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Kentucky Archaeology Overview


Archaeology is the scientific study of human cultures through the recovery and analysis of material remains. Archaeologists employ a wide variety of techniques to document, analyze and interpret the past. Kentucky has an incredibly rich archaeological tradition stemming from an abundance of Native American sites, the state’s historic role on the first western frontier of America, and the significant artifact collections curated at regional museums.

Fort Ancient Weeping Eye Mask Gorget.

Fort Ancient Weeping Eye Shell Gorget

Prehistoric Era

A general introduction to the ancient American Indian cultures that flourished in the lands we now call Kentucky, from ca. 13,000 BC to AD 1730s.

Pre-Paleoindian Period (ca. 13,000 or more to 9500 BC)

Paleoindian Period (ca. 9500 to 8000 BC)

Archaic Period (ca. 8000 to 1000 BC)

Woodland Period (ca. 1000 BC to AD 1,000)

Late Prehistoric Period (ca.  AD 1000 to 1730s)

Kentucky Archaeology timeline, "Prehistoric Era," KAS, 2009.

Kentucky Prehistoric Timeline
Historic Era

A general introduction to the early Historic era in Kentucky, ca. 1730s AD to the present day.

Historic Indian Period (ca. 1730s to 1790s)

Frontier Period (ca. 1770s to 1820s)

Antebellum Period (ca. 1820s to 1860s)

Civil War Period (ca. 1861 to 1865)

Industrialization Period (ca. 1860s to 1910s)

Commercialization Period (ca. 1910s to 1940s)

Post World War II Period (ca. 1940s to present)

Kentucky Archaeology timeline, "Historic Era," KAS, 2009.

Historic Era Timeline



Last Updated 1/23/2010