Texas Historical Commission
In March 2017, Gray & Pape, Inc., of Houston, Texas, conducted mechanical backhoe scraping and trenching on property adjacent to Oyster Creek within undeveloped areas within the Aliana Subdivision, Fort Bend County, Texas. The backhoe testing was conducted to investigate a total of seven anomalies identified using ground penetrating radar during previous investigations conducted in 2006 and 2007. These seven anomalies contained radar signatures that were consistent with possible human burials and thus were considered to possibly be burials associated with the yet undiscovered location of the Kirk’s Point Cemetery. The anomalies are located within three main locations identified as possible Kirk’s Point 1, Kirk’s Point 2, and Kirk’s Point 3.
The Lead Agency for this project is the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District. The goal of this study was to assist Aliana Development Company, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Fort Bend County Historical Commission in determining whether or not intact cultural resources, specifically the potential for human burials, are present within areas proposed for construction, and if so to provide management recommendations for these resources. The investigation was undertaken in accordance with requirements set forth by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, specifically requirements set forth by 36 CFR 800. The procedures to be followed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill the requirements set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act, other applicable historic preservation laws, and Presidential directives as they relate to the regulatory program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (33 CFR Parts 320-334) are articulated in the Regulatory Program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Part 325 - Processing of Department of the Army Permits, Appendix C - Procedures for the Protection of Historic Properties. All fieldwork was completed through close coordination with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Fort Bend County Historical Commission. Work was conducted on private property and thus a Texas Antiquities Code permit was not required prior to conducting fieldwork.
Scraping and trenching by means of a mechanical backhoe were conducted at each anomaly location. Soils were found to be consistent with Norwood series loam. These soils along with the field conditions at the time of investigation provided excellent visibility for identifying potential features. However, the investigation produced no indication of human burials or other potentially cultural features.
Based on the negative results of the investigation, Gray & Pape, Inc. recommends no further work be required regarding the recorded radar anomalies. Gray & Pape, Inc. recommends that the permitting process with the United States Army Corps of Engineers be updated with this new information and that any remaining cultural resource issues, such as a management plan for potentially eligible Site 41FB306, are addressed prior to these areas being developed.
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