Gregory S. Perino Archaeological Study Area
The Study Area is a collection of regional archaeological material that honors the work of Gregory S. Perino, an archaeologist and the Museum’s first director. Among the displayed objects are dozens of stone points, tools and pipes. The space also features several examples of Caddoan pottery.
Caddo pottery is one of the finest prehistoric ceramic traditions in the United States. It evolved from the shapes of baskets and gourd containers that were used for storing and serving food. Historic accounts state that certain vessels were reserved for serving specific foods. One used for meat would not have been used for beans or corn. Others were used in ceremonial contexts.
Its intricate designs serve as symbols of Caddoan cosmology. Frogs, turtles, alligators and snakes represent the beneath world. Bears and other mammals depict the middle world or the world of man; birds symbolize the above world. The vessel itself also represents the world. Its base symbolizes the beneath, the body depicts the middle and the neck represents the above.
The Study Area showcases numerous Caddoan ceramics, ranging from the Mississippian phase (A.D. 700 – 1500) to contemporary works by Jeri Redcorn (b.1939) and Chase Kahwinhut Earles (b. 1976). [Pictured: Jar, ca. 1000 – 1400, Caddo (Haley Complicated Incised). Gift of Quintus H. Herron. 9″ H x 6.25″ Dia.]