]High Andes from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaCoastal Andean Early Formative38003000Sedentary agriculturalists with domesticated animals, living in large villages and ceremonial centers on rivers near the Pacific coast. Ranking or stratification is present, as is pottery manufacture.Pacific coast of South America from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaCoastal Andean Late Formative30002200Sedentary agriculturalists with domesticated animals and a stratified sociopolitical system, living in large communities with ceremonial centers.Pacific coast of South America from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaHighland Andean Formative35002200Sedentary agriculturalists with a reliance on maize and domesticated animals, living in large villages and ceremonial centers. Ranking or stratification is present, as is pottery manufacture and metallurgy.High Andes from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaChavín28002200Sedentary maize agriculturalists with a complex symbol system and ideology. Large, highly decorated and complex ceremonial centers are present. Stone architecture and pyramidal construction. Ranking or stratification is present. Distinct differences between coastal and highland regions.Coast and highlands of central and northern Peru.
South AmericaAndean Regional Development22001300Localized but interacting states with complex ideologies, symbol systems, and social forms. Highly developed ceramics, metallurgy, and weaving.Andes region from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaMoche19501200A sedentary agricultural kingdom.Coastal regions of northern Peru.
South AmericaNazca22001200A sedentary agricultural kingdom.Coastal regions of southern Peru.
South AmericaTiahuanaco1600900A sedentary agricultural empire of the highland Andes.Lake Titicaca region of highland Peru. Expands into western Bolivia and northern Chile by 1400 BP.
South AmericaHuari1200900A sedentary agricultural empire which expanded to encompass virtually all of the central and northern Andes.Andes from southern Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaAndean Regional States900530Localized but interacting states with complex ideologies, symbol systems, and social forms. Highly developed ceramics, metallurgy, and weaving.Andes from Ecuador to northern Chile.
South AmericaChimu1050480A sedentary agricultural kingdom.Northern coastal regions of Peru.
South AmericaAymara Kingdoms900530Related and interacting sedentary agricultural kingdoms of the high Andes.Andes in southern Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile.
South AmericaInka800468The historic Empire of Tiwantinsuyu.Andes region from Ecuador to northern Chile and Argentina.
South AmericaSouth Andean Ceramic2500500Sedentary agricultural and fishing communities on the coast, agricultural in the highlands. Politically centralized but with great regional variation. Heavily influenced by the central Andean civilizations. Inka influence becomes marked by 500 BPSouthern Andes from southern Bolivia through central Chile.
EuropeMousterian20000040000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small bands. Associated with Homo neanderthalensisEurope and the Middle East.
EuropeAurignacian4000025000Nomadic big-game hunters. Manufactured bone tools and portable art.Europe.
EuropePerigordian3000022000Nomadic big-game hunters. Spreads across Europe by 25,000 BP.Europe.
EuropeSolutrean2200018000Nomadic big-game hunters. Manufactured distinctive "laurel" and "willow" leaf projectile points.Southern France and Spain.
EuropeMagdelenian1800011000Nomadic big-game hunters.Western Europe.
EuropeEastern European Mesolithic110006000Semi-nomadic hunters, fishers, and gatherers.Eastern Europe from central Russia to the Urals.
EuropeWestern European Mesolithic110006000Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers with an economy focused on deer, elk, and other large game animals.Northern and western Europe.
EuropeSoutheastern European Mesolithic110008000Semi-sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers with an economy focused on marine resources. Collected grains also important.Italy, Greece, Anatolia, Islands of the Mediterranean.
EuropeSoutheastern European Neolithic80006500Sedentary agriculturalists with supplementary animal husbandry living in small villages.Greece, Turkey, and southern Italy, Islands of the Mediterranean.
EuropeImpressed Ware68006000Sedentary agriculturalists with supplementary animal husbandry living in small villages.Northern coast of the Mediterranean.
EuropeLinear Pottery65006000Sedentary agriculturalists with supplemental animal husbandry living in villages composed of longhouses. Social differentiation is present.Northern and western Europe.
EuropeEuropean Megalithic60004500Sedentary agriculturalists with supplementary animal husbandry living in small villages.Western Europe.
