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Publication Date

2016

Abstract

The T. M. Sanders site (41LR2) is a large and impressive ancestral Caddo mound center and village situated on an alluvial terrace (450 ft. amsl) at the mouth of Bois d’Arc Creek and the Red River. With the permission of the landowners (the Crawford family and the Sanders family), periodic archaeological and geophysical investigations have been conducted across much of the 200+ acres of the Sanders site since 2013; this article primarily discusses the work done in March 2016. These archaeological investigations, including controlled surface collections and shovel testing, recovered significant new information from many of the 39 non-mound habitation areas/artifact clusters, as well as unique information on a burned Sanders phase house feature that had been exposed on the crest of the West Mound. The depth of this feature, at ca. 30 cm bs, suggests that it is the uppermost of at least five zones of structures in or immediately below the West Mound. Overall, ceramic and lithic artifacts are widespread in surface and sub-surface contexts at the T. M. Sanders site; currently there are 39 separate artifact concentrations or artifact clusters recognized on the site, and there are significant numbers of artifacts present on the East and West Mounds. These artifacts indicate that the Sanders site was used by ancestral Caddo peoples during both the Late Archaic and Woodland periods, and much more intensively in the Middle Caddo period Sanders phase, and in the Historic Caddo (late 17th century to as late as 1774) Womack phase. The substantial Sanders phase occupation began ca. A.D. 1100, probably lasting until ca. A.D. 1300, and this occupation included two large village areas--the East Village covers a ca. 880 x 350 m area and the West Village a ca. 900 x 300 m area--on either side of two constructed mounds and a large midden feature on the ridge between the two mounds. The East Mound was the primary locus for the burial of important personages and families in the Caddo community, and was also used much later for habitation by historic Caddo groups, while the West Mound had a series (perhaps as many as five) of important public structures in and likely under the constructed mound. The historic Caddo settlement at the Sanders site was also spatially extensive, based on the distribution of artifact clusters with shell-tempered ceramics, Womack Engraved fine ware sherds, triangular arrow points, many of the scraping tools, and the suspected locations of European trade goods south of the West Mound and east of Bois d'Arc Creek.

DOI

10.5281/zenodo.56035

PNW_2016_SupplementaryData.pdf (60 kB)
Supplementary Data

 

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