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Agency

Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology

Abstract

As the United States expanded in the late eighteenth century and through most of the nineteenth century, much interest and question was raised over the increasing numbers of earthen mounds and earthen constructions encountered by the settlers moving westward across the southeastern woodlands. Mounds? Mound builders? Enough questions were raised about their origins that in 1881, the Division of Mound Exploration of the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, was established to address and resolve these issues. The work of the Division of Mound Exploration can be considered the first "modern archeology" done in the United States (Smith 1985). Their mound research covered the Dakotas to Texas and all points east.

The final research report by Division Head, Cyrus Thomas, was published as the Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (Thomas 1894). In this report, Thomas (1894:591) mentions in the Gulf District that: some two or three mounds of peculiar form have been discovered in Mississippi and the Arkansas district that have not been observed elsewhere in the mound area. These may be described as earthen platforms surmounted by a conical mound or a conical mound surrounded by a terrace. Sometimes the conical mound is small in proportion to the platform and is not central...A double mound of this type, or mound with two apices, has been observed in western Mississippi.

The primary purpose of this report is to make known the occurrence of a two-phase Caddoan earthen mound in Upshur County. Furthermore, this report seeks to add this site to the inventory of known archeological resources of the Cypress Creek basin (see also Thurmond 1990). Available data relevant to the Cypress Basin and the immediate area of the site has also been summarized and reported here to suggest chronological associations for the two-phase mound.

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

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