Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The Kah-hah-ko-wha site (41CE354) is an Historic Caddo Allen phase (ca. A.D. 1650-1800) habitation site situated in an upland saddle landform in the Flat Creek valley in the upper Neches River basin of East Texas. Flat Creek flows west a few kilometers to its confluence with the Neches River, not far downstream of Lake Palestine. The site was found and investigated as part of survey and test excavation investigations for a proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-permitted lake on Flat Creek in northwestem Cherokee County.

During those 2006 investigations, a large assemblage of Allen phase Caddo ceramics were recovered from household areas in the North and Alley parts of the site, making it one of the very few upper Neches Historic Caddo Allen phase domestic sites ever studied. As such, a detailed analysis of the domestic ceramics found at the Kah-hah-ko-wha site provides a unique opportunity to document the ceramic practices and traditions of these Caddo peoples.

Ceramic vessel sherds are abundant at the Kahhah- ko-wha site, with 474 decorated sherds and 94 plain sherds from at least 36 vessels (based on the number of recovered rim sherds). The density of ceramic vessel sherds is 16.9 per m2 in the North area excavation units (n=213) and 37.0 per m2 in the Alley area (n=314 ). The plain/decorated sherd ratio (P/DR) for the site as a whole is only 0.20, quite comparable with the Allen phase component at the Deshazo site (Story 1995; Fields 1995), where the P/DR is 0.29, and the 18th century Nabedache Azul and Nabedache Blanco sites in the Neches River basin, Houston County; the P/DR ranges from 0.3 1-0.32 at these sites. By area, the P/DR in the North area is 0.31, compared to 0.13 from the Alley area.

The lower P/DR from the Alley area suggests this occupation may be slightly younger than the North area occupation, even though the calibrated radiocarbon dates from the site do not suggest this. Table 1 provides comparative sherd assemblage data from nearby Lake Palestine sites on the Neches River and the Lang Pasture site, about five miles southwest from the Kah-hah-ko-wha site.

In this particular seriation, the Kah-hah-kowha site falls in Group 1 of the seriation, and is interpreted as the youngest or most recent known Caddo occupation of the Lake Palestine area sites. By the late 17th and 18th centuries other Caddo sites are known in the Neches and Angelina river basins where brushed sherds account for ca. 50-90% of all the decorated sherds, which is consistent with the fact that more than 82% of the sherds at the Kahhah- ko-wha site are brushed.

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