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Archaeology of the

Arkansas River Valley
Warren K. Moorehead - 1931
with supplementary papers on
The Prehistoric Cultures of Oklahoma by Joseph B. Thoburn
The Exploration of Jacobs Cavern by Charles Peabody

 Gustav's Library Vintage Reprint


Moorehead's summation of this book is as follows: "Nearly fifteen years ago some stone artifacts from the Arkansas valley were sent the writer for examination. Most of these came from the middle Canadian River basin, others represented sites in western Kansas. The specimens were not numerous, yet they suggested an important and extensive archaeological field, since they appeared to be somewhat different from types east, west or south of the region. In subsequent years, three journeys through Arkansas drainage areas were undertaken. One of these might be considered an expedition, whereas the other two were reconnoissances.
     Readers will understand that the following pages are in no sense a complete exposition of the archaeology of this great river valley, rather is it the purpose of the writer to indicate the importance of the field, and to suggest future and thorough exploration.
     Our presentation is based upon the Indian sites and artifacts. Three or four locations on the river, or its tributaries, the author considers significant, particularly Yell County, Arkansas; upper Canadian, northwest Texas, and in Kansas, where, probably, there are several cultures. Aside from Harrington's description of the cemetery at Dardanelle, in Yell County (page 8) we are chiefly dependent on large collections of artifacts from the lower river region, hence a somewhat lengthy and detailed description of types. There should be far reaching excavation of mounds and village sites throughout this county and up river through Oklahoma."

This 8" x 10-1/2",  205 page soft cover book contains 76 illustrations (many full page) and 11  full page plates of Jacobs Cavern.   $18.95


Mano Petroglyphs

Oklahoma Mound builder Pottery

Lozenge Shaped Blades Textile Bag


Sample  Plates - click on image to enlarge

Table of Contents

General Observations upon the Arkansas Valley
Archaeology of the Lower Arkansas Valley
Cemetery near Dardanelle
Yell County, Arkansas
Franklin's Description of Sites, Yell County
Study of Stone Material, Region of Fort Smith and Yell County
Artifacts from the Rock Shelters Compared with Lowland Finds
The Ozark Rock Shelters
Harrington's Observations
Traces of Other Cultures
Jacobs Cavern Revisited
Observations in Oklahoma
Fossil Remains
Implements from the Spring
Bone and Antler Implements
Significance of the Deposit
The Prehistoric Cultures of Oklahoma
The Basket-Maker People of the Upper Cimarron
The Mound-Builder Cultures
Mounds of the True Mound-Builders
The Cultural Remains of the Caddoan People
Description of a Caddoan Earth Lodge
Implements and Tools
Work of Other Investigators
Caddoan Earthenware Pottery
The Origin of the Caddoan People
The Siouan Culture
The Athapascan Culture
Unidentified Cultures
Sites in Kansas
Pueblo Ruins in Scott County, Kansas
Ruins in Clark County, Kansas
Preliminary Investigation of the Texas Panhandle
Handley Ruins
Ruins on Antelope, Tabbox, Cottonwood, and Other Creeks
An Inspection Trip
The Upper Arkansas
Cimarron Country
Recapitulation and General Conclusions
The Question of Origin
Some Field Notes and Observations Concerning Texas Panhandle Ruins
A Few General Observations
Exploration of Jacobs Cavern



1 Specimens found near Fort Smith
2 Types of arrowpoints mostly from Yell County, Arkansas
3 Selected points from Yell County, Arkansas, and adjacent regions
4 Minute points and specialized forms from Yell County
5 Lozenge-shaped spearheads
6 Six knives
7 Chipped and notched axes, and polished celts
8 Chipped axes and hoes
9 Three mano stones and rubbing stone. Yell County, Arkansas
10 Four objects from village site and cemetery, Havana, Arkansas
11 Boatstone
12 Eight boatstones and grooved stone
13 Map of prehistoric sites in Yell County, Arkansas
14 Series of large, roughly chipped objects from rock shelters
15 View of Ash Cave
15A Map of rock shelters located by E. H. Jacobs
16 Bag woven of grass
17 Woven bag
18A Axe with chipped flint blade. B Atlatl.
19 Large chipped tool
20 Caddoan pottery
21 Mound-builder pottery
22 Earthenware water-bottles from mound
23 Siouan ceremonial pipes
24 Ceremonial blades
24A Chipped object found near Eufaula
25 Siouan ceremonial pipe
26 Group of ear ornaments
27 Map of sites, eastern Oklahoma
28 Map of sites in Butler County, Kansas
29 Five specialized knives
30 View of the plain on which are Handleys ruins
31 Outline map indicating position of Handleys ruins
32 The west wall of Gould ruin at Handleys
33 Diagram of a large central room, Gould ruin
34 East wall, Gould ruin
35 Fragmentary skeleton, Handleys ruin
36 Small ruins, Archie King's ranch
37 Pottery jars from ash pit, Gould ruin
38 Fragments of typical Handley ruin pottery
39 One of the walls of a ruin on Wolf Creek
40 Bird's eye view of ruins at Cottonwood
40A Field map of Cottonwood ruins
41 Fourteen objects from Handleys
42 Large stones forming part of the walls of a building, Tarbox Creek
43 Small ruin, Cottonwood Creek
44 Antelope Creek, ruin, No. 10
45 Bivin's site
46 Typical Panhandle ruin
47 Bird's eye view of Dixon Creek ruins
48 Landergin's mesa
49 Pottery from Antelope Creek
50 Fragments of pottery found by Mr. Studer
51 Ground plan of ruin on Tarbox Creek
52 Ground plan and cross section of wall of ruin A.C.
53 Stone circles on high butte on Congdon's ranch
54 A rock barricade
55 Stones protruding from ground
56 Rather large defensive work
57 Highly specialized chipped tool
58 Petroglyphs from Sam Hallock's ranch, Cimarron Valley
59 Petroglyphs from Sam Hallock's ranch, Cimarron Valley
60 Chipped objects, upper Canadian
61 Objects from Ritter Springs, New Mexico
62 Characteristic upper Mora Valley Pueblo potterv
63 Site No. 13
64 Walls of slabs, upper Mora Valley
65 Rock shelter, site No. 15
66 Drawings on the rocks, near Tucumcari, New Mexico
67 Pictures on the wall of a rock shelter, Oak Canyon, New Mexico
68 Petroglyphs on wall, upper Cimarron
69 Cross section of site No. 63
70 A near view of site No. 63
71 Mr. Studer's diagram
72 View of Congdon's butte
73 Close view of a ruin
74 Map of ruins in Texas Panhandle
75 View of a group of rocks in the Verdigris Valley, near Liberty, Kansas
76 View of rock covered with petroglyphs, one and one-half miles from the group shown in Fig. 75

In the reprint of Jacobs Cavern we have retained maps, drawings and illustrations under the notation established by Dr. Peabody.