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Prehistory of Texas

Edited by Timothy K. Perttula

Publication Year: 2004

Paleoindians first arrived in Texas more than eleven thousand years ago, although relatively few sites of such early peoples have been discovered. Texas has a substantial post-Paleoindian record, however, and there are more than fifty thousand prehistoric archaeological sites identified across the state. This comprehensive volume explores in detail the varied experience of native peoples who lived on this land in prehistoric times. Chapters on each of the regions offer cutting-edge research, the culmination of years of work by dozens of the most knowledgeable experts. Based on the archaeological record, the discussion of the earliest inhabitants includes a reclassification of all known Paleoindian projectile point types and establishes a chronology for the various occupations. The archaeological data from across the state of Texas also allow authors to trace technological changes over time, the development of intensive fishing and shellfish collecting, funerary customs and the belief systems they represented, long-term changes in settlement mobility and character, landscape use, and the eventual development of agricultural societies. The studies bring the prehistory of Texas Indians all the way up through the Late Prehistoric period (ca. a.d. 700–1600). The extensively illustrated chapters are broadly cultural-historical in nature but stay strongly focused on important current research problems. Taken together, they present careful and exhaustive considerations of the full archaeological (and paleoenvironmental) record of Texas.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-

This project has been a gratifying publication to work on (since 1994, when it got under way), and I want to thank all the authors for committing their time and resources to see it come to fruition. D. Gentry Steele and the publication, marketing, and editorial staff at Texas A&M University Press have greatly supported the project from the very beginning of our discussions, and they have also assisted me...

PART I: TEXAS PREHISTORY

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1. An Introduction to Texas Prehistoric Archeology

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pp. 5-14

Our understanding of the prehistoric archeology of Texas has come a long way since the first true synthesis of Texas archeology, E. B. Sayles’s An Archaeological Survey of Texas (1935). About twenty years later, Dee Ann Suhm (now Story), Alex D. Krieger, and Edward B. Jelks...

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2. Paleoindian Archeology in Texas

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pp. 15-97

Lone Wolf Creek (Fig. 2.1) was excavated by members of the Colorado (now Denver) Museum of Natural History in 1924, and they found the articulated remains of a very large bison, now believed to be Bison antiquus, in direct association with three lanceolate projectile points. Based on the size of the bison and the...

PART II: THE HUNTER-GATHERERS OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN TEXAS PRAIRIES AND PLAINS

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3. Archeology in Central Texas

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pp. 101-126

This chapter reviews the archeological record of Native Americans in the central Texas archeological region and considers selected aspects of the nature of the evidence and how archeologists have studied that evidence. Previous reviews...

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4. The Prehistory of South Texas

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pp. 127-151

The southern Texas archeological area (Fig. 4.1) has been the subject of synthesis in a book-length treatment by Hester (1980b; see also Hester 1995), an overview of the western Gulf Coast Plain (Story 1985), two papers that dealt with...

PART III: COASTAL GROUPS

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5. Prehistoric Occupation of the Central and Lower Texas Coast

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pp. 155-180

In 1960, Thomas N. Campbell published an archeological synthesis of the central and lower Texas coasts (T. N. Campbell 1960). At that time, it was possible to identify, for the central Texas coast, basic Archaic and Late Prehistoric (or, as then...

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6. The Archeology of the Native American Occupation of Southeast Texas

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pp. 181-202

The area of southeast Texas straddling major environmental ecotones was occupied by nonagricultural native populations from Paleoindian times through the period of early European contact. The culture history for coastal and inland southeast...

PART IV: THE DESERT ARCHEOLOGY OF WESTERN TEXAS

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7. Prehistory of the Jornada Mogollon and Eastern Trans-Pecos Regions of West Texas

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pp. 205-265

The Trans-Pecos region of Texas extends from El Paso on the west to the Pecos River on the east, with the Rio Grande defining its southern boundary and New Mexico its northern. Included within this region are El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson...

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8. The Lower Pecos River Region of Texas and Northern Mexico

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pp. 266-280

The Lower Pecos region, the smallest of the defined cultural areas in Texas, encompasses an elliptical area that centers on the mouth of the Pecos River and extends perhaps 150 km north and south of the Rio Grande, from the vicinity of...

PART V: THE HUNTERS AND FARMERS OF THE HIGH PLAINS AND CANYONLANDS

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9. Archeology and Late Quaternary Environments of the Southern High Plains

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pp. 283-295

The Southern High Plains of northwestern Texas and eastern New Mexico (Fig. 9.1) contains a rich record of human occupation and sedimentation spanning the past 11,500 years. The sediments, along with soils and paleontological and...

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10. The Palo Duro Complex

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pp. 296-330

Paleoclimatic interpretations for the Southern Plains suggest that the Early Ceramic, or Late Prehistoric I, period was probably wetter than the preceding Late Archaic period, and it appears that conditions were generally less favorable for...

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11. From Stone Slab Architecture to Abandonment

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pp. 331-344

When Francisco Vázquez de Coronado’s entrada crossed the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles in the summer of 1541, there was no evidence that the region had been occupied by a village society living in dwellings built with stone slabs. Coronado...

PART VI: HUNTER-GATHERER AND FARMING GROUPS IN THE POST OAK SAVANNA , TALLGRASS PRAIRIES, AND PINEYWOODS OF EASTERN AND NORTHERN TEXAS

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12. The Archeology of the Post Oak Savanna of East-Central Texas

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pp. 347-369

The primary goal of this chapter is to present an overview of the culture history of the Post Oak Savanna of east-central Texas. This aim is accomplished by summarizing the wealth of data recovered during the last two decades of the...

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13. The Prehistoric and Caddoan Archeology of the Northeastern Texas Pineywoods

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pp. 370-407

This chapter considers the diverse character of the prehistoric and Caddoan archeological record in the Pineywoods of northeastern Texas. This area is essentially bounded by the broad Red River and its tributaries to the north, the interdigitating...

References Cited

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pp. 409-469

Contributors

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pp. 471-


E-ISBN-13: 9781603446495
E-ISBN-10: 1603446494
Print-ISBN-13: 9781585441945
Print-ISBN-10: 1585441945

Page Count: 480
Illustrations: 74 b&w images. 237 line drawings. 38 tables.
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Texas -- History.
  • Texas -- Antiquities.
  • Paleo-Indians -- Texas.
  • Hunting and gathering societies -- Texas.
  • Indians of North America -- Texas -- Antiquities.
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