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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

In January 2014, Hicks & Company completed an intensive areal survey of the Jacob’s Well Natural Area in Wimberley, Hays County, Texas. The survey was completed for Hays County under Texas Antiquities Permit #6732 in preparation for redevelopment of the 81.5-acre area as detailed in the Jacob’s Well Development Master Plan finalized in July 2012. The improvements will be constructed on land that is owned and controlled by Hays County, a political subdivision of the State of Texas, and is therefore subject to the requirements of the Antiquities Code of Texas. Furthermore, since the proposed project is funded through an Outdoor Recreation Grant by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Recreation Grants Branch, and utilizing the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the project is also subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. Construction is anticipated to include a new visitor center, trails, interpretive areas, and other associated infrastructure throughout the site. The archeological investigations consisted of pedestrian survey supplemented by shovel testing (n = 79). No previously unrecorded archeological sites were encountered during the survey; however, archeologists revisited Site 41HY25 just south of Jacob’s Well, originally recorded in 1963 as a site comprised of three burned rock middens. No clear indication of the three burned rock middens originally recorded was observed, and no artifacts or additional features were recorded during the current investigations. Regarding its boundaries within the survey area, the research value of Site 41HY25 is considered to be exhausted, and any of its components within the Jacobs Well Natural Area are considered ineligible for listing as a State Antiquities Landmark or for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The remainder of the project area contained three intermittent trash scatters, most of which contained glass bottles, rusted metal car parts, and other discarded items. One of these scatters covered an approximately 30-meter by 40-meter area and contained modern (likely post-1980) discarded materials such as doors, windows, fencing, and a concrete sculpture within the prairie west of Camp Jacob. Two isolated finds, a broken biface and a primary flake, were noted on the surface of the uplands in the northern portion of the project area. Shovel testing and surface inspection surrounding these artifacts indicated that the area was devoid of additional artifacts or features. Hicks & Company recommends that the proposed project be allowed to proceed with no further cultural resource coordination. The survey followed a no-collection policy, and all artifacts were returned to their find location in the field. All project-related notes, forms, and photographs will be permanently curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin, Texas.

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