113,493 research outputs found

    Current Research: Toward a Collaborative Development of a Truly Comprehensive Multi-State Material Culture Database

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    Throughout the past several years, I have been compiling, with the help of several Caddo researchers, a comprehensive multi-state database primarily composed of whole Caddo vessels from published excavations, private collections, and archaeological reports. At present, the database contains over 13,000 vessel entries from over 500 sites ranging from a single vessel recorded at a site to hundreds. Over the years, the database has evolved to contain, where applicable, attribute fields on type, variety, motif designs (largely using the Glossary of Motifs published in the Spiro shell engravings, collegiate assignment, form, temper, decorative method (incised, brushed, etc.), context (burial #, site #, intra site location), pigment, archaeological phase, collector, repository, associated photographs, and reference citations. The database is managed using Microsoft Access where data are imported into ESRI ArcGIS and spatial analyses can be conducted. This is a continual, and perhaps never-ending, work in progress where attribute fields are added, types are vetted, and new sites are included. In some cases, “Caddo-like” vessels from sites outside the Caddo Archaeological Area, or Caddo Homeland, are included in order to evaluate social interaction and exchange of ideas. Through this process, some initial insights into landscape scale social interactions and interregional relationships using this growing comprehensive database have been explored

    Effigy Pottery in the Joint Educational Consortium’s Hodges Collection

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    As part of on-going documentation of the Joint Educational Consortium’s Hodges Collection, 31 ceramic effigy vessels or vessel fragments are described. Most were dug by Thomas and Charlotte Hodges or Vere Huddleston in the 1930s-1940s from sites in the Middle Ouachita archeological region of southwest Arkansas. By documenting these vessels and what is known of their archeological contexts, we can better employ them in future analyses of regional variation, iconography, and interactions between the Caddo Area and the Mississippian Southeast

    Comparing Caddo and Coles Creek Pottery Using Petrographic Analysis

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    Pottery classified as “Coles Creek Incised” is common both to the earliest Caddo sites along the Red River and to contemporary sites in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Although it often is suggested that Coles Creek pottery from the two regions can be distinguished by differences in paste, no detailed comparative studies have been carried out. An initial attempt to identify variation through the use of petrographic analysis was carried out by comparing 50 samples drawn from sites in northwest and central Louisiana. Although no sharp dichotomy was noted between the regions, the study identified distinctions that support the notion that most Coles Creek pottery was made locally and different technological traditions may be represented

    How the Ji’kmaqn Came to Spiro: Possible Additions to the Inventory of Sound-Making Instruments Depicted in the Spiro Engravings

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    While doing research on turtle shell rattles the author stumbled onto a photograph of a rare and unusual idiophone whose exact likeness appears twice in one of the engraved shell images from Spiro. This paper describes the instrument and the Spiro image and discusses how an instrument currently found only in the Maritime Provinces of Canada may have come to be portrayed on a marine shell cup found at Spiro

    Syntheses of the Caddo Archaeological Record

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    The pursuit of Caddo archaeological research over the last 100+ years has led to considerable gains during that time in the understanding of such research issues as settlement patterning, subsistence change and diet, health and adaptive efficiency, sociopolitical organization, ceremony and ritual, iconography, and exchange networks among the Caddo peoples and their past communities. Much of this has been the result of intensive cultural resource management investigations in southwestern Arkansas, northwestern Louisiana, eastern Oklahoma, and East Texas, along with focused archaeological research projects conducted by university archaeological programs and state and regional archaeological societies. The years ahead promise to continue to shed new light on the character and understanding of the ca. A.D. 850-1850s Caddo archaeological record

    Looped and Perforated Elbow Pipes in Northeast Texas

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    Todd presented a general chronology for the presence of aboriginal-manufactured clay elbow pipes in Northeast Texas Caddo sites. Most of the pipe types have an extensive range in time; however, this may be true for thong elbow pipes. This paper looks further at the time range for; and the variety, of thong pipes. Jackson refers to elbow pipes that have a hole between the keel and the bowl as thong pipes. A string appears to have been run through the holes. He refers to the two types of pipes as handled and holed, but I use the terms looped and perforated. Perino mentions that the perforation in the pipe\u27s keel may have been so that a cord could be fastened to the stem, similar to some French and Native American micmac pipes

