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Agency

Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/.ita.2016.1.66

Abstract

The Keasler site (41HS235) is a post-ca. A.D. 1430 Late Caddo period, Titus phase cemetery with at least 31 burials in the East Texas Pineywoods. The site was excavated by collectors in the late 1970s on the property of Sid Keasler of Hallsville, Texas. Minimal records on the burials at the site, and their contents, were provided by Red McFarland, one of the collectors, to the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas (TARL).

The Keasler site is near Little Creek, a northward-flowing tributary to Little Cypress Creek. It is perhaps one of the easternmost-known Titus phase cemeteries in East Texas, in an area where few Titus phase sites or cemeteries have been identified or investigated by professional archaeologists. Based on the analysis of the available records and vessel images at TARL, Perttula noted that funerary offerings in the burials primarily included ceramic vessels—both utility and fine wares—in almost all of the burials, along with clay pipes and arrow points in only a few of the graves. The subtle differences between two different burial groups in the number and kind of funerary offerings in the cemetery do not provide much evidence of differential status or social rank, and the frequency of funerary offerings as attested to in the TARL records is at the low end of the scale in Titus phase cemeteries. The burials at the Keasler site appear to be those of common members of the Caddo community living in the lower part of the Little Cypress Creek basin. The range of decorated utility ware and fine ware vessels placed in the burial features are consistent with use of the cemetery by ancestral Caddo peoples in parts of the 16th and 17th centuries A.D.

Subsequent to the analysis of the available records at TARL from the Keasler site, funerary offerings from the site in the Sid Keasler collection have come to light. In July 1999, Mark Walters and Bo Nelson photo-documented the Keasler collection, which represents approximately 50 percent of the funerary offerings recovered by Red McFarland. This article summarizes the character of the funerary offerings in the collection. Walters also recorded the nearby Pine Grove site (41HS826), which may represent one habitation area associated with the use of the cemetery at the Keasler site by ancestral Caddo peoples.

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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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