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Agency

Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology

Abstract

The Bowles Creek site is on a low alluvial rise in the Bowles Creek floodplain; Bowles Creek is a southward-flowing tributary of the Neches River. Stingley found the site in early 2015 during a surface walk over, when Caddo ceramic sherds were noted in a number of gopher mounds. He excavated a number of shovel tests (n=13) and three units (generally 1 x 1 m in size); the units were excavated to between 50-80 cm bs. The site covers at least an estimated 55 m (east-west) x 20 m (north-south) area.

The initial archaeological investigations at the Bowles Creek site recovered 617 ceramic sherds, of which 461 were decorated. The plain to decorated sherd ratio in the assemblage was 0.34. Almost 69 percent of the sherds were from utility ware jars, including sherds from Bullard Brushed, Spradley Brushed-Incised, Killough Pinched, and Lindsey Grooved vessels, and ca. 91 percent of the sherds from the site were from grog-tempered vessels, including sherds from vessels tempered with both grog and bone. Approximately 10 percent of the sherds were from bone-tempered vessels. Sherds from both Patton Engraved (n=4) and Poynor Engraved (n=6) vessels were present in the Bowles Creek site fine wares, along with one trailed sherd. The character of the recovered ceramics from the site suggest the ancestral Caddo occupation dated after ca. A.D. 1650, in the Allen phase, although the occurrence of both Poynor Engraved and Patton Engraved sherds in the assemblage may indicate that the site was also used by Caddo peoples sometime before A.D. 1650, perhaps between ca. A.D. 1560-1650 in the latter part of the Frankston phase.

A single radiocarbon date has been obtained on a piece of animal bone from Unit 3, 40-50 cm bs, at the site. The radiocarbon age of one AMS sample from the Bowles Creek site is 410 + 24 years B.P. (D-AMS 11799), or A.D. 1540 + 24. The 2 sigma calibration (95 percent probability) of this radiocarbon age, using IntCal13, is A.D. 1525 + 84. This result further suggests that there are Frankston phase (ca. A.D. 1400-1650) archaeological deposits preserved at the site.

An additional sample of material culture remains from the Bowles Creek site was obtained by Stingley in July and August 2015, primarily from areas recently disturbed by wild hogs. These remains are the subject of this article.

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