Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology




The T. M. Joslin site (41VN3) is a multi-component prehistoric site that was investigated by the University of Texas (UT) in September 1940 as Works Progress Administration (WPA) Project No. 15409. The excavations began immediately after the UT WPA crew had finished work at the nearby Yarbrough site (41VN6). The site is on a sandy knoll on Caney Creek, a northward-flowing tributary of the Sabine River in the Post Oak Savannah of East Texas.

Supervised by William A. Duffen of UT, a crew of 16 local laborers excavated a 100 x 100 ft. block (30.5 x 30.5 m) on the knoll between September 12-30, 1940. The local labor began their excavations with shovels at the southern end of the block, and moved north at the completion of each 10 ft. row, working from the completed vertical face of the previous row. The archaeological deposits were described by Duffen as a shallow midden overlying a red clay subsoil; the subsoil was reached between 1.0-1.3 ft. bs (ca. 30-41 cm bs) and the upper plow zone extended from 0-13 cm bs. No cultural features were identified in the WPA excavations, but a very large Canton Incised jar was reconstructed from a large sherd concentration encountered at ca. 25 cm bs. A. T. Jackson, who had first visited the site in the Spring of 1930, before he began to work at UT, had discovered in a “test hole” portions of a large ceramic bowl (36 cm in diameter) and a large water bottle, presumably from a Caddo burial feature, but he did not further explore the feature. About 15 m away he found remnants of a dog burial. It is not known where these finds were in relationship to the WPA excavations.

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