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.

Publications relevant to LSEM collections

Webb, Clarence H., Joel L. Shiner and E. Wayne Roberts. 1971 The John Pearce site (16CD56): a San Patrice site in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 42:1-49.

Webb, Clarence H., and James A. Ford. Poverty Point: A Late Archaic Site in Louisiana. American Museum of Natural History. New York, New York. 1956.

Webb, Clarence H. and Ralph McKinney. 1975 Mounds Plantation (16CD12), Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Louisiana Archaeology 2:39-127.

Webb, Clarence H. and Hiram F. Gregory. The Caddo Indians of Louisiana. Baton Rouge, Louisiana:   Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission, 1978.

Further Reading and Lesson Plans

Banner photo:  E. Wayne Roberts and Jose Pearce work on the only formally  excavated San Patrice site in Louisiana.