Volume 1 (2014) – Article 5
A Precise Chronology of Middle to Late Holocene Bison Exploitation in the Far Southern Great Plains
By: Jon C. Lohse, Brendan J. Culleton, Stephen L. Black, and Douglas J. Kennett
In regions on the margins of the Great Plains grasslands, documenting the intermittent history of bison exploitation has presented challenges to archeologists. Chronologies based on archeological associations have long been useful in regional research, but can be imprecise and of inadequate resolution for constructing precise sequences of prehistoric events. Here, we present a record of directly dated bison from archeological contexts spanning the last 6000 years on the very southern extent of the Great Plains. This study includes 61 specimens from archeological contexts that were dated by XAD purified AMS radiocarbon, with reported errors of only 15-20 14 C years for most dates. The resulting record of bison exploitation for this area defines four main periods (Calf Creek, Late Archaic 1 and 2, and early Toyah) during which bison were exploited. Several dates also indicate an early historic presence of bison; this period may represent a late facet of the Toyah horizon. This study adds significant chronological resolution to the regional record of bison in parts of Texas and begins to help correlate cultural chronologies with important climatic data. It also points to the research value of obtaining additional directly dated bison samples from temporally and geographically diverse archeological contexts in our study area and beyond.
Volume 1 (2014) – Article 4
Deflation Troughs, Water, and Prehistoric Occupation on the Margins of the South Texas Sand Sheet
By: Juan L. González, Russell K . Skowronek, and Bobbie L. Lovett
Within the South Texas Plains, the area broadly defined by the Rio Grande to the south and the Nueces River to the north, a distance of ca. 175 km, evidence of open human occupation is remarkably abundant. Because it is predominantly a region of loose, sandy soils and active and relict sand dunes where wind processes dominate, the area is known as the South Texas Sand Sheet (STSS). There is no running water within the STSS and all streams are ephemeral. Existing drainage systems are small, localized, and not integrated, carrying water for a few days and up to two weeks after the passage of a storm. The lack of running water makes human occupation on this semi-arid area even more remarkable. The STSS and the adjacent wind deflated areas have hundreds of small and shallow elongated deflation troughs. Most of these poorly drained swales retain seasonal fresh water that sustain high moisture plants and are ephemeral wetlands; a small percentage of them hold water year round. As a result, the long history of human occupation of the STSS was possible due to the presence of the deflation troughs. This study explores the connection between human occupation of the STSS and deflation troughs at four previously unreported archeological sites in northern Hidalgo County using a combination of intensive archeological and geological survey, oral history, GIS technology, and existing soil maps.
Volume 1 (2014) – Article 3
Evidence for a Long-Distance Trade in Bois d’Arc Bows in 16 th Century Texas ( Maclura pomifera , Moraceae)
By: Leslie L. Bush
A piece of wood charcoal identified as bois d’arc (Maclura pomifera) was recovered from the Janee site (41MN33) in Menard County, Texas. The specimen has been directly dated to 400 ± 30 B.P., a period when no naturally-occurring bois d’arc stands are believed to have been present within 400 miles of the site. Bois d’arc ecology, economic uses of bois d’arc wood, and historical accounts of bois d’arc trade indicate the specimen is best interpreted as part of a trade item related to Caddo bow-making traditions in Northeast Texas and adjacent areas of other states.
Volume 1 (2014) – Article 2
POST OF LAMPASAS: FORGOTTEN RECONSTRUCTION ERA U.S. ARMY POST (1867-1870)
By: Richard S. Jones
While it is well known that troops were stationed in and around Lampasas during the Reconstruction era (1865-1877), the existence of an army post in Lampasas County, Texas, has been rediscovered through the recent digitization of army post returns. The post returns, available through the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and Ancestry.com, indicated that the post operated between 1867 and 1870. These post returns are utilized to highlight significant events that occurred in this area during the Reconstruction era. Circumstantial evidence obtained while conducting this research has identified the actual location of the post within the City of Lampasas.
Volume 1 (2014) – Article 1
SHRUB, SCRUB, AND GRASS: THE IMPORTANCE OF SHRUBLAND AND GRASSLAND PLANT COMMUNITIES TO THE DIET OF THE LATE PREHISTORIC (A.D. 900-1535) HUNTER-GATHERERS OF THE EASTERN TRANS-PECOS REGION OF TEXAS
By: Casey W. Riggs
The Eastern Trans-Pecos archeological region of Texas is an area rich in botanical diversity, a resource heavily utilized by both prehistoric and historic hunter-gatherers. A comparison of four paleoethnobotanical investigations of archeological sites dating to the Late Prehistoric Era (A.D. 900-1535) with ethnobotanical information of the Mescalero Apache reveal that the botanical component of prehistoric and historic diets have been similar for the past 1,000 years. Differences in the degree of similarity can be attributed to differential preservation and analytical techniques. Further, ecological sites from the Ecological Site Information System are demonstrated as a novel and useful tool for landscape-scale archeological analysis.
A Bibliography of the Archeology, Bioarcheology, Ethnohistory, Ethnography, and History of the Caddo Indian Peoples
By: Timothy K. Perttula
This Bibliography is the latest and most comprehensive version of published sources concerning the archeology, bioarcheology, ethnography, ethnography, and history of the Caddo Indian peoples of the Trans – Mississippi South. Two early editions were published by the Arkansas Archeological Survey (Perttula et al. 1999, 2006), while a third edition (Perttula et al. 2011) was posted on the Caddo Conference Organization (www.caddoconference.org) website. A fourth edition was published by the Friends of Northeast Texas Archaeology (Perttula et al. 2013). It is my hope that this latest version of the bibliography will continue to be a useful reference work for people conducting research on, and/or are interested in, Caddo native history and culture.
This version of the bibliography contains over 5000 references whose subject matter in some manner is about the Caddo Indian peoples, an aboriginal people that lived in southwest Arkansas, northwest Louisiana, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas (Figure 1) from as early as the Woodland period (ca. 500 B.C. to A.D. 800) to the present-day. References concerning older cultures that inhabited the area — Archaic and Paleoindian cultures — are not included in the bibliography. Their traditional homelands, centering on the Red River in the Great Bend area, covered approximately 200,000 km 2. The bibliography is organized into three major sections: (1) Caddo Archeology and Bioarcheology; (2) Caddo Ethnohistory & Ethnography; and (3) Caddo History.
I intend the Caddo bibliography to include references to all works that address Caddo research questions and topics and/or provide information that will be useful to people involved in Caddo research in this region, and it is current as of June 2014. These include cultural resources management (CRM) reports of limited distribution, journal articles, books, and other published or formally completed documents, as well as important unpublished references. I have tried to select references that have substantive information on the archeology and history of the Caddo or their Woodland period ancestors within the boundaries of the Caddo area. It is planned that this Bibliography will be regularly updated and posted online on the Journal of Texas Archeology and History website.