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Texas Historical Commission
SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted significance testing excavations at site 41KM225, Kimble County, Texas, on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The tested portion of the site is in TxDOT’s right-of-way (ROW) of Farm-to-Market (FM) 2169 on the northern bank of Johnson Fork, a tributary of the Llano River. SWCA performed the investigations under General Services Contract No. 575XXSA007, Work Authorization No. 575 20 SA007, and Texas Antiquities Permit 4183. The final report was written under Work Authorization No. 575 25 SA007.
In the course of the investigations, SWCA conducted shovel testing, hand excavations, special sampling, and other documentation at the project area. The site is located in the walls of eroding road cuts along FM 2169. Although cultural material was more visible in the east wall, this portion of the site had been impacted by erosion and the construction of a cedar oil processing mill, located just outside the ROW boundary. As the possibility of more intact prehistoric subsurface cultural material was located on the western side of the roadway, hand excavations were initialized on this side. In all, approximately 3.38 m3 were excavated at the site. In addition to the hand excavations, the testing project excavated five shovel tests to define the site limits within the ROW and investigate a feature.
The testing determined that the site contains one cultural component, designated Analytical Unit 1 (AU 1), in an alluvial and colluvial setting. AU 1 spans the deposits from the ground surface to a gravel lens at around 70 cm below surface. AU 1 contains one burned limestone rock feature; debitage, two projectile points, lithic tools, and one charcoal sample were also recovered in the excavation units. One projectile point was also found on the ground surface. One radiocarbon sample was submitted for assay, but the results were inconclusive. Thus, the best data to establish a period(s) of occupation were typological. Although none of the points could be decisively typed, they share characteristics with a Pedernales point, an Early Triangular point, and a Paisano point. The Pedernales point dates to the middle Late Archaic (3,300–2,300 B.P.), and the Early Triangular point dates to the end of the Middle Archaic (5,700–5,500 B.P.). The point recovered from the surface is undiagnostic, but bears some similarity to a Trans-Pecos Paisano point (Transitional Archaic, 2,150–1,350 B.P.), but only a few of the defining characteristics are present. Artifact recovery was sparse, with only two pieces of organic material preserved.
Although the site contains one analytical unit with prehistoric cultural material in an observable natural stratum, the soil compression and bioturbation have mixed the assemblages and associated cultural components. This mixing has compromised the integrity of the cultural deposits; and they cannot be subdivided into separate occupation periods subject to specific research questions. Additionally, the ratio among artifact classes recovered from the site is low (burned limestone, some lithic tools, but almost no organics), and the potential data yield to answer specific research questions is marginal. SWCA recommends that the portion of 41KM225 within the road ROW is not eligible for National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) listing under Criterion D, 36 CFR 60.4, and is not eligible for State Archeological Landmark (SAL) designation under Criteria 1 and 2 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Antiquities Code of Texas, 13 TAC 26.8. Data recovery investigations are not recommended for the portion of the site within the APE. Portions of the site outside of the ROW have not been fully evaluated.
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