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DOI

https://doi.org/10.21112/ita.1990.1.17

Abstract

Phase II cultural resources investigations at the proposed Justiceburg Reservoir in Garza and Kent counties, Texas, were conducted by Prewitt and Associates, Inc. in 19881989. This report documents the archeological work at 62 prehistoric and aboriginal rock art sites and the geoarcheological study conducted as part of the Phase II work. Investigations at 48 prehistoric sites, including open campsites, rockshelters, lithic procurement sites, faunal localities, and rock art sites, resulted in complete National Register assessments; 9 campsites, the 2 rockshelters, and 6 rock art sites are considered to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Less-intensive investigations at 14 prehistoric sites yielded insufficient data for full National Register assessments. The geoarcheological study resulted in the formulation of a model of the geomorphic history of the project area. Of considerable importance is the recognition of a period of catastrophic flushing of alluvial sediments Within the Double Mountain ~ork valley during the middle Holocene, followed by late Holocene sedimentation and stabilization. This supports the concept of a dry middle Holocene Altitherrnal period and helps explain the biased archeological record in the project area. The prehistoric site investigations indicate that most of the archeological remains present at Justiceburg Reservoir date to the late Archaic and Late Prehistoric periods, a phenomenon noted in similar settings elsewhere in the Lower Plains. Of the open campsites assessed as eligible for listing on the National Register, four are classified as late Archaic (4500-2000 B.P.), two are classified as Late Prehistoric I (2000-1000 8.P.), and three are classified as Late Prehistoric II (1000 B.P. to evidence of European contact). The two investigated rockshelters contain evidence of Late Prehistoric I and II occupations. Due to the paucity of regional archeological data and the lack of a well-defined cultural chronology, only two of these sites can be assigned tentatively to recognized cultural complexes. Site 4lGR291 yielded ceramics and arrow points indicating a Palo Duro Complex occupation, ca. A.D. 500, while ceramics and a distinctive hearth associated with the upper component at 41KTS3 suggest a Garza Complex occupation, ca. A.D. 1600-1700. No evidence of European contact was found at any of the habitation sites, but three of the rock art sites contain historic Plains Indian iconography. The investigations at the prehistoric sites resulted in the formulation of a late Holocene cuItural sequence for the project area. Analyses of the various classes of archeological evidence (e.g., artifacts, features, faunal remains) revealed broad cultural patterns that appear to reflect significant changes in subsistence strategies through time. It is suggested that these changes are related to late Holocene environmental conditions and corresponding shifts in the resource base. It is further suggested that bison were the most important resource controlling late Holocene human adaptations in the Texas Lower Plains.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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