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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On January 7, 1993, the Texas Department of Transportation (Tx DoT) learned that prehistoric archeological materials had been reportedly unearthed during improvements to highway FM 1520 in Camp County. As the project was being undertaken with State funds, Tx DoT, in compliance with the Texas Antiquities Code, ordered a cessation of work in the immediate area until the archeological significance of the area could be evaluated. Evaluation included surface examination, shovel testing and gradall scraping.

This report briefly describes the site area, work conducted, and artifacts recovered. It also discusses the results of the fieldwork and makes recommendations concerning resumption of road improvements.

Based on the field observations, road construction clearly encountered prehistoric cultural materials. A prehistoric ceramic assemblage appears to date to the Caddo Titus Focus, though the general small size of the sherds makes it difficult to identify the recovered sherds positively with specific Titus Focus pottery types. A prehistoric lithic assemblage is probably associated with the prehistoric ceramics, though the comparison of one lithic piece with a Carrollton dart point, generally associated with the middle Archaic, could be used to argue for an earlier component, perhaps located slightly west of and uphill from the ceramic assemblage.

A few historic artifacts could date to virtually any part of the twentieth century. Largely recovered from old cut faces adjacent to a ditch south of the existing road, the historic artifacts appear to represent casual roadside disposal rather than a historic occupation site.

Investigations revealed that some areas of soil undisturbed by present road construction still existed within the right-of-way. However, observations did not indicate any in situ cultural features or undisturbed cultural deposits. Observation of the field north of the new right-of-way revealed extensive historic terracing, which undoubtedly continued into what is now the northern edge of the highway right-of-way. This terracing, and associated cultivation, has almost certainly disturbed most of the surface soils in the vicinity; no developed A-horizons were observed within the right-of-way. Thus, it was concluded that the likelihood of in situ deposits within the right-of way is probably remote, though an occasional isolated feature may still survive.

At the present time the majority of surface-disturbing construction has been completed. This includes the removal of ground surfaces prior to depositing fill to raise the new road bed, and digging of ditches at the side of the new road. Remaining work consists almost entirely of depositing more fill for the new road bed and adjacent shoulders, road surfacing, removal of existing pavement, and sodding of the existing cut banks to the road to reduce erosion.

It is recommended, therefore, that construction be allowed to proceed without further archeological investigations. If any additional surface disturbing activities remain, the work will be monitored by an archeologist.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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