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This is one among numerous mound sites of complex indigenous cultures throughout the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. The term "Woodland" was coined in the 1930s and refers to prehistoric sites dated between the Archaic period and the Mississippian cultures. This was not a single culture or society, but a widely dispersed set of related populations, who were connected by a common network of trade routes, known as the Hopewell Exchange System.
They were one of several succeeding cultures often referred to as the Mound builders. It is a blanket term for a number of Indian American cultures in the eastern part of North America at that time. At its greatest extent, the Hopewell exchange system ran from the South-eastern United States into the South-eastern Canadian shores of Lake Ontario.
People did not live there year round, but for the summer to hunt and fish, and to gather food supplies for the winter. Poverty Point is a 1 square mile (2.6 km) complex of six major earthwork concentric rings, with additional platform mounds at the site.
They constructed large multi-family dwellings in their villages, which were used seasonally. These people were part of the Southwestern Archaic Tradition centred in north-central New Mexico, the San Juan Basin, the Rio Grande Valley, southern Colorado, and south-eastern Utah. The prime example is Watson Brake in northern Louisiana, whose 11-mound complex is dated to 3,500 BC, making it the oldest, dated site in the Americas for such complex construction. Evidence of this culture has been found at more than 100 sites, from the major complex at Poverty Point, Louisiana across a 100-mile (160 km) range to the Jaketown Site near Belzoni, Mississippi.By 8,000 BC the North American climate was similar to today's.A study published in 2012 gives genetic backing to the 1986 theory put forward by linguist Joseph Greenberg that the Americas must have been populated in three waves, based on language differences Numerous Palaeo-Indian cultures occupied North America, from around the Great Plains and Great Lakes of the modern United States of America and Canada, as well as adjacent areas to the West and Southwest.According to the oral histories of many of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, they had been living on this continent since their genesis, as described by a wide range of traditional creation stories.However, genetic and linguistic data connect the indigenous people of this continent with ancient northeast Asians.