Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

Donation Thermometer

Arrowheads.com
Archaeology in the world today
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts

South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46027

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
DAVID TEWES - Guadalupe River Floodplain
Sunday, April 2, 2006

A study of ancient human remains and artifacts found in the Guadalupe
River floodplain of south Victoria County shows that a relatively
advanced people who had contacts with others living hundreds of miles
away populated the area.

“We did not know this culture existed. Period,” said Bob Ricklis, the
lead archaeologist studying the items. “We didn’t know anything about
it.”

He said not only did it exist, but it apparently did well. He said the
people had lifespans comparable to modern-day people and had contacts
with others as far away as what later became the Southeast and Midwest
United States.

“They are more advanced than we would have expected,” Ricklis said.
Ricklis is director of the Corpus Christi office of Coastal Environments
Inc., which conducted the archaeological dig to unearth and study the
human remains and artifacts discovered at the Buckeye Knoll site near
the Invista plant.

The excavation was done for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part the
project to widen and deepen the Victoria Barge Canal. While the canal
improvements affected only a small portion of the site that contained no
human remains, a corps official has said it’s standard procedure to
examine the entire site.

Daniel Castro Romero Jr., general council chairman for the Lipan Apache
Band of Texas Inc., said the find is an important one. He said he
believes Native Americans originated here and this cemetery confirms
that.

“We’re rewriting history because of what’s been found out here,” he
said. “This is of great importance.”
He said not only does it rewrite the history of the region, but of the
nation.

The excavation produced a large collection of artifacts dating back from
500 to 10,000 years, Ricklis said. A prehistoric cemetery thought to
date back at least 7,000 years was also discovered.

“It’s one of only three of that magnitude in North America,” Ricklis
said. He noted that the other known cemeteries older than 5,000 years
are Carrier Mills in Southern Illinois and Windover on the east coast of
Florida. He also said archaeologists didn’t even suspect that people in
Texas had major cemeteries 7,000 years ago.

“It’s a sizeable cemetery,” Ricklis said. “We excavated about 80
burials, but there are a lot more than that in the site.”
He estimated there could be as many as 200 burials there that date back
7,000 years. Based on radiocarbon dating, he said, the oldest of the
human remains tested dates back 8,500 years.

Ricklis said researchers are confident the site was occupied as far back
as 10,000 years ago because of flint points found there that are known
to be from that period. “Specifically, we found dart points of the
Golondrina, St. Mary’s Hall and Wilson types, all known to date to
before 9,000 years ago.”

Ricklis said he has no idea where the predecessors of these Native
Americans originated, but there is nothing to indicate a European
connection. He said they could be part of an early population that may
have come from northeast Asia.

But he added some in the field question that and believe there may have
been immigrants from Europe or the Pacific region who contributed to
early American populations.

“Probably the most interesting thing we have regarding the cemetery is a
lot of artifacts found with the burials and placed in the graves as
offerings,” Ricklis said.

He said those artifacts are evidence of links to the Mississippi River
Valley, the Southeast United States and possibly even Mexico.

Examples include bannerstones, flint projectile points, beads, shell
pendants, and bone and antler tools for working flint. A bannerstone is
a piece of stone that was worked by pecking and grinding into an oblong
shape. It was typically 4 to 6 inches long, carefully crafted and
usually smoothed, sometimes to a polish.

“The bannerstones are not typical of Texas,” Ricklis said. “The ones we
have are of a certain type much more common in the Mississippi Valley
and the Midwest.”

Also found were plummets, or teardrop-shaped stones, that have been
drilled and are more typical of the Southeast for this time period.
Ricklis said he still doesn’t have the final report on the physical
anthropology showing the sex and age of the people. But the study showed
there were several individuals who lived to be 70 years old and still
had their teeth, indicating they led relatively healthy lives.
“We do see that these people are quite healthy and some of the diseases
we see in later populations of Native Americans were not present,”
Ricklis said.

He said he’s not sure what the typical lifespan would have been for
these people. But he said he would expect hunter-gatherers to have had a
lifespan of 45 to 50 years.

“There is nothing indicating death from other than natural causes,”
Ricklis said. “Old age is just one of the natural causes. There are many
children and young- to middle-aged adults in the cemetery, as well.”
It appears they had a diet that was a mix of plants and animals they got
from the local river floodplain and the prairie environment. There were
also indications they brought food from the coast.

Their meals from the floodplain and prairie consisted of things like
deer, river fish, local plants and possibly buffalo. The coastal meals
included saltwater fish and oysters.

