Heritage, Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 1988 Page: 8
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Excavation of Antelope Creek Phase House at the Courson Ranch, along Wolf Creek near Perryton, Texas.
Unless every square foot of the river valley is dug up, we
will never be absolutely certain that the Plains Villagers
aren't still buried out there. However, since we have found
plenty of evidence on the surface and within the top 20
centimeters, and since all the other similar structures in the
region were seen on the surface until the dust bowl covered
some of them up, and since the earlier Woodland occupation
is preserved along with buried soils 40 to 60 centimeters below
the surface, we can be reasonably sure that they aren't there.
Further, the greater part of the stone tool assemblage from
sites excavated along the creek are cutting tools, and the kind
of wasted flint flakes that suggest only the final tools were
made and used here. There is a conspicuous absence of
scraping tools or raw materials that sedentary people might
have stored around their villages.
If this is so, it raises some interesting possibilities. Coronado
met up with both Querechos and Teyas, but he also found
one group of Teyas who were living in skin tents like the
Querecho bison hunter. He knew they were Teyas from their
tattoos and dress, and because they told him so. Apparently
the Teya seasonally left their villages and followed the bison
herd much as the Querecho did, but then returned to their
villages after the spring hunt.
There haven't been many archaeological excavations in
the Southern Plains, and few of these have been from the
period of the Plains Villagers. But one site, the Garnsey site
in eastern New Mexico, preserved the butchered remains
from a bison hunt in the Late Prehistoric period. Piecing
together the faunal jigsaw puzzle, archaeologists there concluded
that it was the relic of a spring bison hunt, similar to
what might have occurred along the Palo Duro Creek several
hundred miles to the north.
It isn't much to go on, but these bits of the puzzle suggest
that Palo Duro Creek may have been the site of nomadic
bison hunting by the sedentary farmers from the surrounding
Lithic artifact sketches showing fragments. Drawings by Beth
Newman, courtesy of the Palo Duro River Authority.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 1988, periodical, Summer 1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45434/m1/8/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.