Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




A surface collection of early 19"' century historic sherds led to archaeological investigations in 2002 and 2003 at the Browning site (41SM195A) in eastern Smith County, Texas. My interest was whetted by mention in the original land abstract that the property had once been deeded to the Cherokee Indians. In all, a total of 6.5 cubic meters of archaeological deposits was excavated at the site, including 22 shovel tests and 10 1 x 1 m test units, and fine-screen and flotation samples were taken from a prehistoric midden deposit identified during the work. As a result, 1075 prehistoric and historic artifacts were recovered, along with new information about Woodland period archaeology 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 square meters. The 19th century historic artifacts were found in the upper sediment zone, a 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, animal 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 A.D. 625 to 880, with a calibrated intercept of A.D. 685, was obtained on charred nutshell from 40-50 em bs in the midden zone. A series of Oxidizable Carbon Ratio (OCR) dates from the midden indicate that the midden began to from about A.D. 147, with dates of A.D. 357-815 from the main part of the midden, indicating when the Browning site was most intensively occupied in prehistoric times.

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



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