Isotope and Hunter-gatherer Ecology at the Morhiss Site on the Texas Coastal Plain


We analyze radiocarbon, stable carbon, and nitrogen isotope data from the Morhiss Site (41VT1) located on the Texas Coastal Plain. In 1939-1940, personnel with the Works Progress Administration excavated deep deposits at this large hunter-gatherer site but they lacked adequate chronological control and results were never fully reported. From this location on the Guadalupe River and only 35 km from the Gulf of Mexico, hunter-gatherers could access a variety of habitats. In fact they returned to this productive setting from 5000 B.C. to at least AD 1000. With National Science Foundation funding we are developing a radiocarbon, stable isotope, and ancient DNA database from curated collections to evaluate the long-term ecological and population dynamics at the site. Site use reoccurred despite climate change, sea-level rise, and population growth and the site may have served as an important node in changing patterns of hunter-gatherer land use and territoriality from the Archaic to the Late Prehistoric periods. With preliminary data we analyze the role of estuarine, riverine, and terrestrial resources thru time while considering models of land use.

Cite this Record

Isotope and Hunter-gatherer Ecology at the Morhiss Site on the Texas Coastal Plain. Robert Hard, Raymond Mauldin, Kristin Corl, Deborah Bolnick, Jacob Freeman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430144)

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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): 16573