EuropeCorded Ware60003800Sedentary agriculturalists with supplementary animal husbandry living in small villages.Central and eastern Europe.
EuropeBell Beaker45003800The Bell Beaker Tradition includes sedentary agriculturalists with supplemental animal husbandry living in the temperate areas of Western Europe between roughly 4500 BP and 3800 BP. The Bell Beaker peoples lived in small villages and developed a chiefdom form of political organizationWestern Europe.
EuropeEuropean Early Bronze Age47003800Sedentary agriculturalists with supplementary animal husbandry living in small villages.Central and eastern Europe.
EuropeWestern European Earlier Bronze Age38003300Sedentary agriculturalists with supplemental animal husbandry living in villages with a ranked form of social organization.Western Europe.
EuropeWestern European Late Bronze Age33002800Sedentary agriculturalists with supplemental animal husbandry living in villages, some very large. Increasing social differentiation is present but with great regional diversity.Western Europe.
EuropeWest-Central European Early Iron Age28002400Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms and simple states.Western and central Europe.
EuropeWest-Central European Late Iron Age24002033Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms and simple states. Ends in the historic period with the expansion of the Roman Empire under Julius Cesar and Augustus.Western and central Europe.
EuropeNortheastern European Bronze Age4000-38002800-2700Sedentary agriculturalists with supplemental animal husbandry living in villages, some very large. Increasing social differentiation is present but with great regional diversity.Central and eastern Europe.
EuropeNortheastern European Iron Age28002000Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms and simple states, including the Dacians. Ends in the historic period with the expansion of the Roman Empire.Eastern Europe north and west of the Carpathians.
EuropeEast-Central European Iron Age28002000Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms and simple states, including the Thracians. Ends in the historic period with the expansion of the Roman Empire.East-Central Europe including the southern Danube and Carpathian basins.
EuropeSoutheastern European Early Chalcolithic65005500Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages with a ranked or simple stratified form of social organization.Greece, Turkey, and southern Italy, Islands of the eastern Mediterranean.
EuropeSoutheastern Europe Late Chalcolithic55004500Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages with a stratified form of social organization.Greece, Turkey, and Southern Italy, Islands of the eastern Mediterranean.
EuropeSoutheastern European Bronze Age51003100Sedentary agriculturalists living in city-states with a complex bureaucracy and market system. Ends in the historic period with the rise of Greco-Roman civilization.Greece, Turkey, and southern Italy, Islands of the eastern Mediterranean.
EuropeScandinavian Neolithic60003800Semi-sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers with supplemental agriculture and animal husbandry in some areas. Lived in small villages with some social differentiation.Scandinavia.
EuropeScandinavian Bronze Age38002500Settled agriculturalists living in villages, some large. Political organization in the form of complex chiefdoms and simple states. Evidence of both craft specialization and social stratification in some areas.Scandinavia.
EuropeRoman Iron Age20331500Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms and simple states. Continues into the historic period.Northern parts of western Europe.
EuropeScandinavian Iron Age25001500Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms and simple states. Continues into the historic period.Extreme northern Europe.
EuropeRomano-British21001500Sedentary agriculturalists living in simple states. Continues into the historic period.British Islands.
EuropeEurasian Steppe Nomad65004000Semi-nomadic pastoralists.Steppes north of the Caucasus and south of the Urals.
AsiaZhoukoudianian800000600000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small bands. Associated with Homo erectus.Eastern Asia.
AsiaEast Asian Middle Paleolithic20000040000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small bands. Associated with archaic Homo sapiens.Eastern Asia.
AsiaSiberian Mousterian13000042000Nomadic hunter-gatherers of Pleistocene big game. Associated with Homo neanderthalensis.Southwest and south-central Siberia.
AsiaCaucasian Neolithic80006500Horticulturalists and pastoralists living in small villages.Caucasus region.
AsiaCaucasian Chalcolithic65005500Sedentary agriculturalists and pastoralists living in small villages with a ranked or stratified social organization.Caucasus region.
AsiaCaucasian Bronze Age56002700Sedentary agriculturalists and pastoralists living in complex chiefdoms or simple states. Region conquered by Scythians ca. 2700 BP.Caucasus region.
