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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

In June of 2014, AmaTerra Environmental, Inc. (AmaTerra) carried out an intensive archeological investigation of the Texas Department of Transportation’s proposed bicycle and pedestrian shared use path along Farm-to-Market (FM) 270 in Harris and Galveston Counties, Texas (CSJ: 3312-01-008 and 3312-02-012). The proposed project extends from Henderson Avenue to approximately 1,000 feet south of the Houston Light & Power (HL&P) Hot Water Canal and entails the construction of a 16-foot wide shared use path, which includes two bridges: one over Clear Creek and a second bridge over the HL&P Hot Water Canal. The total project length is approximately 1.1 miles and will require approximately 0.54 acres of newly proposed Right-of-Way (ROW). AmaTerra conducted the archeological survey under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 6912.

Archeological investigations involved a pedestrian survey, the excavation of 15 shovel tests, and the excavation of six backhoe scrapes across the Area of Potential Effects (APE). Three archeological sites, 41GV53, 41GV78, and 41GV152, were revisited during field investigations. Site 41GV53 is situated on a prominent knoll overlooking Clear Creek. The site, a Prehistoric shell midden, is bisected by FM 270 with site components present on both sides of the roadway and extending into the Clear Creek Nature Preserve. Site components were observed within shovel tests and backhoe scrapes placed at the outside edge of the existing ROW. AmaTerra recommends that intact deposits associated with Site 41GV53 at the edge of the ROW and on the Clear Creek Nature Preserve may be eligible for NRHP/SAL listing. However, within the actual footprint of construction (see Appendix), there is no evidence that artifacts, features, or deposits relating to Site 41GV53 are intact.

Site 41GV78 has been completely destroyed through the construction of FM 270, and no further archeological investigations at this site locale are warranted at this time.

Site 41GV152, an historic period site containing structural and domestic debris, is also bisected by FM 270 and likely extends into the Clear Creek Nature Preserve. Archeologists observed brick fragments, tabby-like mortar, hand blown glass shards, a plain porcelain sherd, and oyster shell within two shovel tests and backhoe scrapes 3 and 4. AmaTerra recommends that the overall NRHP/SAL eligibility of Site 41GV152 is still undetermined, but that within the FM 270 ROW, there are no archeological deposits that could contribute to eligibility. Based on the results of field investigations, no additional archeological investigations within the proposed APE are warranted at this time. No artifacts were collected during this survey.

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