Native Americans have lived in the Susquehanna River Valley for at least 10,000 years. Archaeological research along the banks of the river has discovered a rich prehistory stretching from the Paleoindian era through the Archaic and Woodland periods up to and through early contact with Europeans. This paper summarizes the major environmental changes that affected the cultural evolution of Native Americans over this long time span and the technological innovations that occurred. Because the same areas in which Native Americans made their camps or villages have also been desirable areas for subsequent European settlement and industrial development, the archaeological record is incomplete and a number of questions remain unanswered and require additional research. Among them are the origins of various archaeological cultures; the size of native populations at in various time periods; and why agriculture/horticulture was so late in developing along the river. A brief discussion of Native American migrations and relocation in the Contact Period is included. Attention is also given to the emergence of organizations over the last two decades in the river basin which claim native descent.

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