Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The Gatlin site (41RK1) is located ca. 1 mile to the southeast of the small community of Mount Enterprise in Rusk County in the headwaters of the Angelina River basin in the East Texas Pineywoods. The site was first investigated by the landowner in about 1895 (Records on file at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory [TARL], The University of Texas at Austin). At that time, the landowner exposed a single burial with preserved skeletal remains and two extra skulls in the burial pit; each of the skulls supposedly had a hole (bullet hole?) on one side of the head. Among the funerary offerings reported to have been found by the landowner were arrow points, pottery vessels, a pistol, and a rifle barrel. These findings suggest that the burial dates to historic times and, because of the inclusion of the pottery vessels and arrow points, the find was probably the burial of a Caddo Indian.

In September 1935, A. T. Jackson of The University of Texas at Austin returned to the site area to attempt to locate a Caddo cemetery and recover whole vessels for the university collections. His excavations were unsuccessful in locating any burials, but he did identify a habitation/midden deposit at the site about 50 m west of a mineral spring, on a hillside (TARL files). These deposits were ca. 20 cm in thickness and consisted of broken animal bones, mussel shell fragments, pieces of lithic debris, aboriginal and European-made pottery vessel sherds, a few small pieces of bottle glass, and a fragment of a brass kettle. These finds also suggest that the habitation/midden deposit dates to historic times, although when during the historic period was uncertain because the collections have not been studied in any detail since they were recovered in 1935.

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