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Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology

Abstract

This paper describes a set of artifacts collected from the West Island site, a poorly known Titus phase cemetery in Ellison Creek Reservoir. The site is on a small knoll adjacent to a small spring branch that flows into the now-inundated Ellison Creek, a tributary of Big Cypress Creek (Figure 1).

The site knoll is now no more than one foot (30 em) above the normal pool elevation of Ellison Creek Reservoir, and it is usually totally submerged. Up to five feet (1.52 meters) of white sand caps the knoll, and overlies the clay subsoil. Due to continued submergence, the knoll is being eroded by the reservoir, anq. consequently many stone tools and pieces of lithic debris are present along the water's edge. Dart points and arrowpoints have been found at the site, along with some pottery sherds, but no grounds tone implements. Small amounts of charcoal were found around the top of the knoll in pockets of modern mussel shell and gravels, but its association with the site deposits is unknown. No middens are known to be present on the knoll.

The West Island site has been previously dug by private collectors sometime before 1965. Turner (1978:Figure 33) had examined some of the site collections, and reported that, ceramic vessels of the types Avery Engraved, Bailey Engraved, Bullard Brushed, Cowhide Stamped, Harleton Appliqued, Hodges Engraved, Karnack Brushed-Incised, Maydelle Incised, Ripley Engraved, Simms Engraved, Taylor Engraved, and Wilder Engraved were present in an unknown number of burials. These types of decorated ceramics are characteristic of the Titus phase, which dates from about 1400 to the 1600s (Thurmond 1990; Perttula 1992).

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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