Previous Investigations at Odessa Yates

This summerís fieldwork represents the third season of investigations at the site. The first year of fieldwork consisted of a geophysical survey using soil resistivity and electomagnetics. This survey was successful in identifying several pithouses approximately 4 x 6 m in size with floors about 1 m below ground surface. In 1999 the University of Oklahoma offered a six week long field school at Odessa Yates. These investigations concentrated on the excavation of pithouses identified the previous year using shallow sub-subsurface geophysical prospecting techniques.

During the 1999 field school one pithouse was completely excavated and two additional pithouses and a large storage pit were extensively tested. A radiocarbon date obtained from the completely excavated structure yielded a date of A.D. 1300. Artifacts recovered from each excavation area were comparable and included a wide variety of lithic and bone tools, ceramics, subsistence related trash debris, and nonlocal trade items. Nonlocal trade items recovered included Southwestern ceramics, obsidian sourced to northern New Mexico and the Yellowstone Park area, turquoise, Olivella shell beads, as well as a number of exotic lithic materials. Archaeo-Physics L.L.C. of Minneapolis, Minnesota also conducted a multi-day field seminar that included lecture and hands on experience using various nondestructive remote sensing techniques.