Maine archaeologists continue to learn more about the pre-European past, often changing once accepted ideas. Among these is the nature of the so-called “Red Paint Peoplewho were not a distinct race or people, but various Native Americans groups who happened to bury their dead with red ocher between 6000 and 2000 B.C. Another popular idea is the erroneous notion that early Maine Native peoples migrated from coast to interior on a seasonal basis. Recent research questions this belief and explores the reasons for its persistence. Finally, the paper discusses the problem of extending modern political-ethnic terms, such as Penobscot Nation, back into pre-European times. Professor David Sanger has researched the pre-European period in Maine and the Maritime Provinces since 1966 when he joined the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa upon completing his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Washington. He joined the faculties of the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Quaternary Studies at the University of Maine in 1971. Emphasizing the relationship between culture and environment, he has published extensively on the archaeology of the region and the ever-changing environments to which the Native peoples had to adapt.
Sanger, David. "“Red Paint People” and Other Myths of Maine Archaeology." Maine History 39, 3 (2000): 144-167. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol39/iss3/2