North Dakota Eclectics

Paleo-Indians (9,500 B.C. - 5,500 B.C.)

The earliest human settlement of what is now North Dakota was probably in Dunn County around 9,500 B.C., although people had been through the area previously. One of the early settlements of the Paleo-Indians was near the Missouri River, in the area of New Town, North Dakota. The archaeological dig that uncovered this village was named the Moe site. Pointed artifacts were found there which are believed to have been used as spear tips.

Called clovis or folsom points, many of these spear tips were made from a coffee-colored stone called Knife River Flint. The Paleo-Indians dugs quarry pits in several places between Spring Creek and Knife River, in western North Dakota, in order to obtain the flint. Artifacts using this type of flint has been found over a wide area, as far north as Alberta and south as Texas, and from New York to Idaho. Likely, it was traded for materials like marine shell, obsidian, copper, and other resources not available in North Dakota.

The Paleo-Indians were probably nomadic, following the herds of buffalo and mammoth, and their populations were likely small.

Of Interest