|| “Coahuiltecan” is a generic name for Native American tribes that inhabited the southern Texas and northern Mexican gulf coast before European colonization. These hunter-gatherer groups either died out or were renamed in the early historic era.
In this vicinity, archeologists excavated burial grounds of Coahuiltecan groups in two separate soil strata. The older graves date from the middle-archaic period (around 850 B.C.), while the upper level dates from the late-archaic (around 250 B.C.). Artifacts reveal that the hunting-gathering culture remained largely unchanged over the two periods, although bows and arrows used in the late-archaic period provided improved access to protein from large animals such as buffalo.
About 200 graves contained personal possessions such as tools for sewing and cooking, shells for jewelry and red ocher for cosmetics found with females’ remains. A few graves containing the ashes of adult males had white-tail deer antler racks affixed to them, indicating the individual had a high social status. Trade items such as arrowheads and beads indicate that the groups engaged in trade with coastal and interior tribes. The forensic evidence suggests that only thirteen males and four females may have lived past the age of forty.
Scientists and scholars from one foreign (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland) and four Texas (Texas A&M, university of Texas-Austin and San Antonio, and Texas Tech) Universities and the Texas Department of Transportation cooperated in the Loma Sandia excavation project, the largest archeological-historical venture of its era.
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