Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




Six new radiocarbon dates have been obtained from the Shelby Mound site (41CP71) in the Big Cypress Creek basin in East Texas. They are on charred organic remains—corn cupules and glumes and Hickory (Carya sp.) nutshell—identified in several levels in and immediately below the mound deposits.

The Shelby Mound site on Greasy Creek is the social and political center of an ancestral Caddo Greasy Creek political community. It stretches for several hundred meters along Greasy Creek and a small tributary, with an earthen mound at the northern end of the village and a large cemetery at its southern end. Domestic village areas are between the mound and the cemetery and cover at least 10-15 acres. The Titus phase earthen mound covered a burned structure at the base of the mound, and a second structure had been built that stood on the mound itself, and was then burned and capped first with clay and then with a final sandy fill intermixed with midden deposits. The arrangement of the mound, domestic areas, and planned cemetery here is essentially duplicated at other important Titus phase communities in the Big Cypress Creek basin, although the village areas and the size of the cemetery at the Shelby Mound site are considerably larger than most of the others. Based on work at the site in 2002, the north levee area at the Shelby Mound site was found to have thick midden deposits and evidence for several burned structures, implying the existence of an intensive occupation throughout the life of the community.

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