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Indigenous People

Columbian Mammoths stood up to 13 feet tall and weighed around 10 tons. Their spiral tusks could reach up to 14 feet in length. They could run 25-35 miles per hour.

People have lived here for a very long time. How long? We know people have been here since at least 13,000 years ago.

When people first came to the Coastal Bend, no one on the planet grew crops. Agriculture had not yet been invented. The people who lived here in the earliest years used large stone tools to hunt giant animals like mammoths and mastodons, animals which did not survive the end of the last ice age.

Around 1000 BC, the sea level reached its current height. This new sea level and environmental change made it easier for people to live along the coast, and the population boomed. By 1250-1300, the native people of the Coastal Bend, likely ancestors of the Karankawa tribes, were making a distinctive kind of pottery which we know as Rockport ware.

The indigenous people of the Coastal Bend closest to us in time are the people of the late prehistoric period, people like the Karankawa, Aranama, and Tamique. They had no written records, so our knowledge of them comes from archaeology and from observations made by European colonists. We know that they hunted with bows and arrows, and that their trade networks stretched for hundreds of miles.