East Texas Archeological Conference

Joint East Texas Archeological Conference and Caddo Conference

February 28 and 29, 2020, University of Texas at Tyler.

We invite you to join us for the joint 62nd Caddo Conference and 27th East Texas Archeological Conference on February 28 and 29, 2020 in Tyler, Texas, on the University of Texas at Tyler campus. The Caddo Conference rotates annually among Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to promote and to stimulate interest in the archeology, history, and ethnology of the Caddo archeological region. The East Texas Archeological Conference is hosted annually at the University of Texas at Tyler to bring together people interested in the archeology and cultural heritage of east Texas. About every 4 years, they are hosted jointly in Tyler.

This year’s conference will be in support of the Caddo Nation and rebuilding of facilities at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

George Sabo III (Arkansas Archeological Survey)

The Archeology of Caddo Storytelling

Abstract: Storytelling is a powerful instrument for teaching, learning, and creating new knowledge and information among communities around the world, including Native Americans past and present. Storytelling is primarily a dramatic performance that does not often yield a diagnostic material signature; to what extent, then, might such performances be reflected in the archeological record? This presentation explores links between Caddo narrative traditions and artistic representation, using examples from 15th century storytelling performances at the Spiro Ceremonial Center and early 17th century performances by a coalescent community resident in the Carden Bottoms locality of central Arkansas.

LOCATION:

The University Center (UC), University of Texas at Tyler. (Click here for campus map.)

The hours are 9 AM until 4 PM. Registration begins at 8:30 AM. The registration fee is $20.

PARKING:

Parking is available in both the Parking Garage or Parking Lots 15 and 18, across the street from Republic Icehouse on University Drive. (Click here for campus map.)

To avoid a parking ticket, please be sure to print a visitor parking pass and display it on the passenger-side dashboard. Click link to print parking pass. Pass ID: 22775-327818656. We will also have students at the South Entrance handing out parking passes and more passes available at the registration desk.

LODGING:

The designated hotel is the STAYBRIDGE SUITES hotel though there are many really good options in Tyler. 2759 McDonald Road & SE Loop 323, Tyler, Texas 75701 903.566.1100 http://www.staybridge.com

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Dr. Thomas Guderjan tguderjan@uttyler.edu 817-831-9011

ORGANIZERS

Thomas Guderjan (University of Texas at Tyler), Colleen Hanratty (University of Texas at Tyler), Cory Sills (University of Texas at Tyler), Christy Simmons (University of Texas at Tyler), Keith Eppich (Tyler Junior College), Anthony Souther (Caddo Mounds State Historic Site), Amanda Regnier (Oklahoma Archeological Survey), Mark Walters (Texas Historical Commission Steward).

SPONSORS:

The Center for Social Science Research and Department of Social Sciences, University of Texas at Tyler.

Humanities Texas

Kevin Stingley

Arkansas Archeological Survey

Beta Analytic, Inc.

Friends of Northeast Texas Archeology

East Texas Archeological Society

Maya Research Program

Tejas Archeology

Tyler Junior College

Gregg County Historical Museum

American Indian Heritage Day of Texas (September 26, 2020)

2020 PROGRAM

Friday, February 28

8:00 AM Registration, coffee and light food

9:00 Introduction. Thomas Guderjan

9:10 Paying History Forward: Engaging the Public in the History of Place. Gary Pinkerton

9:30 The Past, Present, and Future of Aerial Archaeology at Northwestern State University of Louisiana: Looking Back, Looking Ahead. Tommy Ike Hailey and J.D. Cox

9:50 Interpreting Caddo Effigy Vessels through Technology, Stories, and Dance. Mary Beth Trubitt, George Sabo III, and Teka McGlothlin

10:10 Coffee Break

10:40 Biologically Available Pb: A Method for Ancient Human Sourcing Using Pb Isotopes from Prehistoric Animal Teeth. John R. Samuelsen and Adriana Potra

11:00 Update on the Analysis of the A.S. Mann Site (41AN201), a Late Caddo Village in the Upper Neches River Valley, Anderson County, Texas. Waldo Troell, David Kelley, Erin Phillips, August G. Costa, Leslie L. Bush, Melanie Nichols, and Timothy K. Perttula

11:20 The Anthropology/Archaeology Lab at Stephen F. Austin State University, 2019. Jennifer Luce, Ezra Jennings, Brian Cox, Michael Andrews, and George Avery

11:40 Archeology at Amos, 1976 and 2020. Tommie Cotton and Mary Beth Trubitt

12:00-1:30 LUNCH AVAILABLE IN THE UNIVERSITY CENTER

1:30 A Multi-Sensor Geophysical Survey of the Brackett site (34CK43) in Eastern Oklahoma. Alexandra Flores

1:50 Examining Neosho Peoples and their Regional Interactions through Ceramic Design. Paige Ford

2:10 The Dauber Site (34LF1624): Emergency Data Recovery Excavations at a Fort Coffee Phase Site on the Arkansas River. Scott Hammerstedt, Amanda Regnier, Kary Stackelbeck, and Debra Green

2:30 Understanding the Organization of a Pilgrimage at Spiro. Patrick C. Livingood, Scott W. Hammerstedt, Jami J. Lockhart, Tim Mulvihill, Amanda L. Regnier, George Sabo III, and John R. Samuelsen

3:00 Caddo Conference Organization meeting

4:00 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESS: The Archaeology of Caddo Storytelling. Dr. George Sabo III.

Saturday, February 29

8:00 AM Registration, coffee and light food

9:00 A First Look Beneath the Sod: The 2019 Arkansas Archeological Society Training Program at Lockesburg Mounds, Sevier County, Arkansas. Carl Drexler

9:20 The Long Site (41CE330), An Ancestral Caddo Site on Box’s Creek in the Neches River Basin, Cherokee County, Texas. Kevin Stingley and Tim Perttula

9:40 Jowell Knives in East Texas Caddo Sites. Drew Sitters

10:00 The Savoy Site (41LB27): A Major Trade Entrepot for Southeast Texas. Wilson W. Crook III

10:20 Coffee Break

10:40 Interpreting Troy Adams (34FL33): A Fourche Maline Mound in Eastern Oklahoma. Candace Parker

11:00 Introducing the Center for Environment, Biodiversity and Conservation. Josh Banta

11:20 Caddo Language & Songs: Ha’ahut danayoh, Hasinay dohkana’ah (Sing well, talk Caddo). Alaina Tahlate and Chad Earles

11:40-1:00 LUNCH AVAILABLE AT THE MET IN THE UNIVERSITY CENTER

1:00 The disaster at Caddo Mounds and future plans. Jeff Williams and Anthony Souther

2:00 Roundtable discussion by artists: Jeri Redcorn, Chase Earles, Wayne Earles, Chad Earles, Yonavea Hawkins, Tracy Burrows, Jenifer Reader. Discussion led by Merrie Wright, Chair, Department of Art and Art History, University of Texas at Tyler.

3:00 Traditional Caddo Dances, in the UC lobby or the Patriot Plaza, weather permitting. Drumming by Michael Meeks with dancers from the Binger Caddo Culture Club and the Metro Caddo Culture Club.

2020 ABSTRACTS

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: The Archaeology of Caddo Storytelling. George Sabo III (Arkansas Archeological Survey) Storytelling is a powerful instrument for teaching, learning, and creating new knowledge and information among communities around the world, including Native Americans past and present. Storytelling is primarily a dramatic performance that does not often yield a diagnostic material signature; to what extent, then, might such performances be reflected in the archeological record? This presentation explores links between Caddo narrative traditions and artistic representation, using examples from 15th century storytelling performances at the Spiro Ceremonial Center and early 17th century performances by a coalescent community resident in the Carden Bottoms locality of central Arkansas.

