Caddo Archeology Journal




New excavations in the Ouachita National Forest in west-central Arkansas, co-directed by Meeks Etchieson and Mary Beth Trubitt, are resulting in significant information about foodways of ancestral Caddo Indians living in the Ouachita Mountains region. This work has focused on the Dragover site (3MN298), located on a floodplain of the upper Ouachita River. Artifacts from this extensive archeological site indicate use from about 6000 B.C. to the A.D. 1900s, but it was its potential for well-preserved organic material – animal bone, mussel shell, and charred plant seeds – that drew our research attention. Initial site testing in the 1980s uncovered several pit features with pottery sherds, chipped stone, animal bone, and mussel shells. Later analysis of ceramics from those features indicated a Buckville phase Caddo occupation estimated to fall in the sixteenth century A.D. Planting pine trees caused some damage to the site; one motivation for this project was the need for a current site evaluation so the Ouachita National Forest could better manage this historical location.

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