AsiaOrdosian400008500hunter-gatherers living in small nomadic bands.Middle and lower Yellow River valley and northern China plains.
AsiaPeiligang85006200Sedentary horticulturalists living in small villages with some social differentiation.Middle and lower Yellow River valley, including the northern China plain.
AsiaSoutheast China Early Neolithic90005500Sedentary horticulturalists living in small egalitarian villages.Southeastern China.
AsiaYangshao70004500Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages. Socio-political organization possibly based on ranked descent groups.Middle Yellow River valley.
AsiaDawenkou70005000Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages. Socio-political organization possibly based on ranked descent groups.Lower Yellow River valley.
AsiaHongshan70004500Sedentary village agriculturalists with a socio-political organization possibly based on ranked descent groups. Large public structures suggest a complex religious / ritual system.Manchuria, northeast China.
AsiaDaxi70004500Sedentary village-dwelling agriculturalists.Central Yangtze River valley.
AsiaMajiabang70005000Village-dwelling rice agriculturalists.Lower Yangtze River valley.
AsiaLongshan45003900Sedentary agriculturalists living in complex chiefdoms or simple states. Spreads across north China and coastal regions of central China by 4000 BP.Yellow River valley and northern China plains.
AsiaShang39003100Complex state society with specialized communities, military, and political bureaucracy.Yellow River valley.
AsiaEarly Xiajiadian45003600Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages. Socio-political organization based on ranked descent groups.Northeast China.
AsiaLate Xiajiadian36002500Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages. Socio-political organization based on ranked descent groups.Northeast China.
AsiaSoutheast China Late Neolithic55002500Sedentary agriculturalists living in small villages.Southeastern China.
AsiaChulumn80004000Sedentary agriculturalists living in small, egalitarian villages.Korean peninsula.
AsiaMumum40002300Sedentary agriculturalists living in moderate to large villages with some social differentiation.Korean peninsula.
AsiaJapanese Upper Paleolithic2000012000Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers.Islands of Japan.
AsiaJomon120002500Sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers living in small, egalitarian villages.Islands of Japan.
AsiaYayoi25001500Sedentary rice agriculturalists living in large, politically centralized villages, with class stratification. Spreads south to north. Continues into the historic period.Islands of Japan.
AsiaSiberian Early Upper Paleolithic4200028000Nomadic big game hunters.Southern Siberia to northern Mongolia.
AsiaSiberian Middle Upper Paleolithic2800019000Nomadic big game hunters.Southern and subarctic Siberia to northern Mongolia.
AsiaSiberian Late Upper Paleolithic1900010000Nomadic big game hunters.Southern and subarctic Siberia to northern Mongolia.
AsiaAmur Paleolithic3000012000Semi-sedentary, broad-spectrum hunter-gatherers.Amur River basin and northern Manchuria.
AsiaAmur Neolithic and Bronze Age120001500Semi-sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers living in large egalitarian bands. Continues into the historic period.Amur River basin and northern Manchuria.
AsiaBaikal Neolithic and Bronze Age80003000Semi-sedentary hunter / fishers living in large egalitarian bands. Continues into the historic period.Forested areas north of Mongolia and south of Siberia.
AsiaSiberian Neolithic and Bronze Age100002100Nomadic hunter / fishers living in small egalitarian bands.Forests and tundra of Siberia.
AsiaSiberian Protohistoric2100500Nomadic hunter / fisher / gatherers living in small egalitarian bands. Continues into the historic period.Tundra and forests of northern Siberia.
AsiaHolocene Stone Age of Northeast Asia105003000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in egalitarian bands.Chuckchi peninsula and Okhotsk coast.
AsiaKamchatka Mesolithic70004000Sedentary or semi-sedentary fishers and hunters of marine mammals.The Kamchatka peninsula.
AsiaTarya Neolithic40002500Sedentary or semi-sedentary fishers and hunters of marine mammals.The Kamchatka peninsula.
AsiaOld Itel'man2500500Sedentary or semi-sedentary fishers and hunters of marine mammals. Ancestral to the historic peoples of Kamchatka.The Kamchatka peninsula.
