In the northeastern
portion of Texas, the Late Prehistoric period (dating from ca. AD
700 - 1700) is associated with the Caddoan cultural area. At this
time, the Caddoan culture is characterized by sedentary villages
located along waterways, ceremonial earth mound constructions, and
maize horticulture. The Caddoan culture is also noted for a well
developed artistic tradition, which can be seen in the carved effigy
pipes from Oklahoma shown here.
culture in northeastern Texas is believed to have developed in
situ and to have become a discrete entity by around AD 800.
A population increase after AD 800 is indicated by an increase in
the number and size of sites.
Caddoan archaeological sequence has been divided into Formative
Caddoan (AD 800-1000), Early Caddoan (AD 1000-1200), Middle Caddoan
(AD 1200-1400), Late Caddoan (AD 1400-1680), and Historic Caddoan
(AD 1680-1860). Prior to the Formative Caddoan period, groups from
northeast Texas began to live in larger and more permanent settlements.
A sedentary settlement system was present in some parts of the Caddoan
archaeological region of Texas by AD 800.
Maize is present
in the archaeological record from AD 780. Although maize was an
important crop, seasonal resources including nuts, deer, and occasionally
bison were also exploited by the Caddo.
cultivation of maize, squash, and local seeds is evident in the
Formative Caddoan period, but intensification and dependence on
maize appears only after AD 1200, during the Middle Caddoan period.
For example, stable isotope analysis indicates that maize was a
significant portion of the Early-Middle Caddoan diet at the Sanders
site on the Red River.
It has been
suggested that after the Middle Caddoan period increases in nonspecific
skeletal pathology and evidence nutritional stress are indicative
of diets based on significant contribution of maize.
reliance on maize, the Caddo would be susceptible to crop failure,
especially in regions such as northeastern Texas where erratic weather
patterns result in frequent flooding and drought.