From Ohio History Central
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Prehistory ended in what is today Ohio when French explorers and map makers began to obtain the first vague reports regarding the lands lying south of the southernmost of the Great Lakes that eventually became known as Lake Erie. Nicholas Sanson's map of 1650 shows unnamed rivers flowing southward the yet unnamed lake. The Sanson map is the earliest known historic record of northern Ohio, although geographic knowledge of the region was more approximate than accurate.