The First PeopleThe first people to come to the area are known to archaeologists as the Palaeo-Indians. A known habitation site at Debert, Nova Scotia, is one of the most important finds of this period in eastern North America. One of the most distinctive artifacts associated with this group is the fluted spear point.
Very little evidence exists for the presence of people in Nova Scotia between 9,000 and 5000 years ago. However, archaeological finds from other parts of Atlantic Canada and New England indicate that people were in the region. From about 5000 to 2,500 years ago evidence does suggest that people are living in the area we know today as Nova Scotia. This period (9,000-2,500 BP) is known to archaeologists as the Archaic Period.
Following the Archaic Period is the Maritime Woodland Period which runs from about 2500 years ago to European contact. One of the most distinctive features of this period is the presence of clay pottery.
Colonial SettlementAlthough evidence suggests that Basque, Portuguese and French fisherman were making seasonal visits to the area during the sixteenth century, the first known permanent European settlement in Nova Scotia was established by the French at Port Royal in 1605.
As time progressed, many different cultural groups came to settle in the new land. These include people of African, Jamaican, English, Scottish, Irish, German, French, Swiss, and Dutch heritage.