Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The Gum Creek cluster represents a group of contemporaneous Caddo sites in the Little Cypress Creek basin of East Texas that were apparently occupied between ca. A.D. 1670-1720. These sites are closely affiliated with the Titus phase and may represent some of the very latest occupied Titus phase settlements in the Cypress Creek basin.

The Gum Creek cluster Caddo sites were excavated by Buddy Calvin Jones in the 1950s and 1960s, but were never reported by him during his lifetime. After his death, his vessel collection and other artifacts were documented by Perttula, with the able assistance of Bo Nelson and Bobby Gonzalez, and at that point it became clear that a certain number of excavated Caddo cemeteries in the Little Cypress Creek basin-the Gum Creek area specifically-had a distinctive artifact assemblage (especially in the form and decoration of certain vessels) that sometimes occurred in association with a few European trade goods. Caddo sites with European trade goods are otherwise very rare in the Big and Little Cypress Creek basins, and it seems likely that most of the aboriginal Caddo populations had vacated the area by the very end of the 17th century. Those few sites that are left. such as the Gum Creek cluster and various sites along Caney Creek and Stouts Creek in Wood and Hopkins counties, Texas, may hold one of the keys in understanding this rapid abandonment of an area of East Texas occupied by Caddo peoples for many centuries.

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