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TADDLOCK SITE

TADDLOCK SITE. The Taddlock Site (X41WD39) comprises remnants of a prehistoric Caddoan settlement located in the Upper Sabine River basin in Wood County. It lies on a combined upland remnant and alluvial terrace in the valley of Lake Fork Creek, a major tributary of the Sabine River. The site was recorded in 1975 during the survey for Lake Fork Reservoir by Southern Methodist University. It was excavated in 1978 as part of the SMU archeological program to mitigate the effects of reservoir construction on the cultural resources found there. Researchers employed controlled surface collecting of cultural materials, hand excavation, and backhoe-aided excavations to investigate archeological deposits. The prehistoric Caddoan occupation was concentrated in a 1,200-square-meter area on the highest elevations of the upland remnant. The occupation at Taddlock is associated with the Early Caddoan period Sanders Focus, a cultural entity found in Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma between the Sabine and Red River valleys. This period in eastern Texas dates from about A.D. 750 to 1350; calibrated radiocarbon dates for the Sanders Focus range from about A.D. 900 to 1320. In the upper Sabine River basin, sites of this period are included in the Pecan Grove phase, a local manifestation of the Sanders Focus. The Taddlock radiocarbon studies suggest that the occupation dates between A.D. 1037±74 and A.D. 1070±77. The Caddoan occupational debris was concentrated in a crescent shape around an area where cultural features and activity areas were not found. A storage pit and evidence of a single burial were recorded adjacent to one of two probable house locations. The two house locations were marked by shallow circular middens nine meters in diameter, in which were such features as postholes and circular burned areas of charcoal and ash, interpreted as remains of hearths. A third midden deposit was discovered in a gully about ten to twenty meters downslope from the house locations. This midden was a thick trash deposit fifty centimeters deep, where bone, plant remains, broken lithic tools, and ceramic vessels were discarded by the site occupants. The two house locations and the trash midden were used contemporaneously; on-site sherds from the trash midden were refitted to sherds from broken vessels found in the house deposits.

Over 18,000 ceramic sherds were recovered from the Taddlock site. They represent several hundred different vessels, including carinated bowls, simple bowls, large cylindrical jars, and bottles used for food storage, preparation, and consumption. Decorated ceramic types include Canton Incised, Sanders Engraved, Davis Incised, East Incised, and Maxey Noded Redware. A slip of hematite-derived paint frequently covers the engraved and noded ceramics as another means of decoration. Additional ceramic artifacts include pipes, particularly the elbow pipe form and the long-stemmed or Red River pipe style. Native tobacco, or mixtures of tobacco and other plants, may have been smoked in these pipes. The lithic assemblage is dominated by small arrowpoints, flake tools, and celts, used for hunting, butchering, scraping, and woodworking. Most of these tools were manufactured from cherts available only in Central Texas and Southeast Oklahoma, rather than from poorer quality local materials. A faunal sample of more than 13,000 identifiable elements was recovered in the trash midden. Animals from all vertebrate classes are present, including a minimum of 267 individuals. Deer contributed most meat to the Early Caddoan diet at Taddlock. Other utilized species include carp, catfish, opossum, turkey, squirrel, jackrabbit, freshwater drum, raccoon, and beaver. Certain behavioral characteristics of the vertebrates present suggest that the Taddlock site was used as a year-round settlement. Plant foods found at Taddlock include wild plant seeds, nuts from black walnut, oak, hickory, and pecan, and corn. Floral remains that were better preserved in the nearby Spoonbill Site provide additional information about the use of plant species by Early Caddoan populations in the upper Sabine River basin. The collection of wild plant foods was important in the economy and was apparently supplemented by the use of cultivated seeds. The Archaeology Research Program of Southern Methodist University curates the cultural material, provenience information, and all field notes from Taddlock.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

James E. Bruseth and Timothy K. Perttula, Prehistoric Settlement Patterns at Lake Fork Reservoir (Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1981). Alex D. Krieger, Culture Complexes and Chronology in Northern Texas, with Extension of Puebloan Datings to the Mississippi Valley (University of Texas Publication 4640 [Austin, 1946]).

Timothy K. Perttula

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Timothy K. Perttula, "TADDLOCK SITE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bbtxk), accessed September 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.