About Tennessee :: Pre-Historical
A HISTORY OF TENNESSEE :: The Land and Native People
Tennessee Blue Book
What was the Kingsport Area like?
Also see Archaeological Information.
5-acre plot of damp, dark soil next to Highway 75 in Gray.
Northeast Tennessee, humid and 10 degrees hotter year round, thriving with oak and hickory forests. Except for the mountains, the area feels a lot like northern Florida - especially when an alligator meanders through on its way to a communal watering hole.
Odds are, the watering hole the reptile is heading to is the big sinkhole in Gray - or what will someday be known as Gray. It's the Miocene epoch, a time period scientists theorize to be between 25 million and 5 million years ago.
Fish. Frogs. Turtles. Birds. Sloths and camels. Rhinos and elephants. Saber-toothed cats. Tapir. 22 types of vertebrate animals as well as invertebrates, plants and pollens and spores.
Fossil-rich soil goes - 140 feet straight down
Tooth of the oldest, most primitive panda ever discovered
Seeming a little less like Florida and a little more like an African safari, the region takes on a whole new feeling.
The sinkhole provides the perfect atmosphere for fossil making - a communal area where many types of animals spend time, an ever-changing environment with fine-grained, dark silt that preserves the bones of animals that die or are killed at the watering hole.
Tennessee’s great diversity in land, climate, rivers, and plant and animal life ismirrored by a rich and colorful past. For all but the last 200 years of the 12,000 years or so that this country has been inhabited, the story of Tennessee is the storyof its native peoples. The fact that Tennessee and many of the places in it still carry Indian names serves as a lasting reminder of the significance of its native inhabitants. Since much of Tennessee’s appeal for her ancient people as well as for later pioneer settlers lay with the richness and beauty of the land, it seems fitting to begin by considering some of the state’s generous natural gifts.
Tennessee divides naturally into three “grand divisions”—upland, often mountainous, East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee with its foothills and basin, and thelow plain of West Tennessee. Travelers coming to the state from the east encounterfirst the lofty Unaka and Smoky Mountains, flanked on their western slope by the Great Valley of East Tennessee. Moving across the Valley floor, they next face the Cumberland Plateau, which historically attracted little settlement and presenteda barrier to westward migration. West of the Plateau, one descends into the Cen-tral Basin of Middle Tennessee—a rolling, fertile countryside that drew huntersand settlers alike. The Central Basin is surrounded on all sides by the Highland Rim, the western ridge of which drops into the Tennessee River Valley. Across the river begin the low hills and alluvial plain of West Tennessee. These geographical“grand divisions” correspond to the distinctive political and economic cultures ofthe state’s three regions.
Tennessee possesses a climate advantageous for people and agriculture, with abundant rainfall and a long, temperate growing season. The area generally is free from the long droughts and freezes of more extreme climes. The three major riversthat flow around and across Tennessee—the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers—have created watersheds which cover most of the state. The Tennessee River forms near Knoxville and flows in a southwesterly direction into Alabama, then loops back north to the Kentucky border. The Cumberland River drains northern Middle Tennessee, and West Tennessee is covered by a network of sluggish streams, swamps and lakes which flow directly into the Mississippi River. These rivers and their tributary streams have played a significant role from the earliest times by yielding fish and mussels, by serving as major transportation routes, and by creating the fertile bottom soils that attracted farmers.
Fossil-laden rocks found across Tennessee attest to the fact that warm, shallow seas covered the state in the distant past. Coal-bearing strata of the Pennsylvanian period are present throughout the Cumberland Plateau. Plant and dinosaur fossils of the Cre-taceous epoch occur in the sandstones of West Tennessee. Remains of extinct mammoths, mastodons and giantsloths, driven south by the advancing glaciers of the Ice Age, can be found in the Pleistocene deposits of West andMiddle Tennessee.
The story of man in Tennessee be-gins with the last retreat of the IceAge glaciers, when a colder climateand forests of spruce and fir prevailed in the region. Late Ice Age hunters prob-ably followed animal herds into this area some 12,000-15,000 years ago. Thesenomadic Paleo-Indians camped in caves and rock shelters and left behind theirdistinctive arrowheads and spear points. They may have used such stone agetools to hunt the mastodon and caribou that ranged across eastern Tennessee.About 12,000 years ago, the region’s climate began to warm and the predomi-nant vegetation changed from conifer to our modern deciduous forest. Abundantacorns, hickory, chestnut and beech mast attracted large numbers of deer andelk. Warmer climate, the extinction of the large Ice Age mammals, and the spreadof deciduous forests worked together to transform Indian society.
