The Adena Culture of North America – 1000 BC – 200 BC

Native Americans started living in North America before 18000 BC. They are believed to be migrated from Siberia  and have links with the ancient Siberians. They mostly lived on berries, wild fruits and settled in south eastern Canada and near the Mississippi river. They used to share their burial structures and ceremony systems which gave them a common identity and similar culture. The Native Americans who lived near present day Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia were collectively called Adena.

Adena Culture

Adena people used to build Mounds which were probably religious, ceremonial or burial centers. These people were also called “Mound Builders”. There are various kinds of Mounds like Miamisburg Mound, Criel Mound and Enon Mound. As per archeological evidence there were more than 500 mounds existing in Ohio but only few are left now. The size of these mounds may vary from 20 to 300 feet. These mounds were used as site for gathering people, celebrating ceremonies and spreading message. There are more than 300 sites of Adena culture found in Ohio Valley. The Adena Culture is important because it gave a huge impression on the civilizations followed after it, like Hopewell Culture.

Adena Mound

The Adena people were mostly known for their extensive work in the field of trade, agriculture, pottery making and artistic works. These people were perfect in extracting raw materials and then converting them in fine finished good. They used to extract copper from Great Lake. There are evidences that these people extracted shells from Gulf Coast in order to decorate their pottery.



In 800 AD, one more culture called Mississippian developed around present day St. Louis. The capital was Cahokia which was at the junction of Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The city of Cahokia was a major trade center of its time. Creek, Choctaw and Chickasaw were other cultures developed around that time.

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