Caddoan peoples; Arkansas
Ceramic, traces of pigment; H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Mr. And Mrs. Raymond Wielgus, 1961 (1978.412.85)
The westernmost region in which Mississippian cultural patterns occurred was in eastern Oklahoma and adjacent areas of Missouri and Arkansas. Called Caddoan to distinguish it from the more eastern, and somewhat distinct, Mississippian patterns, its major center was at Spiro in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, where a new type of construction was undertaken in the thirteenth century that combined aspects of both ceremonial platforms and mortuary mounds into one structure. Believed to have served as the major ancestral shrine of the region, Craig Mound has thus yielded a particularly impressive array of funerary offerings associated with privilege and high status. Many of these objects, principally those of shell, are incised with decoration of apparent sacred and/or warrior imagery. The incised patterns on Caddoan pottery, while less ambitious in depiction, are elegantly conceived and executed, as this bottle illustrates. It is reported to be from Yell County in west central Arkansas.