Etzanoa: A Northern Caddoan Town

Author(s): Donald Blakeslee

Year: 2017


Documents associated with the Juan de Oñate expedition of 1601 allow identification of the proto-Wichita (Quiviran) town that he visited. Described by natives as taking two or three days to walk through, the Spanish saw only parts of it. Still, they counted 1,700 to 2,000 houses in the southern end of the community, which was described as about two leagues (five miles) long. Above that point, the Spanish traveled away from the river for another three leagues, and when scouts returned to the river, they reported that the town "continued on" upstream. Today, the archaeological record of the town consists of over 25 separate recorded sites strung along about 14 river miles, with unsurveyed ground between them. The town consisted of clusters of houses thirty to forty houses each, separated at distances of 300 to 400 paces by agricultural fields. Survey between recorded sites has begun, and eventually it may document this as the largest prehistoric site in the United States.

Cite this Record

Etzanoa: A Northern Caddoan Town. Donald Blakeslee. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430060)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12134