Archaeology at Amos, 1976 and 2020. Tommie Cotton and Mary Beth Trubitt (Arkansas Archeological Survey) While the Amos site (3MN62) was tested as part of Ann Early’s 1975-1976 Arkansas Archeological Survey/Arkansas Archeological Society Training Program project investigating Caddo occupation in the Ouachita Mountains, the excavation results were never fully analyzed and published. The Survey’s recent curated collections inventory efforts allow us to focus new attention to this project. This paper reviews the 1976 excavations at Amos, discusses the cultural features and archaeomagnetic dating results, and outlines current efforts to analyze the artifact assemblage. When complete, the Amos analysis can be compared with results from other nearby sites in the Caddo River drainage, such as Standridge (3MN53) and Caddo Hills (3MN22).

The Savoy Site (41LB27): A Major Trade Entrepot for Southeast Texas. Wilson W. Crook, III (Independent Researcher) Over the past three years, the Houston Archeological Society has been involved in a detail study of the Andy Kyle Archeological Collection currently curated at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas. One of the largest sites represented in the collection (n=20,549 artifacts) is the Savoy site (41LB27) located in north-central Liberty County. Archeological periods present at the site range from Paleoindian (Dalton, San Patrice, Angostura) to Late Prehistoric with the largest occupation being in the Late Archaic and Woodland periods. A number of exotic items are present in the collections including two bannerstones and a boatstone made from non-Texas lithic materials, a Mabin Stamped, var. Joe's Bayou ceramic bowl, a type hitherto only known from five sites in the Lower Mississippi Valley, and a hairpin and a projectile point made from copper. Preliminary analysis indicates the copper originated in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Recent work by Jason Barrett has shown that the Savoy site is situated near a major east-west prehistoric trade router as well as along a major north-south trail that transected the Big Thicket of Southeast Texas. As such, the site probably represents a major entrepot for trade entering the region.

A First Look Beneath the Sod: The 2019 Arkansas Archeological Society Training Program at Lockesburg Mounds, Sevier County, Arkansas. Carl G. Drexler (Arkansas Archeological Survey) Lockesburg Mounds is one of the largest sites in the Little River basin and has been severely damaged by relic hunting over the past 100 years. The Arkansas Archeological Survey research station at Southern Arkansas University has started studying the site to explore its history and unravel the complex and unfortunate history of looting at the site. One effort within this project was the 2019 Arkansas Archeological Society Training Program, which explored the construction sequence of the major mound on site and uncovered information about other parts of the site’s landscape. This paper is a recitation of things learned about the site, works put in progress, and plans for future explorations at the site.

A Multi-Sensor Geophysical Survey of the Brackett site (34CK43) in Eastern Oklahoma. Alexandra Flores (University of Oklahoma) This presentation focuses on the preliminary results of a multi-sensor geophysical survey conducted at the Brackett site (34CK43) located in eastern Oklahoma. The Brackett site is a Harlan Phase (A.D. 1150-1250) Spiro-related mound site that was excavated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the late 1930s. This project is the first geophysical survey that has been performed at Brackett, utilizing magnetometry, ground-penetrating radar, and electrical resistivity. These preliminary results reveal anomalies that are consistent with archaeological features typical of the Spiro region, as well as anomalies that are indicative of remnants from the WPA excavations.

Examining Neosho Peoples and their Regional Interactions through Ceramic Design. Paige Ford (University of Oklahoma) The Neosho phase (AD 1400-1650) in northeastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, southwestern Missouri, and southeastern Kansas represents a Late Pre-Contact peoples integrated into a complex system of interaction. Though researchers have historically struggled in understanding the origins or cultural affiliation of this phase, it is clear that Neosho peoples—in part due to their location in a valuable ecotone—were enmeshed within a network of relationships with peoples on the Plains and in the Eastern Woodlands. This paper expands upon previous investigations conducted by the author which seek to clarify and better understand the nuances of these regional interactions during the Late Pre-Contact period. Using social network analysis on ceramic attribute data, these investigations will demonstrate the interconnectedness of communities of practice cross-regionally.

The Past, Present, and Future of Aerial Archaeology at Northwestern State University of Louisiana: Looking Back, Looking Ahead. Tommy Ike Hailey and J.D. Cox (Northwestern State University of Louisiana) For nearly two decades, the Cultural Resource Office at Northwestern State University of Louisiana has employed a powered parachute as an archaeological aerial reconnaissance vehicle for site discovery, detailed site investigation, and cultural landscape studies at prehistoric and historical archaeological sites across the United States. With the development of low cost unmanned platforms capable of bringing an increasingly wide variety of options into play for data acquisition, the focus of NSU CRO is expanding from a departmental aerial archaeology program into a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental campus-wide initiative that will incorporate aerial, terrestrial, and underwater remote systems to address the demands of today’s research environment.

The Dauber Site (34LF1624): Emergency Data Recovery Excavations at a Fort Coffee Phase Site on the Arkansas River. Scott Hammerstedt, Amanda Regnier, Kary Stackelbeck, and Debra Green (Oklahoma Archeological Survey) In June 2019, flooding of the Arkansas River upstream from Spiro exposed the Dauber site (34LF1624), a previously unrecorded village site dating to the Fort Coffee phase (AD 1450-1650). The Oklahoma Archeological Survey conducted an emergency data recovery of the site over the next several weeks. The receding flood waters removed soil from two large craters within the site boundaries leaving features exposed and partially intact above the surface of the crater. In this presentation, we discuss the challenges of conducting “reverse archaeology” and the contributions of this site to our understanding of Fort Coffee phase villages around Spiro.

Understanding the Organization of a Pilgrimage at Spiro. Patrick C. Livingood (University of Oklahoma), Scott W. Hammerstedt (Oklahoma Archeological Survey) Jami J. Lockhart (Arkansas Archeological Survey), Tim Mulvihill (Arkansas Archeological Survey), Amanda L. Regnier (Oklahoma Archeological Survey), George Sabo III (Oklahoma Archeological Survey), and John R. Samuelsen (Arkansas Archeological Survey and Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas) Multisensor geophysical survey and targeted excavations at Spiro have identified a large number of hastily erected buildings that were occupied for only a short time, perhaps as part of a pilgrimage to the site. In previous papers, we noted that these structures were aligned roughly in rows paralleling the orientation of the Craig mound. Here, we present a more complete map of temporary structures to attempt to discern the social processes that may have driven this alignment.

The Anthropology/Archaeology Lab at Stephen F. Austin State University, 2019. Jennifer Luce, Ezra Jennings, Briana Cox, Michael Andrews, and George Avery (Stephen F. Austin State University.) 2019 was a particularly good year for the Anthropology/Archaeology Lab at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA). We earned re-certification from the Texas Historical Commission in the summer, and we were granted another ten years. This time, we had no deficiencies. We had the same support from SFA for the Work Study program that we’ve had all along—they allowed us enough Federal Work Study money to have four Student Workers. In the fall, there has been an emphasis on undergraduate research at SFA, and Dr. Chandler-Ezel, a Cultural Anthropologist in the Department, really focused on recruiting volunteer students for the Lab. We had eight student volunteers in the Fall semester, in addition to the one that we had previously. Credit goes to Michael Andrews for being the student to step up and organize the volunteers. We will discuss the various projects the Student Workers and Student Volunteers have been working on.

