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Archeological Testing and Data Recovery at the Flatrock Road Site, 41KM69, Kimble County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
The Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted archeological significance testing and data recovery excavations at 41KM69, the Flatrock Road Site, at the request of the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division (TxDOT-ENV). The significance testing was begun in 2004 under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 3350 to determine National Register of Historic Places eligibility status of the site and continued to the data recovery phase in 2005 under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 3584 with Raymond Mauldin serving as Principal Investigator on both permits. Work was begun in anticipation of alterations to Flatrock Road/FM 2169 that intersects the site because TxDOT and the Texas Historical Commission concurred with CAR’s assessment that the site was eligible for listing on the NRHP and because TxDOT could not avoid impacts to intact deposits.
During testing 120 auger tests, six backhoe trenches, eight 50-x-50-cm units, and five 1-x-1-m units were excavated across the western portion of the site within the planned TxDOT right-of-way (ROW). This effort confirmed intact Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric Austin and Toyah interval components as well as a disturbed twentieth century component. The prehistoric deposits included four burned rock features including a large burned rock midden, 3,000 chipped stone artifacts, 10 temporally diagnostic projectile points, unifacial tools typical of Toyah end-scrapers, and native ceramics, also commonly found on Toyah occupations. A small quantity of bone was collected including tibia fragments from one bison. The historic component was confined to the upper level of the site from the surface to approximately 20 cmbs. The Kimble Courts resort camp once stood in the area.
Data recovery excavations targeted the prehistoric components after the historic levels were removed by backhoe. Four large blocks were excavated in areas of high artifact density. Approximately 130 m3 and 40,000 artifacts were recovered from these blocks including 350 stone tools and 114 earthenware sherds. Projectile point types found were Castroville, Pedernales, Montell, Ellis, Frio, Ensor, Fairland, Edwards, and Perdiz. Seventy-three prehistoric thermal rock features and soil stains were also recorded. We also collected bone, shell, feature burned rock, and soil samples.
Following hand excavations, the project area was monitored during Gradall stripping of the remaining deposits. Fifty-seven auger tests were also excavated after a shift in the project ROW. Artifact density was sparse in the shifted ROW, and most artifacts came from disturbed upper level deposits.
CAR developed a research design in consultation with TxDOT after all excavations were completed. This research focused on the interpretation of the deposits discovered during significance testing and data recovery from 41KM69 and a number of comparative sites around Texas. The theoretical framework draws from principles of cultural and evolutionary ecology to examine shifts in subsistence, technology, and mobility in hunter-gatherers from the Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric periods of South and Central Texas.
All artifacts and samples collected during this project, along with project related documentation are to be permanently curated at CAR according to THC guidelines.
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