Journal of Northeast Texas Archaeology




The Nawi haia ina site (41RK170), translated as “Our mother dwells below” (Mooney 1896:1096) in the Caddo language, contains habitation features and midden deposits from an ancestral Caddo residential occupation, as well as a small and spatially discrete cemetery (Perttula and Nelson 2003). These deposits date, based on the OxCal calibration of 11 C14 dates, between cal. A.D. 990-1190, A.D. 1185-1270, and A.D. 1297-1410 for the midden area and the Feature 2 burial, and between cal. A.D. 1432-1527 (see Selden and Perttula 2013) for the two investigated burials in the cemetery. The small cemetery appears to be contemporaneous as well as postdate the habitation deposits, and our excavations identified the extended burials of two adult Caddo women in reasonably good health. The excavations in the residential areas at the site documented a large midden, pit features, and post holes from one probable Caddo house, along with a large assemblage of utility ware and fine ware ceramics, the subject of this article. Also recovered were stemmed arrow points of Perdiz style and preforms, as well as expedient flake tools, and a smattering of lithic debris from tool manufacture. Faunal and floral remains indicate that the Caddo people here had a diverse diet that relied on deer, turtle, and small animals and birds, as well as maize, hickory, and walnut nuts. There was a heavy reliance on forest mast products, but the stable isotope analyses of the two adult burials indicates that maize comprised about 40-50 percent of the diet. These Caddo living, and buried, at the Nawi haia ina site, were part of a larger community living in the middle Sabine River basin.

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