Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




This paper presents some of my thoughts on the issue of Caddo origins from the perspective of the Red River drainage in northwest Louisiana. These ideas were assembled prior to the Caddo discussion group meeting held in December 2008 and have been only slightly modified here. The paper was not given as a formal presentation, but I attempted to introduce the main points during the group discussion.

Development of better chronological controls is crucial for addressing problems of Caddo origins, and I discuss this issue first. Although much has been settled since the early Krieger-Ford discussions, a finer-grained chronology is necessary to answer questions that are now of interest. We remain largely dependent on our understanding of changes in ceramic assemblages and how we can tie these to chronometric scales based primarily on radiocarbon dating.

I next review the cultural taxonomic units that have been used to classify the pre-Caddo archaeological record in the Trans-Mississippi South. Rather than taking the view that one or more of these cultural entities transformed into Caddo culture, I suggest that Caddo origins might be better viewed as the development of social and economic behaviors that linked relatively small-scale social units previously only loosely and sporadically associated. I then discuss the possible importance of the development of ceremonial centers, the appearance of elite mortuary traits, and the circulation of finely engraved ceramic vessels for understanding changes in social and economic integration that took place in the Trans- Mississippi South between approximately A.D. 900 and A.D. 1050. Finally, I offer a list of some basic questions that I feel are important for furthering our understanding of Caddo origins.

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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