Texas Historical Commission




Prewitt and Associates, Inc., conducted archeological test excavations at 41BQ285 in June 2006 for the Texas Department of Transportation under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4102. Site 41BQ285, in southeastern Bosque County, was located during an archeological survey for the proposed replacement of the FM 56 bridge over the North Bosque River. It is a prehistoric campsite buried in a cumulic soil in the upper deposits of a late Holocene alluvial terrace. Mechanical excavations consisted of re-opening four backhoe trenches from the survey phase followed by hand excavation of six 1x1-m test units. This work identified three burned rock features and yielded a moderate amount of materials, including projectile points and bifaces, pottery sherds, unmodified debitage, vertebrate faunal remains, and freshwater mussel shells. Diagnostic artifacts and five radiocarbon ages indicate that the site has a lower but rather ephemeral Late Archaic component and an upper and more substantial Late Prehistoric component. The Late Prehistoric component yielded Perdiz arrow points and ceramics, and it is radiocarbon dated to between a.d. 1280 and 1650. The evidence suggests a series of relatively short occupations and a focus on the use of local resources. Site activities included late-stage biface reduction and bifacial tool production, tool resharpening, and the exploitation and intensive processing of deer. Foodstuffs were processed and prepared using bifacial tools, ground and battered stone tools, rock-lined cooking basins, and small ceramic jars and bowls. The Late Prehistoric component is Toyah-like in many ways, but the small sample size and nature of the materials preclude assigning it a specific sociocultural group or archeological phase. Of particular interest are the five pottery sherds—two plain, two fingernail punctate, and one engraved sherd from a carinated bowl with a Caddo-like design. Geochemical analysis indicates that none of the pottery, including the engraved bowl sherd, matches any Caddo-made pottery from East Texas. The fact that a Caddo vessel form and decorative style appears on pottery that was probably made in or near Bosque County is interesting and adds a new dynamic to our understanding of the Toyah phenomenon in central Texas. The portion of site 41BQ285 within FM 56 is considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or for designation as a State Archeological Landmark (SAL). However, current investigations already recovered most of the Late Prehistoric component within the spatially limited project area, and additional investigations inside the highway right of way cannot reasonably be expected to contribute any more significant archeological information. Therefore, no further fieldwork is recommended, and construction should be allowed to proceed.


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