Maine History Timeline
Selected Events in Maine History pre–1600


17,000 before present (BP)

  • Last glacier – Wisconsin glaciation – begins to recede

11,000 BP

  • What is now Maine mostly glacier free, except for far north

10,000 BP

  • Paleo–Indians, first humans in Maine, arrive

8,000–3,500 BP

  • Archaic peoples with seagoing culture, inhabit Maine, engage in swordfishing

3,000–500 BP

  • Maine Indians begin making ceramic pottery; evidence of wigwams dates from this period


  • "Dawnland" inhabited by about 20,000 people: Armouchiquois (Casco Bay to Massachusetts), Etchemin (Kennebec to St. John River Valley), and Abenaki (interior). Collectively known as Wabanaki – People of the Dawn


  • Giovanni Da Verrazano (1485-1528), Italian navigator in French employ, makes first recorded landfall in region.


  • Estevan Gomez (ca. 1483-1538), Portuguese exploring for Spain, sails up Penobscot River to site of present–day Bangor


  • Verrazano's map names region "Oranbega"


  • Richard Haklyut's (ca.1552-1616) Voyages includes story of David Ingram about fabulous city of Norumbega; region becomes "Norumbega"