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Authors

Agency

Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation Highway Design Division

Abstract

Site 41KR243, the Camp Pearl Wheat Site, is located along FM 783 and the south bank of Town Creek in Kerr County, central Texas (Fig. 1). The site was identified and recommended for testing by the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (SDHPT) in response to plans for realigning a hazardous curve on FM 783. Test excavations were performed in June 1988 and consisted of three 2-meter square hand-excavated units within the proposed 120 foot wide right-of-way. Although testing was limited because a portion of the site is used as a summer youth camp, Camp Pearl Wheat, sufficient data was recovered to suggest that the site contains intact features at depths of 40 to 50 cm. A hearth eroding from an existing roadcut was recorded and an another intact burned rock cluster was found at a depth of 50 cm in Test Unit 1. The single diagnostic artifact from the testing phase, a Martindale dart point, closely resembled a dart point of the same style that was surface collected earlier when the site was originally identified.

Testing indicated that site stratigraphy consisted of approximately 30 cm of dark gray silty clay intermixed with infrequent occurrences of subrounded limestone pebbles, overlying a dark brown silty loam. The 2-meter square test units were excavated in 10-cm levels that indicated the upper soil zone contained a very small amount of lithic debris. No burned rocks, bone, mussel shell, or stone tools were found. The absolute frequency of lithic debris per unit from this upper zone ranged from 1 to 25 and suggested an ephemeral temporary cultural presence. The lower dark brown silty clay level, however, the level which contained the exposed hearth and the Martindale dart point, had a higher frequency of lithic debris per level than the upper zone. Burned or fire-fractured rock was noted in all units within the deeper zone but no bone, mussel shell, or charcoal was observed.

Although testing indicated that the prehistoric occupation was most intensive in the western half of the proposed right-of-way, the site did extend eastward across the right-of-way. Approximately 1000 square meters of relatively undisturbed site surface area lies within the project limits. Based on limited testing and intensive surface survey, an estimated 60% of the site is contained in the roadway right-of-way. Test Unit 3, the southernmost unit dug, was located either at or very near the southeastern margin of the site (Fig. 2). The original site dimensions, prior to disturbance by the first construction of FM 783, was estimated at approximately 70 x 40 meters.

Licensing Statement

This is a work produced for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) by the report producer. TxDOT and the report producer jointly own all rights, title, and interest in and to all intellectual property developed under TxDOT’s 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 both TxDOT and the report producer. Permission to reprint an entire chapter, section, figures or tables must be obtained in advance from either the Supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701 or from the report producer.

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