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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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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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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