Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




Following up on the discovery of 10 passenger pigeon elements from one bird in a Caddo burial feature (Burial 52) at the Mitchell site (41BW4) on the Red River in Bowie County, we have documented the distribution of passenger pigeon on Caddo sites in the Trans-Mississippi South. To date, we have identified 10 Caddo sites dating between ca. A.D. 1160-1710 with passenger pigeon bones, along with two Woodland period sites (generally predating ca. A.D. 800-900) in the region. These sites range as far east as the Saline River basin in Southwest Arkansas, as far west as the George C. Davis (41CE19) and Spike (41DT16) sites in East Texas, as far north as the Spiro site (34Lf40) in eastern Oklahoma, and as far south as the McLelland site (16BO236) in Northwest Louisiana, primarily situated in the Pineywoods. As Jackson and Jackson have noted, the passenger pigeons found on Caddo sites appear to reflect a “southward and westward extension of their range during the Late Woodland period (ca. A.D. 700-1000) that continues into the Caddo era (ca. A.D. 1000-1500), likely reaching East Texas sometime shortly after A.D. 1000.”

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