Interpreting Troy Adams (34FL33): A Fourche Maline Mound in Eastern Oklahoma. Candace Parker (Oklahoma Archaeological Survey) This is a presentation of an examination of artifacts excavated at 34LF33 (Troy Adams) by the WPA during the summers of 1939 and 1940. This site, along with many sites in the Wister Valley in Eastern Oklahoma, are a part of the Fourche Maline archaeological culture 2300 – 1100 BP. Fouche Maline sites are typically characterized by dense dark-earth midden-mounds, which contain thick, grog-tempered, flower pot-shaped pottery, variations of Gary projectile points, and a host of ground-stone objects. Preliminary analysis demonstrates that the Troy Adams site shares similar assemblage content and structure to other Fourche Maline mounds.

Paying History Forward: Engaging the Public in the History of Place. Gary Pinkerton (Independent Researcher) Discovering some 15 years ago that Trammel’s Trace crossed family land in Rusk County, Texas, was life-altering knowledge for me. Hundreds of miles of back roads, thousands of original land surveys, and countless conversations with archaeologists, translators, geographers, and local landowners and historians resulted in a detailed mapping of the old route. That initial curiosity has also resulted in a book on Trammel’s Trace and the dedication of two new historical markers. By incorporating East Texas-centric research on the Caddo into my research and learning more about the general location of documented sites, I was better able to interpret the history, landscape, and living conditions of the period for non-academic readers.

Biologically Available Pb: A Method for Ancient Human Sourcing Using Pb Isotopes from Prehistoric Animal Teeth. John R. Samuelsen (Arkansas Archeological Survey and Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas) and Adriana Potra (Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas). This study analyzes Pb isotopes combining biological (ancient human and prehistoric animal teeth) and geological (soil leachate, whole rock, and rock leachate) samples to determine the origins of prehistoric skeletal elements. It exemplifies how the biologically available Pb method assesses the early lifetime locations of ancient human populations using prehistoric animal teeth and the multivariate/linear nature of Pb isotope data. Lead isotopes provide a valuable technique, in part, due to the correlation between their six stable isotope ratios. Other studies have used Pb isotopes for similar purposes, but no clear method for determining a local range has yet been formally defined and tested. The biologically available Pb method uses many prehistoric animal tooth enamel samples to establish a baseline for local ratios in the region, then compares their ratios’ linear patterning to human remains to test if they are non-local. The case study compares Pb isotopes from prehistoric animal teeth, human teeth, and whole rocks from southwest Arkansas. These results are compared to animal samples from Louisiana and Mississippi and human data from Illinois and New Mexico. Soil leachates, Pb concentrations of tooth enamel, and trace element analysis are used to assess contamination. Comparisons to southwest Arkansas whole rock Pb isotope ratios suggest they are too variable to be used for direct comparison to ancient human remains, illustrating that prehistoric animal teeth are more appropriate for direct comparison to prehistoric human teeth. The biologically available Pb method provides a key analysis tool needed for studies of ancient human sourcing.

Jowell Knives in East Texas Caddo Sites. Drew Sitters (Texas Historical Commission) Jowell knives are a rare lithic stone tool found among historic Caddo burials in East Texas. With only three known sites producing such artifacts, there is little known about their use within Caddo society. Ongoing research aims to explore their function and reevaluate their classification as knives.

The Long Site (41CE330), An Ancestral Caddo Site on Box’s Creek in the Neches River Basin, Cherokee County, Texas. Kevin Stingley (Texas Historical Commission Archaeological Steward) and Tim Perttula (Archeological & Environmental Consultants, LLC). The Long Site is principally an ancestral Caddo site dating mainly back to the Early Caddo Period (ca. A.D. 900-1200) and the Alto Phase. The site is located about 10 km northwest of the George C. Davis site on an alluvial terrace above Box’s Creek in the southwest part of Cherokee County. The site was recorded in 1997 during a survey for a utility line right-of-way. The location of the site was unknown to the landowner and no further work was done until it was discovered in 2018 when extensive shovel testing took place.

Caddo Language & Songs: Ha’ahut danayoh, Hasinay dohkana’ah (Sing well, talk Caddo). Alaina Tahlate and Chad Earles (Caddo Nation of Oklahoma) The Caddo language has fewer than 20 speakers left, all of which are over 60. With the Caddo language at risk of going to sleep, it is essential for members of the Caddo Nation to not only preserve but restore the speaking population of Caddo by bringing it back into spaces where it was once spoken frequently. One of the main spaces where Caddo people gather is at annual tribal dances, where the community comes together to remember their shared history and heritage through song. However, most tribal members are not able to understand the words in Caddo songs due to the critically endangered status of the language. Caddo language revitalization has the potential to be effective as a means of greater cultural revival. Language is not only a means of communication; it furnishes a sense of identity and carries culturally significant information. Knowledge of Caddo language provides meaningful context behind Caddo songs, which makes it even more necessary for Caddo language to be consciously reincorporated into the setting of tribal dances. The vitality of the Caddo culture in the future depends upon the collaboration within the community to perpetuate the intergenerational transmission of Caddo songs and language.

Update on the Analysis of the A.S. Mann Site (41AN201), a Late Caddo Village in the Upper Neches River Valley, Anderson County, Texas. Waldo Troell (TxDOT), David Kelley, Erin Phillips, August G. Costa (Coastal Environments, Inc.), Leslie L. Bush (Macrobotanical Analysis), Melanie Nichols (Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc.) and Timothy K. Perttula (Archeological & Environmental Consultants, LLC) In advance of a planned highway project, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) relocated a Caddo site that was recorded about 80 years earlier. Under contract to TxDOT, Coastal Environments conducted data recovery excavations of the A.S. Mann Site (41AN201) within the highway right of way. Ongoing analyses indicate this portion of the site was occupied by high status families associated with a larger Caddo community. The main occupation dates to the transition from the Frankston phase to the Allen phase (AD 1500s-1600’s), and includes artifacts documenting early European contact. Updates include results from the artifact inventory such as types and counts of ceramic vessels, pipes, projectile points, and stone tools. Studies include osteological, macrobotanical, and pollen/phytolith preservation.

Interpreting Caddo Effigy Vessels through Technology, Stories, and Dance. Mary Beth Trubitt, George Sabo III, and Teka McGlothlin (Arkansas Archeological Survey) Human figures and animals such as ducks, turtles, frogs, fish, and bears were occasionally depicted on pottery (and rarely, on wooden vessels) in the Caddo area. In this paper, we focus on recent documentation and analysis of effigies in the Joint Educational Consortium’s Hodges Collection from Arkansas. Interpretations of these objects and their uses and meanings in the past can come from new technologies such as 3D scanning, from ethnohistoric descriptions of Caddo communities, ceremonies, and stories by outsiders beginning in the late 1600s, and from traditional dances – such as the Bear Dance, Duck Dance, Turkey Dance, Fish Dance – still performed by Caddo Indians in the present day.

The disaster at Caddo Mounds and future plans. Jeff Williams (Stephen F. Austin State University) and Anthony Souther (Caddo Mounds State Historic Site) In the spring of 2019, the museum and other facilities at Caddo Mounds were destroyed by a tornado during a public event. The events, physical and human damage and plans for rebuilding will be reviewed.

Past Conferences:


26th Annual East Texas Archeology Conference: Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Join us for the 26th annual East Texas Archeology Conference, Saturday, February 23rd, 2019! The conference will be held at the Ornelas Activity Center at The University of Texas at Tyler from 8AM until 4:30PM. The East Texas Archaeology Conference includes speakers from across East Texas and surrounding regions, presenting the latest in archaeological research. The conference is open to the public. (Please note that you do NOT need to preregister for the ETAC conference! You can register at the event starting at 8am on Saturday! The $20 registration fee includes lunch served on site.)

