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Agency

TxDOT

Abstract

ᆳchaeological testing at 41HM61 to determine if thatsite is eligible for inclusion in the National Registerof Historic Places (NRHP). The site, which is located in northern Hamilton County, Texas, would beaffected by replacement of the current U.S. Highway281 bridge over the Leon River. ᆳᆳogists had previously examined the bridge locationthrough a series of 14 backhoe trenches in the searchfor buried cultural remains. Although such remainswere found, it was uncertain at the time whether theywere in situ or had been eroded out of several known sites located just upstream and then transporteddownriver to the bridge location. CEI was contracted by TxDOT to revisit the site and conduct the NRHPtesting. Work was conducted under the direction of Mr. Richard A. Weinstein, Principal Investigator.ᆳᆳᆳgist for the fieldwork, while Dr. Jon C. Lohse servedas Project Archeologist throughout the analysis andwriting phases. Dr. Charles D. Frederick served as Geoarchaeologist.

CEI reopened and expanded three of the earlier TxDOT trenches (equaling ca. 14 linear meters),excavated eight new trenches (for a total of 98 additional linear meters), and then dug six 50-by-50-cmor 1-by-1-m witness columns and five block excavaᆳ AbstrAct tions, the latter each of varying size and consisting ofa series of contiguous 1-by-1-m units. The witness columns and block excavations were hand-dug usinga combination of shovels and trowels and resulted in the removal of 14.05 cubic meters of soil. Over 30 features were identified and several were examined in detail by the hand excavations, including concentrations of ash and charcoal and clusters of fire- cracked rocks and mussel shells.

Twenty-six samples of charcoal, organic sediment, mussel shell, bone, and floral remains were radiocarbon dated, resulting in a remarkably concise understanding of the different site occupations which span from the latter part of the Middle Archaic period ᆳᆳods (ca. 2460 B.C. to A.D. 1600). Through analysisof the remains associated with each recognized occuᆳᆳᆳᆳnal material, plus selected samples of floral material, freshwater mussel shells, and snails, it is possible topiece together a fine-grained picture of hunter-gatherer subsistence through time, along with changes in ᆳᆳᆳᆳsistence strategies and living conditions. Overall, site 41HM61 is considered eligible for inclusion in the NRHP. It also is considered eligible for status as aState Antiquities Landmark.

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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