I’m not sure when the Natchez people first came to call themselves the Natchez, but they are undoubtedly descendents of what archaeologists call the Mississippian culture. The ancestors of the Natchez probably lived continuously in the Southeastern part of North America from around 9500 B.C. Archaeologists call this period “Paleo”, followed by the “Archaic” (8000 B.C.–600 B.C.), followed by the “Woodland” (600 B.C.–750 A.D.). The “Mississippian” era is from 1050 A.D.–1400 A.D. The Natchez were definitely established by 1542 when they roundly defeated part of De Soto’s expedition army near a site known today as the Emerald Mound, named after the Emerald Plantation nearby.