? David Tewes is a reporter for the Advocate. Contact him at
361-580-6515 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or comment on this story at
www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.
________________________________________________________________________


This “cache” of burial offerings was found between the bodies of two young children. The items include a deer antler baton, stacked marine shell pendants, an almost complete conch shell, triangular Tortugas dart points, chert flakes, hammerstones, a mano, and a grinding slab. This diverse set of offerings include items traded from the coast, flint-knapping gear, and plant-processing gear, perhaps suggesting that the offerings were made by several family members, male and female. UTSA-CAR archives.
FloodPlain.jpg


These unusual stone artifacts were grave offerrings that show connections with distant source areas and with broad cultural patterns. From left to right, a drilled and polished black pendant, a drilled bannerstone, a grooved stone artifact , and a drilled piece of tabular sandstone. These artifacts are not ordinary everyday items; they were special artifacts that probably symbolized power and esotertic knowledge. The drilled pieces were probably worn as chest ornaments. These artifacts and the grooved stone are rare and most often found as grave offerings. Similar artifacts were found in the Early Archaic cemetery at the Buckeye Knoll site, a recently excavated site about 5 miles downstream from Morhiss Mound. The bannerstone, pendants, and the grooved stone artifact suggest that Morhiss inhabitants participated in a social network with far-reaching extra-regional contacts to the northeast and east within the Eastern Woodlands.
FloodPlain1.jpg



Front and back views of a marine shell pendant that accompanied a 4 to 7 year-old child interred at the Silo site. Although this is clearly not an everyday item, the position of the pendant suggests it was placed around the child’s neck, perhaps a final offering from a close relative. It is made of conch shell and decorated by incised lines and drilled holes. TARL archives.
FloodPlain2.jpg


Plan view showing the distribution of burials and “caches” (offerings) found in a tightly clustered cemetery at the Loma Sandia site. Over 200 individuals were interred in this large cemetery which dates between 850 and 550 B.C. (about 2550-2850 years ago). It is located on a small tributary of the lower Atascosa River just above where that river joins with the Frio and Nueces rivers. UTSA-CAR archives.
FloodPlain3.jpg


The Silo site gets its name from this silage trench dug in the 1950s to store green fodder for livestock feed. Four decades later, the current rancher spotted human bones eroding from the wall of the long-abandoned trench and called on archeologists from the University of Texas at Austin. They realized that the trench cut through a Late Archaic cemetery. Students and volunteers carried out limited salvage excavations and investigations at the site in 1996-1997. TARL archives.
FloodPlain5.jpg


Jack
Last Edit: 2 years 4 weeks ago by greywolf22.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46033

  • gregszybala
  • gregszybala's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 5556
  • Thank you received: 2278
Thanks Jack, another great post. Always enjoy these types of references even if they are about locations 2,000 miles away from here!
Last Edit: 2 years 4 weeks ago by gregszybala.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46034

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
Greg

Most posts on here are mainly nice point and that is not what the site should be all about. If you own an artifact I think you should know something about the culture that made it. There is a lot of education material on the web and its easy to get to, all takes is a little time to find out what culture wraps around it.

Jack
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46047

  • twoshovel
  • twoshovel's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 513
  • Thank you received: 94
thanks jack, really enjoyed that one twoshovel
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46048

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
Roger

Thanks glad to add to.

Jack
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46052

  • gregszybala
  • gregszybala's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 5556
  • Thank you received: 2278
greywolf22 wrote:
Greg

Most posts on here are mainly nice point and that is not what the site should be all about. If you own an artifact I think you should know something about the culture that made it. There is a lot of education material on the web and its easy to get to, all takes is a little time to find out what culture wraps around it.

Jack

Your right Jack, I am amazed at what I have learned courtesy of folks like you and others in the last year and a half. Also what is available via the web, books and other research. To some this is a hobby, to others, they have made it their life's work. Me, I'm still somewhere in between! I enjoy seeing the artifacts posted ( another avenue of education )but do truly enjoy post like the above as well as post on subjects like regional lithics or clay trade pipes. Hope someday to have and or take the time to share what I have found, what I have learned and what I can share with the community.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46054

  • rmartin
  • rmartin's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 6882
  • Thank you received: 3310
Great read Jack. You are right, Knowledge is Key. Ray
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46065

  • gwyndolynn
  • gwyndolynn's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 98
  • Thank you received: 15
HA! just went to a lecture given by Dr. Robert Ricklis about Buckeye Knoll on Thursday but I had been around the dig since I worked at DuPont (INVISTA now)who owns the land of the site.I did a lot of electrical at the barge docks that year...He didn't seem to like my questions too much after the lecture. Hope I didn't offend him. A lot of people who were officially on the dig did not like what took place with the whole Oklahoma based Indian tribe who had no DNA linkage to this tribe who were found here. They were forced to rebury all relics because of the "ancestor" thing. Big to do with head dresses and chanting for the reburial, though the Indian tribe members had talked about "just making it up as we go" to some of the folks on the dig. It was disheartening for many of the people on the dig who I know and a few of them are still trying to finish up the casts and replicas as precisely as possible for our Coastal Bend Museum which has the Buckeye Knoll dig on display. A lawsuit had ensued by the Okie tribe and Dupont shut the dig down to keep the peace.
Last Edit: 2 years 4 weeks ago by gwyndolynn.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46073