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce the 26th annual East Texas Archeology Conference will focus on Paleoindians. We look forward to keynote presentations by Dr. Michael Waters, Dr. Michael Collins, and Dr. Amanda Evens. Join us on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 for these keynote speakers plus many more presentations highlighting archaeological research of East Texas and surrounding regions.

  • Dr. Michael Waters: Forging a New Understanding of the Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas
  • Dr. Michael Collins: The Earliest Texans at Gault
  • Dr. Amanda Evans: Investigation of buried and submerged prehistoric archaeological landscapes off the Texas coast

2019 ETAC PROGRAM

8:00-9:00 AM Registration, coffee and light food

9:00-9:20 AM Maggie Moore and Arlo McKee: Burials and archeological big data

9:20-9:40 AM Ben Baaske: The Maya of northwestern Belize: A digital survey and 3D modelling report.

9:40-10:00 AM Tommy Hailey: Aerial Archaeology.

10:00-10:20 AM Coffee Break

10:20-10:40 AM Tom Middlebrook and C. Colleen Hanratty: A pilot study in the use of PXRF analysis of Caddo ceramics.

10:40:11:00 AM Sabrina H. Owen, Sahvannah K. Shavers, and George E. Avery: Archaeological investigations at a mid-20th century African American house site in Nacogdoches, Texas.

11:00-11:20 AM Dan M. Worrall, John B. Anderson, Don Dobesh, Rosemary Neyin, and Cary Burnley: Late Pleistocene through Holocene paleogeography of the Southeast Texas coast.

11:20-11:40 AM Dan M. Worrall, Linda Gorski, Cary Burnley: Charting the development of coastal southeast Texas cultures during a period of rising sea level: an application of paleogeographic maps and GIS-based archeological databases.

11:40-12:00 PM Wilson Crook III : New Clovis Discoveries from the Wood Springs (41B15) Site, Liberty County, Texas.

12:00 - 12:50 PM -- LUNCH -- SERVED ON SITE (from Poche Rice Café.)

Keynote Speakers

1:00-1:50 PM Dr. Amanda Evans:

Investigation of buried and submerged prehistoric archaeological landscapes off the Texas coast.

2:00-2:50 PM Dr. Michael Collins:

Earliest Texans at Gault.

3:00-3:50 PM Dr. Michael Waters:

Forging a new understanding of the Late Pleistocene peopling of the Americas.


ABSTRACTS

The Maya of northwestern Belize: A digital survey and 3D modelling report.

Ben Baaske, Center for Heritage Conservation, Texas A&M University.

Annual digital survey by the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M University with the Blue Creek Archaeological Project in northwestern Belize has been ongoing since 2008. This report discusses the breadth of “digital” artifacts generated during the 2018 season. The first six weeks of digital survey applied multi-image photogrammetry as a technique to produce daily, 3D-digital maps of excavations of architecture at Xno’ha and Tz’unun. 110 unique “maps” in the form of colorized point clouds were created: 69 maps at Xno’ha and 41 maps at Tz’unun. Structures and features excavated at both sites consisted of range structures, pyramidal mounds, chultuns, stelae, looter’s trenches, and a mask. The final two weeks restricted most multi-image photogrammetry to recording smaller artifacts recovered from Xno’ha, Tz’unun, Nojol Nah, and Blue Creek, while also applying a new hand-held laser (the Artec Space Spider) technique to other artifacts. In addition to recording artifacts, the final two weeks of digital survey also laser scanned the final excavation phases of architecture at Xno’ha and Tz’unun. 10 architectural structures and features were laser scanned. While this report aims to present a catalogue of digital survey and 3D modeling, the report is also another iteration in experimenting with usable formats for accessibility by researchers and the public.

KEYNOTE: The Earliest Texans At Gault.

Dr. Michael Collins, Founder and Chairman, Gault School of Archaeological Research and Research Professor, Texas State University.

The earliest occupations in the Americas were by diverse groups from various cultural origins who evidently contributed very little directly to the later, widespread Clovis manifestation. The local manifestation of this succession in Texas consists of components predating Clovis by as much as 6 or 7000 years.

New Clovis Discoveries from the Wood Springs (41B15) Site, Liberty County, Texas

Wilson W. (Dub) Crook, III , Houston Archeological Society.

Over the past three years, the Houston Archeological Society has been involved in a detail study of the Andy Kyle Archeological Collection currently curated at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas. One of the more significant finds has been the discovery of a Clovis occupation at the Wood Springs site in central Liberty County. Nine artifacts of probable Clovis affinity were identified in the Kyle Collection. Recent exploration of the Wood Springs site by HAS members has recovered ten additional Clovis artifacts including three fluted points, two conical blade cores, and four Clovis blades. Of the 19 total Clovis artifacts studied, all but three appear to be constructed from Edwards chert. Trace element X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and detailed blade measurements show the material may have a relationship to Clovis occupations elsewhere in Texas, including the Gault (41BL323) and Timber Fawn (41HR1165) Clovis sites.

KEYNOTE: Investigation of buried and submerged prehistoric archaeological landscapes off the Texas coast: Artifacts not included.

Dr. Amanda Evans, Principal Investigator, Coastal Environments. Inc.

Imagine, if you will, being responsible for identifying and protecting archaeological sites on the northwestern Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS), an area that includes approximately 38,660,700 acres. Now imagine that those archaeological sites, once exposed as dry land during the last glacial maximum, have been slowly buried by sediment and transgressed by rising sea-levels over the last several thousand years. The people thought to be living on the formerly exposed landscape were highly mobile hunter gatherers, not expected to leave large, obvious signs of occupation easily detectable through seismic profiling, the primary tool available to archaeologists. Despite significant challenges, the story isn’t as bleak as it seems. Archaeologists have been working for over forty years to address the practical challenges of recovering archaeological data from offshore contexts, with the understanding that the data recovered could very well rewrite our understanding of early populations along the Gulf coast.


Burials and Archeological Big Data.

Maggie Moore and Arlo McKee, Texas Historical Commission.

How many recorded sites are there in East Texas with burials? Which ones are under threat by encroaching development, oil & gas industry, or looting? The Texas Archeological Sites Atlas would seem to be the best place to start answering such questions. The Atlas is jointly managed by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and Texas Archeological Research Lab (TARL), and since its cutting-edge innovation in the 1990s, serves site form information digitally to the archeological community. However, there are only limited search functions built into the Atlas because the database retains data from over 130 distinct site forms as separate tables. THC is looking toward the future and exploring the next steps in further developing the utility of the Atlas to better serve research and resource management practices. We are currently exploring a test case using a NoSQL database, MongoDB, to provide an alternative organization of the Atlas data that can then be extracted, filtered, and queried to provide meaningful information to address research questions. This paper will discuss how this data structure can be useful for identifying known burial sites in East Texas to aid in resource management and protection, and briefly explores some of the other applications for this database organization.

Archaeological Investigations at a mid-20th Century African American House Site in Nacogdoches, Texas

Sabrina H. Owen, Sahvannah K. Shavers, and Dr. George E. Avery, Stephen F. Austin State University.

In the spring of 2018, the Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) Archaeology Lab was asked to conduct archaeological investigations for property that was going to be donated to the City of Nacogdoches and used as an addition to Oak Grove Cemetery. The property had no standing structures and we were told that there had been no structures on the property. In the fourth shovel test that we dug, we hit a sewer line. After calling the City, the Water Department personnel got to the site, and they informed us that not one, but two structures had been on the property, and torn down in the early 1990s. We conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar survey and found another sewer line. The attachments for two waterlines were also observed. The site was recorded as the Sloane Site (41NA405), after the owner, John Sloane. The analysis of the artifacts is not complete, but several categories of artifacts will be discussed, as well as the possible evidence for folk spirituality.

