Texas Historical Commission


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) conducted archeological significance testing at Sites 41MU54, 41MU55, and 41MU57, which are within the right-of-way of proposed road FM 677 between Illinois Bend, a community in Montague County, Texas, and a proposed bridge crossing the Red River at a location south of Courtney, a community in Love County, Oklahoma.

As the construction will connect with a bridge that will be built with partial federal funding, the testing was undertaken under the guidelines of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and its implementing regulations, 36CFR, Part 800, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

At Site 41MU54, a total of 74 work-hours was spent on hand-excavation of five square meters. No cultural remains were located, and the site is considered not significant. No additional research is recommended for this site.

At Site 41MU55, 107 work-hours were spent on the hand-excavation of approximately eight square meters. Both historic and prehistoric components were identified. The historic component apparently represented casual disposal of household refuse during the first half of the twentieth century and is considered not significant. The prehistoric component appears to represent a single occupation or event, probably dating to the Late Archaic time period. However, no diagnostic artifacts were recovered. The lower part of the prehistoric deposit, perhaps 15 to 20 cm thick, appears to be intact, and four features, identified as hearths, were located. Because of the presence of intact features within an apparent discrete Late Archaic component it is believed that this site is significant. Therefore, additional research is proposed for this site prior to construction, and the report includes a proposed data recovery plan.

At Site 41MU57, 72 work-hours were spent excavating five square meters by hand and three trenches, each approximately 14 meters in length, by backhoe. Excavations revealed a very sparse lithic scatter confined to near surface deposits, and probably representing the remains of a small hunting camp which provided a good vantage point over the adjacent Red River floodplain. Because of erosion, the remains are almost certainly located within disturbed soils forming on deflated surfaces. No diagnostic artifacts were located. The site is believed to be not significant, and no additional research is recommended for this site.

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