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.
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.
This decorated ceramic pipe was recovered from the excavations at the Wollenberg site in Washington county in 1991.
A 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.
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.
Entry: 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: February 2016
The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.