|Geographical range||Southern High Plains |
primarily Oklahoma, Texas
|Period||Middle Ceramic Period|
|Preceded by||Woodland period|
Panhandle culture is a prehistoric culture of the southern High Plains during the Middle Ceramic Period from AD 1200 to 1400. Panhandle sites are primarily in the panhandle and west central Oklahoma and the northern half of the Texas Panhandle.
The Oklahoma Panhandle is the extreme northwestern region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, consisting of Cimarron County, Texas County and Beaver County, from west to east. As with other salients in the United States, its name comes from the similarity of its shape to the handle of a pan.
The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 counties in the state. The panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklahoma to the north and east. The Handbook of Texas defines the southern border of Swisher County as the southern boundary of the Texas Panhandle region.
The culture was likely an outgrowth of the Woodland phase or a migration of people from north-central Kansas.
Antelope Creek focus is the primary, and to some the only, cultural tradition of the Panhandle culture. The Optima focus was defined for sites in west central Oklahoma, but after further study, these sites were defined as Antelope Creek focus. In 1975 Robert G. Campbell defined the Apishapa culture of southeastern Colorado's Chaquaqua Plateau as a Panhandle culture, which is disputed by other noted archaeologists.
The Apishapa culture, or Apishapa Phase, a prehistoric culture from 1000-1400, was named based upon an archaeological site in the Lower Apishapa canyon in Colorado. The Apishapa River, a tributary of the Arkansas River, formed the Apishapa canyon. In 1976, there were 68 Apishapa sites on the Chaquaqua Plateau in southeastern Colorado.
Several contributing factors have made it difficult to define the Panhandle culture, such as discrepancies in reporting carbon dating of artifacts, variations in interpretation of dating information, spotty information, and a lack of published material about the Panhandle culture.
Radiocarbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.
While it has been difficult to define the time periods and foci of the Panhandle culture, there are some distinguishing characteristics:
The Great Plains is the broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe, and grassland, that lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada. It embraces:
The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest, is the informal name for a region of the western United States. Definitions of the region's boundaries vary a great deal and have never been standardized, though many boundaries have been proposed. For example, one definition includes the stretch from the Mojave Desert in California to Carlsbad, New Mexico, and from the Mexico–United States border to the southern areas of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. The largest metropolitan areas are centered around Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso. Those five metropolitan areas have an estimated total population of more than 9.6 million as of 2017, with nearly 60 percent of them living in the two Arizona cities—Phoenix and Tucson.
A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging. Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.
A primary good for trade for the Panhandle culture was Alibates agatized dolomite, such as that found at the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument.
Most of the sites are centered on the Canadian River and North Canadian River or its tributaries, primarily Antelope Creek and also Cottonwood Creek, Dixon Creek, and Tarbox Creek. Panhandle culture sites were also found on the Archie King Ranch.
The Wichita people or Kitikiti'sh are a confederation of Southern Plains Native American tribes. Historically they spoke the Wichita language and Kichai language, both Caddoan languages. They are indigenous to Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in the State of Texas. For thousands of years, people came to the red bluffs above the Canadian River for flint, vital to their existence. Demand for the high quality, rainbow-hued flint is reflected in the distribution of Alibates Flint through the Great Plains and beyond. Indians of the Ice Age Clovis Culture used Alibates flint for spear points to hunt the Imperial Mammoth before the Great Lakes were formed. The flint usually lies just below the surface at ridge level in a layer up to six feet thick. The quarry pits were not very large, between 5 and 25 feet wide and 4 to 7 feet deep. Many of these quarries were exploited by the Antelope Creek people, of the Panhandle culture, between 1200 and 1450. The stone-slabbed, multi-room houses built by the Antelope Creek people have long been of interest to the public and studied by archaeologists. Today this area is protected by the U.S. National Park Service and can only be viewed by ranger-led guided tours, which must be reserved in advance.
The Steed-Kisker culture is a cultural phase that is part of the larger Central Plains Tradition of prehistoric people who occupied the Great Plains region of the United States in prehistoric times. This group lived primarily around the Kansas City, Missouri (MO) area from about 900 to 1400 CE. The Cloverdale archaeological site near St. Joseph, Missouri is one of the more important sites associated with the phase. Other sites with Steed-Kisker occupations include the Crabtree Site (23CL164), the Katz Site (23CL163) and the Steed-Kisker Site for which the culture is named. Many Cahokia style projectile points found at the sites have shown a connection with Mississippian cultures to the east.
Waldo Rudolph Wedel was an American archaeologist and a central figure in the study of the prehistory of the Great Plains. He was born in Newton, Kansas to a family of Mennonites. In 1939 he married Mildred Mott, a fellow archaeologist and ethnohistorian. Wedel died in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado, about one year after Mildred's death.
