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These shell rings are numerous in South Carolina and Georgia, but are also found scattered around the Florida Peninsula and along the Gulf of Mexico coast as far west as the Pearl River; in some places, such as Horr's Island in Southwest Florida, resources were rich enough to support sizable mound-building communities year-round.

The site which is considered to be one of the "most significant centres of early habitation and ceremonial burial in Canada," is located on the north side Rainy River in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.

For instance, the Archaic Southwest tradition is subdivided into the Dieguito-Pinto, Oshara, Cochise and Chihuahua cultures.

Since the 1990s, secure dating of multiple Middle Archaic sites in northern Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida have challenged traditional models of development, as hunter-gatherer societies in the Lower Mississippi Valley organized to build monumental mound complexes as early as 3500 BC (confirmed at Watson Brake), with building continuing over a period of 500 years.

More than 100 sites have been identified as associated with the regional Poverty Point culture of the Late Archaic period, and it was part of a regional trading network across the Southeast.