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Chapter 20. North America (World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum)

Chapter 20. North America (World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum)

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Published by Dan Hicks

For further details about the book, and to order a copy, see http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/world.html. World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization introduces the range, history and significance of the archaeological collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. In 29 newly-commissioned essays written by a specialist team, the volume explores more than 136,000 artefacts from 145 countries, from the Stone Age to the modern period, and from England to Easter Island. Pioneering a new approach in museum studies, this landmark volume is an essential reference work for archaeologists around the world, and a unique introduction to the archaeological collections of one of the world’s most famous museums.

For further details about the book, and to order a copy, see http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/world.html. World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization introduces the range, history and significance of the archaeological collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. In 29 newly-commissioned essays written by a specialist team, the volume explores more than 136,000 artefacts from 145 countries, from the Stone Age to the modern period, and from England to Easter Island. Pioneering a new approach in museum studies, this landmark volume is an essential reference work for archaeologists around the world, and a unique introduction to the archaeological collections of one of the world’s most famous museums.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Dan Hicks on Feb 14, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/17/2013

The PRM holds c. 132 ‘archaeological’ objects from the State of Texas, none of which
are from the PRM founding collection. All but 7 of these are recorded as from two
locations: Bee Cave Canyon, and San Antonio (and environs), Bexar County.
The c. 52 objects from Bee Cave were donated by Louis Colville Gray Clarke (1881–
1960) in 1937: the same year in which he moved from his Curatorship of the Cambridge
University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (1922–1937) to a new appointment
as Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge University.14

The artefacts are all of
organic materials, and comprise c. 34 fragments of cord (1937.44.20), c. 7 fragments of
rush matting (1937.44.12–18),15

and c. 11 fragments of yucca fbre sandals (1937.44.1–11)

(Figure 20.1).16

This material derives from excavations carried out at the Bee Cave rockshelter
between 1928 and 1929 under the auspices of the Museum of the American Indian,
the Heye Foundation, and the University of Cambridge. The report on the excavations

13

William Henry Holmes Papers, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

14

Prior to taking up his Curatorship in Cambridge in 1922, Clarke had read for the Diploma in Anthropology
at Oxford University, and worked as a volunteer at the PRM, where he was in contact with Henry Balfour
(Bushnell 1961).

15

An eighth fragment of rush matting was donated to Newbury Museum in an exchange in 1952.

16

A further c. 37 artefacts from Bee Cave are held by Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and
Ethnology, and were also accessioned in 1937.

Cite this paper as: Dan Hicks and Michael Petraglia 2013. North America.
In Dan Hicks and Alice Stevenson (eds) World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 409-454.
For further details on the book, and to order a copy, see http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/world.html

Copyright © Pitt Rivers Museum, Archaeopress, editors and individual authors 2013.
The Pitt Rivers Museum’s database can be accessed through the museum’s website at http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk.
Research enquiries about the collections should be addressed to:
Head of Collections, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. Email: objects.colls@prm.ox.ac.uk

NORTH AMERICA

423

(Coffn 1932) described the

remarkable preservation of
organic materials at the site, which
meant that beds of grass, together
with a range of perishable objects
such as wooden implements (e.g.

stakes, fre-making drills, small

‘toy’ bows, arrow foreshafts,
atlatls fragments, digging sticks,
snares), reeds, bone implements,
gourd vessels, woven fabrics,

fbre brushes, cactus thorns, and

leather scraps – as well as the cord,
matting and sandals represented in

the PRM collection (Coffn 1932:

36) – were recovered. The PRM
artefacts are currently undated.
There are c. 72 objects that are

recorded as ‘chiefy [from] San

Antonio’ and were donated by Alexander Y. Walton in 1922. They comprise c. 69 stone
arrow-heads and 3 stone blades (1922.18.1–72). There is also a single stone arrow-head
from San Antonio that was given to Louis Colville Gray Clarke by ‘Major Walton’, and
donated to the PRM in May 1920 (1921.7.14).
Five of the remaining 7 objects are recorded as simply from ‘Texas’: 4 stone arrow-
heads purchased from the collection of John Rae in November 1892 (1892.60.118–121)
and a stone lance-head purchased from the collection of Alexander James Montgomerie
Bell (1921.91.208). There is also a chert blade from Lake Medina from the collection of
Louis Colville Gray Clarke (1921.7.15) and a human skull recorded as ‘found in the Red
River’, donated by E.B. Tylor in 1910 (1910.29.2).

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