That shift in Native American culture is defined today by archeologists as the shift from Paleo-Indian to Archaic.
The shift from Archaic to Woodland is also defined by new technology and new patterns of behavior.
Rapid changes may reflect immigration of a new group of people after conquering territory and displacing the previous residents.Another possibility is that the residents were the conquerors, and brought back captives who introduced new technology such as making pottery with a different material used for "temper." Slow changes, with the speed of change interpreted by the age of artifacts recovered by archeologists, may reflect diffusion of culture during long periods of trading and intermarriage. Through archeology, we know they preferred the same locations as later emigrants from Europe - river bottoms where crops could be grown on flat, fertile ground.Groups of people began to occupy houses in one location for a longer part of the year - presumably between the time crops were planted and harvested.People on more-sedentary communities began to use pottery.Inside many mounds were graves, presumably a place of honor for people who were considered special in some way.
Some combination of religious zeal and imposed power spurred people to load 20-40 pounds of soil into baskets and carry them as much as 100 feet uphill.
We can date human occupation at the site because charred remains of wood on the cave floor were 1,000 years ago.
When or why the pictographs themselves were drawn remains unknown.
French explorers found massive mounds at Cahokia (les Chateauex runinez - "the ruined cities"), relics of the Mississippian culture Source: Library of Congress, Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) In the late Woodland Period, Southwest Virginia was affected by the Mississippian culture, which thrived between 1000-1400CE in the Mississippi River Valley.
A distinctive feature was construction of massive earth mounds, with temples and housing for the rulers on top.
We do find enigmatic symbols preserved in a limestone cave at Paint Lick Mountain in Tazewell County.