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Agency

Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/.ita.2008.1.33

Abstract

This article presents a detailed analysis of chipped stone artifacts from the Redwine Site (41SM193), a Middle Caddo mound and village site located on the headwaters of Auburn Creek, a tributary of the Sabine River. The collection includes chipped stone recovered from the surface, test excavations, and arrow points associated with two adult burials. The site was investigated by avocational archeologist Sam Whiteside in the 1960s and more recently by Mark Walters and Patti Haskins under the direction of John Keller of Southern Archaeological Consultants. The investigations and material culture have been briefly described. This study is designed to take a closer look at the lithics with an emphasis on technological, material, contextual, and typological analyses of the lithic artifacts, and to compare the findings to the lithics at the nearby and possibly contemporaneous Leaning Rock site (41SM325).

Archaeologists generally have not focused on Caddo lithic technology, and this class of material culture remains only cursorily studied. Rather, ceramics have received the vast amount of attention with little emphasis on other types of material culture. One reason for a lack of attention to lithics may be that East Texas generally lacks the resources from which well-crafted artifacts could have been made. Small chert cobbles or pebbles, and pebbles of orthoquartzite and silicified wood constitute the major sources for chipped stone. Lacking are outcrops of excellent chert (such as the Edwards Plateau) or novaculite (eastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas). Artifacts of from these two sources are introduced into East Texas in finished form. Edwards chert and novaculite debitage found in East Texas sites is likely from recycling broken finished artifacts. When lithics are reported, they are generally relegated to brief descriptive treatments with an emphasis on artifact classification and raw material distribution. Detailed technological treatments are rare (for exceptions.

It is preferable in archaeological studies to integrate all classes of material culture in analysis and interpretation to see what sets of material co-occur both functionally, technologically, stylistically, and symbolically. Rarely is this extended effort even attempted in archaeological studies in Texas, but until all surviving aspects of material culture are integrated and interpreted as a cultural whole and within the known context of Caddo culture and life way, only fragments of past cultures will be stressed with the risk of gross misinterpretation. While it is acknowledged that this study treats only a fragment of the material culture from the Redwine site, I will attempt to integrate the findings in such a way as to relate it to extant information from the site available to me from other sources. Another objective of this study is to examine the lithics from the Redwine site and compare them with the sample from the nearby Leaning Rock site. Both collections are assumed to be approximately the same age and may be from the same extended Middle Caddo community. I will specifically emphasize the technological styles of the formal tools and the implications of the debitage with regards to technology and raw material.

Creative Commons License

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

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