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Archaeological Survey of Leander Independent School District’s Palmera Bluff Elementary School Site Project, Williamson County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
The Leander Independent School District (LISD) contracted Atkins North America (Atkins) to conduct a cultural resources investigation for the proposed Palmera Bluff Elementary School Site Project in western Williamson County, Texas. The project is located approximately 1 kilometer (km) (0.62 miles) southwest of the intersection of the South Fork of the San Gabriel River and Ronald Reagan Boulevard. The proposed work will consist of clearing and excavation to prepare for the construction of an elementary school and associated ancillary facilities. The following investigations were performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8308 in compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) (Title 9, Chapter 191, Texas Natural Resources Code of 1977) and other appropriate cultural resources legislation and guidelines, as well as those set forth by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA). The investigations included a background review and an intensive pedestrian survey. The pedestrian investigations were completed on February 8, 2018. Laura I. Acuña served as Principal Investigator, with C. Russ Shortes serving as Project Archaeologist performing the field work and assisted by Sara K. Bodah and R. Benjamin Lee.
The area of potential effects (APE) is an irregularly shaped project area that measures 18.1 acres (7.3 hectares), with proposed depths of 1.8 meters (m) (6 ft) to account for utilities. The background review determined that previously recorded site 41WM1113 was within the southern portion of the APE. The pedestrian survey revealed that much of the project area has been severely disturbed by frequent land clearing activities, as evidenced by push piles of soil and vegetation debris. The ground surface visibility was approximately 30 to 40 percent, and 11 shovel tests were excavated within the APE. The number of shovel tests within the APE exceeded THC’s minimum archaeological survey standards, and all shovel tests were negative for cultural material. Although previously recorded site 41WM1113 is mapped within the APE, the investigations did not encounter any evidence of cultural materials or features related to the site. The land clearing activities have destroyed or eliminated any evidence of the site within the APE.
Based on the findings, Atkins determined there are no significant cultural resources within the APE that are eligible for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) or for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The portion of site 41WM1113 within the APE has been destroyed, and thus would not to contribute to the overall eligibility of the site for designation as an SAL or listing in the NRHP. Therefore, Atkins recommends no additional cultural resources investigations for the APE. All field forms and photographs generated by this project will be curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University.
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