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Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

A surface collection of early 19th century historic sherds led to archeological investigations in 2002 and 2003 at the Browning site (41SM195A) in Smith County, Texas. My interest was whetted by mention in the original land abstract that the property had once been deeded to the Cherokee (Walters 2003) In all, a total of 6.5 cubic meters was excavated, including twenty-two shovel tests and 10 1 x 1 m test units, and a fine-screen sample was taken from the midden. As a result, 1076 prehistoric and historic artifacts were recovered, along with new information about the Woodland period archeology in this part of East Texas.

The initial shovel tests found, in addition to the historic component, a buried midden with evidence of Woodland period occupation. Based on the excavations, the midden covered approximately 500 m2. The 19th century historic artifacts were found in the upper sediment zone (a light brown sandy loam that was mostly gravel-free) covering the midden. The buried midden was a dark yellowish-brown gravelly loam that contained prehistoric pottery, bone, charred wood and nutshells, lithic materials, including lithic debris, flake tools, arrow and dart points, and ground stone tools. A calibrated radiocarbon date of AD 625 to 880 (2 sigma), with a calibrated intercept of AD 685, was obtained on charred nutshell from 40-50 cm bs in the midden zone. A series of Oxidizable Carbon Ratio dates from the midden indicate that the midden began to form about AD 147, with dates of AD 359-817 from the main part of the midden, indicating when the Browning site was most intensively occupied in prehistoric times.

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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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