Archaeology’s grasp of the past ordinarily becomes less secure the further back in time it reaches. That’s why it is something of a paradox that the period of Ohio’s past about which we seem to know the least is the mid-18th century - the period immediately preceding the arrival of Europeans in the Ohio Valley.
The reasons for this glaring exception to the rule relate to the catastrophic effects of the European arrival on the continent more than 200 years earlier. Foreign diseases and inter-tribal warfare swept though the region leading to a massive emigration of refugees.
Eventually, the cultural vacuum was filled as tribes from elsewhere moved into the valley. When the first Europeans arrived, they were astonished to find monumental earthworks. The small and dispersed communities of people they regarded as “savages” seemed incapable of ever having built such sophisticated architecture. Read more.