Archaic sites in the state range from the Savannah River Basin, throughout north Georgia.Artifacts like bone awls from Union County, arrowheads from Dade and Murray County and socketed projectile points from Jenkins County indicate the wide range of man during this period.These Mississippian Moundbuilders relied on advanced cultivation to give them time to develop elaborate ceremonies, intricate pottery designs, and a wide-ranging trading network.They flourished in Georgia from 1000 AD to 1450 AD, but by the time de Soto visited (1540) the civilization was in steep decline. According to their own mythology, the Creek Nation came from the West and display many customs similar to the earlier Moundbuilders.About the time the Mississippian culture began to decline (1450 AD), the Cherokee began a westward movement, establishing a village (called Tugaloo Old Town) near an ancient Moundbuilder city.Moving west to Nachoochee, the Cherokee inhabited another Moundbuilder city on the Chattahoochee River.Over the years the Creek and Cherokee battled for control of present-day north Georgia, eventually using the Chattahoochee as a dividing line.
From this beginning early man spread out across the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of the state.
Earliest evidence of human inhabitation comes from the Georgia side of the Savannah River between Augusta and Savannah, where flaked micro-blades have been found dating to 16,000-18,000 BC -- the oldest tools known on the North American continent.
Paleolithic Clovis arrowheads have been discovered in Bartow County dating back some 12,000 years.
An intermediate culture known as Adena built effigy mounds throughout much of the Upper Mississippi, The Hopewell Culture continued the Adena's penchant for building mounds, eventually carrying it throughout the Mississippi watershed.
A series of four Hopewell Culture mounds were built in Dade County (northwest Georgia).