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Caddo Archeology Journal
Copper artifacts have been found at only 18 Caddo sites in the southern Caddo area of Southwest Arkansas, Northwest Louisiana, southeastern Oklahoma, and East Texas. Most of these exotic copper artifacts are found in burial mound context in important civic-ceremonial centers, or in burials in non-mound cemeteries. About 80 percent of the known copper artifacts occur in contexts in sites that date to the Early Caddo period (ca. A.D. 1000-1200). These copper items likely are linked to the Cahokia exchange system, and represent prestige goods with ritual status acquired and displayed by leaders in different Caddo communities. By Late Caddo period times (ca. A.D. 1400-1680), copper items tend to be ear spools, especially copper-covered stone ear spools. Copper continued to be used as personal ornaments linked to specific Caddo individuals, but they no longer served for objects that may have been involved in public ritual, as there are no effigies, sheet copper hand cutouts, or maskettes from Late Caddo contexts as there were in Early or Middle Caddo period contexts.
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