Middle Woodland, 100 bc–ad 400
Middle Woodland relatively greater population made the pattern more visible to archaeologists than it had been earlier, when farming was less important and seasonal movements to wild harvests probably more common. Beyond southern Ohio, Hopewell flavors Middle Woodland societies from the Southeast to Kansas on the west and Ontario on the north. Mounds are common but the great geometric embankments are restricted to the Ohio heartland. Closest to Ohio Hopewell culture was that of Middle Woodland southern Illinois, where the lower Illinois River meets the Mississippi. Southern Illinois Middle Woodland merits the label Hopewell through its burial mounds and associated artifacts. Like those in Ohio, Illinois Hopewell burial mounds tend to have a central male accompanied by expensive goods and retainers. Archaeologists working in the Northeast, including southern Ontario, hotly debate whether Middle Woodland people there spoke Algonkian or Iroquoian languages.