Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




Archaeological work at the Browning site (4JSM195A) in eastern Smith County, Texas, has shown that it is a stratified site with two very distinct occupations: an early nineteenth century assemblage of artifacts in the upper zone overlying a buried prehistoric occupation. This occupation appears to be confined to the Woodland time period (ca. 500 B.C. to A.D. 800) with little evidence of any earlier or later prehistoric activity. The Woodland period in East Texas is a time of important cultural changes, "the most obvious (and most important?) of which is pottery-making and the bow and arrow."

The main focus of the prehistoric occupation at the Browning site occurs in an organically enriched darker soil zone that is the result of either a continuous human occupation or frequent revisiting of this location, what Waters has described as archaeo-sediments resulting from human activity. This darker soil occupies the center of the landform and covers approximately 500m2 It contains charred wood, charred nut shell, lithic debris from stone tool manufacture/maintenance, and small amounts of burned and unburned animal bone. Other artifacts in this distinct soil zone include small dart points, mostly varieties of Gary; arrow points, mostly of the Friley and Steiner types; ground stone tools; and ceramics, primarily plain grog-tempered wares.

Early work at the site included the excavation of 6.546 m3 of archaeological deposits from 10 1 x 1 m test units plus 22 shovel tests, resulting in the recovery of numerous historic and prehistoric artifacts, including eight Woodland period sherds. To date, excavations at the Browning site have totaled 20.4 m3 of archaeological deposits from 41 1 x 1m test units. The total amount of sherds associated with the Woodland occupation now totals 40 pieces. Those sherds, which are described in some detail and compared with other known sites, are the focus of this article. These sherds are scattered evenly across the occupation area in low densities.

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



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