    Heterarchy as Complexity: Archaeology in Yoro, Honduras

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    Based on archaeological evidence from the Cuyumapa Valley in Honduras, including the presence of multiple ballcourts, this paper argues that archaeologists need to pay more attention to Carole Crumley\u27s concept of heterarchy when considering social relations, political relations, and power in ancient societies such as those of the Maya and their neighbors in Mesoamerica. We redefine complexity to include less centralized but regionally heterogeneous societies in which social and political relations are not all centralized into a single hierarchical structure. The Cuyumapa Valley falls in the zone traditionally described as the southeastern edge or periphery of Mesoamerica. Yet our research shows that the region was not a less complex periphery reacting to stimuli from neighboring Maya societies but a region with its own specific developmental history

    A Report on a Long Term Research Program on the Bowman site in Arkansas

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    The Bowman (3LR46) and Bowman/Wallace (3LR50) sites represent a Caddo multi-mound center on the Red River in Little River County, Arkansas. Southeastern researchers may recognize the site name from an engraved shell cup and several additional “SECC” objects found in Mound 2. Hoffman provides a brief summary of digging at the sites and offers a proposed site organization of eight mounds (both burial and “temple mounds”) surrounding a possible plaza area and at least three offmound cemeteries. Material collected from Mounds 1 and 2 and two off-mound cemeteries suggest Haley phase (ca. A.D. 1200-1400) occupations. Additionally, data from Mound 1 have the potential to “reveal a solid sequence of [Caddo] burial and mortuary artifact styles” beginning with the earliest Caddo occupations in the Red River region

    A Caddo Archeology Map

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    Archeologists use the term “Caddo” to refer to the many archaeological sites and abundant material remains that the ancestors of the modern Caddo peoples left behind over a large area of four different states, including eastern Texas, northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma, traditionally centered on the Red River and its tributary streams. That record is marked by the remains of farmsteads, hamlets, villages, family and community cemeteries, and many small and large mound centers with public structures on and off mound platforms, plazas, and the burials of the social and political elite in and off mounds, as well as a rich material culture, especially their well-crafted ceramic wares. The peoples that lived in this area shared a common cultural heritage and native history that spanned more than a millennium

    Some Notes on Replicating Prehistoric Pottery

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    My interest in pottery replication began about 30 years ago. As an archeologist, I was often required to analyze collections of prehistoric pottery. My analytical techniques were limited but standard for the day and usually involved classifying pottery according to previously defined pottery types and varieties. While this type of classification helps archeologists develop chronologies and determine cultural affiliation, it provides little understanding of how pottery was actually made. I felt that I might be able to enhance my analytical skills and possibly glean a little more from the archeological record if I could learn more about how pottery was made. So in 1978, I gathered some alluvial clay from the Arkansas River floodplain and began my long journey. My primary objective has been to try and reproduce, as closely as possible, what I see in the archeological record in hopes that it might give me and others a better understanding of all the processes involved in the manufacture of prehistoric pottery. I sometimes find that I can’t see what I am looking at in sufficient detail until I am faced with the task of having to draw or make it. Replication forces us to take a closer look at things and then allows us to see a little more clearly. Replication also connects you to the past and allows you to learn directly from the original artist. For me, it was simply not enough to just study pottery – I had to experience it. During my journey, I have drawn information from a variety of resources. These include a careful analysis of prehistoric pottery, an extensive review of archeological and ethnographic documentation regarding Indian pottery manufacture in the Southeast, studying modern cultures that still use traditional pottery making techniques, consulting with Indian potters, archeologists other replicators and through trial and error coupled with careful observation and comparison (basic Experimental Archeology)
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