Life on Jackson Creek, Smith County, Texas: Archeological Investigations of a 14th Century Caddo Domicile at the Leaning Rock Site (41SM325)

Mark Walters, Leslie G. Cecil, Linda S. Cummings, J. Phil Dering, Jeffery R. Ferguson, Michael D. Glascock, Timothy K. Perttula, LeeAnna Schniebs, Harry J. Shafer, Jesse Todd, Chester P. Walker

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The 14th century Caddo Leaning Rock site was initially discovered in the Fall of 2004. It was located during reconnaissance to search out a location for the survey portion of the Texas Archeologica! Society's Academy IO I held in Tyler in February 2005. This was not a formal survey with transect lines. nor one using regularly spaced shovel tests. but was rather more of a "windshield"' type survey, consisting of driving across pasture lands looking at gopher mounds and checking fore, evidence of archeological deposits on likely looking landforms.

!n this area. landform and soil type seem to be the major determining factors in locating Caddo sites. The sandy soils in the scattered gopher mounds appeared almost white. especially in droughty conditions that prevailed at the time. causing an area with darker mounds of soil to catch my attention. Pocket gophers (G. breviceps) can play havoc with buried archeological deposits but can also be useful in bringing buried soils along with archeological materials to the surface from their underground tunnel system. While this dark area could have been the result of past historic land clearing and burning activities. a closer inspection revealed burned bone. mussel she!L and Caddo sherds mixed in the dark brown soils in the scattered gopher mounds.

The next step was to record the site with the State of Texas, obtaining the trinomial 41SM325. It is common practice to also gin: sites informal names and after recording several hundred sites, selecting a name becomes a challenge. One large sandstone slab, pan of the R-horizon that is exposed around the margins of Leaning Rock. was unearthed during prior landclearing activities and pushed up against a lonely pine tree on the northern margins of the site: consequently the nom de plume "Leaning Rock."

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalIndex of Texas Archaeology: Open Access Gray Literature from the Lone Star State
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

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