Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology
The entrada into Texas of the Hernando de Solo expedition in July 1542, which was led by Luis de Moscoso after de Soto's death in June of that year, is relevant to the Pine Tree Mound site (4IHS15) because it appears that the site was occupied at that time, and the entrada likely followed a path that brought it very close to the site. In fact, we hypothesize that the Pine Tree Mound site, along with associated villages nearby, is specifically mentioned in entrada accounts as the province of Nondacao. These may have been the forebears of the Nadaco (Anadarko) Caddo, who apparently lived in this same area through the first quarter of the 19th century before moving west to north-central Texas and then to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The three components of this hypothesis deal with the age of the site, the route of the entrada, and the persistence of Nadaco settlements in this area long after the time of the entrada, and these are addressed in tum below.
The Pine Tree Mound site is a Middle to Late Caddo period ceremonial and civic center in central Harrison County, Texas. It occupies a broad upland surface between Potters and Starkey creeks, about 7.3 km north of where Potters Creek flows onto the floodplain of the Sabine River. The site is large, covering an area 800 m cast-west by 720 m north-south. Its most conspicuous features are three earthen mounds that stand 0.4 to 2.4 m above the modern land surface. The three mounds are within an area measuring 210 m east-west by 150 m north-south. These mounds are associated with a possible buried mound, at least five areas with off-mound structures, a plaza, and at least one cemetery. Together, these constitute the core of the site, measuring about 360 m both east-west and north-south and covering 27 acres. This core area is owned by The Archaeological Conservancy.
Test excavations in 2004 identified eight possible associated village areas ringing the core on the west, and Prewitt and Associates, Inc., conducted intensive excavations at three of these in 2006-2007 under a contract with the Sabine Mining Company. These excavations uncovered the remains of dozens of houses, as well as outside activity areas, middens, and 27 human burials. Analysis of the wealth of data recovered from the site is ongoing and will not be finished for several years. This article provides a preview of one of the topics that the analysis will address.
Fields, Ross C.
"The Pine Tree Mound Site and the Entrada of the Hernando De Soto Expedition of 1542,"
Index of Texas Archaeology: Open Access Gray Literature from the Lone Star State: Vol. 2008
, Article 32. https://doi.org/10.21112/.ita.2008.1.32
Available at: https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/ita/vol2008/iss1/32
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