Archeology Presentation

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Archeology Presentation

Tue, March 26, 20135:00 PM

Location:  Science Building, Room 214

5 to 6 pm

Guest Speaker:  Dr. Richard Drass (University of Oklahoma Archeologist)

If you have questions about this event, please contact:  Dr. Jason Wickham at 580-327-8560 or

Description of Event:  In October of 1759, over 500  Spanish soldiers with Indian allies, led by Colonel Don Diego Ortiz de Parilla, attacked the Wichita village now known as the Longest site in southern Oklahoma.  The Spanish encountered a substantial fortification defended by a force of Wichita and Comanche at least as large as that of the Spanish attackers.  The Wichita easily repulsed the attack and Parilla's troops retreated in disarray to San Antonio leaving two small cannons and most of their supplies behind.  The Wichita had moved to the Red River from the Arkansas River around 1755 and the Longest site served as an important trade center for over 60 years.  The wichita provided bison meat for French settlements and hides that eventually supplied much of Europe's demands for leather goods.  Some of our earliest historic descriptions of Wichita Indian lifestyles in the 18th century, particularly their interactions with the Spanish and French as well as English and American traders, come from visitors to this major village.  The Longest site also has had some archeological excavations in the 1960's providing information on the materials traded at this time as well as the artifacts used in the daily lives of these people.  Current research is studying the layout of the fortification at the site to understand how it was constructed and types of features and activities that occurred in and around the fort.  Magnetic and radar studies have revealed the size of the fortification and a number of features and excavations later this year will test into some of these features.