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Historical Assessment and Archeological Survey of 4.9 Miles of FM 2092 From Menard to Fivemile Crossing, Menard County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
This preliminary report describes historical research and an intensive archeological survey conducted for a 4.9-mile-long stretch of FM 2092 in Menard County by Prewitt and Associates, Inc. The work was performed for the Texas Department of Transportation in conjunction with a road improvement project beginning at the eastern Menard city limit and extending eastward to just beyond Fivemile Crossing. Crossing over Pleistocene and Holocene alluvial terraces of the San Saba River, the project area is located in a high-probability area for buried prehistoric sites and has a dynamic history of intensive use since Spanish colonial times. Investigations included geoarcheological mapping, historic research and evaluation, pedestrian survey, backhoe and gradall trenching, mechanical auger testing, and shovel testing. Archeological remains of 10 previously recorded sites and 9 newly discovered sites were documented within the FM 2092 right of way. Of these 19 sites, 6 have prehistoric components, 4 have historic components, and 9 have both prehistoric and historic components. At 14 of the 15 sites with prehistoric components, either no prehistoric remains were found within the right of way or the prehistoric remains are very low density and extensively disturbed. No prehistoric features were encountered at any of these 14 sites. The prehistoric components at these 14 sites (41MN5, 41MN9, 41MN11, 41MN12, 41MN15, 41MN23, 41MN53, 41MN54, and 41MN56–61) were recommended as not eligible for listing in the National Register, while the portion of 41MN55 inside the right of way was recommended as eligible. Site 41MN55 was subsequently tested, and the results of this work are reported separately. At 11 of the 13 sites with historic components, either no historic remains were found within the right of way or historic remains were limited to nondiagnostic artifacts (i.e., that could date to the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries) in disturbed contexts. Although intact deposits and historic features associated with these sites may be present outside the right of way, none were observed in the right of way. It was recommended that these 11 sites (41MN5, 41MN9, 41MN10, 41MN12, 41MN13, 41MN15, 41MN20, 41MN53, 41MN54, 41MN60, and 41MN61) are not eligible for listing in the National Register. During this survey, hand and mechanical excavations were conducted at 41MN23, the site of the historic Mission San Sabá. The portion of the site within the FM 2092 right of way was recommended as eligible for listing in the National Register. Intensive data recovery excavations were subsequently conducted, but these investigations are reported separately. Site 41MN21 is the Menard Irrigation Company canal and associated smaller lateral ditches that comprise the entire irrigation system. Historical research documents that construction of this canal system started in 1874 and expanded in the late 1800s. The system is still used for agricultural irrigation today. Portions of the irrigation system crossing the FM 2092 right of way were documented. The system is probably eligible for listing in the National Register, but the irrigation system will not be impacted by this road project, and no further work is recommended.
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