Article Title

An Archaeological Survey of Trail Locations in a Portion of Government Canyon State Natural Area, Bexar County, Texas Volume 1 Project Summary, Survey Results, and Recommendations


In May of 2001, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPW) contracted with the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio to conduct an archaeological survey of trails and revisit previously recorded archaeological sites in the northern and central portions of Government Canyon State Natural Area (GCSNA). The trail survey covered a distance of approximately 41.52 kilometers (25.8 miles). The total area systematically surveyed was approximately 6.47 km2 (1,599 acres). Fieldwork, conducted between May of 2001 and early February of 2002, resulted in the identification of 86 sites. Fifty-two of these represent newly recorded sites. Projectile points from sites suggest that the survey area was used, at some level, for portions of the last 11,000 years, with the principal occupation occurring from the Early Archaic through the Late Archaic periods. A consideration of occupational patterns within the study area suggests that areas close to drainages are characterized by more frequent re-occupation.

Twenty-four of the 86 sites are recommended for designation as State Archeological Landmarks (SAL). These sites all have subsurface deposits, low levels of disturbance, and a high number of artifact types relative to sample size. In addition, these sites either have projectile points that can be assigned to a particular period or have features that are thought to be intact and would therefore provide chronometric information. This combination of attributes makes these sites ideal for considering a variety of current as well as future research questions. The remaining 62 sites are not recommended for SAL designation. While aspects of some of these sites can potentially provide useful information, the overall quality and quantity of data available at these locations is limited.