The McLemore Site, designated by the Smithsonian trinomial 34WA5, is a prehistoric archaeological site located near Colony in Washita County, Oklahoma. It is the site of a prehistoric Plains Indian village, dating from AD 1330-1360, during the Washita River phase. The site is of historic importance for being a key element helping determine the chronology of prehistoric cultures in the region. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964.
Landergin Mesa, near Vega, Texas, is an archeological site, preserving some of the most significant Texas Panhandle culture ruins. Landergin Mesa is a large site with many isolated structures, it is important because of the unique artifacts dating to the Antelope Creek Phase. There are well preserved examples of Borger Cordmarked ceramic vessels from the period. The site also exhibits unique architecture indicative of the Antelope Creek Phase.
Prehistory of Colorado provides an overview of the activities that occurred prior to Colorado's recorded history. Colorado experienced cataclysmic geological events over billions of years, which shaped the land and resulted in diverse ecosystems. The ecosystems included several ice ages, tropical oceans, and a massive volcanic eruption. Then, ancient layers of earth rose to become the Rocky Mountains.
The Fourche Maline culture was a Woodland Period Native American culture that existed from 300 BCE to 800 CE, in what are now defined as southeastern Oklahoma, southwestern Arkansas, northwestern Louisiana, and northeastern Texas. They are considered to be one of the main ancestral groups of the Caddoan Mississippian culture, along with the contemporaneous Mill Creek culture of eastern Texas. This culture was named for the Fourche Maline Creek, a tributary of the Poteau River. Their modern descendants are the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma.
The Antelope Creek Phase was an American Indian culture in the Texas Panhandle and adjacent Oklahoma dating from AD 1200 to 1450. The two most important areas where the Antelope Creek people lived were in the Canadian River valley centered on present-day Lake Meredith near the city of Borger, Texas and the Buried City complex in Wolf Creek valley near the town of Perryton, Texas. Settlements are also found in Oklahoma near the town of Guymon and along the Beaver River.
Franktown Cave is located 25 miles south of Denver, Colorado on the north edge of the Palmer Divide. It is the largest rock shelter documented on the Palmer Divide, which contains artifacts from many prehistoric cultures. Prehistoric hunter-gatherers occupied Franktown Cave intermittently for 8000 years beginning about 6400 B.C. The site held remarkable lithic and ceramic artifacts, but it is better known for its perishable artifacts, including animal hides, wood, fiber and corn. Material goods were produced for their comfort, task-simplification and religious celebration. There is evidence of the site being a campsite or dwelling as recent as AD 1725.
The Jurgens Site is a Paleo-Indian site located near Greeley in Weld County, Colorado. While the site was used primarily to hunt and butcher bison antiquus, there is evidence that the Paleo-Indians also gathered plants and seeds for food about 7,000 to 7,500 BC.
The Trinchera Cave Archeological District (5LA9555) is an archaeological site in Las Animas County, Colorado with artifacts primarily dating from 1000 BC to AD 1749, although there were some Archaic period artifacts found. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 and is located on State Trust Lands.
The Dismal River culture refers to a set of cultural attributes first seen in the Dismal River area of Nebraska in the 1930s by archaeologists William Duncan Strong, Waldo Rudolph Wedel and A. T. Hill. Also known as Dismal River aspect and Dismal River complex, dated between 1650-1750 A.D., is different from other prehistoric Central Plains and Woodland traditions of the western Plains. The Dismal River people are believed to have spoken an Athabascan language and to have been part of the people later known to Europeans as Apaches.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the prehistoric people of Colorado, which covers the period of when Native Americans lived in Colorado prior to contact with the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition in 1776. People's lifestyles included nomadic hunter-gatherering, semi-permanent village dwelling, and residing in pueblos.
Agriculture on the prehistoric Great Plains describes the agriculture of the Indian peoples of the Great Plains of the United States and southern Canada in the Pre-Columbian era and before extensive contact with European explorers, which in most areas occurred by 1750. The principal crops grown by Indian farmers were maize (corn), beans, and squash, including pumpkins. Sunflowers, goosefoot, tobacco, gourds, and plums, were also grown.
The Southern Plains villagers were semi-sedentary Indians who lived on the Great Plains in western Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and southeastern Colorado from about AD 800 until AD 1500.
Morgan Mounds is an important archaeological site of the Coastal Coles Creek culture, built and occupied by Native Americans from 700 to 1000 CE on Pecan Island in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. Of the 45 recorded Coastal Coles Creek sites in the Petite Anse region, it is the only one with ceremonial substructure mounds. These indicate that it was possibly the center of a local chiefdom.
The Plains Village period or the Plains Village tradition is an archaeological period on the Great Plains from North Dakota down to Texas, spanning approximately 900/950 to 1780/1850 CE.