Department of Anthropology and Oklahoma Archeological Survey, College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Continuing Education/Intersession

Check here for updates and photos. updated Thurs., Aug. 24, 2000



The Odessa Yates 2000 Field School Crew

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The University of Oklahoma, Department of Anthropology Archaeological Field School at the Odessa Yates site (34BV100) – a Late Prehistoric trade center on the Southern Plains was held from July 31 to August 18, 2000. Recently, several Plains Village sites have been recorded in the eastern part of the Oklahoma panhandle that document active involvement in an extensive interregional exchange system that encompassed much of the western United States. Of these villages, Odessa Yates stands out in terms of the overall quantity and variety of nonlocal trade items that have been recovered, suggesting this site functioned as a regional trade center. Strategically located near the border of the Central and Southern Plains, Odessa Yates would have facilitated the movement of goods, ideas, and information between these regions. As such, it is likely that 34BV100 served as a locus of seasonal aggregations of individuals from a number of neighboring communities.

Odessa Yates and its related outlying villages represent densely clustered settlements along the upper reaches of perennially flowing spring fed tributaries. Currently, at least three clusters of related villages have been recorded in southern Beaver County, Oklahoma. While additional reconnaissance survey remains to be completed, each village cluster contains five to ten sites that range in size from ten to fifty hectares. Although each village has been recorded as an individual site, the density of occupation along each drainage is similar to the dispersed settlement pattern described by Coronado’s entrada on their visit to Quivira in central Kansas.

These villages differ from previously recognized sites of the region attributable to either the Antelope Creek phase or the Buried City complex. The most notable difference at these Beaver County sites is the absence of stone slab architecture. The sites are also characterized by lithic assemblages comprised of approximately 25% Niobrara or Smoky Hills jasper, abundant evidence for active involvement in interregional exchange, high percentages of decorated ceramics, and the occupation of semi-subterranean pithouse-style dwellings.

Whereas other known sites of the region principally demonstrate social ties that developed after A.D. 1450 between the Plains and Eastern Pueblos of New Mexico, Odessa Yates contains evidence for the development of an extensive interregional exchange system that linked much of the western United States. Exotic materials recovered include Southwestern ceramics, turquoise, several thousand pieces of obsidian, mica, greenstone celts, a fluorite ear plug, hundreds of Olivella shell beads, pipes produced from materials obtained in South Dakota and northeastern Kansas, smoky quartz, Smoky Hills jasper, Reeds Spring chert, Flattop chalcedony, Edwards chert, and quartz crystals.  Scott Brosowske

Trade sources for BV-100

Read more about the Odessa Yates Site and Field School at the links below

Previous Investigations at Odessa Yates

 

Research Objectives and Archeological Training

 

Questions or Additional Information

Contact: Scott Brosowske (scottbro@ou.edu)

Contact: Dr. Richard Drass (rdrass@ou.edu) Rich's home page on Southern Plains Villagers