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Archaeological Investigation At The Witcher Property Within The Proposed Lower Bois D'Arc Creek Reservoir Fannin County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
North Texas Municipal Water District is proposing to build the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir, northeast of Bonham in Fannin County, Texas. In 2011 and 2013, AR Consultants, Inc. conducted an intensive pedestrian survey of 30 percent of the proposed reservoir footprint (Davis et al. 2014). During the 2013 survey, one of the proposed high potential archaeological survey areas, (Q), crossed private property owned by Harold “Thump” Witcher. At the time, Mr. Witcher denied a request for survey access and survey areas Q1 and Q2 replaced area Q. Since that time, Mr. Witcher identified the presence of archaeological sites on his property and they were recorded as 41FN176, 41FN177, 41FN178, and 41FN179. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided this information to North Texas Municipal Water District, who in turn directed AR Consultants, Inc. to conduct an intensive pedestrian survey of Witcher’s property, since he was willing to grant access. The survey of the 156 acres was conducted between October and November of 2015 under Texas Antiquities Permit 7423. The locations of three previously recorded sites and three new sites (41FN244, 41FN245, and 41FN246) were documented during the systematic survey. Previously recorded site 41FN179 was not located and is not present in its previously reported locations. Therefore, the site could not be evaluated. No additional testing is recommended at sites 41FN245, and 41FN246. These sites have low artifact density in the plow zone with no evidence of organic preservation, intact features, or deeply buried undisturbed deposits. These sites are considered not eligible under Criterion A, B, C, or D of the NRHP or as SALs. Testing and research of the prehistoric components at sites 41FN176, 41FN177, 41FN178, and 41FN244 is warranted in order to determine their full vertical and horizontal extents as well as to assist in making NRHP determinations. Additional intensive shovel testing is necessary on the North Texas Municipal Water District property south of the Witcher property, to try and relocate site 41FN179. The survey demonstrated that prehistoric sites were present on the terrace edge, while the late 19th to mid-20th century historic sites were set further away from the edge. The artifacts recovered from the survey indicate Late Archaic through Middle Caddo Native American occupations. All project records will be curated at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory, while the artifacts will be returned to Mr. Witcher.
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