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Agency

Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

Clarence Webb (1948) christened Bossier more than a half century ago. Its namesake was the northwestern Louisiana parish where several Bossier sites were located, but it could just as easily been named after Webster, Claiborne, Harrison, Columbia, or other political subdivisions in northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, or eastern Texas where its distinctive pottery was found. This is Caddo country, linguistically and ethnically (Carter 1995; Perttula 1992; Swanton 1942; Webb and Gregory 1978). Bossier is the issue of Caddoan cultural tradition, a culmination of agents, practices, and histories that transpired in the Red River valley and adjoining Pineywoods hills between ca. A.D. 1300 and 1500 (McGimsey and van der Koogh 2001; Webb 1948, 1961, 1983; Webb and Gregory 1978; Webb and Jeane 1977).

Bossier is best known for its pottery (Webb 1948, 1961, 1983). Pottery hoists the load for this examination, but other factors such as presence or absence of mounds and relative geographic location help me contextualize Bossier pottery and contemplate Bossier materiality as the product of human minds and hands. I organize pottery data, new and old, by a simple arithmetic measure, an average index of similarity. I don't see how more robust statistical comparisons could do any better when data come from potsherds picked up from bare spots on the ground but not from underneath the pine straw. 1 Powerful statistics don't create powerful data. They don't create data at all.

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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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