LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - The Gregg County Historical Museum has one of the largest collections of prehistoric artifacts in the region, the Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection.
The remainder of the Native American collection is now under the care of the museum.
Twenty-eight flint tools called Jowell Knives have been added to the Buddy Calvin Jones Caddo Collection.
Caddo Collection Curator Patti Haskins said Archaeologist Buddy Calvin Jones, whose prehistoric collection is displayed at the museum, found all the knives together in one grave back in 1965.
“They didn’t belong in this area. So that’s what makes them so interesting, and the fact that whoever the gentleman was, was very, very important,” Haskins said.
Haskins said the knives came from different groups, thus areas, of what is called the Confederacy of the Caddo.
“These would have belonged to a more southern group of the Caddo, and where he was in this area was more of a northern group,” Haskins stated.
The grave was discovered in East Texas. Haskins speculated the man buried had local connections.
“Either married to a woman in this area, from a different part of the tribe, or could have been travelling and he died and the other people from his group came to honor him,” Haskins offered.
There is an archaeological debate over that. However, she also said she believes that people from his group brought things to put in the grave:
“That a man would have needed for the next life,” Haskins explained.
Haskins said Jones also uncovered pottery and beads in the burial.
“He needed a lot of stuff,” I commented.
“Yeah he did. He was an important guy,” Haskins said with a smile.
“Well he must have been,” I said.
The man’s remains were left in the grave.
Although the knives won’t be displayed right now, much of the collection can be viewed at the Gregg County Historical Museum.
The remaining artifacts in the collection were under the care of Buddy Calvin Jones’ wife, Patsy Jones. Jones, who lives in Florida, had been keeping the knives because of sentimental value since she was on that dig, but she decided it was time to have the Caddo collection all together. Her husband, Buddy, who was born in Longview, died in 1998.