  • CliffJ
  • CliffJ's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Mentor
  • Posts: 1662
  • Thank you received: 803
gwyndolynn wrote:
HA! just went to a lecture given by Dr. Robert Ricklis about Buckeye Knoll on Thursday but I had been around the dig since I worked at DuPont (INVISTA now)who owns the land of the site.I did a lot of electrical at the barge docks that year...He didn't seem to like my questions too much after the lecture. Hope I didn't offend him. A lot of people who were officially on the dig did not like what took place with the whole Oklahoma based Indian tribe who had no DNA linkage to this tribe who were found here. They were forced to rebury all relics because of the "ancestor" thing. Big to do with head dresses and chanting for the reburial, though the Indian tribe members had talked about "just making it up as we go" to some of the folks on the dig. It was disheartening for many of the people on the dig who I know and a few of them are still trying to finish up the casts and replicas as precisely as possible for our Coastal Bend Museum which has the Buckeye Knoll dig on display. A lawsuit had ensued by the Okie tribe and Dupont shut the dig down to keep the peace.

So much for education and knowledge from this ex-archaeological site! I am glad the museum at least got some casts made and that there is a display. Archaeology is in a sorry, politically correct state in the US and I mourn its illness!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46078

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
Gwynodolynn

I was in the first open meeting in Victoria with the Army Core when they were talking about re-burying all the artifacts without studying them. I was asked to come to the meeting by Dr. Hester, he is one of the few archeologist that reaches out to collectors of native artifacts.

There was a radical Apache woman at the meeting that got up and talked about how the white man had desecrated the graves of countless natives over the years and she was not going to allow this to continue . I was able to get in a few jabs at her telling her I was part Cherokee (which I am) and I did not mind them studying the artifacts and the bones as I wanted to know as much as I could about the cultures that came before mine and told her blood lines were not related to these people, she looked at me with disgust.

Dr, Hester got up and talked about the importance of the site and it would be a great travesty if they artifacts were put back in the ground with out study. His talk I think carried the day with the Army Core & Dow in allowing the artifacts to be studied before being buried.

I think it was the right thing to do in settling the dispute. The archeological community got some of what they wanted and the natives got some of what they wanted. It was not a big win for either side.

Jack
Last Edit: 2 years 4 weeks ago by greywolf22.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46079

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
gwyndolynn wrote:
HA! just went to a lecture given by Dr. Robert Ricklis about Buckeye Knoll on Thursday but I had been around the dig since I worked at DuPont (INVISTA now)who owns the land of the site.I did a lot of electrical at the barge docks that year...He didn't seem to like my questions too much after the lecture. Hope I didn't offend him. A lot of people who were officially on the dig did not like what took place with the whole Oklahoma based Indian tribe who had no DNA linkage to this tribe who were found here. They were forced to rebury all relics because of the "ancestor" thing. Big to do with head dresses and chanting for the reburial, though the Indian tribe members had talked about "just making it up as we go" to some of the folks on the dig. It was disheartening for many of the people on the dig who I know and a few of them are still trying to finish up the casts and replicas as precisely as possible for our Coastal Bend Museum which has the Buckeye Knoll dig on display. A lawsuit had ensued by the Okie tribe and Dupont shut the dig down to keep the peace.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is a letter I sent to Kay McHaney after a meeting with the Core on this site.

Jan 3rd 2001

Kay McHaney
Owner/Publisher
Victoria Advocate

I understand that Du Pont at Victoria, Texas is determined to rebury, without analysis or publication about 80 ancient burials excavated at site 41VT98. Most of these burials date to at least 7,000 years ago, roughly 5,000 B.C. Some of the burials were accompanied by ground and polished stone artifacts seldom found, and never before dated on the Texas coast (banner stones, Waco sinkers), along with equally mystifying large chipped flint blades and a large number of projectile points of an early form, again not previously dated or understood in the culture history of the region.

I under stand the sensitive political nature in dealing with these Indian burials and the pressure that is coming from the politicized American Indian community to put those that have been disturbed back to rest and I believe this course of action is correct, but why rebury the whole site when there is so much to learn, why not just rebury the graves and grave ornaments after documentation, and leave the rest of the site active.

Is there a less server way of dealing with this issue than pushing a pile of dirt on top of it, is there other recourse that could be used that would allow both sides of this important issue to be satisfied. The American Indian had a culture in South Texas, would it not be in their benefit to know as much about their history as possible.

