Fort Towson

Fort Towson is an archaeological site in Fort Towson, Oklahoma, in the southern part of the state, near where the Red River and the Kiamichi River meet. The fort is named after Nathan Towson, a war hero of the War of 1812. It was built in 1824 and used to keep peace with Mexico. Later, after being burned down, Fort Towson was rebuilt to protect the Choctaw Indians. When the Choctaw moved into Indian Territory the fort kept non-Indian settlers out of the area. In addition, it was used to train soldiers to fight in the war with Mexico. During the Civil War, Ft. Towson was the headquarters of the Indian Territory Confederate forces.

 The state archaeologist and the team that works at Fort Towson surveyed the site so they would know how big it was, and then started to excavate and record the context of the features and artifacts. They found many features at this site including barracks (where the soldiers lived), a hospital, a schoolhouse, storerooms, and guardhouses. They also found many artifacts in the matrixes at this site, including animal bone fragments, bricks, shards of earthenware, and window glass. After excavation the archaeologist went back to the lab and placed the artifacts into classifications, typically using seriation, so that the archaeologist could better understand the evidence that was discovered. The excavation served to: positively locate buildings from historic maps; allow for reconstruction of buildings to enhance visitor experience; and, create exhibits from artifact recovery to interpret the cultural setting.

Kenneth E. Lewis. 1971 Archaeological Investigations at Fort Towson. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, 1971.)
Oklahoma Historical Society. The Centennial Master Plan: Fort Towson Historic Site. Jan 2002

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