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Agency

Texas Department of Transportation

DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/ita.1999.1.17

Abstract

From late 1978 through early 1979, Ann M. Irwin of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) supervised excavations of two prehistoric archeological sites, 41MK10 and 41MK27, that were to be affected by construction along FM 765 in McCulloch County, Texas. The sites are located on Bluff Creek in the northern part of McCulloch County. Analyses of sites 41MK10 and 41MK27 and their cultural materials were conducted by TxDOT personnel in 1979, and an initial draft form of the report was prepared by Irwin in the early 1980s. TxDOT subsequently contracted SWCA, Inc. Environmental Consultants in 1999 to complete the report of the results of archeological investigations at 41MK10 and 41MK27 and to prepare the artifacts and records for curation.

Site 41MK27 contained a small burned rock midden, Feature I. This midden was approximately 8 to 10 m in diameter, and 50 cm thick, and annular in form. A single internal feature (Feature IA), a rock-lined pit or hearth, was located in the approximate center and bottom of the midden. Lying between the midden and Bluff Creek were a series of small hearths, of which eight were excavated and designated as Features III through X. These small hearths, most of which had been at least somewhat disturbed, appeared to have been simple structures composed of one or more layers of rock. Many of the individual rocks appear to have been fire-fractured in place. No true basin-shaped hearths were observed. Associated with these hearths were an accompanying scatter of living debris in the form of flint and burned rock and significant quantities of freshwater mussel shell. Although the individual specimens are relatively small, the quantities recovered suggest that they served as a source of food. Radiocarbon data suggest that the site was intermittently occupied from the Late Archaic through the Late Prehistoric. The midden apparently dates to the Late Prehistoric, although the Transitional Archaic period may have been the period of most intense occupation at the site.

Site 41MK10 was smaller than 41MK27 and not as intensively investigated. Two small burned rock features were excavated. The site was at least visited in the Late Archaic times, as is evidenced by the presence of a Castroville point, and in the Transitional Archaic, indicated by the recovery of two Ensor projectile points. It is likely, though by no means firmly established, that these dart point types are in fact associated with the use of the features.

Licensing Statement

This is a work produced for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) by the report producer. TxDOT and the report producer jointly own all rights, title, and interest in and to all intellectual property developed under TxDOT’s contract with the report producer. The report may be cited and brief passages from this publication may be reproduced without permission provided that credit is given to both TxDOT and the report producer. Permission to reprint an entire chapter, section, figures or tables must be obtained in advance from either the Supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701 or from the report producer.

 

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