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Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

Novaculite was procured and knapped by aboriginal Indian populations living in southwestern Arkansas for thousands of years (see Trubitt et al. 2003), and there are numerous prehistoric novaculite quarries in the Ouachita Mountains (Etchieson 1997). In Late Archaic times. this desirable material was widely traded and exchanged with other groups to the south, east, and west, particularly with the peoples living at the Poverty Point site and environs in the lower Mississippi valley in northern Louisiana (see Jeter and Jackson 1994: 159-166). Later groups such as the Caddo also made considerable use of this material, since it was in their traditional homelands, and many habitation sites and mound centers in the region contain quantities of novaculite lithic debris and tools. Other local materials were also chosen for lithic tool manufacture, such as Big Fork chert, a distinctive black chert. Abundant amounts of novaculite and Big Fork chert are also found apparently in nondomestic Caddo contexts on lithic workshops and camp sites in the Ouachita Mountains, and one such site is discussed in this article.

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