Another problem that I have is that U.S taxpayer’s money was spent excavating this site. There were agreements made between Du Pont, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and The Texas Historical Commission that if the money were supplied for this project there would be certain benefits the people of this country would receive from it. This site was to be excavated, analysis done, information published and curation, that was what we were to receive. All three of these groups have been forced politically to kow-tow to out of state political and religious Indian agendas and forced away from their commitments.

Another thing that is sticking in my craw is that the Texas tribes of the Tonkawa, the Caddo and Alabama-Coushatta were called, they were not interested in the situation, so the Army Corps of Engineers went out of its way to the bring opinion from out of state Indian groups. Indian groups that should have no say into what is going on in this area now are the guiding force in what to do with this important Texas historical treasure.

If Du Pont as a corporate entity, the Army Corps of Engineers who spent tax payers money with out return, and the Texas Historical Commission can thumb its nose at science, and yield to special interest groups (non-Texas Indian groups with political and religious agendas) at 41VT98, what is to prevent the destruction of Texas archaeology in the future? You have a responsibility to all the people not just a small segment of the population. The people of Texas and the nation have a right to know as much as possible about our past, we should not be burying it.

Sincerely,


Jack Bates
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46083

  • gwyndolynn
  • gwyndolynn's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 98
  • Thank you received: 15
Way to go Jack! Too bad the site was not further studied. There is another site on the opposite side the barge docks across from Buckeye Knoll that I am going to have to check to see if it has been given a number. It's another "mound" or raised area a little further down, NOT on the INVISTA property and I think is owned by the O'Connor's. It probably has, but I know some who were leasing the property and say that there is evidence of historical existance. Louise O'Connor was just presented Friday with a Texas Historic Land Plaque for allowing the CoBALT team to "dig" on one of their properties in Goliad, so I am sure that if this site is not documented, it would be a knowlege-rich area in which the O'Connor bunch would oblige, just as long as we avoid the "mound" until the area around is examined first!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46084

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
gwyndolynn wrote:
Way to go Jack! Too bad the site was not further studied. There is another site on the opposite side the barge docks across from Buckeye Knoll that I am going to have to check to see if it has been given a number. It's another "mound" or raised area a little further down, NOT on the INVISTA property and I think is owned by the O'Connor's. It probably has, but I know some who were leasing the property and say that there is evidence of historical existance. Louise O'Connor was just presented Friday with a Texas Historic Land Plaque for allowing the CoBALT team to "dig" on one of their properties in Goliad, so I am sure that if this site is not documented, it would be a knowlege-rich area in which the O'Connor bunch would oblige, just as long as we avoid the "mound" until the area around is examined first!


That would be a good site for TRAL to take a look at and if possible to be studied. You might talk to Dr. Hester about it. He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

As it is private property there is nothing to stop the owner or people with owners permission from digging on it.

Jack
Last Edit: 2 years 4 weeks ago by greywolf22.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46092

  • gwyndolynn
  • gwyndolynn's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 98
  • Thank you received: 15
I am friends with Bill Burmingham, Benny McReynolds (brother of Richard McReynolds, illustrator of Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians) and Jimmy Bluhm. They all are in conjunction with the TRAL and are right now chomping at the bit to get the site that I have been searching on the list. They say it is a very important site, due to what I bring them each week. I am trying to get the land owner who is my mother's first cousin to understand the importance of the area, land owners rights, ect. It has produced several artifacts that are not indigenous to the area, and they said it could be just as important as the Buckeye Knoll site. It's untouched, unplowed, directly on the Guadalupe and only about a foot deep before you hit clay in most spots. Strange because of the oyster shells I have found, though most of it is fresh water shell...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: South Texas Plains - Human Remains & Artifacts 2 years 4 weeks ago #46114

  • greywolf22
  • greywolf22's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Member
  • Posts: 4618
  • Thank you received: 595
gwyndolynn wrote:
I am friends with Bill Burmingham, Benny McReynolds (brother of Richard McReynolds, illustrator of Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians) and Jimmy Bluhm. They all are in conjunction with the TRAL and are right now chomping at the bit to get the site that I have been searching on the list. They say it is a very important site, due to what I bring them each week. I am trying to get the land owner who is my mother's first cousin to understand the importance of the area, land owners rights, ect. It has produced several artifacts that are not indigenous to the area, and they said it could be just as important as the Buckeye Knoll site. It's untouched, unplowed, directly on the Guadalupe and only about a foot deep before you hit clay in most spots. Strange because of the oyster shells I have found, though most of it is fresh water shell...
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

That would be fantastic if that all came together. If they dig let me know and I will be glad to come down with my shovel and my camera.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.755 seconds