Journal of Texas Archeology and History




In regions on the margins of the Great Plains grasslands, documenting the intermittent history of bison exploitation has presented challenges to archeologists. Chronologies based on archeological associations have long been useful in regional research, but can be imprecise and of inadequate resolution for constructing precise sequences of prehistoric events. Here, we present a record of directly dated bison from archeological contexts spanning the last 6000 years on the very southern extent of the Great Plains. This study includes 61 specimens from archeological contexts that were dated by XAD purified AMS radiocarbon, with reported errors of only 15-20 14C years for most dates. The resulting record of bison exploitation for this area defines four main periods (Calf Creek, Late Archaic 1 and 2, and early Toyah) during which bison were exploited. Several dates also indicate an early historic presence of bison; this period may represent a late facet of the Toyah horizon. This study adds significant chronological resolution to the regional record of bison in parts of Texas and begins to help correlate cultural chronologies with important climatic data. It also points to the research value of obtaining additional directly dated bison samples from temporally and geographically diverse archeological contexts in our study area and beyond.

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The Journal of Texas Archeology and History.org is an organization dedicated to furthering research, education and public outreach in the fields of archeology and history concerning Texas and its bordering states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Northern Mexico; a region we call the “Texas Borderlands.” The J.T.A.H. is collaborating with the Index of Texas Archaeology and S.F.A.S.U. to distribute their publication library to the general public via free and open-access channels. Visit www.JTAH.org to submit an article.



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