KEYNOTE: Forging a New Understanding of the Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas

Dr. Michael Waters, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University.

Archaeological and genetic evidence show that the 80-year-old Clovis First model no longer explains the exploration and settlement of the Americas by humans at the end of the last Ice Age. Evidence from archaeological sites in North and South America are providing empirical evidence that people occupied the Americas by 15,000 years ago. Studies of modern and ancient genomes confirm this age estimate and tell us who these people were and where they came from. This archaeological and genetic evidence is rewriting our understanding of the First Americans.

Late Pleistocene through Holocene paleogeography of the Southeast Texas coast.

Dan M. Worrall, Harris County Historical Commission and Houston Archeological Society; John B. Anderson, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University; Don Dobesh and Rosemary Neyin, Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG); Cary Burnley, Shell Oil (retired).

Using a seismic map of an unconformity caused by the sea level lowstand at the peak of the last ice age, numerous cores from the bays of Texas and SW Louisiana, and a refined sea level curve for Late Pleistocene through Holocene time, a set of paleogeographic maps have been created for the southeast Texas coast for ten periods from 22,000 calendar years before present (BP) to today. Sea level rose 125m during this time, causing dramatic changes in the coastal environment that were experienced by Native Americans. From 22,000 to about 15,000 BP (near the time of arrival of man at the Gault site), Texas rivers carried a much heavier sediment load than today, which was carried seaward in deeply incised river channels across a wide, subaerially-exposed coastal plain to the modern shelf edge. From 15,000 to 13,000 BP, rising sea level caused the coastline to begin a westward shift across the modern shelf, but the coastline was fairly straight and there were no substantial bays. By about 12,000 BP, the sediment-rich Brazos River had developed a thin shelf delta and its incised channels were mostly filled. Concurrently, the channels of the less sediment-rich, San Jacinto-Trinity- Sabine/Neches-Calcasieu-Mermentau incised river system – which then dissected a single drainage basin with a shared river outlet at the paleo-coastline – began to flood with seawater, producing a single bay at the shared former outlet. This marked the first time that rich marine life in brackish water bays might have attracted early Native Americans to settle in seasonal camps. By 10,000 BP, continuing sea level rise flooded the shelf past the trunk and the bay began to branch out into four distinct bays. By 7,000 BP (Early Archaic), four now-separate coastal bays and estuaries (Galveston, Sabine Lake, Calcasieu and Mermentau) began to assume their present positions and sizes, as sea level rise began to slow.

Charting the development of coastal southeast Texas cultures during a period of rising sea level: an application of paleogeographic maps and GIS-based archeological databases

Dan M. Worrall, Harris County Historical Commission and Houston Archeological Society; Linda Gorski, Houston Archeological Society; and Cary Burnley, Shell Oil (retired).

An extensive archaeological database created by Leland Patterson of the Houston Archaeological Society in 1996 has been connected via GIS technology to a set of new paleogeographic maps of the Texas coastline in order to chart the early development of the Native American people of coastal southeastern Texas. The Atakapans, whose tribal structure did not survive into modern times, lived in six coastal river basins that defined six or more separate bands in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Their shared language is an isolate, not closely related to that of adjacent peoples. Ethnohistoric and archeologic data indicate that the westernmost Akokisa band lived on shellfish from Galveston Bay estuaries during the cold months, migrating to the prairie fringe surrounding the Piney Woods in warm months to hunt bison and deer – utilizing the tree-lined updip streams of the San Jacinto drainage basin to gather and harvest these animals. Archeological sites suggest more or less continual use of these updip streams for such hunting from the time of San Patrice culture (ca. 10,500-12,000 BP calendar years) to the early Historic period. In contrast, the coastal shell middens that comprise Akokisa winter quarters date only from the Late Archaic (ca. 4,000 to 1,900 BP) to the early Historic period. Paleogeographic reconstruction of the coastal zone shows that bay-head brackish water riverine estuaries similar to those of the modern Trinity and San Jacinto estuaries began to form at ca. 12,500 BP, when sea level was 50m lower than today, at the shared outlet of the then-combined San Jacinto, Trinity, Sabine/Neches, Calcasieu and Mermentau (SJTSNCM) river basins. That single early bay formed on the flooded incised channel of the shared drainage outlet, as sea level rose. Its landward head migrated northwestward across the modern continental shelf with continually rising sea level, and eventually broke up into a number of bays and estuaries along the flooded outlets of the now-separate San Jacinto, Trinity, Sabine/Neches, Calcasieu and Mermentau rivers. The winter quarters for ancestral Atakapa would likely have been along the route of this flooded incised channel and its drowned branches, as suggested by a cored possible midden (ca. 10,000 calendar years BP) offshore of the modern Sabine estuary. The six Historic period bands of the Atakapa may well have developed from a single source group along the outlet of the former combined SJTSNCM drainage basin, far offshore today.

Organizers

Dr. Thomas Guderjan, C. Colleen Hanratty, Dr. Cory Sills, Christy Simmons, Dr. Kelley Snowden

Center for Social Sciences Research, University of Texas at Tyler.

Sponsors

The Center for Social Science Research and the Department of Social Science, University of Texas at Tyler.

Friends of Northeast Texas Archaeology.

Tejas Archaeology.

Maya Research Program.

Beta Analytic, Inc.

Texas Department of Transportation.

26th Annual East Texas Archeology Conference: Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

Join us for the 26th annual East Texas Archeology Conference, Saturday, February 23rd, 2019! The conference will be held at the Ornelas Activity Center at The University of Texas at Tyler from 8AM until 4:30PM. The East Texas Archaeology Conference includes speakers from across East Texas and surrounding regions, presenting the latest in archaeological research. The conference is open to the public. (Please note that you do NOT need to preregister for the ETAC conference! You can register at the event starting at 8am on Saturday! The $20 registration fee includes lunch served on site.)

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce the 26th annual East Texas Archeology Conference will focus on Paleoindians. We look forward to keynote presentations by Dr. Michael Waters, Dr. Michael Collins, and Dr. Amanda Evens. Join us on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 for these keynote speakers plus many more presentations highlighting archaeological research of East Texas and surrounding regions.

  • Dr. Michael Waters: Forging a New Understanding of the Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas
  • Dr. Michael Collins: The Earliest Texans at Gault
  • Dr. Amanda Evans: Investigation of buried and submerged prehistoric archaeological landscapes off the Texas coast

2019 ETAC PROGRAM

8:00-9:00 AM Registration, coffee and light food

9:00-9:20 AM Maggie Moore and Arlo McKee: Burials and archeological big data

9:20-9:40 AM Ben Baaske: The Maya of northwestern Belize: A digital survey and 3D modelling report.

9:40-10:00 AM Tommy Hailey: Aerial Archaeology.

10:00-10:20 AM Coffee Break

10:20-10:40 AM Tom Middlebrook and C. Colleen Hanratty: A pilot study in the use of PXRF analysis of Caddo ceramics.

10:40:11:00 AM Sabrina H. Owen, Sahvannah K. Shavers, and George E. Avery: Archaeological investigations at a mid-20th century African American house site in Nacogdoches, Texas.

11:00-11:20 AM Dan M. Worrall, John B. Anderson, Don Dobesh, Rosemary Neyin, and Cary Burnley: Late Pleistocene through Holocene paleogeography of the Southeast Texas coast.

11:20-11:40 AM Dan M. Worrall, Linda Gorski, Cary Burnley: Charting the development of coastal southeast Texas cultures during a period of rising sea level: an application of paleogeographic maps and GIS-based archeological databases.

11:40-12:00 PM Wilson Crook III : New Clovis Discoveries from the Wood Springs (41B15) Site, Liberty County, Texas.

