LSEM’s superb archaeological collection is due primarily to several avocational archaeologists who have donated or loaned their collections to the museum. Dr. Clarence H. Webb pioneered serious archaeological study in Northern Louisiana. Much of what we know about early Caddo peoples began with the Gahagan site excavation Dr. Webb and Monroe Dodd conducted in 1932.
As early as 1934, Webb discovered steatite bowl fragments at Poverty Point. He worked with oilman Michael Beckman in 1946 and participated in field excavations from 1952-55. It was John Ford and Dr. Webb’s published site report that inspired the creation of the Poverty Point Diorama in the 1958.
E. Wayne Roberts worked together with Dr. Webb in excavating the only known Paleo-Indian site in Louisiana, the John Pearce site. This site predates both Poverty Point and Caddo cultures. The points and tools found here suggest that this site was used as a hunting camp by the San Patrice people nearly 8,000 years ago.
Ralph McKinney assisted Dr. Webb in some of his excavations of Caddo mounds along Red River. Lorraine and Ralph McKinney’s collection of Caddo ceremonial artifacts from Mounds Plantation and the Haley site are on display in the Gallery of the Caddo Nation in the West Wing.