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Agency

TxDOT

Abstract

Prewitt and Associates, Inc. (PAI), conducted archeological testing and data recovery excavations at prehistoric site 41BU51 in Burleson County, Texas, for the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division, in three phases of investigation. The first phase of testing, conducted in Spring 2003, resulted in the discovery of a single human burial as well as diagnostic artifacts ranging from the Archaic period through the Late Prehistoric period. A second phase of testing was conducted to search for additional burials in January 2004. This work resulted in the discovery of three additional burials and two isolated human bones. Finally, data recovery to remove the human remains was conducted in June 2007. This report describes all three phases of work.

Analysis of the data recovered indicates that 41BU51 has a Late Archaic component that contributed many or even most of the lithic artifacts, most of the burned rocks and burned clay, some or all of the ceramic artifacts, and probably all of the human burials. Materials representing Late Prehistoric period occupations also are present, and the possibility exists that large numbers of the lithic artifacts in the upper 60 cm of the deposits were left by these occupations. A small number of artifacts predating the Late Archaic period were recovered, but these are older items recycled into younger deposits. Radiocarbon dates indicate that the Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric use of the site occurred over perhaps 3,200 to 3,600 years. The vertical distributions of the temporally sensitive artifacts and the radiocarbon dates, while hinting at some remnant time-related stratification of the cultural materials, make it clear that there has been much mixing of the deposits, presumably through faunal turbation and other forms of disturbance. With this degree of mixing, it is impossible to segregate the remains by time period or more-discrete components. Nonetheless, the archeological remains recovered indicate that 41BU51 was used intermittently over a long span of time, probably as a residential campsite, with some occupations during the Late Archaic period perhaps being for extended periods of time.

Licensing Statement

This is a work for hire produced for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which owns all rights, title, and interest in and to all data and other information developed for this project under its 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 TxDOT and the firm that produced it. Permission to reprint an entire chapter, section, figures or tables must be obtained in advance from the Supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701.

 

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