Antelope Creek Ruins, Native Americans rock dwellings

Marker Text:
Plains Village Native Americans occupied a series of interconnected rock dwellings near here from about 1200-1500. Called "Texas first apartment house," the ruins have been the focus of numerous excavations through the years. Made of native dolomite, the rock and slab dwellings averaged about 12 feet by 15 feet in size with a single opening, a long crawlway, on the east side. Other rooms contained a central hearth under four roof-support posts, while smaller rooms were thought to be for storage. Adobe platforms may have been an altar for ceremonial purposes.

The ruins are located near a branch of the Canadian River, providing a perennial source of water. The creek bottom soil of sandy loam allowed residents to harvest crops including corn, beans, squash and pumpkin. The semi-sedentary natives also hunted bison, antelope, deer, and small animals as evidenced by the bones and tools found at the site. Artifacts recovered include small arrow points, beveled and oval knives, bone implements, grinding stones, and cord marked ceramics.

Considerable information on the artifact assemblage and village structure was gained from the Works Progress Administration excavations from 1938-41 and subsequent interpretive works in 1946.
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