Preprint of new Caddo bottle morphology study available on SocArXiv

This analysis adduces 72 Caddo bottles from 19 sites to test the hypothesis of distinct bottle morphologies associated with sites north and south of the shape boundary from within the spatial extent of the preceding Fourche Maline and Mossy Grove culture areas. The analysis was followed by additional tests to identify whether a difference in Formative/Early and Late/Historic Caddo bottle shapes occurs between and among the northern and southern Caddo groups in the southern Caddo area. Other tests include whether bottle shape varies with size, whether the null hypothesis of parallel slopes for Formative/Early and Late/Historic Caddo bottles is supported or rejected, and whether any group displays greater shape or size variation among individuals relative to other groups.

***  Download the preprint here. Figures and tables can be downloaded by clicking on “Supplementary Materials.”  ***

I extend my gratitude to the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, the Material Sciences Laboratory at Southern Methodist University, the Williamson Museum at Northwestern State University, the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science for the requisite permissions, access, and space needed to generate 3D scans of Caddo bottles. Thanks also to Dean C. Adams, Emma Sherratt, Michael J. Shott, Hiram F. (Pete) Gregory, B. Sunday Eiselt, Julian A. Sitters, and Kersten Bergstrom for their constructive criticisms, comments, and suggestions throughout the development of this research design; to the editors for their invitation to submit this chapter; and the anonymous reviewers whose comments improved the manuscript. Development of the analytical work flow and production of 3D scans from the Clarence H. Webb collection was funded by a grant to RZS (P14AP00138) from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Production of 3D scan data for Hickory Engraved and Smithport Plain bottles from the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory was funded by a grant from the Texas Archeological Society, and the production of 3D scan data for previously repatriated Caddo bottles was funded by a grant from the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.

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New publication in the Journal of Cultural Heritage

Analyses of ceramic vessel shape are neither new or novel; however, the relatively recent adoption of geometric morphometric (GM) methods by archaeologists provides a preview of the contribution of GM to the systematic and rigorous study of morphology as applied to material culture. This study is focused upon an analysis of Caddo bottle shapes for Belcher Engraved, Hickory Fine Engraved, Keno Trailed, Smithport Plain, and Taylor Engraved vessels from the Allen Plantation, Belcher Mound, Gahagan Mound, and Smithport Landing sites in the Clarence H. Webb collections from northwest Louisiana. Results indicate some significant relationships between bottle shape and size (allometry), bottle shape and type, and bottle shape and site. A test of morphological integration indicates that the bottles are significantly integrated, meaning that those discrete traits used to characterise their shape (rim, neck, body, and base) vary in a coordinated manner, highlighting significant integration between suites of attributes. The Smithport Plain and Hickory (Fine) Engraved bottles found at the Belcher Mound, Smithport Landing, and Gahagan Mound sites also provide evidence for two discrete (north–south) base and body shapes.

Read the article at the following link, or by clicking on the image below – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2018.07.002Ceramic morphological organisation in the Southern Caddo Area: T

 

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Robert Z Selden Jr, lithics, stone tools, biface, Gahagan, Gahagan Mound, Caddo, Louisiana, archaeology, archeology, illustration, flake scar, geometric morphometrics, shape, form, allometry, asymmetry

TAS blog post on Gahagan biface shape and new preprint on SocArXiv

A blog post associated with a project that John E. Dockall and I have been working on was recently added to the Texas Archeological Society’s website, and can be viewed here.

Illustrations of Gahagan bifaces from the Gahagan Mound site in Northwest Louisiana. We are now looking at flake scar and beveling morphology associated with Gahagan biface retouch and refurbishment by Caddo knappers.Illustrations of Gahagan bifaces from the Gahagan Mound site in Northwest Louisiana. We are now looking at flake scar and beveling morphology associated with Gahagan biface retouch and refurbishment by Caddo knappers.

The post provides a preview of morphological similarities and differences associated with Gahagan bifaces found in Caddo burial contexts, which are currently thought to have been produced in central Texas. The preprint has been uploaded to SSRN and SocArXiv while the associated article is in review. Links to the SocArXiv preprint and other readings associated with this project are included below.

