This report summarizes the archeological findings of the 2011 data recovery investigations at the Murvaul Creek site, 41PN175, in far northeastern Texas in Panola County. The site is located along Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 10 approximately 1 mile north of Gary, Texas (Figure 1). Geo-Marine, Inc. (GMI), performed this work under contract to the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division (TxDOT ENV) under the Texas Antiquities Permit Number 5879 (Work Authorization [WA] 579 06 SA005; WA 590 08 SA005; CSJ:1222-01-014; Geo-Marine project numbers 22005.00.06 and 22005.00.09). The fieldwork for this project was conducted in advance of the planned widening of FM 10 that was to replace three bridges and a culvert over Murvaul Creek with a larger structure and shift the road approximately 26 meters (m; 85 feet [ft]) to the east. Since the planned improvements of FM 10 would result in the loss of information at the Murvaul Creek site—a site that was recommended eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL; formerly State Archeological Landmark)—the current data recovery investigations were initiated.
The data recovery investigations were conducted between February 7, 2011, and April 3, 2011. During this period, the fieldwork was conducted in several stages: site clearing, geophysical survey, 50-x-50-centimeter (cm) excavations, block excavations, and mechanical site scraping. With the exception of the site clearing stage, the results of each of the fieldwork stages are reviewed individually in this report. The investigations resulted in the documentation of numerous features that appeared to have been the remains of a small Middle-to-Late Caddo settlement or farmstead situated on the edge of an interfluve south of the Murvaul Creek floodplain. Additionally, materials pertaining to the Archaic period were documented across the site. Although the site has been intensively studied within the TxDOT right-of-way (ROW), both the current investigations and previous work were limited to the ROW (cf. Cliff and Perttula 2002). Hence, the site is very likely larger than has been adequately documented.
This is a work for hire produced for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which owns all rights, title, and interest in and to all data and other information developed for this project under its contract with the report producer. The report may be cited and brief passages from this publication may be reproduced without permission provided that credit is given to TxDOT and the firm that produced it. Permission to reprint an entire chapter, section, figures or tables must be obtained in advance from the Supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701
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