The Panther Springs Creek Site: Cultural Change and Continuity within the Upper Salado Creek Watershed, South-Central Texas
The excavations and subsequent analysis of the Panther Springs Creek site, 41 BX 228, a multicomponent prehistoric open occupation site in south-central Texas, are documented in this report. The investigations at 41 BX 228 partially mitigate the loss of cultural information caused by looters and potentially by a proposed Soil Conservation Service flood control project. The field investigations carried out in 1979 included mapping, testing, backhoe trenching, and the excavation of several block areas. Large quantities of comparatively well-preserved cultural materials were recovered and analyzed including: descriptive, typological, and distributional studies of certain types of artifacts; the special studies of faunal, botanical, and soil samples; a study of the burned rock midden phenomena; an examination of the settlement pattern in the upper Salado Creek drainage; and a synthesis emphasizing cultural change and continuity through the time in the local cultural manifestations as reflected by the site deposits. The Panther Springs Creek site represents a favored campsite repeatedly revisited over thousands of years by hunting and gathering peoples attracted by the availability of crucial resources such as water, plants, animals, and lithic materials. The site served many functions including that of: a campsite, a lithic procurement area, a flintknapping station, a tool refitting station, a butchering station, a plant processing station, a hunting camp, a gathering camp, and perhaps a social gathering locality. The major problem in interpreting the site is that all of these activities were repeated countless times in an area that had very slow sediment accumulation. Thus, many details of 41 BX 228’s long history of prehistoric occupation will never be unraveled.