12:00 - 12:50 PM -- LUNCH -- SERVED ON SITE (from Poche Rice Café.)

Keynote Speakers

1:00-1:50 PM Dr. Amanda Evans:

Investigation of buried and submerged prehistoric archaeological landscapes off the Texas coast.

2:00-2:50 PM Dr. Michael Collins:

Earliest Texans at Gault.

3:00-3:50 PM Dr. Michael Waters:

Forging a new understanding of the Late Pleistocene peopling of the Americas.


ABSTRACTS

The Maya of northwestern Belize: A digital survey and 3D modelling report.

Ben Baaske, Center for Heritage Conservation, Texas A&M University.

Annual digital survey by the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M University with the Blue Creek Archaeological Project in northwestern Belize has been ongoing since 2008. This report discusses the breadth of “digital” artifacts generated during the 2018 season. The first six weeks of digital survey applied multi-image photogrammetry as a technique to produce daily, 3D-digital maps of excavations of architecture at Xno’ha and Tz’unun. 110 unique “maps” in the form of colorized point clouds were created: 69 maps at Xno’ha and 41 maps at Tz’unun. Structures and features excavated at both sites consisted of range structures, pyramidal mounds, chultuns, stelae, looter’s trenches, and a mask. The final two weeks restricted most multi-image photogrammetry to recording smaller artifacts recovered from Xno’ha, Tz’unun, Nojol Nah, and Blue Creek, while also applying a new hand-held laser (the Artec Space Spider) technique to other artifacts. In addition to recording artifacts, the final two weeks of digital survey also laser scanned the final excavation phases of architecture at Xno’ha and Tz’unun. 10 architectural structures and features were laser scanned. While this report aims to present a catalogue of digital survey and 3D modeling, the report is also another iteration in experimenting with usable formats for accessibility by researchers and the public.

KEYNOTE: The Earliest Texans At Gault.

Dr. Michael Collins, Founder and Chairman, Gault School of Archaeological Research and Research Professor, Texas State University.

The earliest occupations in the Americas were by diverse groups from various cultural origins who evidently contributed very little directly to the later, widespread Clovis manifestation. The local manifestation of this succession in Texas consists of components predating Clovis by as much as 6 or 7000 years.

New Clovis Discoveries from the Wood Springs (41B15) Site, Liberty County, Texas

Wilson W. (Dub) Crook, III , Houston Archeological Society.

Over the past three years, the Houston Archeological Society has been involved in a detail study of the Andy Kyle Archeological Collection currently curated at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty, Texas. One of the more significant finds has been the discovery of a Clovis occupation at the Wood Springs site in central Liberty County. Nine artifacts of probable Clovis affinity were identified in the Kyle Collection. Recent exploration of the Wood Springs site by HAS members has recovered ten additional Clovis artifacts including three fluted points, two conical blade cores, and four Clovis blades. Of the 19 total Clovis artifacts studied, all but three appear to be constructed from Edwards chert. Trace element X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and detailed blade measurements show the material may have a relationship to Clovis occupations elsewhere in Texas, including the Gault (41BL323) and Timber Fawn (41HR1165) Clovis sites.

KEYNOTE: Investigation of buried and submerged prehistoric archaeological landscapes off the Texas coast: Artifacts not included.

Dr. Amanda Evans, Principal Investigator, Coastal Environments. Inc.

Imagine, if you will, being responsible for identifying and protecting archaeological sites on the northwestern Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf (OCS), an area that includes approximately 38,660,700 acres. Now imagine that those archaeological sites, once exposed as dry land during the last glacial maximum, have been slowly buried by sediment and transgressed by rising sea-levels over the last several thousand years. The people thought to be living on the formerly exposed landscape were highly mobile hunter gatherers, not expected to leave large, obvious signs of occupation easily detectable through seismic profiling, the primary tool available to archaeologists. Despite significant challenges, the story isn’t as bleak as it seems. Archaeologists have been working for over forty years to address the practical challenges of recovering archaeological data from offshore contexts, with the understanding that the data recovered could very well rewrite our understanding of early populations along the Gulf coast.


Burials and Archeological Big Data.

Maggie Moore and Arlo McKee, Texas Historical Commission.

How many recorded sites are there in East Texas with burials? Which ones are under threat by encroaching development, oil & gas industry, or looting? The Texas Archeological Sites Atlas would seem to be the best place to start answering such questions. The Atlas is jointly managed by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and Texas Archeological Research Lab (TARL), and since its cutting-edge innovation in the 1990s, serves site form information digitally to the archeological community. However, there are only limited search functions built into the Atlas because the database retains data from over 130 distinct site forms as separate tables. THC is looking toward the future and exploring the next steps in further developing the utility of the Atlas to better serve research and resource management practices. We are currently exploring a test case using a NoSQL database, MongoDB, to provide an alternative organization of the Atlas data that can then be extracted, filtered, and queried to provide meaningful information to address research questions. This paper will discuss how this data structure can be useful for identifying known burial sites in East Texas to aid in resource management and protection, and briefly explores some of the other applications for this database organization.

Archaeological Investigations at a mid-20th Century African American House Site in Nacogdoches, Texas

Sabrina H. Owen, Sahvannah K. Shavers, and Dr. George E. Avery, Stephen F. Austin State University.

In the spring of 2018, the Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) Archaeology Lab was asked to conduct archaeological investigations for property that was going to be donated to the City of Nacogdoches and used as an addition to Oak Grove Cemetery. The property had no standing structures and we were told that there had been no structures on the property. In the fourth shovel test that we dug, we hit a sewer line. After calling the City, the Water Department personnel got to the site, and they informed us that not one, but two structures had been on the property, and torn down in the early 1990s. We conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar survey and found another sewer line. The attachments for two waterlines were also observed. The site was recorded as the Sloane Site (41NA405), after the owner, John Sloane. The analysis of the artifacts is not complete, but several categories of artifacts will be discussed, as well as the possible evidence for folk spirituality.

KEYNOTE: Forging a New Understanding of the Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas

Dr. Michael Waters, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University.

Archaeological and genetic evidence show that the 80-year-old Clovis First model no longer explains the exploration and settlement of the Americas by humans at the end of the last Ice Age. Evidence from archaeological sites in North and South America are providing empirical evidence that people occupied the Americas by 15,000 years ago. Studies of modern and ancient genomes confirm this age estimate and tell us who these people were and where they came from. This archaeological and genetic evidence is rewriting our understanding of the First Americans.

Late Pleistocene through Holocene paleogeography of the Southeast Texas coast.

Dan M. Worrall, Harris County Historical Commission and Houston Archeological Society; John B. Anderson, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University; Don Dobesh and Rosemary Neyin, Compagnie Générale de Géophysique (CGG); Cary Burnley, Shell Oil (retired).

Using a seismic map of an unconformity caused by the sea level lowstand at the peak of the last ice age, numerous cores from the bays of Texas and SW Louisiana, and a refined sea level curve for Late Pleistocene through Holocene time, a set of paleogeographic maps have been created for the southeast Texas coast for ten periods from 22,000 calendar years before present (BP) to today. Sea level rose 125m during this time, causing dramatic changes in the coastal environment that were experienced by Native Americans. From 22,000 to about 15,000 BP (near the time of arrival of man at the Gault site), Texas rivers carried a much heavier sediment load than today, which was carried seaward in deeply incised river channels across a wide, subaerially-exposed coastal plain to the modern shelf edge. From 15,000 to 13,000 BP, rising sea level caused the coastline to begin a westward shift across the modern shelf, but the coastline was fairly straight and there were no substantial bays. By about 12,000 BP, the sediment-rich Brazos River had developed a thin shelf delta and its incised channels were mostly filled. Concurrently, the channels of the less sediment-rich, San Jacinto-Trinity- Sabine/Neches-Calcasieu-Mermentau incised river system – which then dissected a single drainage basin with a shared river outlet at the paleo-coastline – began to flood with seawater, producing a single bay at the shared former outlet. This marked the first time that rich marine life in brackish water bays might have attracted early Native Americans to settle in seasonal camps. By 10,000 BP, continuing sea level rise flooded the shelf past the trunk and the bay began to branch out into four distinct bays. By 7,000 BP (Early Archaic), four now-separate coastal bays and estuaries (Galveston, Sabine Lake, Calcasieu and Mermentau) began to assume their present positions and sizes, as sea level rise began to slow.

