Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2007

Abstract

Many generations of indigenous pathways through the forests of eastern Texas have their origins obscured in antiquity. Utilized by early European explorers, these pathways became modified through heavy use and the expansions and improvements needed to accommodate easy passage of European horses and carts and finally the heavy wagons of Anglo-American settlers. The first road through Texas, El Camino Real de Los Tejas, utilized portions of these early trails.

El Camino Carretera (known as the cart road) is an early segment of El Camino Real de los Tejas that crossed the Sabine River at the boundary between Texas and Louisiana. Using historical documents as well as empirical archaeological surveys, existing segments of El Camino Carretera have been located, mapped, and documented. Additionally, a GIS geodatabase model has been developed for managing the archaeological data with physical landscape data in a spatially responsive medium allowing for an integrated study of the landscape forces influencing the selection of a preferred road location.