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Agency

Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology

Abstract

The Nabedache Caddo that lived on San Pedro Creek in Houston County in the East Texas Pineywoods were a prominent nation during the early years of European contact, from ca. A.D. 1687-1730, if not later. Their villages, hamlets, and farmsteads sat astride an aboriginal Caddo trail that came to be known as El Camino Real de los Tejas, and thus their community was a principal gateway to Europeans and other Native American tribes who came from the west in Spanish Texas to meet with the Tejas or Hasinai Caddo peoples. The first Spanish mission in East Texas was established amidst the Nabedache Caddo community in 1690.

According to Swanton, Nabedache means the place of the thorny trees with black berries growing on them (beidatco). The “Na” is the Caddo language locative prefix meaning “the place of;” it can also “refer to the people residing at that place”. Rogers and Sabo indicate that Nabedache means “blackberry place.” The archaeology of the Nabedache Caddo, or that of their pre-A.D. 1542 ancestors, is not well understood, primarily because of the dearth of intensive investigations at a range of Nabedache Caddo sites that likely occur along San Pedro Creek as well as nearby streams in the Neches River basin. Work that has been completed, primarily on sites at Mission Tejas State Park, have included surveys and limited test excavations at a few sites that have Caddo material culture remains (sherds from ceramic vessels, chipped stone tools, etc.) and European trade goods, including glass beads, gunflints, lead balls and sprue, an iron hoe, an iron rowel, a possible strike-a-light, an iron gun cock, trigger plate, butt plate finial, and gun barrel fragments, iron cast iron kettle fragments, iron knife fragments, wrought iron nails, brass tinklers, and Spanish majolica sherds. In this article, I discuss the archaeological material culture remains from ancestral Caddo sites along San Pedro Creek, including those known to have been occupied by the Nabedache Caddo peoples after the mid-1680s.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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