The Anthony Site is a large Calf Creek site in Caddo County, Oklahoma, that was occupied by mobile foragers about five thousand years ago (circa 3000 B.C.) The site is on a high ridge separating the Canadian and Washita River valleys and provides a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. The prehistoric Calf Creek occupants most likely selected this location because the view would have enabled easier detection of game in the area, especially buffalo. The environment during this time period was hot and dry with little relief during the approximately twenty-five-hundred-year drought. Because of the arid climate, there were most likely fewer game animals, and those that survived probably congregated near available water sources. A small, permanent spring just east of the site, combined with the enhanced view for spotting game, apparently made the Anthony Site an ideal camping location.
The Anthony Site is unique in Oklahoma because more than 250 Calf Creek-style points and numerous scrapers, drills, knives, bifaces, and flakes have been recovered. These lithic (stone) tools represent ten different nonlocal material types from distances as far away as three hundred miles. Although chert is represented from all directions, the two most abundant lithic types used are somewhat closer. Alibates agatized dolomite is found in the Texas Panhandle two hundred miles away, and Frisco chert outcrops about eighty-five miles southeast of the site. The distant origins of these reflected raw materials, coupled with the evidence of intensive use, resharpening, and reworking to prolong the use-life of these critical lithic items, point to a highly mobile people moving across the landscape. Whether the site represents one group of people utilizing lithic resources across the southern plains and returning to this location season after season, or numerous groups congregating at a central location to exchange marriage partners, information, and trade materials, is unknown.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Marjorie Duncan, "Calf Creek Foragers: Mobility on the Southern Plains During the Altithermal," Bulletin of the Oklahoma Anthropological Society 42 (1995). Don G. Wyckoff and Don Shockey, "The Calf Creek Horizon in Eastern Oklahoma," Bulletin of the Oklahoma Anthropological Society 40 (1991).
Marjorie A. Duncan
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