Charting the development of coastal southeast Texas cultures during a period of rising sea level: an application of paleogeographic maps and GIS-based archeological databases

Dan M. Worrall, Harris County Historical Commission and Houston Archeological Society; Linda Gorski, Houston Archeological Society; and Cary Burnley, Shell Oil (retired).

An extensive archaeological database created by Leland Patterson of the Houston Archaeological Society in 1996 has been connected via GIS technology to a set of new paleogeographic maps of the Texas coastline in order to chart the early development of the Native American people of coastal southeastern Texas. The Atakapans, whose tribal structure did not survive into modern times, lived in six coastal river basins that defined six or more separate bands in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Their shared language is an isolate, not closely related to that of adjacent peoples. Ethnohistoric and archeologic data indicate that the westernmost Akokisa band lived on shellfish from Galveston Bay estuaries during the cold months, migrating to the prairie fringe surrounding the Piney Woods in warm months to hunt bison and deer – utilizing the tree-lined updip streams of the San Jacinto drainage basin to gather and harvest these animals. Archeological sites suggest more or less continual use of these updip streams for such hunting from the time of San Patrice culture (ca. 10,500-12,000 BP calendar years) to the early Historic period. In contrast, the coastal shell middens that comprise Akokisa winter quarters date only from the Late Archaic (ca. 4,000 to 1,900 BP) to the early Historic period. Paleogeographic reconstruction of the coastal zone shows that bay-head brackish water riverine estuaries similar to those of the modern Trinity and San Jacinto estuaries began to form at ca. 12,500 BP, when sea level was 50m lower than today, at the shared outlet of the then-combined San Jacinto, Trinity, Sabine/Neches, Calcasieu and Mermentau (SJTSNCM) river basins. That single early bay formed on the flooded incised channel of the shared drainage outlet, as sea level rose. Its landward head migrated northwestward across the modern continental shelf with continually rising sea level, and eventually broke up into a number of bays and estuaries along the flooded outlets of the now-separate San Jacinto, Trinity, Sabine/Neches, Calcasieu and Mermentau rivers. The winter quarters for ancestral Atakapa would likely have been along the route of this flooded incised channel and its drowned branches, as suggested by a cored possible midden (ca. 10,000 calendar years BP) offshore of the modern Sabine estuary. The six Historic period bands of the Atakapa may well have developed from a single source group along the outlet of the former combined SJTSNCM drainage basin, far offshore today.

Organizers

Dr. Thomas Guderjan, C. Colleen Hanratty, Dr. Cory Sills, Christy Simmons, Dr. Kelley Snowden

Center for Social Sciences Research, University of Texas at Tyler.

Sponsors

The Center for Social Science Research and the Department of Social Science, University of Texas at Tyler.

Friends of Northeast Texas Archaeology.

Tejas Archaeology.

Maya Research Program.

Beta Analytic, Inc.

Texas Department of Transportation.

Past ETAC Conferences

2018 ETAC: Keynote Speakers

The ETAC is pleased to announce that our keynote speakers will include Carolyn Boyd and Kim Cox. Carolyn and Kim will discuss their work on the White Shaman Mural - which won the SAA Book Award in 2017 and is featured in the current issue of Archaeology Magazine! You can check out the book here: https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/boyd-white-shaman-mural

The ETAC is also pleased to announce Jeff Girard (Northwest Louisiana State University) will also join us as a keynote speaker! Jeff will discuss "The Discovery and Recovery of a 14th Century Dugout Canoe on the Red River." Abstract: Early in June of this year, a remarkable prehistoric dugout canoe was discovered on the banks of the Red River north of Shreveport, Louisiana. At 10.2 m (about 34 ft) in length, it is the largest yet discovered in Louisiana, and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. A radiocarbon date indicates that the canoe was constructed in the 14th century, contemporary with an extensive Caddo settlement on the east side of the river. This presentation summarizes the challenges that confronted researchers and local volunteers for extracting the canoe from the riverbank and transporting it to Texas A&M university where it now is undergoing conservation.

2018 ETAC: Program

8:00-9:00 AM Registration and Coffee

9:00-9:20 Dub Crook Difficulties in Sourcing Turquoise Using X-Ray Fluorescence

9:20-9:40 Waldo Troell, David Kelley and Jon C. Lohse A Caddo Village on the Verge of the Historic Contact Period: Archeological Data Recovery at A.S. Mann (41AN201) Site in the Upper Neches River Valley, Anderson County

9:40-10:00 Leslie Bush Long Ago and Not Very Far Away: Plant Foods and Other Plant Materials from Four Sites near Texas Toll Loop 49 Segment 3B

10:00-10:20 Coffee Break

10:20-10:40 Rachel Watson Mapping the past for the future: Louisiana’s Cultural Resources Map.

10:40:11:00 Jeffery Williams The Caddo Grass House Project at Caddo Mounds.

11:00-11:20 Charles Frederick and Arlo McKee Progress on understanding archeological site burial in sandy upland settings using single-grain OSL dating.

11:20-11:40 Tom Middlebrook The Discovery and Initial Assessment of the D’Ortolan Gristmill Site

11:40-12:00 Jeffrey M. Williams Geospatial Archaeology: LiDAR Research along El Camino Real de Los Tejas

12:00- 1:10 LUNCH SERVED ON SITE

1:10-1:20 Tom Middlebrook The Very First ETAC.

1:20 – 1:40 PM Kelley Snowden Voices from Small Places: Connecting with Communities

1:40- 2:40 PM KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Jeff Girard Discovery and Recovery of a 14th Century Dugout Canoe on the Red River

2:40-4:00 PM COFFEE BREAK

3:00-4:00 PM KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Carolyn Boyd and Kim A. Cox The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative in the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos


2018 ETAC: ABSTRACTS

The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative in the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos

Carolyn Boyd (Texas State University and Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center) and Kim A. Cox (Shumla and Maya Research Program)

The prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, created some of the most spectacularly complex, colorful, extensive, and enduring rock art of the ancient world. Perhaps the greatest of these masterpieces is the White Shaman mural, an intricate painting that spans some twenty-six feet in length and thirteen feet in height on the wall of a shallow cave overlooking the Pecos River. In their book, The White Shaman Mural, Carolyn Boyd and Kim Cox take us on a journey of discovery as they build a convincing case that the mural tells a story of the birth of the sun and the beginning of time—making it possibly the oldest pictorial creation narrative in North America.

Unlike previous scholars who have viewed the rock art as random and indecipherable, Boyd and Cox demonstrate that the White Shaman mural was intentionally composed as a visual narrative, using a graphic vocabulary of images to communicate multiple levels of meaning and function. Drawing on decades of archaeological research and analysis, as well as insights from ethnohistory and art history, they identify patterns in the imagery that equate, in stunning detail, to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples, including the ancient Aztec and the present-day Huichol. This paradigm-shifting identification of core Mesoamerican beliefs in the Pecos rock art reveals that a shared ideological universe was already firmly established among foragers living in the Lower Pecos region as long as four thousand years ago.


