An Archaic camp.

Archaic Period: 6000 to 500 B.C.

During the Archaic period, the environment gradually became warmer and drier. Many species of animals that had lived during the Ice Age became extinct, including mammoths, mastodons, and ancient bison. As a result, people living throughout North America had to adapt to new conditions.

How did Archaic peoples adapt? They were still nomadic people who practiced a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. But as the large animals died out, people began hunting smaller animals that are familiar to us today. They also ate more wild plant foods. Late in the Archaic period, people even began experimenting with growing domesticated plants.