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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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robert z selden jr, geometric morphometrics, ceramics, pottery, shape analysis, geomorph, r, Caddo, American Southeast, archaeology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.08.045

Preprint of new JAS: Reports article available on SocArXiv

The geometric morphometric analysis of Hickory Engraved bottles is currently in press at JAS: Reports, and the preprint is available for download on SocArXiv. The follow-up to this piece integrates a new sample of Smithport Plain Caddo bottles, and will be published in Volume 89 of the Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society. The Hickory Engraved analysis presents an iterative extension of my ongoing work with Caddo ceramic morphology, to which new collections are regularly added. Access the preprint by clicking on the SocArXiv link above, or on the images below.

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Comparison of mean shapes for sites where Hickory Engraved assemblages were found to differ significantly; a, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Belcher Mound; b, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Crenshaw Mound; c, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Haley Place; d, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Paul Mitchell; e, Gahagan Mound (gray) and Pohler Collection; f, Smithport Landing (gray) and Paul Mitchell; and g, Smithport Landing (gray) and Pohler Collection.

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.

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Comparison of mean bottle shapes by type for those types found to differ significantly in the Hickory Engraved study; (a) Belcher Engraved (gray) and Hickory Engraved, (b) Belcher Engraved (gray) and Keno Trailed, (c) Belcher Engraved (gray) and Smithport Plain, (d) Hickory Engraved (gray) and Keno Trailed, (e) Hickory Engraved (gray) and Smithport Plain, (f) Keno Trailed (gray) and Smithport Plain, (g) Keno Trailed (gray) and Taylor Engraved, and (h) Smithport Plain (gray) and Taylor Engraved.

Funding for this research was provided by the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

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robert z selden jr, caddo, archaeology, biface, george c davis, caddo mounds state historic site, nagpra, museum studies, lithic, stone tool, archaeology, culture heritage, cultural heritage, history

Preprint available for study of Gahagan biface morphology

New paper in-press at Digital Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage with John Dockall and Harry Shafer on the morphological variability of Gahagan bifaces. View and download the preprint here, or by clicking on the image below.

Abstract

This analysis of Gahagan biface morphology enlists the three largest samples of Gahagan bifaces, to include that of the type site (Gahagan Mound) as well as the Mounds Plantation and George C. Davis sites. Results indicate a significant difference in Gahagan biface morphology at the Mounds Plantation site when compared with Gahagan bifaces from the Gahagan Mound and George C. Davis sites. Tests for allometry and asymmetry were not significant. The test of morphological disparity indicates that Gahagan bifaces produced at the Mounds Plantation site occupy a more restricted range of morphospace than those produced at Gahagan Mound, providing evidence for standardisation and diversity in Caddo biface production. While the sample includes a wide range of variability, the test of morphological integration indicates that Gahagan bifaces are significantly integrated, meaning that those traits used to characterise their shape (blade and base) vary in a coordinated manner. These results articulate with a shift in Caddo bottle morphology over the same geography, potentially indicating two previously unrecognised and morphologically-distinct lithic and ceramic production areas.

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robert z selden jr, computer aided inspection, human mandible, sudan, ct scan, 3d scan, 3d model, 3d surface model, nurbs, deviation, geomagic design x, geomagic control x, sudan, university of colorado boulder, heritage, culture, geometric morphometrics

Advanced 3D Imaging and Morphometrics for Archaeologists

I will be teaching a section of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training’s Advanced 3D Imaging and Morphometrics for Archaeologists workshop from October 15 – 18, 2018 in the Conservation Laboratory at the Arizona State Museum, on the campus of the University of Arizona.

Other instructors include Bernard K. Means, Loren Davis, and Michael Shott who will be discussing public archaeology and outreach, 3D projectile point analysis, and theory and methods, respectively.

robert z selden jr, archaeology, archeology, geometric morphometric, ceramic, analysis, mathematics, statistics, 3d, 3d scan

The objective of this workshop is to share and discuss the latest uses of 3D imaging of archaeological artifacts in order to improve the utility and precision of analyses that employ 3D data to assess morphological variation. Additional discussions will cover topics related to digital curation and public archaeology, where the utility of 3D scans reach beyond traditional analyses. To accomplish this, we are bringing together selected experts to one location to share their expertise. This four-day event will include lectures, a hands-on practicum, data analysis demonstrations, and discussions of best practices and data curation.

robert z selden jr, caddo, archaeology, ceramic, pot, pottery, geometric morphometrics, shape, size, form, allometry, asymmetry, geomagic design x, culture, heritage, history, museum studies

Find more information, and to register to attend the workshop, click here or follow this link – https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/events/advanced-3d-imaging-and-morphometrics-for-archeologists/.

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