Texas Historical Commission


Pursuant to the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC’s) recommendation regarding the City of Abilene’s compliance responsibilities for the Abilene Regional Airport (Attachment A: letter, William Martin to Ryan Mountain, October 21, 2016), Hicks & Company archeologists, working on behalf of the City of Abilene (the City), conducted a 100-percent archeology survey for the proposed Abilene Regional Airport located along State Highway 322 and Navajo Circle (Figure 1). A Hicks & Company historian also conducted a desktop review of previously identified or designated historic resources and a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) evaluation of existing historic-age resources within the project area encountered during the archeological survey as the project falls under the purview of Section 106 due to involvement with the Federal Aviation Authority.

The proposed project will consist of the development of approximately 52 acres of land to expand current airport facilities. Associated impacts include building and foundation construction, utility installation, and at-grade paving. During initial review of potential impacts, the THC noted that the proposed project is located in a setting with good probability to contain archeological deposits, recommending archeological survey for the entire 52-acre area of potential effects (APE).

Investigations were conducted under Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) Permit #7911 in accordance with the THC and the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) guidelines for intensive linear surveys with archeologists from Hicks & Company surveying 100 percent of the proposed APE on foot in transects spaced 30 meters apart. During survey, a total of 30 shovel tests were excavated and one new archeological site, Site 41TA358, was recorded. Due to a lack of chronological or cultural diagnostics, stratigraphic separation, the lack of testable or research components that would add valuable data to the archeological record, and a small assemblage size, Site 41TA358 is recommended as being not eligible for listing as a State Antiquities Landmarks (SAL) according to criteria listed in 13 TAC 26.12 or for listing with the NRHP.

During the field survey, three historic-age resources were surveyed within the immediate project area and nine additional resources were surveyed within parcels adjacent to the APE. The resources were photo-documented and evaluated for significance and integrity. With the exception of a single resource none are recommended eligible for listing in the NRHP. One resource, a historic-age hangar, appears to be architecturally significant and to have retained integrity of design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association. It is therefore recommended potentially eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criteria A and C, for its association with the 1950s development of the Abilene Municipal Airport and as an intact example of a mid-twentieth century airport hangar. This resource is located approximately 0.12 kilometers (0.07 miles) from the proposed project area and will not be directly impacted by the proposed improvements. The proposed project is therefore anticipated to have no effects to historic resources

Based on the results of the current survey, it is recommended that no archeological or historic resources (36 CFR 800.16(1)) or SALs (13 TAC 26.12) will be affected by the proposed project and no further archeological investigations are recommended prior to construction.

Fieldwork for the archeological survey was conducted on February 16, 2017, requiring approximately eighteen field hours to complete. Josh Haefner served as Principal Investigator for the project while Gregg Cestaro served as Project Archeologist. Gregg Cestaro and Josh Haefner conducted the survey. Elizabeth Porterfield, Gregg Cestaro, and Josh Haefner authored the report. Subsequent sections of this report include environmental and cultural backgrounds with a brief discussion of previous surveys and recorded sites, a description of field methodology, and a discussion of the results of the field investigation. This is followed by a conclusion containing formal regulatory recommendations. Also, included as Appendix A are locations of shovel tests and Site 41TA358. All project-generated notes, forms, and photographs will be curated at the Center for Archeological Studies Laboratory (CAS) in San Marcos, Texas. This report is offered in partial fulfillment of ACT Permit #7911.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
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