Archaeological evidence has proven the existence of Indian villages in the Augusta area as early as 2,500 B.C., and a type of decorated pottery found at various sites is among the oldest in North America.
Just north of the present-day city of Augusta, the river falls across broken ridges of rock, allowing deer and buffalo, as well as the hunters that stalked them, a safe passage across the water. The area became a crossroads where several ancient Indian trails met at the river.
Even before the founding of the colony of Georgia, deerskin traders from South Carolina assembled at Fort Moore on the Carolina side of the river to organize caravans that ventured among Indian tribes as far west as the Mississippi.
General James Edward Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, commissioned the frontier outpost of Augusta in 1736, and described it as the "Key of all the Indian Countrey."
Two major conferences of Indian chieftains and representatives of colonial governments held in Augusta in 1763 and 1773 resulted in land treaties which opened large areas to the north and west of Augusta for further settlement.