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Cultural Resources Survey for the Proposed Knight Road Expansion, Fort Bend County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
In October 2017, Gray & Pape, Inc., of Houston, Texas, conducted an intensive pedestrian cultural resources survey on property subsuming a total of approximately 8.3 hectares (20.4 acres) proposed for the extension and expansion of Knight Road in Fort Bend County, Texas. This area is defined as the Area of Potential Effects. Because the project involves the City of Missouri City, a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the project was assigned Antiquities Code Permit number 8189 by the Texas Historical Commission on October 5, 2017. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District has been identified as the Lead Agency for this project.
The goals of the survey were to establish whether previously unidentified buried archaeological resources were located within or immediately adjacent to the project’s Area of Potential Effects and if so to provide management recommendations for such resources. The survey 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 and reporting activities were completed with reference to State laws and guidelines (the Antiquities Code of Texas). Survey and site identification followed Texas Antiquities Code standards. All records for this project are curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Fieldwork took place between October 6 and 10, 2017, and required 48 person hours to complete. Field investigation consisted of intensive pedestrian surface inspection, subsurface shovel testing, photographic documentation, and mapping. A total of 28 shovel tests were excavated, none of which were positive for buried cultural materials. Another nine attempted shovel tests were unexcavated due to inundation, buried utilities, and disturbances such as drainage ditches. Overall, the project largely exhibited either disturbance by existing development and the channelization of Oyster Creek, or inundation due to the low and wet landscape of the area.
Two surface finds of cultural materials were identified as a result of survey, these being a pile of discarded modern brick and mortar and a scatter of corrugated metal siding. These finds may have resulted from the previous use of the property as farmstead or ranch or from previous road and culvert construction. Due to the modern nature of the materials, a trinomial was not requested for the finds. Other isolated modern materials were also identified within and near the project likely as a result of localized flooding and trash dumping because of the secluded nature of the location.
Based on the results of the survey, Gray & Pape, Inc. recommends that no further cultural resources work be required and that the project be cleared to proceed as currently planned.
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