Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology




The Angelina River basin, including the drainage of its largest tributary, the Attoyac Bayou, encompasses all of Nacogdoches County and portions of Cherokee, Rusk, Angelina, San Augustine, Shelby, and Sabine counties in deep East Texas. Archaeological studies in the region that have illuminated our understanding of Caddoan developments have been meager and spotty at best.

There is no archaeological evidence in the Angelina River basin of extensive Caddoan occupation during the Early Caddoan period (ca. A.D. 1000-1200). Jelks presented the results of the largest archaeological project conducted in the area in his dissertation dealing with the archaeology of the McGee Bend Reservoir (Lake Sam Rayburn) by reviewing 13 sites excavated between 1956 and 1962. Every site excavated was multicomponent, and included at least some Archaic dart points, Early Ceramic period sandy paste sherds, and grog-tempered Caddoan ceramics. Jelks has been the other archaeologist to propose an archaeological taxonomic unit for the Caddoan sites based on work in the basin with his formulation of the "Angelina focus." This broad unit appears to include sites that date from ca. A.D. 1200 until historic Caddoan times, and was based, in part, upon the presence of Broaddus Brushed and Pineland Punctated-Incised ceramics at the sites.

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