Texas Historical Commission


11le second of three seasons of Phase III data recovery at Justiceburg Reservoir (Lake Alan Henry), located on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River in Garza and Kent counties, Texas, was conducted during the summer of 1991. 11le work included survey of dam borrow areas and site recording in and near these construction zones, limited work at selected rock art sites, geological investigation of an upland playa, and intensive investigations at two primarily Protohistoric period archeological sites.

Pedestrian survey of active borrow areas resulted in the discovery and emergency recording and evaluation of site 41GR606 at the mouth of Grape Creek. Although this site is unusual because of its high frequency of ground stone tools, it lacks temporaIly diagnostic artifacts or datable organic materials and has an extremely low artifact density. In addition, site 4lKTl61 was discovered because of recent erosion along Grape Creek. This site also lacks diagnostic or datable materials and is characterized by a low artifact density. Due to their low research potentials, no further work was recommended for either of these sites, and they are considered ineligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Investigations at the rock art sites included the salvage of pictograph pigments from sites 41GR423, 41GR426, and 41GR437, which will be destroyed by inundation. These samples have been submitted for extraction of organic components and radiocarbon dating, but the results are not yet available. In addition, a consultant visited selected rock art sites in the project area and proposed preservation alternatives for several sites that will not be impacted directly by construction or inundation.

Geological investigation of Morgan Playa, a smaIl upland playa located approximately 3 km north of the Double Mountain Fork, included excavation of a 2.5-m-deep backhoe trench from which a series of stratified sediment samples were taken for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. A single radiocarbon date indicates ·that the playa sediments probably accumulated from approximately 9000 B.P. to the present. Fossil poIlen was found to be poorly preserved, and the resulting data are uninterpretable. But opal phytoliths appear to document a sequence of changing grassland environments. Although more dates are needed to refine the chronology, the phytolith data are interpreted as evidence of Holocene climatic changes which generally correspond with regional paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

Archeological investigations at the Headstream (41KT51) and Longhorn (41KT53) sites revealed evidence of chiefly Protohistoric period occupations by nomadic hunter-gatherers who were heavily involved in trade with the New Mexico pueblos. The archeological investigations at these sites have significant implications for understanding seventeenth-century settlement patterns in the Texas South Plains. Both sites are interpreted as residential base camps with multiple occupation episodes, which date mainly to the seventeenth century. The sites probably were inhabited by bison-hunting peoples during nonhunting seasons, and at least three tipi structures may be represented at the Longh0!J1 Site. Activities suggested for these sites include the staged processing of hides and maintenance of hide-processing tools, intensive utilization of wild plant foods, and extensive use of ceramics for cooking and storage. A petrographic analysis of the ceramic assemblages indicates that the majority of the wares are Puebloan in origin and that Pecos Pueblo was the major source, with other wares coming from the Tewa pueblos of the northern Rio Grande and perhaps the Taos/picuris region and the southern Salinas district. Of particular interest is the interpretation that almost all of the plainwares may he from the same Puebloan sources as the decorated gllizewares and that the inhabitants of the sites did not make much, if any, of their own pottery.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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