During what is known as the Archaic period, descendants of the Paleo-Indiansbegan to settle on river terraces, where they gathered wild plant food and shell-fish in addition to hunting game. Sometime between 3,000 and 900 B.C., nativestook the crucial step of cultivating edible plants such as squash and gourds—thefirst glimmerings of agriculture. Archaic Indians thereby ensured a dependablefood supply and freed themselves from seasonal shortages of wild plant foodsand game. With a more secure food supply, populations expanded rapidly andscattered bands combined to form larger villages.
The next major stage of Tennessee pre-history, lasting almost 2,000 years, isknown as the Woodland period. This era saw the introduction of pottery, the begin-nings of settled farming communities, the construction of burial mounds and thegrowing stratification of Indian society. Native Americans in Tennessee made thetransition from societies of hunters and gatherers to well-organized tribal, agricultural societies dwell-ing in large, permanent towns.
The peak of prehis-toric cultural develop-ment in Tennesseeoccurred during theMississippian period(900-1,600 A.D.). Cul-tivation of new andimproved strains ofcorn and beans fueledanother large jump inpopulation. An in-crease in territorialwarfare and the erec-tion of ceremonialtemples and public structures attest to the growing role of chieftains and tribalismin Indian life. Elaborate pottery styles and an array of personal artifacts such ascombs, pipes, and jewelry marked the complex society of these last prehistoric in-habitants of Tennessee.
The first European incursions into Tennessee proved highly disruptive to thepeople then living in the region. In their futile search for gold and silver, Hernandode Soto’s band in 1541 and two later expeditions led by Juan Pardo encounteredNative Americans. By introducing firearms and, above all, deadly Old World dis-eases, such contacts hastened the decline of these tribes and their replacement byother tribes, notably the Cherokee. The advent of the gun brought about majorchanges in Native American hunting technique and warfare. Indians grew in-creasingly dependent on the colonial fur trade by supplying European traders withdeer and beaver hides in exchange for guns, rum and manufactured articles. Thisdependence, in turn, eroded the Indians' traditional self-sufficient way of life andtied them ever closer to the fortunes of rival European powers.
2016 Kingsport Collector Calendar
The Mountain, The River, The City
Find at : I Love Books Bookstore
Kingsport Town Center / Fort Henry Mall
...423.378.5859 : Beside JCPenneys upper level
Click to get your Calendar :) 2016
Throughout the years known as The Model City :: Kingsport Tennessee|
|NEW Interstate I-26 Exit Numbers|
Exit 1 at 11W and I-26
Exit 3 to Meadowview Conference Center
Exit 4 to Wilcox Drive and Meadowview Conference Center
Exit 8 is the new I-26 Exit
at the Interstate 81 junction.
Bays Mountain, Holston River,Greenbelt Path.Here is a list of Local Websites.
GPS Coordinates: Kingsport is located
at 36°32'13?N, 82°32'32?W
Find 'I Love Kingsport'
and more Souvenirs Here.
FACEBOOK : Visit Now! click here
Learn about the Gray Fossil Site Museum
US AIRWAYS Magazine spotlights Kingsport.
The October 2006 issue features Kingsport Tennessee.Read more... |
Beautiful Spring In Kingsport : Photos
DiscoverKingsport.com would like to honor Dan Crowe who passed away December 1, 2005. Part of my inspiration in the back of my heart was to develop this site to fulfill a regret I had in High School. Coach Crowe allowed me lots of out-of-class time to work on a video project about the history of Tennessee Eastman. It turned out that the school television equipment could not handle the project due to the new studio being constructed. I wanted to let him know that his influence as a teacher and a gentleman was not forgotten. You may read about Dan Crowe's influence in our community here.Thank you Dan Crowe. I look forward to seeing you again. |
Please email Historical Signs/Marker Information Here
We are looking for any Historical Sign or Marker in the Kingsport Tennessee area. At this time there is no record of all these historical areas. The list will be made available at the Chamber of Commerce, Netherland Inn/Exchange Place Association and Internet for the public.
Thank you for your assistance. Historical Markers in Kingsport|
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