This era spans our ancestors' discovery of stone tools to the rise and fall of prehistoric cities and the beginning of the clan system. It ends with the first Europeans landing on our shores. Discover the Chickasaws' ancient past.

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The Migration Story

An ancient story passed down from generation to generation of Chickasaw people
Centuries ago, there lived somewhere in the west a tribe, and hostile tribes constantly warred upon them.

Paleo-Indian Period

Native Americans broadly trace their roots back to the people of this era
During the Paleo-Indian period, the climate was wetter and colder than today. Glaciers covered the northern land.

Archaic Era

A changing and transformative period for the ancient Native American people
Temperatures changed after the glaciers melted. The Mississippi River made its transition from a glacial outwash braided stream to a broad river.

Woodland Era

Technological advancements such as pottery and weaponry expanded during this time
Our Chickasaw ancestors resided in the valleys of the Mississippi, Tennessee and Tombigbee River.

Mississippi Period

Chickasaw and Muskogean culture descends directly from this era
The Mississippians lived in more complex societies than their Woodland ancestors. Families were divided into social rank and had a permanent leader.

Moundville, the Ancient City

The largest settlement of Mississippian culture on the Black Warrior River in central Alabama
By 1250 Moundville was a city with close to 1,000 people and one of the larger settlements in North America, north of Mexico.


The once great city declined during this timeframe
During this period, Moundville went from being a fortified city to a sparsely populated ceremonial center and burial place.