9,760 research outputs found

    Issues Regarding the Early Development of Caddo Culture Discussion Topics for the East Texas Caddo Research Group, December 2008

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    Is there a consensus regarding which archaeological traits are diagnostic of Caddo culture? What are the necessary and sufficient traits for designating a context as “Caddo” as opposed to, for example, “pre-Caddo” or “Coles Creek?

    Recent Investigations at the Mounds Plantation Site (16CD12), Caddo Parish, Louisiana

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    Dr. Montroville Wilson Dickeson, born in Philadelphia in 1810, was a medical doctor, taxidermist and avid collector of fossils. Between 1837 and 1844 he pursued another interest—excavating Indian burial mounds in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. He claimed to have “opened up” more than a thousand mounds and collected more than 40,000 objects. He also made drawings of the mounds and later provided these to an artist by the name of John J. Egan, who, about 1850, converted the drawings into a series of large paintings on huge canvases. Dickeson toured the country in 1852 allowing the public to view the canvasses and his artifact collections for a fee of 25 cents. The panorama, titled “Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley”, was nine feet high, 400 feet long, and consisted of 27 scenes. The canvasses later were curated at the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania until 1953 when purchased by the St. Louis Art Museum where they remain today. Dickeson’s lecture notes refer to Scene 21 as follows: “The following picture shows a group of connected mounds in Caddo Parish, in Northwestern Louisiana, with some of the aboriginal inhabitants of the region . . .” The scene depicts a cluster of nine mounds, some of which are connected by low earthen walls. In the background are mountains, and a group of Indians with elaborate headdresses are shown in front of tents. Similar mountains and the same Indian scene appear in other segments of the Mississippi Panorama and are understandable in light of the Romantic artistic style of the times, as well as the fact that the panorama was part of a show intended to evoke wonder and awe in its audience. Today we know of only one place in Caddo Parish where there is a cluster of at least nine mounds. Located on the western side of the Red River, north of the present city of Shreveport, is the Mounds Plantation Site (16CD12), the single largest Caddo ceremonial center in northwestern Louisiana. It seems fitting that the earliest reference that we have to a prehistoric site in northwest Louisiana likely pertains to Mounds Plantation, a place of primary importance to its ancient Caddo inhabitants, as well as to modern archaeological research

    Comments on Caddo Origins in Northwest Louisiana

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    This paper presents some of my thoughts on the issue of Caddo origins from the perspective of the Red River drainage in northwest Louisiana. These ideas were assembled prior to the Caddo discussion group meeting held in December 2008 and have been only slightly modified here. The paper was not given as a formal presentation, but I attempted to introduce the main points during the group discussion. Development of better chronological controls is crucial for addressing problems of Caddo origins, and I discuss this issue first. Although much has been settled since the early Krieger-Ford discussions, a finer-grained chronology is necessary to answer questions that are now of interest. We remain largely dependent on our understanding of changes in ceramic assemblages and how we can tie these to chronometric scales based primarily on radiocarbon dating. I next review the cultural taxonomic units that have been used to classify the pre-Caddo archaeological record in the Trans-Mississippi South. Rather than taking the view that one or more of these cultural entities transformed into Caddo culture, I suggest that Caddo origins might be better viewed as the development of social and economic behaviors that linked relatively small-scale social units previously only loosely and sporadically associated. I then discuss the possible importance of the development of ceremonial centers, the appearance of elite mortuary traits, and the circulation of finely engraved ceramic vessels for understanding changes in social and economic integration that took place in the Trans- Mississippi South between approximately A.D. 900 and A.D. 1050. Finally, I offer a list of some basic questions that I feel are important for furthering our understanding of Caddo origins

    Phelps Lake and Jim Burt: Two Middle Woodland Period Mounds in Northwestern Louisiana

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    Clarence Webb defined the pre-Caddoan Bellevue focus on the basis of investigations at several isolated mounds located in upland settings in northwestern Louisiana. With the exception of the Bellevue Site (16B04), little detailed information is available about these mounds. Most were excavated many years ago and few notes, photographs, or other records exist This paper describes the results of recent cleaning of an old excavation trench through one of the Bellevue focus sites the Phelps Lake Mound (16B024). The work has provided a relatively detailed look at the mound strata. A radiocarbon assay on a sample of charcoal underlying the mound constitutes one of the few chronometric dates from a Bellevue focus context. Also discussed briefly is the Jim Burt Site (16B023), where a radiocarbon assay was obtained on charcoal recovered near the mound

