Journal of Northeast Texas Archeology




In March 1996, the archaeological work being conducted at the proposed Lake Gilmer was called to a halt by the archaeological contractor (Horizon Environmental Services of Austin, Texas) and the City of Gilmer long before the required archaeological mitigation of important prehistoric Caddo sites had been completed. The reasons are still somewhat obscure.

After a delay of more than 1.5 years in the completion of the archaeological investigations at the proposed Lake Gilmer, a federal and state-permitted reservoir in Northeast Texas, the Division of Antiquities Protection at the Texas Historical Commission has taken up the task of completing the archaeological work, following the legal dictates laid down by State Representative Bob Glaze during the last legislative session. This work will apparently concentrate on completing the investigations of 4JUR133, a large Middle (ca. A.D. 1200-1400) and Late Caddoan (ca. A.D. 1400- 1680) period habitation site.

While the work at 41UR133 is long over-due, we believe that additional archaeological investigations are warranted at Lake Gilmer evaluation of the research significance of a recently discovered Caddo Indian site within the Lake Gilmer floodpool that has been damaged by reservoir construction-related activities, and evaluation of the research significance of the more than 30 archaeological sites discovered within the reservoir floodpool since 1996 by the Northeast Texas Archaeological Society. All of these sites must be considered by state law to be State Archeological Landmarks since they are on land owned by the City of Gilmer (a political subdivision), and they warrant further consideration.

In this paper, we discuss site 41UR210 (the 852 Bridge site), a previously unreported and newly discovered prehistoric Caddo Indian site that has been damaged by construction activities associated with the proposed Lake Gilmer project in Upshur County, Texas. The site is on a small alluvial terrace adjacent to Kelsey Creek, on property owned by the City of Gilmer, and it was not recorded during the archeological survey completed for the project several years ago. Kelsey Creek is a tributary of Little Cypress Creek.

This prehistoric Caddo Indian site has been damaged by construction-related activities associated with the construction of a new and higher bridge on FM 852 that will cross over the proposed Lake Gilmer. The site has been damaged by blading and bulldozing activities to obtain sand, and sediments have been removed to an unknown depth over an area more than 2 acres in size. Considerable amounts of prehistoric Caddoan vessel and pipe ceramic sherds have been exposed in this damaged area, and it is considered likely that prehistoric habitation features (middens and structural features)--as well as Caddo burial features--are present at the site, and may have already been damaged.

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



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