Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology
This is a report on archaeological investigations conducted along James Bayou in Marion County, Texas, and Caddo Parish, Louisiana, between 1991- 1993. This work was done primarily by Claude McCrocklin (Shreveport, Louisiana) and a large group of volunteers, some from the Northeast Texas Archeological Society and others from the Northwest Chapter of the Louisiana Archaeological Society, assisted by Perttula and Nelson on occasion. With the permission of McCrocklin, we analyzed the recovered artifacts and available notes/records/ site reports to prepare this article summarizing the archaeological findings of the project.
James Bayou, also known as Coushatta Jim’s Bayou, Jim’s Bayou, and Jeems Bayou, is an eastward and southward-flowing tributary to Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake. “On an upper portion of this bayou there was a small, deep lake formed by stream scour between bluffs that later came to be known as Monterey Lake. Before the 1800s, this was the only permanent lake in the region." Caddo Lake at its maximum extent may have reached elevations (although fluctuating) between 173-180 feet amsl, based on historic maps, studies of lacustrine deposits on the lake bed, and relict shorelines.
The main purpose of the archaeological investigations was to identify the location or locations of the early 19th century Caddo Indian village known to have been situated in the vicinity of James Bayou, at the upper end of what was then Caddo Lake. The archaeological investigations reported on herein began in the Monterey Lake area of James Bayou.
During the course of these archaeological investigations, a number of archaeological sites were located along James Bayou, and the findings from these sites are discussed below. “Several possible components of the [Caddo] village were located, but for one reason or another, no conclusive identifications could be made." McCrocklin, however, continued to periodically conduct archaeological survey and metal detecting investigations along James Bayou, and in 1998, he located several areas of an early 19th century Caddo archaeological site (41MR211) on the south side of James Bayou. The location and character of this site is consistent with the historical and archival sources concerning the James Bayou Caddo village, that being “on a bayou or creek… which is navigable for pirogues only, within about six miles of their village, and that only in the rainy season." This site in the recent archaeological literature has been identifi ed as the site of Timber Hill or Sha’chahdinnih, although other locations for that village south of Caddo Lake have been proposed by Tiller. The Texas Historical Commission conducted excavations at one area (Area 3) of 41MR211 in 1999.
Perttula, Timothy K.; Nelson, Bo; and McCrocklin, Claude
"Archaeological Investigations Along James Bayou in Marion County, Texas and Caddo Parish, Louisiana,"
Index of Texas Archaeology: Open Access Gray Literature from the Lone Star State: Vol. 2010
, Article 29. https://doi.org/10.21112/.ita.2010.1.29
Available at: https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/ita/vol2010/iss1/29
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