Texas Historical Commission




This report deals with three episodes of archeological work that began in 2005 and concluded in 2010 for the proposed U.S. Highway 271 Mount Pleasant relief route in Titus County, Texas. The early part of the work was done for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Environmental Affairs Division. The later part was done for PTP, LP, acting on behalf of Titus County. The work was done to address the requirements of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Texas Antiquities Code and was governed by the terms of Texas Antiquities Permit Nos. 3786, 4303, and 5495. The project involved 11 Native American archeological sites: 41TT6, 41TT846, 41TT847, 41TT851–41TT854, 41TT858, 41TT862, 41TT865, and 41TT866. The overall goal was to assess these 11 sites in terms of their eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and designation as State Antiquities Landmarks, and to conduct data recovery excavations at any that were found to be eligible. The project began with intensive auger or shovel testing at all 11 sites in July–August 2005. Formal testing was done between December 2006 and February 2008, and data recovery excavations were undertaken at three sites—George Richey (41TT851), William Ford (41TT852), and James Richey (41TT853)—between January and June 2010. In total, the excavations consisted of the following: 1,147 auger tests at 10 sites and 31 shovel tests at the eleventh site; 386 backhoe trenches covering 2,695 m2 and 225 m2 of manual excavations at all 11 sites; and machine excavation of 215 sample units measuring 2.0 m long and 1.0 m wide on average and trackhoe stripping of about 6,875 m2 at the 3 data recovery sites. The excavations identified 378 cultural features, mostly postholes and pits, with much smaller numbers of burials, burned rock concentrations, artifact clusters, and middens. The artifacts recovered consist mainly of 11,713 ceramic sherds and vessels and 8,729 lithic tools and debitage. Most of these remains relate to occupation of the project area during the Middle–Late Caddo periods (a.d. 1250–1700), with minor amounts resulting from earlier and later use during the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, Early Caddo, and Historic Caddo periods. The primary Middle–Late Caddo components at the three fully excavated sites represent use as rural farmsteads within a dispersed local community associated with the Titus phase Caddo. At least four of the tested sites were occupied less intensively during this same interval.


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