AsiaKelteminar80004000Sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers with some supplemental agriculture, and living in egalitarian villages.Steppes and forests of Central Asia.
AsiaAndronovo40002800Sedentary agriculturalists and pastoralists living in small villages with a ranked or stratified social organization.Steppes and grasslands of central Asia.
AsiaEarly Nomad28002300Nomadic pastoralists living in stratified societies.Steppes of east Central and Eastern Asia.
AsiaLate Nomad23001500Nomadic pastoralists living in complex state societies. Continues into the historic period.Steppes of eastern Central and Eastern Asia.
AsiaScythian-Sarmatian40001700Nomadic and militaristic pastoralists living in a state society.Steppes north of the Black Sea from the Don River to the Urals.
AsiaEastern Central Asia Paleolithic400006000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small egalitarian bands.Western China, Tibet, Himalayan region.
AsiaEastern Central Asia Neolithic and Bronze Age60001500Semi-nomadic pastoralist / hunters, some sedentary communities in river valleys, but all small and egalitarian.Western China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
AsiaSoutheast Asia Upper Paleolithic4000010000Nomadic hunter-gatherers with an economy based on hunting and shellfish. Most known occupations in caves or rock shelters. Exists only in Island Southeast Asia after 12000 BP.Island and mainland Southeast Asia from India to China.
AsiaHoabinhian100004000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living off shellfish, small game, and diverse plant foods.Southeast Asia.
AsiaSoutheast Asia Neolithic and Early Bronze65002500Sedentary and mobile horticulturalists living in farmsteads, hamlets, and some villages. Raised rice, pigs, tubers, and fruit trees. Developed metallurgy by ca. 3800 BPMainland and island Southeast Asia.
AsiaIsland Southeast Asia Late Prehistoric25001500Sedentary agriculturalists living in hamlets or small villages. Metal tools, traction animals (cattle and buffalo), and irrigation agriculture used. Increasing social stratification. Contact with states of India and China. Probably ancestral to Lapita.Island (and southern mainland) Southeast Asia.
AsiaMainland Southeast Asia Late Prehistoric25001500Settled village agriculturalists, using metal tools, traction animals, and irrigation, and living in chiefdoms or incipient states. Contact with Indian and Chinese states.Mainland Southeast Asia.
AsiaSouth Asian Upper Paleolithic300007000Mobile hunter / fisher / gatherers.The South Asian subcontinent.
AsiaSouth Asian Microlithic70003500Semi-sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers living in small hamlets or villages. Some groups practiced animal husbandry and horticulture later in the tradition.The South Asian subcontinent, retreating into non-riverine settings through time.
AsiaIndus Neolithic70005000Sedentary village agriculturalists growing wheat and barley. Social differentiation present. First pottery made by 7000 BP.Indus River valley and tributaries.
AsiaGanges Neolithic40002500Settled village agriculturalists living in small-scale societies with minimal social differentiation.Ganges River valley and tributaries.
AsiaSouth Indian Chalcolithic50003100Settled agriculturalists living in small villages with minimal social differentiation.The Indian subcontinent south of the Ganges River valley.
AsiaEarly Indus50004600Settled agriculturalists, some living in large villages and/or regional centers.Indus River valley and tributaries.
AsiaMature Indus46003900Settled agriculturalists living in complex urban settings with writing, elaborate craft technology, and large public works.Indus River valley and tributaries.
AsiaCentral Indian Neolithic50003100Settled village agriculturalists living in regionally-distinct, stratified societies.Central Indian subcontinent south of the Thar Desert, west of the central Ganges River, and north of the Ghat Mountains.
AsiaGangetic India25002000Urban civilization with writing, coinage, political and religious bureaucracy, craft specialists and artisans, and markets. Time range covers only the protohistoric period, the tradition continues as the historic Gangetic civilization.Ganges River valley and its tributaries.
AsiaVedic39002000Sedentary agriculturalists and semi-sedentary pastoralists living in large villages and regionally-distinct stratified polities. Time range only covers prehistoric period, the tradition continues into the historic period.The Indus River valley and its tributaries, extending eastward to the Ganges and south into the Thar Desert.
