The Looting of Prehistoric Caddo Indian Cemeteries in Northeast Texas

Perttula, Timothy K.; Nelson, Bo
December 1998
Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights;Winter98, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p77
Academic Journal
The article presents archeological information on the looting of prehistoric Caddo Indian cemeteries in Northeast Texas. Prehistoric and early historic times, the Caddos lived in dispersed communities of grass and cane-covered houses. The Caddo peoples had a sophisticated technology based on the use of clay, stone, bone, wood, shell, and other media for the manufacture of tools, clothing, ceramic vessels, basketry, ornaments, and other material items. The article points out that prehistoric Caddo Indian cemeteries in Northeast Texas have been repeatedly damaged and destroyed by looters and grave robbers since 1900s. Many large Caddo Indian cemeteries in Northeast Texas have been looted by "pot-hunters" living in the Texarkana, Longview, and Tyler areas who receive, for their efforts, large amounts of money. The Vasturtium site is a looted middle-Caddoan period cemetery on a floodplain island in the Little Cypress Creek valley. Construction workers were allegedly paid by the looters to stay out of the cemetery area until all the Caddo Indian burials had been removed.


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