Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The Goss Farm site (41FN12) is an ancestral Caddo settlement on an alluvial landform on the west side of Bois d’Arc Creek near its confluence with the Red River. The Sanders site (41LR2) lies east of the Goss Farm on Bois d’Arc Creek; the Goss Farm site is likely part of the same ancestral Caddo settlement as the Sanders site. The recovered artifacts from Goss Farm strongly suggest that the occupations there are culturally related to that of the Sanders site.

In August 1930, B. B. Gardner of the University of Texas conducted limited archaeological investigations at the site. He noted that the alluvial landform had midden deposits as well as burials, and he suggested that the site probably contained a large number of burials. In the work, a 15 cm thick ash feature was identified at ca. 76 cm bs; this may be evidence of extensive burning from hearths or the incinerated remains of a burned structure; the full extent of the feature was not defined by Gardner. Three burial features (Burials 1-3) were also excavated at the Goss Farm in 1930, two in close proximity (Burials 1 and 2) that were in flexed positions, were buried at depths of between ca. 45-76 cm bs, and had no associated funerary offerings. Burial 3 was 30 m south of the flexed burials, and was an adult with a cranially deformed skull (comparable to the skulls at the Sanders site) that was buried at a depth of ca. 30 cm bs in an extended position, with the head facing west. One shell-tempered bowl (14.0 cm in height and 14.5 cm in orifice diameter) was included as a funerary offering with Burial 3. The vessel was decorated with two sets of two appliqued nodes and two sets of three appliqued nodes. This decorative treatment is similar to Late Prehistoric Southern Plains shell-tempered decorated vessels (i.e., a variety of Nocona Plain) in the upper Brazos and Red River basins in North Central Texas.

The Goss Farm was periodically visited by members of the Dallas Archeological Society. Housewright excavated a child burial at the site that contained an extraordinary funerary offering of 260 disk-shaped turquoise beads and two turquoise pendants. Found also during the excavation of the burial was a single red-slipped sherd, likely from a Sanders Plain vessel.

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