Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 2, 2013

Archaeologist gives presentation on area history

TAHLEQUAH — Roughly the time period of 1,000 to 1,500 AD, the Mississippian Society was at the height of its complexity. In this area, most people think of the mounds at Spiro. Although that was a major communal society of that era, there were three other, smaller villages with their own richness in diversity similar to the Spiro mounds. Those were Harlan, Norman and Reed, all of which are now under water.

The artifacts derived from each of these excavations are studied so experts are still gathering information in order to understand the history of these Caddoan-speaking people who lived at these Mississippian societies.

Saturday, Dr. Scott W. Hammerstedt, archeological professor at the University of Oklahoma, spoke on the topic of “The Reed Site: Ceremonialism in the Neosho Valley of Northeastern Oklahoma” at the Spring Creek Coalition’s fall outing held at the Peggs Community Building.

According to Hammerstedt, the city closest to the Reed site is Locust Grove. The Caddoan-speaking people were an offshoot of the Mississippian Society that covered the area of Southeastern United States.

The Caddoans had different traits that define them and separates them from the other Mississippian Society.

Hammerstedt said the Reed site was first excavated in the 1910s.

“A lot of these sites are now underwater, and those who excavated were regular workers, not archeologists, so the record-keeping is minimal,” said Hammerstedt.

He also said there were looters before official excavations began.

There are two types of mounds from those civilizations, according to Hammerstedt.

Platform mounds that occurred gradually and burial mounds.

“We think the mound at the Reed site was created for communal burial, not a single burial, like for a chief,” Hammerstedt said.

There are several examples in the various collections of artifacts.

Some examples are pottery vessels varying from bottles, to jars, to bowls. There are also ceramic objects like clay beads.

“We have 30-40 pieces of copper from the Reed site,” said Hammerstedt.

“No one knows for sure where the copper came from, but archeologists believe the copper came from the Great Lakes area.”

This is the largest source of copper artifacts next to the Spiro mounds.

According to Hammerstedt, the experts are still trying to figure out the meaning of some of the materials that made up the objects, as well as the colors used. The falcon is a common motif of the Mississippian Society.

Describing the artifacts, Hammerstedt said, “there is a combination of local and exotic items. There had to be some participation in an exchange system because of certain items found.”

The mythology known about these people occurred when scientists interviewed the elders from the 1920s to the 1940s.

“These people were part of the same ritual belief system,” said Hammerstedt. They had a “long-nosed god.”

Along with a lecture on the Reed site excavation, Hammerstedt looked over artifacts brought by local residents who had found them in the area.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Hepatitis.jpg Hepatitis vaccinations important today

    The phrase “back to school” may be disdained by kids for many reasons, including a trip to the doctor’s office to update immunizations.
    But hepatitis cases in Oklahoma provide a good example of why these vaccinations are important.
    “There was a time when Hepatitis A was just crazy in Oklahoma. The state was actually known for it,” said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Health Department’s Acute Disease Service.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • hood-raymond.jpg One man caught, another sought after foot chase

    Two people tried to escape sheriff’s deputies, and one was successful, after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 62 last weekend.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was on the highway when he noticed a red Chevrolet Avalanche matching the description of a truck that had been spotted at the scene of a recent burglary.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detectives investigate deaths of two elderly residents

    Incident may be murder-suicide

    Tahlequah police detectives believe the deaths of two elderly Cherokee County residents are part of a murder-suicide that took place July 24-25.

    July 29, 2014

  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Stocks