AsiaCentral Indian Iron Age31002100Settled village agriculturalists living in regionally-distinct, stratified societies. Time range only covers prehistoric period, the tradition continues into the historic period.Central Indian subcontinent south of the Thar Desert, west of the central Ganges River, and north of the Ghat Mountains.
AsiaSouth Indian Iron Age31002100Settled village agriculturalists living in regionally-distinct, stratified societies. Time range only covers prehistoric period, the tradition continues into the historic period.Southern Indian subcontinent, between the two ranges of the Ghat mountains.
OceaniaLapita35002000Semi-sedentary colonizers of Oceania with an economy based on marine resources. Social organization likely based on ranked clans. First pottery manufacturers in Oceania.Island Melanesia, Coastal New Guinea, Western Polynesia.
OceaniaFijian2100200Ancestral to historic Fiji culture. Politically centralized and sedentary horticulturalists with plant foods supplemented by pigs and fish. Political centralization appears to increase through time. Fortifications are built by 900 BP. Ceramics change from impressed to incised by 900 BP.Fiji Islands.
OceaniaSamoan2000200Politically centralized and sedentary horticulturalists living in coastal communities. Plant foods supplemented by pigs and fish. Ancestral to historic Samoan culture. Political centralization appears to increase through time, as to large ceremonial constructions increase. Completely aceramic.Samoan Islands.
OceaniaTongan2000200Politically centralized and sedentary horticulturalists living in coastal communities. Plant foods supplemented by pigs and fish. Ancestral to historic Tongan culture. Political centralization appears to increase through time, as to large ceremonial constructions increase. Completely aceramic.Tongan Islands.
OceaniaMarquesan1700175Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in chiefdoms. Ancestral to historic Marquesan culture. May be ancestral to most eastern Polynesian cultures.Marquesas Islands.
OceaniaHawaiian800200Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in complex chiefdoms. Ancestral to historic Hawaiian culture. First clear evidence of agriculture at 800 BP, first clear evidence of chiefs at 600 BP. Political centralization appears to increase through time.Hawaiian Islands.
OceaniaTahitian1400200Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in complex chiefdoms. Ancestral to historic Tahitian culture.Society Islands.
OceaniaEaster Island1500400Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in a complex chiefdom. Collapsed in the late prehistoric period. Sophisticated religious/ritual system prompted the construction of complex structures and massive stone effigies.Easter Island.
OceaniaMaori900200Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in complex chiefdoms. Ancestral to the historic Maori.New Zealand.
OceaniaNew Guinea Neolithic10000100Sedentary horticulturalists and pig herders living in small egalitarian communities. Ancestral to historic peoples of highland New Guinea.Central highlands of New Guinea.
OceaniaMelanesian2500200Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in egalitarian or ranked societies, and with a strongly marine-oriented lifestyle. Ancestral to the historic peoples of Melanesia. Expands throughout Melanesia by 3500 BP.Islands of Melanesia.
OceaniaMicronesia3000200Sedentary horticulturalists and fishers living in small, egalitarian or ranked villages on the tiny islands of Micronesia. A strongly marine-oriented lifestyle. Ancestral to the historic peoples of Micronesia.Islands of Micronesia.
OceaniaEarly Australian500007000Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian bands.Australia, New Guinea, and Melanesia.
OceaniaLate Australian7000200Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian bands. Ancestral to historic Aboriginal peoples. Marked by a change in technology towards small flake tools, and by apparently greater status differences and more elaborate individual / group ceremonialism.Australia.
AfricaOldowan23000001600000Nomadic hunter / gatherer / scavengers living in small bands. Associated with Homo habilis and early Homo erectus.Eastern Africa.
AfricaAcheulean1800000200000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small bands. Associated with Homo erectus.Africa and Western Europe.
AfricaSouthern and Eastern Africa Middle Stone Age20000040000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small bands. Associated with archaic Homo sapiens.Africa.
AfricaMiddle Paleolithic Egypt23000045000Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities. Associated with archaic Homo sapiens.Nile valley in Egypt and westward in northern Egypt and Sudan.
