Mesoindio: Characteristics, Temporal Location, Lifestyle

The   Mesoindian  is the period that extends approximately between the years 5000 a. C. and 1000 a. C. It is characterized by the appearance of great changes in the ways of life of the natives at that time, mainly due to the climatic changes produced at the time.

This period differs from the previous one, the Paleoindian, especially in terms of the type of animal species hunted to ensure the survival of humans.

While the Paleoindian was dominated by big game hunting, the Mesoindian inhabitants lived in relative abundance and hunted mostly small animals.

Furthermore, due to a climate more conducive to human life, several indications show the increased presence of tribes that lived almost exclusively from gathering and fishing.

Although stone carving and other methods of making weapons lost some importance, they were maintained throughout the Mesoindian.

Temporal division

Relatively little is known about the inhabitants of the American continent before the appearance of the great civilizations.

Scholars often divide prehistory into several consecutive periods: the Paleo-Indian, the Meso-Indian, and the Neo-Indian. Each of these periods was highly influenced by the environmental conditions of the territories where human beings lived.

Temporary location

The beginning of the Mesoindian, around the year 5000 a. C., occurred when there was a strong climate change in the lands of the American continent.

This change in the climate created more benign conditions that allowed the inhabitants of the continent to avoid the larger game by which they subsisted until then.

On the contrary, due to the greater abundance of natural resources, Mesoindians were able to dedicate themselves largely to gathering, fishing and hunting smaller animals such as rabbits or deer.


Also due to this greater abundance of resources in the territories they inhabited, the Meso-Indians adopted a more sedentary lifestyle.

Although they were still moving between zones when food ran out in one of these, they began to stay longer in each place.

In addition, their constructions (mainly cabins) began to become more robust, since they were designed to last longer than in previous times.

They also began to create altars and other religious symbols near their homes, something that until then was not common.

Technological innovations

Various technological innovations also occurred at this time. For example, the use of the atlatl (a kind of spear thrower) was introduced for hunting, which allowed them to be more efficient in catching their prey.

Fishing hooks and needles, mainly made of bone, were also developed for the first time.

Other tools created for the first time in this period were baskets for storing and transporting food, specially shaped stones to open fruit and axes for cutting wood.

The appearance of all these changes had several consequences. The first was that Mesoindian migrations were seasonal; In other words, they used to settle on the same grounds depending on the time of year in which they were.

Another very important consequence was that, due to the more benign conditions and abundant resources, the human population began to increase steadily.


  1. “Pre-Columbian Period” in: Galeon. Retrieved on: December 21, 2017 from Galeon:
  2. “Mesoindian Period” in: The History of Day to Day. Retrieved on: December 21, 2017 from The History of Day to Day:
  3. “Mesoindian Period 5,000 / 1,000 BC” in: Encyclopedia Culturalia. Retrieved on: December 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia Culturalia:
  4. “Prehistoric Cultures” at: Vermillion Parish School. Retrieved on: December 21, 2017 from Vermillion Parish School:
  5. “Lousiana Prehistory” in: Louisiana Office of Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved on: December 21, 2017 from Louisiana Office of Lieutenant Governor:

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