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1st millennium BC - 1st millennium - 11th century

The 1st millennium in North American history provides a time line of events occurring within the present political boundaries of United States (including territories) from AD 1 through 1000 in the Gregorian calendar. Although this time line segment may include some European or other world events that profoundly influenced later American life, it focuses on developments within Native American (and Polynesian) communities. Because the indigenous peoples of these regions lacked a written language, we must glean events from the admittedly very incomplete archaeological record and place them in time through radiocarbon dating techniques.

Because of the inaccuracies inherent in radiocarbon dating and in interpreting other elements of the archaeological record, most dates in this time line represent approximations that may vary a century or more from source to source. The assumptions implicit in archaeological dating methods also may yield a general bias in the dating in this time line.

  • AD 1: Some central and eastern prairie peoples learned to raise crops and shape pottery from the mound builders to their east.
  • 400: Cultivation of maize (corn) begins in the American South and soon reaches the Northeast. Originally domesticated in Mesoamerica, maize ultimately displaces native marsh elder and goosefoot agriculture.
  • 400: Anasazi natives of the American Southwest weave extraordinarily long nets for trapping small animals and make yucca fibers into large sacks and bags.
  • 800: Powerful chiefdoms of great agricultural Temple Mound builders of the Mississippian culture rise in the American South and begin to spread throughout the Eastern woodlands.
  • 900: Pueblo culture dominates much of the American Southwest.
  • 900: American Southwestern tribes trade with Mexican natives to obtain copper bells cast through the lost-wax technique.


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