AfricaAterian1000008000Nomadic hunter-gatherers, focused on big game, and living in small, egalitarian bands.northern Africa
AfricaLate Pleistocene–Early Holocene Maghreb200007500Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Mediterranean coast of northern Africa.
AfricaSouthern Mediterranean Neolithic75004000Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers with some domesticated livestock (sheep, pigs, and cattle), and living in small, egalitarian communities.Mediterranean coast of north Africa
AfricaNeolithic of Capsian75004000Nomadic or semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers with some domesticated livestock (sheep, pigs, and cattle), and living in small, egalitarian communities.northern Africa
AfricaNorth African Protohistoric40003000Sedentary or semi-sedentary pastoralists and agriculturalists living in large villages with a chiefdom political organization. Historic period follows.northern Africa
AfricaSaharo-Sudanese Neolithic80003000Semi-nomadic pastoralists, some with supplementary agriculture, living in small communities. Desertification begins late in the period and climaxes by 3000 BP. Desert areas become virtually uninhabited.Sahara region of northern Africa.
AfricaSouthern and Eastern Africa Later Stone Age400002000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian bands.Eastern and southern Africa.
AfricaWilton100002000Nomadic hunter/gatherers living in small, egalitarian bands. Some reliance on marine resources in coastal areas.Cape region of southern Africa.
AfricaSouth African Iron Age2000500Sedentary agriculturalists and pastoralists living in villages, some large. Late in the tradition there is evidence of regional chiefdoms or states developing. Continues into the historic period.Southern Africa.
AfricaEast African Microlithic200005000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.northeast Africa and the Horn
AfricaEast African Neolithic50001200Semi-sedentary pastoralists and agriculturalists living in small villages, most integrated into larger, regional chiefdoms and states. Ends in the historic period.northeastern Africa and the Horn
AfricaEarly Khartoum100005700Semi-sedentary or sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers living in small villages.Nile valley in Nubia and the Sudan.
AfricaKhartoum Neolithic57003550Sedentary pastoralists and agriculturalists living in villages, integrated into regional chiefdoms or states, particularly late in the tradition. Integrated into Egyptian empire by the end of the time period.Nile valley in Nubia and the Sudan.
AfricaLate Paleolithic Egypt450007000Village-dwelling hunter/fisher/gatherers with an egalitarian or ranked form of social organization.Upper Nile valley in Egypt.
AfricaUpper Egypt Predynastic70005000Sedentary, village-dwelling agriculturalists and fishers living in regional chiefdoms or simple states.Upper Nile valley in Egypt.
AfricaLower Egypt Predynastic70005000Sedentary, village-dwelling agriculturalists and fishers living in regional chiefdoms or simple states.Lower Nile valley in Egypt.
AfricaEarly Dynastic Egypt50004575Sedentary, emerging state with a politico-religious hierarchy.Nile valley in Egypt.
AfricaProtohistoric Egypt45753552Powerful, expanding state with a complex bureaucracy, politico-religious hierarchy, and military organization. Includes the Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period, and Middle Kingdom.Nile valley in Egypt.
AfricaTshitolian100004000Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Congo basin.
AfricaCentral African Neolithic40002000Settled village agriculturalists with a continuing reliance on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Cereal agriculture moves from north to south during this time period.Congo basin.
AfricaCentral African Iron Age2000500Settled agriculturalists living in large villages.Congo basin.
AfricaWest African Late Stone Age400004000Nomadic or semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Western Africa south of the Sahara and north of the Congo basin.
AfricaWest African Neolithic40002000Semi-sedentary agriculturalists living in small communities.Western Africa south of the Sahara and north of the Congo basin.
AfricaWest African Iron Age25001200Sedentary agriculturalists living in small to moderate communities, some linked into regional chiefdoms or simple states.Western Africa south of the Sahara and north of the Congo basin.
AfricaWest African Regional Development1200630Sedentary agriculturalists living in communities of varying size, some very large, and linked into regional chiefdoms and states. Time range covers only the period before European contact, but the tradition continues into the historic period.Western Africa south of the Sahara and north of the Congo basin.
