Caddo Archeology Journal
Recent articles by Schambach have proposed a new paradigm for the late prehistoric period in the Arkansas River Valley. These arguments challenge traditional and long held views on the subsistence economy, architecture, material culture, biological character, and trade relationships of the prehistoric populations of the Arkansas River Valley, and the middle portion of the Red River (the Sanders phase area). My intention in this paper is to examine Schambach's arguments based on a comprehensive review of the archaeological record and by also drawing upon explanatory models of cultural and economic behavior. For the most part, my comments pertain to the Arkansas River Valley · situation; Bruseth, Wilson, and Perttula have responded to many of Schambach's challenges concerning the Sanders phase in the Red River Valley. Points here are not intended to defend the traditional perspectives as the gospel for the Arkansas River Caddoan tradition. Without doubt, a reexamination of the Arkansas River Caddoan is long overdue. Much of the subsistence data, bioarchaeology, and non-ceremonial aspects of the material culture were derived from analysis completed some 30 years ago, analysis conducted without the benefit of recent theoretical and methodological advances. However, we must reexamine the arguments and the data in an objective, informed fashion. Only from such an approach can we generate a new paradigm worthy of acceptance.
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