Preprint of 2019 article:

Selden Jr., Robert Z. and John E. Dockall. 2019. “A Comparison of Gahagan Biface Morphology across Caddo Features at the Gahagan Mound, George C. Davis, and Mounds Plantation Sites.” SocArXiv https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/fyw2d

2019 Conference poster:

Selden Jr., Robert Z., John E. Dockall, and Harry J. Shafer. 2019. “Lithic Morphological Organization: Gahagan Bifaces from Texas and Louisiana.” Stephen F. Austin State University, accessed March 1, 2019. https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/crhr/266/

2018 DAACH article and preprint:

Selden Jr., Robert Z., John E. Dockall, and Harry J. Shafer. 2018. “Lithic Morphological Organisation: Gahagan Bifaces from the Southern Caddo Area.” Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 10:e00080. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.daach.2018.e00080

Selden Jr., Robert Z., John E. Dockall, and Harry J. Shafer. 2018. “Lithic Morphological Organisation: Gahagan Bifaces from the Southern Caddo Area.” SocArXiv https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/u7qfr

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Ceramic morphological organisation in the Southern Caddo Area: Quiddity of shape for Hickory Engraved bottles

This study expands upon a previous analysis of the Clarence H. Webb collection that resulted in the identification of two bottle shapes used in the manufacture of the Hickory Engraved type. The current sample of Caddo bottles adduces three-dimensional meshes from the Hickory Engraved specimens in the Webb collection, and 14 new meshes from six sites and one collection. Results confirm that in some cases Hickory Engraved bottle shapes differ significantly by site, that the two shapes identified in the Webb collection persist in this larger sample, and that morphological integration is not significant, meaning that those traits used to characterise bottle shape (rim, neck, body, and base) were not found to vary in a coordinated manner. Thus, these results do not support the hypothesis that Caddo potters adhered to a template of vessel shape associated with specific decorative motifs. When combined with the Webb sample, iterative improvements are achieved, and results demonstrate a general trend toward standardisation in Caddo bottle shapes through time.

Access the article here, or by clicking on the image of the first page below.

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Historic Images from the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas

The photo archive of historic images from the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas  (NFGT) has been digitized, and the images are available for download under a Creative Commons License in ScholarWorks – https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/nfgt_general/

Using modern tools, a composite image of the grounds where the current NFGT Supervisor’s Office resides was assembled, providing a view of that landscape from 1938 (below and header). By using the embedded Google Map, and clicking on show satellite imagery at the bottom left of that map, you can see just how much this site has changed through the years.

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There are some important images associated with regional history that are included in the gallery. A great example of this an image of the El Camino Real that passed through the Sabine National Forest (click on the images below to learn more, including the option to download them at multiple resolutions).

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El Camino Real – Sabine National Forest.
Photographer: Unknown

Another important moment in history for the NFGT was the introduction of prescribed burns. There are a few great images of prescribed fires included in the gallery; however, it appears that they may have a photograph of the first prescribed fire on the Angelina National Forest, along with some of the Civilian Conservation Corps volunteers who were learning how to conduct the burns.

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Controlled burn – Fire #1 – Angelina National Forest.
Photographer: Erwin A. Heers
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Hose Fire CCC – Angelina National Forest.
Photographer: Unknown

Another noteworthy image is of the first house that was built in Shelby County, Texas. There are several other images of local architecture that are included in the gallery, to include the interior of the first Protestant Church in East Texas, examples of special use cabins, and some images of the Aldridge Saw Mill ruins in 1935.

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The first house to be built in Shelby County, Texas – Built about 150 years ago [before the image was taken in 1938]. Photo shows present tenant and her youngest child – Close to Sabine National Forest.
Photographer: Muir, Bluford

For the archaeologists and historians, there is even an early (ca. 1938) image of Mound C at the George C. Davis site included in the gallery, which is not restricted only to the forests, but also includes additional historic images from the surrounding area.

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Davis Site – Mound C- An Indian Mound of the Neches [Caddo] Indians. This mound is located close to Kings Highway, Route 21, and is just outside the boundary of Davy Crockett National Forest. Recreational Assistant Heers is standing on top of the mound. The Indians were expelled from here in 1839 – Near Davy Crockett National Forest.
Photographer: Muir, Bluford

In total, there are over 1500 images included in the digital gallery. The images are organized chronologically (earliest images will be in the last pages), and those images without a date appear in the first few pages. I encourage you to browse the gallery, and share or download some of these important records of local regional heritage.

This project was funded through Participating Agreement 15-PA-11081300-32 between the Center for Regional Heritage Research at Stephen F. Austin State University, and the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. All images are available for download on ScholarWorks, and are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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