Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology




The Frank Norris Farm site (41RR2) was an ancestral Caddo settlement and mound center, with an associated cemetery, on the bank of the Red River, about five miles northeast of the community of Manchester, Texas, and just southeast of the Sam Kaufman/Roitsch site (41RR16). The site was reported by B. B. Gardner of the University of Texas to have three earthen mounds. Apparently the site eroded into the Red River in 1936.

The three mounds at the site were located east of a local farm road, and the bank of the Red River was a short distance to the east. Mound No. 1 was ca. 27 m in length, 23 m in width, and 3 m in height; Mound No. 2 was ca. 33.5 m in length, 24 m in width, and 3.7 m in height; and Mound No. 3 was ca. 18 m in length, 12 m in width, and 1.8 m in height. Gardner trenched Mound No. 1 in the summer of 1930 but found only a few sherds and no obvious features. A low alluvial ridge not far south of Mound No. 3 was also trenched by Gardner, and he recovered sherds from archaeological deposits there.

Gardner also noted that in the Red River cut bank was an ca. 46-61 cm thick archaeological deposit with black sediments and ceramic sherds. Although Gardner’s 1930 notes are not specific, he apparently excavated at least one burial at the Frank Norris Farm. Correspondence in the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) files stated that Gardner found burials that were from 1.2-1.5 m in depth and scattered across the site.

Local diggers began to search out and excavate Caddo burials at the Frank Norris Farm site in 1934 and 1935, and these diggers sold the ceramic vessels and other funerary offerings (including a spatulate celt, arrow points, and shell beads) they found to local collectors like George T. Wright. According to W. A. Rikard, an interested avocational archaeologist from the region, at least nine burials had been found and dug by collectors at the site, not including the one or more burials he excavated there. He did mention in 1935 correspondence to A. T. Jackson that one burial he excavated was in a 1.2 m deep pit and had a shell-tempered neck banded jar as an associated funerary offering. He also noted that other Caddo burials were being exposed in the eroding cut bank of the Red River, where they were easily looted.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
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