South wall of Feature 2000-2 excavations showing fill within the pit house.

A concentration of weeds in a plowed field during the 1999 excavation led archeologists to core in this area.  Since cultural material showed up in the coring at depths over a meter deep and since another crop mark of weeds was visible this year, Scott and Rich decided to test this area.  It would allow a sample of a pithouse much further west on the site than the1999 house. 

The excavation in this unit showed three different features.  The first (in time) was the pithouse which we can see the north edge of in this photo.  The charcoal stain in the wall in this photo (see red arrow) is a basin hearth.  Another pithouse intersects the northwest corner of the pithouse in the photo.  A smaller storage pit intersects the pithouse on the northeast.  These two features were dug into the ground surface after the pithouse itself had filled with trash and soil after it was abandoned.

Analysis of the excavated fill from these three units plus radiocarbon dating will give some answers to when the pithouses were occupied and when the storage pit was used.  Seven different pithouses have been either fully excavated or sampled in the field work at Odessa Yates.  It is hoped that questions regarding the length of occupation at the site can be answered with the data collected.

The pithouses at the Odessa Yates site are the first structures of this type found in Oklahoma.  They are dug about 1 meter or sometimes deeper below the surface.  A ring of poles around the edge of the pit were probably thatched to provide walls.  The roof was supported by two center posts.  Close to one wall, a hearth provided heat.  The 1999 pithouse had a storage pit (or entryway?) at one end of the house.

A later pithouse intersecting the northwest wall of an earlier house

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Shovel skimming around the earlier pithouse to find the edges of the storage pit and other house The outline of smaller storage pit can be seen in this photo Dustin points to a point uncovered in the skimming.

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