Center for Archaeological Research
The archaeological investigations reported in this volume represent the culmination of a series of cultural resource studies conducted in the area of site 41 BX 300 in south-central Texas. Plans by the Soil Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture, to construct a floodwater retarding structure on Elm Waterhole Creek, a tributary of Salado Creek, led to an initial survey at this locality by The University of Texas at Austin in the early 1970s. As plans for the construction moved forward, the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio contracted with the Soil Conservation Service to carry out more intensive surveys and site evaluations. We began to learn more about site 41 BX 300, as well as other sites within the proposed construction area. For example, contact was made with an artifact collector who made available his materials from the site surface, and these were published by a graduate student associated with the Center. Finally, in 1978, as the construction got underway, a full-scale excavation, aimed at mitigating the inevitable loss of the site, was conducted by the Center under the aegis of the National Park Service.
These excavations, directed by Paul Katz, provided an opportunity to examine certain facets of Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, and Late Prehistoric occupations recognized at the site. A variety of excavation and analytical techniques was implemented that had not previously been applied at other south-central Texas sites. The well organized and executed excavations, followed by an equally comprehensive laboratory phase, has provided a wealth of new data and interpretations. Some of the special studies attempted during this project proved to be of limited success or still remain preliminary. Even these, however, can serve as guides in terms of planning similar kinds of research in the future.
In summary, this project combined the requirements of systematic cultural resource stud i es with a distinctive research orientation. As a result, we not only have a body of "salvaged" data that would have otherwise been lost, but also a body of information and interpretation that can be utilized in continuing archaeological research in the south-central Texas region.
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