AfricaNachikufan160002000Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Zambia, Luangwa valley, western Turkana region.
Middle EastEpipaleolithic4000010500Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Levant and Mesopotamia
Middle EastNatufian1200010500Sedentary hunter-gatherers with supplemental agriculture living in small egalitarian communities.Levant
Middle EastAceramic Neolithic105007500Settled village agriculturalists, some living in very large villages, some with social differentiation or stratification present. Ends ca. 8000 BP in the Levant.Levant and Mesopotamia
Middle EastCeramic Neolithic80006100Settled village agriculturalists with animal husbandry. Some very large villages with stratified social organization present. Begins ca. 7500 BP in Mesopotamia.Levant and Mesopotamia
Middle EastChalcolithic61005500Settled village agriculturalists living in complex societies with craft specialists, markets, and social stratification.Levant
Middle EastEarly Bronze Age55004000Settled agriculturalists living in large villages and cities with chiefdom or simple state forms of political organization.Levant
Middle EastMiddle Bronze Age40003595Settled agriculturalists living in large villages and cities with state forms of political organization. Ends in the historic period with the expansion of the New Babylonian empire.Levant
Middle EastHalafian75007000Settled village agriculturalists. Some villages are very large. Good evidence of social stratification. Replaced by Ubaid ca. 7000 BP.Northern Mesopotamia
Middle EastUbaid75006000Settled agriculturalists living in large villages with temple complexes and social stratification. Moves from south to cover all of Mesopotamia by 7000 BP.Mesopotamia.
Middle EastLate Chalcolithic Mesopotamia60005100Settled agriculturalists living in city-states. Expands northward during the time period.Mesopotamia.
Middle EastJemdet Nasr51004900Continuation of Uruk, but with more unified political organization between the city-states.Southern Mesopotamia.
Middle EastEarly Dynastic Mesopotamia49004334Unification of Mesopotamian city states into the Sumerian empire by the end of the tradition.Mesopotamia.
Middle EastAkkadian43344112Expanding, militaristic empire. Conquers the Sumerians and expands north and west.Mesopotamia.
Middle EastArabian Upper Paleolithic4000011000Nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian bands.Western parts of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastEarly Arabian Pastoral110005750Nomadic pastoralists with supplemental hunting and gathering.Arid regions of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastMiddle Arabian Pastoral57504200Nomadic pastoralists living in small communities.Arid regions of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastLate Arabian Pastoral42003595Nomadic pastoralists living in small communities. Ends in the historic period with the rise of the New Babylonian empire.Arid regions of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastEarly Arabian Littoral110007000Semi-sedentary hunter / fisher / gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.East coast of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastMiddle Arabian Littoral70003300Sedentary agriculturalists with hunting / fishing / gathering remaining important. Some evidence of social differentiation.East coast of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastLate Arabian Littoral33002300Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages and cities with a stratified social system. Fishing and marine resources remain important. Ends in the historic period.East coast of the Arabian peninsula.
Middle EastSouthern Asia Upper Paleolithic4000012000Semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Southern and southwestern Asia.
Middle EastIranian Mesolithic120008000Semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers living in small, egalitarian communities.Iran.
Middle EastIranian Neolithic80007000Sedentary village agriculturalists with some animal husbandry.Iran.
Middle EastIranian Chalcolithic70005000Sedentary agriculturalists living in large villages with a chiefdom or simple state form of political organization.Iran.
Middle EastIranian Bronze Age50003500Sedentary agriculturalists living in villages and cities, some very large, and with a state form of political organization. Pastoral nomads from the north begin spreading into the region ca. 4000 BP.Iran.

 

The OAT is available to download in its entirety or by section in the file types listed below.

 

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Introduction

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AfricaAfrica (PDF) – 146kb AsiaAsia (PDF) – 271kb
EuropeEurope (PDF) – 152kb Middle America and the CaribbeanMiddle America & Caribbean (PDF) – 122kb
Middle EastMiddle East (PDF) – 112kb North AmericaNorth America (PDF) – 434kb
OceaniaOceania (PDF) – 85kb South AmericaSouth America (PDF) – 187kb

 

 

 

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