    Exploring emerging technologies for extreme scale HPC architectures

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    While architectures and programming models have remained relatively stable for almost two decades, new architectural features, such as heterogeneous processing, nonvolatile memory, and optical interconnection networks, will demand that software systems and applications be redesigned so that they expose massive amounts of hierarchical parallelism, carefully orchestrate data movement, and balance concerns over performance, power, and resiliency. This instability has led to two inevitable problems: decreased programmer productivity, and difficult performance prediction. In this talk, I will describe two solutions to these problems, respectively: our OpenARC compiler and runtime system, and our Aspen performance modeling language. First, OpenARC is a research compiler that supports OpenACC and OpenMP4, and can generate code in CUDA, OpenCL, and LLVM IR. OpenARC has enabled us to explore how to enable performance portability of applications across diverse architectures. Second, Aspen is a domain specific language for structured analytical modeling of applications and architectures. It is designed to enable rapid exploration of new algorithm and architectures. Once created, Aspen models can then be used for a variety of purposes including predicting performance of future applications, evaluating system architectures, informing runtime scheduling decisions, and identifying system anomalies

    Sites in Northern Louisiana with Major Collections of Historic Caddo and Other Native American Pottery

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    Archaeological sites in northern Louisiana that date to the 18th and 19th centuries which have yielded significant amounts of Native American pottery are plotted on the accompanying map, and briefly summarized below. A common feature of ceramic collections from these sites is the prevalence of shell temper, a trait that is rare prior to the late 17th century in the region. The earliest contexts probably date from the late 17th to the early 18th centuries and include utilitarian types that were common during the Late Caddo period (ca. A.D. 1500-1700). By the middle 18th century, these types apparently were no longer used as shown by their absence at Los Adaes and sites along Cane River. Many traditional Caddo vessel forms (such as bottles and carinated bowls) appear to have dropped out of use during the late 18th century. Several early 19th century sites that relate to occupants of the ethnically-mixed Bayou Pierre community north of Natchitoches contain Native American shell-tempered pottery, but represented vessel forms are similar to the Colonoware that is widespread in the eastern U.S. A small number of engraved and incised sherds have been recovered at these sites, but it is possible that they are from earlier Caddo occupations. Groups that originated east of the Mississippi Valley moved into northern Louisiana during the late 18th century, and new types such as Zimmerman Black, Chickashae Red, Chickashae Combed, and Chattahoochee Roughened appear in the archaeological record. Native American pottery disappears from the archaeological record in the region by 1830

    An Early Ceramic Period Pit Feature at the Swan Lake Site (16BO11), Bossier Parish, Lousiana

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    A pit feature containing Tchefuncte-like pottery, a Gary point, and fauna) remains recently was investigated at the Swan Lake Site (168011) located near Willow Chute Bayou in the Red River floodplain of eastern Bossier Parish. Three charcoal samples from the pit yielded radiocarbon ages of 2020 + /-60 B. P., 1830+/-70 B.P., and 1690+/-80 B.P. making this the earliest well-dated context in northwestern Louisiana containing ceramics. The most conspicuous feature at the site is a mound, now approximately 2.5 m high and about 25 min diameter. Clarence Webb first recorded the site, but only made a short description: Solitary mound on n-east shore of Swan Lake, which is an old Red River channel. Is circular in shape, approx. 8-10 ft. high, 60 ft. at the base and 20 ft. on summit. Has several shallow trial holes on top, appears to be built up of sand -- no sherds found on or around mound -- trial holes show mostly sandy soil near clay out in field. In one or two places 3 to 4 inches dark soil found. In nearby field, 1 rough spear head found. Since Webb\u27s initial visit the landowners have collected numerous artifacts from the site surface. Most of the decorated pottery consists of Early to Middle Caddoan Period types suggesting that the mound is related to those at the nearby Vanceville (16807) and Werner (16808) sites. However, also present are a large number of Gary points and several sherds similar to those recovered from the Bellevue Site (16BO4) indicating that an earlier occupation is represented as well
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