Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The Millsey Williamson site (41RK3) is an 18th century Nadaco Caddo settlement and cemetery situated on an alluvial terrace on the east side of Martin Creek in the Sabine River basin. Some portions of the site are now covered by the waters of Martin Creek Lake, constructed in the 1970s. The site was first investigated in the 1930s, when at least 11 historic Caddo burials were excavated in the cemetery at the western end of the landform. Buddy Calvin Jones excavated a disturbed historic burial at the site in 1955, and also occasionally collected glass beads from the surface of the site. The funerary offerings placed with this disturbed burial were not clearly enumerated by Jones, as his description of artifacts from the site included artifacts he examined in several other collections.

He did note 275 sherds from the surface of the site and 12 whole or restored ceramic vessels from an unknown number of burials. Most of these sherds were recorded by Jones as being grog– (52 percent) or bone–tempered (43 percent), but 4 percent were tempered with shell. Perttula and Nelson recently documented 11 vessels from the Millsey Williamson site in the collections of the Gregg County Historical Museum (GCHM). These vessels include a Emory Punctated–Incised (shell– tempered) collared jar; a Maydelle Incised jar; a Bullard Brushed jar; a jar with brushing only on the body; a Ripley Engraved, var. unspecified carinated bowl; Simms Incised carinated bowl; two unidentified engraved carinated bowls with a continuous stepped rectilinear scroll design; a carinated bowl with a sprocket rim with a continuous negative scroll design; a carinated bowl with diagonal opposed and cross–hatched engraved lines on the rim; and a plain olla. The ceramic vessels are of diverse manufacture, form, and decorative methods. Most are carinated bowls and jars tempered with grog and bone, and fired in a reducing environment, and the former are decorated with engraved lines, while the latter are decorated incised, punctated, or brushed utility wares. On their own stylistic merits, none of these vessels in the GCHM collections is that of a recognizable Historic Caddo type, such as Natchitoches Engraved, Simms Engraved, var. Darco, or Keno Trailed, and in fact, most of these vessels cannot be identified as examples of specific types. The vessels that can be typed include Emory Punctated–Incised, Maydelle Incised, and Bullard Brushed jars and a Ripley Engraved, var. unspecified carinated bowl; one vessel has been dubbed Simms Incised because it is of a form and decorative style that matches Simms Engraved, except the motif is executed with incised lines.

Also recovered from the site were clay and limonite pipes, ochre and vermillion, animal teeth, glass beads, metal gun parts, gun flints, iron knives, iron arrow points, and awls in the Millsey Williamson collection. There were also a variety of brass objects: a brass tinkler, coils, hawk bells, and unworked pieces of sheet brass.

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