The Discovery and Recovery of a 14th Century Dugout Canoe on the Red River

Jeff Girard (Northwestern State University of Louisiana)

Early in June of this year, a remarkable prehistoric dugout canoe was discovered on the banks of the Red River north of Shreveport, Louisiana. At 10.2 m (about 34 ft) in length, it is the largest yet discovered in Louisiana, and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. A radiocarbon date indicates that the canoe was constructed in the 14th century, contemporary with an extensive Caddo settlement on the east side of the river. This presentation summarizes the challenges that confronted researchers and local volunteers for extracting the canoe from the riverbank and transporting it to Texas A&M University where it now is undergoing conservation.


Long Ago and Not Very Far Away: Plant Foods and Other Plant Materials from Four Sites near Texas Toll Loop 49 Segment 3B

Leslie L. Bush Macrobotanical Analysis, Austin, Texas)

Analysis of plant material from Late Archaic through 18th century components at four sites in Smith County has produced both expected and unexpected results. Fuel wood assemblages are typical for the area, dominated by oaks with some hickory and a smattering of other species. Plant food remains are also generally typical for the region and the times, but some unusual specimens have been recovered. Corn peduncles (“shanks”) from 41SM416-A have been directly dated to the early 9th century. A common bean from the same site is much later, dating to the mid-18th century. A fragment of bois d’arc (Maclura pomifera) wood from 41SM446 may represent use of a non-local plant resource. A yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) seed from 41SM445, probably associated with the consumption of the Black Drink, raises the possibility that trees were transplanted from farther south or east.

Difficulties in Sourcing Turquoise Using X-Ray Fluorescence

Wilson W. “Dub” Crook, III

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis is well-suited for sourcing some archeological artifacts, such as obsidian, where geologic sources can be distinguished using a small suite of elements. However, when applied to other minerals found in archeological contexts, such as turquoise, XRF has had mixed results in trying to determine their source. As a result, researchers have tried a number of other methods to source turquoise, all of which are partially or completely destructive to the artifact being analyzed.

Recently, three turquoise artifacts, including two beads and a small pendant, have been recovered from the Branch site (41COL9) in Collin County. In an effort to source the turquoise, the author used a more complex multi-element analysis in an attempt to develop a non-destructive sourcing methodology. This talk will discuss the difficulties in sourcing a complex mineral such as turquoise using XRF and its potential for sourcing similar artifacts found in Caddo sites.

Progress on understanding archeological site burial in sandy upland settings using single-grain OSL dating.

Charles Frederick (Consulting Geoarchaeologist, Dublin Texas) and Arlo McKee (Texas Historical Commission)

Detailed single-grain optically stimulated luminescence dating of sandy East Texas upland sites on flat surfaces has provided key insights on the nature and rate of archeological site burial. In these settings, internal movement of sand by soil fauna, specifically the tossing of spoil onto the surface or bioexhumation, appears to be the dominant factor. This paper reports new observations from several sites which illustrate how bioturbation progressively overturns the soil with time. Examining both new and old datasets of both single- and multi-component sites have afforded generalizations on how deeply a site may become buried during varying lengths of time. Although these rates of burial apply to upland settings, our growing additional work have also been lending to different burial rates on other settings, such as gullies and toe slopes.

The Discovery and Initial Assessment of the D’Ortolan Gristmill Site (41NA400)

Tom Middlebrook

The discovery of a broken millstone in a streamside management zone on Mill Branch east of Lake Nacogdoches in May 2017 led to the discovery of a gristmill complex. The 1809 census of Nacogdoches noted that Bernardo D’Ortolan had a log house over a grist mill and another over a granary. Historical research and archeological investigation of the well-defined mill race and platform for a millhouse has now led to the conclusion that this mill likely served as a combined water-powered gristmill and sawmill well past the Civil War. This paper will summarize the current archeological findings at the site and comment on early milling industry in East Texas.

Voices from Small Places: Connecting with Communities

Kelley Snowden (University of Texas at Tyler)

Initiated in 2014, The Voices from Small Places project combines four different methodologies to document and preserve the history of dispersed rural communities. These methods include: photovoice, oral history, a historic resources survey, and the development of digital community collections. The history of these small communities is then made available to the communities themselves, researchers, and the public, keeping these communities alive for future generations and contributing to the larger understanding of our own heritage.

A Caddo Village on the Verge of the Historic Contact Period: Archeological Data Recovery at A.S. Mann (41AN201) Site in the Upper Neches River Valley, Anderson County

Waldo Troell (TxDOT), David Kelley (Coastal Environments) and Jon C. Lohse (Coastal Environments)

In advance of a planned highway project, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently relocated a Caddo site that was first recorded about 80 years earlier and then lost to archeologist. Under contract to TxDOT, Coastal Environments, Inc., conducted archeological data recovery to mitigate the A. S. Mann Site, within the highway right of way between May 2015 and July 2016. Preliminarily, the site appears to represent a portion of a village that was occupied by high status families associated with a much larger Caddo Community. The main occupation appears to date to the late portion of the Frankston Phase (AD 1480 – 1650) and into the early Allen Phase (AD 1650 – 1680). The investigations reveal evidence of extensive prehistoric trade networks and potential early contact and conflict with Europeans. The investigators also found large numbers of ceramic vessels and stone tools, many of which appear to be ceremonial in function.

Geospatial Archaeology: LiDAR Research along El Camino Real de Los Tejas

Jeffrey M. Williams (Stephen F. Austin State University)

A forest obscures surface features of the archaeological record; however, the analysis of LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data provides a method of extracting forest biomass and allows for the creation of a model of the surface that is obscured by the forested environment. The model and its subsequent analysis can highlight cultural features not easily seen on the ground or in conventional aerial photography. A four return experimental LiDAR dataset has been obtained for the area encompassing portions of El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail, the D’Ortolan Rancho house sites (41NA299 and 41NA 300), and the D’Ortolan Grist Mill site (41NA400). This culturally rich area is heavily forested thereby both protecting and obscuring the features associated with activities of this important historic complex. LiDAR is being used in conjunction with both drone and terrestrial surveys to aid in the identification of hidden archaeological features.

The Caddo Grass House Project

Jeffrey M. Williams (Stephen F. Austin State University)

A traditional Caddo grass house was built at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site near Alto, Texas during the summer of 2016. The fully functional grass house was constructed through a partnership with Caddo Nation elder Phil Cross and the Friends of Caddo Mounds. The Project included funding for a Caddo apprentice to work with Phil and the production of a documentary film that recorded the construction of the Caddo house from the identification and collection of raw materials through the final thatching. The new grass house provides Caddo Mounds State Historic Site with a tangible and visual foundation for interpreting Caddo lifestyle and culture. The Caddo house creates multiple opportunities for in-depth cultural exchange and offers supplemental historical reference of the Caddo people through the preservation and dissemination of Caddo knowledge about the skills required to gather the needed natural resources and the processes of design and construction of traditional Caddo grass houses.

Mapping the past for the future: Louisiana’s Cultural Resources Map.

Rachel Watson (Louisiana Office of Cultural Development)

This paper will outline the processes and decisions that the Louisiana Division of Archaeology made to create an effective, comprehensive GIS system that could be utilized by both professionals and the citizenry of Louisiana to help promote both progress and preservation. Furthermore, I will discuss how we handled gaps in data and converting paper files into a digital format. Finally, I will outline future endeavors to raise public awareness of Louisiana’s rich cultural history utilizing public maps, story maps, and applications for smartphones and tablets