Melting Ice, Rising Seas
American Indians arrived in this region at the end of the last Ice Age (12000-15000 years ago). As the earth warmed and the ice melted, sea levels rose dramatically. By 5,000 years ago, ancient lands and rivers once used by the earliest Indians were buried beneath the rising waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
A New Environment
As the climate stabilized, evergreen trees were replaced by hardwoods providing habitat for deer, elk and smaller game. Fish migrated up the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The first Indian people came to Mount Calvert about 8,000 years ago during the Archaic Period (7500-1000) BC). These hunters and gatherers thrived on the region's plants and animals.
Clues to the Ancient Past
Archaeologists have recovered thousands of Archaic Period Indian artifacts at Mount Calvert. Spear points, knives and the remains of stone cooking hearths provide insight into the lives of the people who lived here before Europeans and Africans arrived.