Time before History

The Archaeology of North Carolina

By H. Trawick Ward, R. P. Stephen Davis Jr.

Time before History

328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 84 illus., 7 maps, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4780-0
    Published: September 1999
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4777-7
    Published: June 2018

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North Carolina's written history begins in the sixteenth century with the voyages of Sir Walter Raleigh and the founding of the ill-fated Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. But there is a deeper, unwritten past that predates the state's recorded history. The region we now know as North Carolina was settled more than 10,000 years ago, but because early inhabitants left no written record, their story must be painstakingly reconstructed from the fragmentary and fragile archaeological record they left behind.

Time before History is the first comprehensive account of the archaeology of North Carolina. Weaving together a wealth of information gleaned from archaeological excavations and surveys carried out across the state--from the mountains to the coast--it presents a fascinating, readable narrative of the state's native past across a vast sweep of time, from the Paleo-Indian period, when the first immigrants to North America crossed a land bridge that spanned the Bering Strait, through the arrival of European traders and settlers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

About the Authors

H. Trawick Ward is a research archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He collaborated with Vincas P. Steponaitis, R. P. Stephen Davis, and Patrick Livingood to create Excavating Occaneechi Town: Archaeology of an Eighteenth-Century Indian Village in North Carolina, an award-winning CD-ROM multimedia publication.
For more information about H. Trawick Ward, visit the Author Page.

R. P. Stephen Davis Jr. is a research archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He collaborated with Vincas P. Steponaitis, H. Trawick Ward, and Patrick Livingood to create Excavating Occaneechi Town: Archaeology of an Eighteenth-Century Indian Village in North Carolina, an award-winning CD-ROM multimedia publication.
For more information about R. P. Stephen Davis Jr., visit the Author Page.

Reviews

"Historians, students, teachers, and others who love North Carolina’s rich past should read this book for the same reason--to comprehend the state’s rich heritage by examining the thousands of years of human experience that predate European exploration of the ‘new’ world. . . . Time Before History will educate and entertain its intended audiences for some years to come."--North Carolina Historical Review

"The first comprehensive survey of the Native American cultures that inhabited North Carolina through the arrival of the first Europeans. . . . A regional survey for both the professional archaeologist and the general reader. It is an irresistible story of 10,000 years of history beginning with the first Americans."--American Archaeology

"Not only should every local North Carolina public library have this book, but also those in the surrounding states of Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Every professional archaeologist in the state and region will need it for its extensive bibliography and up-to-date coverage. The work is essential for placing the state in the larger context of eastern archaeology."--Choice

"The first comprehensive account of the archaeology of North Carolina. Weaving together a wealth of information, it presents a fascinating narrative of the state’s native past across a vast sweep of time. . . . It also tells the story of how archaeologists have revealed this history over the past century through excavations and research in all parts of the state - from the mountains to the coast."--Indian Artifacts

"This well-written book on the archaeology of Native American sites in North Carolina will be of interest to everyone from archaeologists and other scholars to school children studying Native American culture. As a text on the high school or college level it is an invaluable contribution as a source on the prehistory of North Carolina."--Stanley South, author of Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology