According to archaeologists Michigan has been inhabited for at least twelve thousand years. This time is divided by them into four major eras:

  • The Paleo-Indian Period from 10,000 BC to 8000 BC
  • The Archaic Period from 8000 BC to 1000 BC
  • The Woodland Period from 1000 BC to A.D. 1650
  • The Contact Period from A.D. 1650 to A.D. 1830.

In the Contact Period the first Europeans appeared in the Great Lakes area.