Heritage, Volume 13, Number 1, Winter 1995 Page: 14
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The completed excavation of Structure 2 at the Oak Hill Village site is shown in the photograph above. It may have been the dwelling of a person of high status.
seeing or viewing the inside of the ceremonial
building. Another unique characteristic
of Structure 2 is that the posts were all
set very closely together, with only about
five inches separating each post. This spacing
of the posts is about half that of the
other structures and suggests that the structure
was substantially built. A center post
mold was found inside Structure 2, but no
central hearth or cooking area was found.
The only other features discovered inside
the structure were two small pits containing
a number of charred corn cobs. These
construction details set Structure 2 apart
from the other structures at the site and
suggests that this structure may have served
as a religious or ceremonial building.
Structure 4 also has a unique characteristic
and, like Structure 2, may have been
the dwelling of a person of high status or
served a ceremonial purpose. The structure
is located on the extreme northern edge of
the plaza perimeter opposite Structure 2.
When discovered, this structure had a clay
layer that had been placed over it by the
prehistoric occupants. The structure appears
to have been intentionally destroyed
or burned, as many of the artifacts from the
structure are charred. The structure appears
to have then been covered over with
the clay soil. The purpose or reason for the
"capping" of the structure with the soil is
unclear. Perhaps a person of significance
occupied the structure and when that individual
died the structure was destroyed and
ritualistically "buried". At the time of this
writing the entire structure has not been
fully uncovered and its construction details
are not known. However, the intentional
destruction and covering of the structure
with soil makes it unique at the site and
suggests that it had special significance.
One burial has been discovered at the
site. The burial is located in the plaza about
30 feet east of Structure 14. No skeletal
remains were preserved in the burial, but
the burial pit was clearly discernible. The
pit measured six feet long and two feet
wide, suggesting the individual was an adult.
Within the burial pit, two ceramic vessels
and a cache of 13 arrow points were discovered.
The arrow points cached together
may indicate that a quiver of arrows was
placed in the burial, which may suggest
that the individual was a male. The small
number of burial offerings may indicate
that the individual was a commoner, or at
least someone who was not high on the
social ladder as the elite members of
Caddoan society were usually buried with
copious offerings and often with prized
trade items such as ornaments of marine
shells and copper, and quartz crystals.
Today, the cultural heritage of the
Caddoan Indian groups is being threatened
and is in danger of being lost as numerous
Caddoan archaeological sites are being
destroyed. Studying the archaeology of the
Caddoan peoples has provided us with the
opportunity to examine certain dimensions
of their native history that have been poorly
known or understood. The archaeological
investigations at the Oak Hill Village site
have produced a wealth of information on
the cultural, economic, social, and political
lifeways of those living in this state
during the 14th century.
J. Brett Cruse is a staff archaeologist with
Espey, Huston & Associates, Inc., Austin.
14 HERITAGE * WINTER 1995
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 13, Number 1, Winter 1995, periodical, Winter 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45408/m1/14/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.