Texas Historical Commission




This report contains the results of interdisciplinary investigations of the Aubrey Clovis Site (41DN479}, located at Lake Ray Roberts, Denton County, Texas, and conducted by the Center for Environmental Archaeology, University of North Texas for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District. Exposed by construction of the artificial outlet channel for the reservoir, the site is a multi-cluster complex of archaeological features and artifact-fauna! concentrations buried 7-9 meters below the flood plain of the Elm Fork Trinity River. The Clovis-age materials are geologically situated on a paleo surface within a 14 m thick sequence of late Quaternary deposits, associated with spring, lacustrine, alluvial and colluvial sedimentary environments. A stratigraphically consistent set of 23 radiocarbon ages establishes a sound chronometric frame for these deposits between 1.6 Ka and 14.2 Ka. The Clovis occupations are directly dated by two radiocarbon ages of ca. 11,550 Ka determined on charcoal from a hearth. These ages are securely bracketed by stratigraphically and numerically consistent ages above and below, within the period of ca. 12,300 to 10,940 Ka. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions for the periods before, during and after Clovis occupations have been afforded by pollen, insects, mollusks, vertebrate faunas as well as sedimentary and geochemical data. In the early post-glacial period, the site environs was a cool grassland with moderate effective precipitation, that evolved towards significantly warmer and drier conditions prior to Clovis occupations. The environment ameliorated at about the time of occupations, but exhibited a maximum of Late Quaternary mammalian biodiversity. Clovis artifacts and faunas occur in multiple clusters, including ·camps 8 and F" that contain ca. 9,800 lithic artifacts, over 4,000 fauna! remains and features including hearths, lithic concentrations and a pit considered to be a well. These concentrations were adjacent to a Clovis-age pond and river. Bison bones and associated artifacts indicate a butchering (and "kill"?) locus on the pond shore opposite Camp 8 . Subsistence data from the camps indicate exploitation of a broad set of animals, ranging from mega-mammals (Bison and possibly Mammoth) down to small game, fish and birds. Lithic artifacts show procurement from a minimum of almost 200 km from the site, with materials dominated by Tecovas quartzite, white Novachert and Edwards chert, and including chalcedony, Alibates chert, and Morrison or Dakota sandstone. The assemblage is dominated by repair and maintenance debris associated with bifacial and unifacial tools. Latest stage manufacture is indicated for a biface(s), while all other activities were apparently performed with only resharpening/ repair of other stone tools. Detailed spatial patterning indicates quite well differentiated activities within and between these occupation clusters. Overall, the uniquely detailed record of Clovis occupations at Aubrey registers an adaptive strategy characterized by high mobility, broad exploitation of dispersed, variable resources, long-distance raw material procurement coupled with efficient blank and tool depletion, and a probable combination of functional flexibility and strong within group task differentiation and integration


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