North Carolina Indian Artifacts

Are you interested in discovering the culture of North Carolina Indians through artifacts? Do you want to explore the past of North Carolina Indians by discovering an artifact? Read our guide for more facts and information…

Throughout the United States the Indians of the land lived there long before European settlers first came to the New World. The state of North Carolina at one time had a vast and varied Indian population; however due to European settlement and legislation the population has been adversely affected. Over 11 000 years ago many Indians lived and prospered in North Carolina. Many unique tribes were represented in the region and they were primarily distinguished on cultural and linguistic divides. The primary groupings of the Indians of North Carolina were the Iroquois, such as the Cherokee and the Coree; the Siouan, such as the Sugaree and the Wateree; and the Algonquian, such as the Chowan and the Hatteras. The Indians of North Carolina were influenced not only by their own customs but also from neighboring tribes in the south as well as the north.

European settlement was first introduced to the lives of the North Carolina Indians in the early 1500s. The European settlers soon began to establish semi permanent and then permanent residences which required land. The continued demand for territory led to the legislation in 1838 which forced many Indians from the east to travel west. This forced migration is known as the Trail of Tears, on which many Indians died. The Trail of Tears not only forever altered the demographics of North Carolina but also lost much of the Indian history of the area.

Spear Points

Spear points are one of the most common artifacts found in North Carolina. Spear points were used by the Indians of North Carolina dating back to 500 BC. The spear points are useful artifacts as they demonstrate how the Indians were able to survive off the land through hunting. The artifacts also indicate that the spear points or projectile points were used as weapons even preceding the invention of the bow and arrow. The artifacts are typically constructed of stone and flint and like other stone tools used by the Indians of North Carolina they were likely produced through grinding.


Pottery is a highly valued form of Indian artifacts. The value of these artifacts is high as many pieces are easily destroyed by the weather and many more are lost due to continued urbanization. Most pieces of pottery are found in fragmented pieces; this means that artifacts in their entire form are even more prized. It is interesting that Indian artifacts have been found not only in the heart of nature but also in urban centers such as on the campus of the University of North Carolina. The pottery of North Carolina Indians was created through the use of water and clay and then decorated by using a cloth wrapped wooden paddle to create imprints. Today, many artifacts that are found are highly praised not only for their design but also for the ability to be used in a variety of different capacities.

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