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DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/ita.2013.1.1

Abstract

Between August 9 and September 19, 2009, Atkins conducted data recovery operations at the Hawkwind site (41HS915) under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 5356. Data recovery at the site was initiated as the location was subject to proposed highway improvements. The field effort included mechanical and manual unit excavation within a single 24-unit excavation block. Mechanical excavation was conducted with a Grade-All, and fill was passed through a motorized screening bucket affixed to a Bobcat Skid Steer Loader. Approximately 139 cubic meters (m3) of fill was removed in the excavation block during data recovery operations at site 41HS915. About 123 m3 of sediment was mechanically excavated, and 66 m3 of fill was mechanically screened. Sixteen cubic meters of sediment was manually excavated, and 12.50 m3 of sediment was screened by hand. The use of mechanical excavation equipment and motorized screen at Hawkwind was a strategy that was aimed at maximizing data return at a relatively low-density, poorly stratified archeological site while avoiding the cost and time-consumption associated with traditional excavation methods.

Atkins archeologists collected over 3,800 artifacts during the data recovery effort at the site. This total includes 3,253 pieces of lithic manufacturing debris and 184 chipped stone tools. Included in the chipped stone tool total are 105 projectile points. In addition to 6 indeterminate dart points, the following types were identified: Catahoula arrow point (n = 1), Friley arrow point (n = 1), Ellis dart point (n = 3), Ensor dart point (n = 1), Gary dart point (n = 73), Godley dart point (n = 1), Morrill dart point (n = 1), and Yarbrough dart point (n = 18).

One-hundred sixty-six ceramic artifacts were recovered from the Hawkwind site during data recovery. This assemblage consists of 157 prehistoric sherds, 7 burned clay fragments, and 2 modified raw clay fragments. The primary research objective of the ceramic analysis was to expand our knowledge of Woodland period ceramics in the Mill Creek culture area of east Texas and to assess how the ceramics from the Hawkwind site compare to other known sites in the Middle Sabine River basin. The study began with a detailed technological and decorative analysis of the ceramics recovered at the site. Next, employing the same suite of attributes used to characterize the Hawkwind ceramics, a sample of the ceramics recovered at the Resch site and the entire Folly site ceramic assemblage were reanalyzed, thus enabling comparability of the ceramic attributes associated with all three sites. These data, along with Perttula’s (2001) detailed analysis of the ceramics from the Herman Ballew site, assured that the ceramic assemblages from four of the major middle Sabine River basin sites were examined in a similar manner, therefore enabling a more accurate comparative analysis of the ceramics recovered from each site.

Sixteen radiocarbon dates were obtained from samples including carbonized material found on a thermally altered stone, 10 botanical specimens retrieved during screening at the site and from flotation, 4 samples of carbonized residue found adhering to pottery, and the bulk organics from one ceramic sherd. The 16 radiocarbon dates ranged from 1260 B.C. to A.D. 970; however, all but two align with Woodland period occupations at the site.

In addition to radiocarbon dating, a number of special studies were performed, including macrobotanical analysis of plant remains from flotation samples, ceramic petrography, instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), microwear analysis of selected stone tools, and residue analysis.

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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