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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

Site 4.1FY509 was originally tested by Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) archaeologists in April 1991. Based on the findings of the initial testing, the site was determined ineligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Because cultural deposits were discovered during construction, additional archaeological investigations were conducted by TxDOT archaeologists on the eastern portions of 41FY509, Plum, Fayette County, Texas. The recent investigations were conducted in the right-of-way of Highway 71 between centerline stations 395+00 and 390+00 of the Plum Bypass. These investigations were conducted between June 3 and July 5, 1993, and consisted of mechanical trenching, removal of the topsoil over approximately 50 percent of the area with a road grader, and hand excavation.

The results of this investigation revealed two distinct cultural deposits within shallow strata containing a total of 12 burned rock features. The first cultural deposit was confined to a single burned rock feature which produced extensive carbon deposits. This feature was provenienced directly above a substrate burned rock feature of a lower cultural deposit, and likely dates to the Late Prehistoric period or more recent. The lower cultural deposit consisted of 11 burned rock features averaging 1.5 to two m in diameter evenly distributed across the exposed area. The features of this occupation likely date to the Early or Middle Archaic periods. The base of the lower cultural deposit lies directly on or two to four centimeters above substrate clays. Both cultural deposits were confined to shallow soils ranging in depth from 20-50 cm below the surface. Since the artifact density in this portion of 41FY509 is comparatively low and no clearly diagnostic artifacts were found in direct association with any of the features, the cultural affiliations and temporal placement of the two occupational strata remain enigmatic. Due to the shallow nature of the deposits and the relative lack of associated diagnostic artifacts, the eastern portion of 41FY509 is not considered eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

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