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Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology
I am pleased and very honored that you have invited me here today to tell you something about the past of the Caddo people as it is known to archaeologists. This is a subject that has been both my occupation and my major preoccupation for more than 25 years. The story that I and other archaeologists have been piecing together over many years is long, complex, and endlessly fascinating. It is a heritage that anyone could be proud of. Let me give you some of the highlights.
The story began over 11,500 years ago--or about 9,500 B.C.--when the first people arrived in the historic Caddo territory of Northwest Louisiana, Southwest Arkansas, East Texas, and Southeast Oklahoma. There were not many of them, perhaps only a hundred or so in this whole area at first. And the world they lived in was very different from the world today. It was cold, about like northern Maine or northern Michigan today, with forests of spruce and birch, because the Ice Age was still going on. They were probably dressed like Eskimos in carefully sewn parkas, trousers, and boots. We know this because many of the stone tools they left behind are tools for preparing hides and for making the bone needles necessary to sew them into clothing. They probably lived in skin tepees like those of the historic Plains Indians, but smaller, because they did not have horses to carry their gear from place to place. They did have dogs and they probably trained them to work as pack animals.
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