Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The distinctive Caddo ceramic vessels from the lower Neches–Angelina (i.e., Lake Sam Rayburn) and the lower Sabine (i.e., Toledo Bend Reservoir) river basins are not well understood, due to current cultural phase taxonomic difficulties and poorly defined ceramic assemblages. Sites in these areas were included in the Angelina focus by Jelks, which was a “broadly defined unit encompassing the entire Caddoan [sic] sequence in the Lake Sam Rayburn locality; needs reevaluation in light of larger sample of sites which are known in the area." Perttula used the term late Angelina focus to refer to sites in these localities that date after ca. A.D. 1400, but this taxonomic terminology is also not satisfactory. The vessels from the Lake Sam Rayburn Caddo sites warrant restudy, because currently it is difficult to determine what a representative assemblage of ceramic fine ware and utility ware vessels from this part of the Neches–Angelina River basin looks like, and the differing affiliations of local Caddo groups.

Few of the vessels recovered from burials at Lake Sam Rayburn have been typologically identified. The rarity of Belcher Ridged sherds in the Lake Sam Rayburn sites when compared to their frequency in Toledo Bend Reservoir sites appears to indicate that the ancestral Caddo groups that once occupied these two areas had distinctly different utility ware traditions. Furthermore, stylistically–related Titus phase and Belcher phase engraved fine wares are absent in the Lake Sam Rayburn sites, much different from the Toledo Bend Reservoir ceramic assemblages, a trend which may be indicative of differing populations of Caddo peoples living in these two locales. The Lake Sam Rayburn ceramic assemblages warrant a thorough reanalysis—paired with radiocarbon dates from organics (and organic residues on sherds and vessels) in the collections—before it will be possible to establish their temporal, stylistic, and compositional character and diversity, and explore their relationship to other ancestral Caddo ceramic traditions in East Texas and Northwest Louisiana. This article summarizes the reanalysis of the Lake Sam Rayburn ceramic vessels.

There are 21 vessels in the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin collections from Lake Sam Rayburn archaeological investigations. This includes: 12 vessels from Walter Bell (41SB50); one vessel from Bird Point Islands (41SB71); one vessel from the Sawmill site (41SA89); six vessels from the Wylie Price site (41SA94); and one vessel from the Blount site (41SA123).

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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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