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Kansas Archeology - Middle Ceramic

CE 1000-1500

Numbers and sizes of archeological sites in Kansas indicate that American Indian populations increased during this period and their settlements became larger and more permanent. The tribal nature of many cultures likely was established at this time. Most inhabitants relied on a dual economy, based on bison hunting and cultivation of corn, beans, and squash, supplemented by hunting and gathering of wild foods. Technological advancements included the use of bow and arrow for hunting and improvements in pottery-making techniques. Rectangular earthlodges became common in the northern part of Kansas. In the southern part of the state, houses were thatched with bundles of prairie grass, often plastered with clay. Towards the end of this period, trade with the Puebloan Indians of the Southwest increased dramatically.


The Historical Society holds extensive collections from sites of this period, including pottery, stone, and bone artifacts.


Bison scapula hoes

Three well-used bison scapula hoes were recovered from excavations at a Middle Ceramic site in Marion county. The two smaller hoes show evidence of resharpening on their working edges.






Ceramic pipe from Wollenberg site


This decorated ceramic pipe was recovered from the excavations at the Wollenberg site in Washington county in 1991.




Storage pit at an Ottawa County site.A worker glances up from her task of excavating a trash-filled storage pit. The pit was located in House 8 at the Minneapolis Archeological site in Ottawa county.






Ceramic pot from 14OT5A cord-wrapped paddle was used by the American Indians to make the roughened surface treatment of this otherwise undecorated pot. The globular shaped vessel was efficient for cooking and storage. Pieces of the artifact were excavated at the Minneapolis site in Ottawa county and reconstructed.






Washita projectile point from Rush County

Typical of the Middle Ceramic time period, this side-notched arrow point is made of Alibates agatized dolomite. American Indians traded this colorful stone from quarries in the Texas panhandle.






Archeology References

Entry: Kansas Archeology - Middle Ceramic

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2014

Date Modified: July 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.