Washington, D.C., was the institutional center for the emerging discipline of scientific ethnology in nineteenth-century America, but the prehistoric culture of this metropolitan region was seldom the subject of sustained attention from the new scholars. However, the concurrent revivals of interest in American Indian culture and in the history of the city of Washington suggest that this neglect will soon be rectified. it seemed to the editors that both the general public and the academic community would welcome a concise summary of the best present knowledge of ancient Washington and its first inhabitants. This monograph is written in the standard style of anthropological journals. The full references for the parenthetical citations in the text can be located easily in the bibliography.