Texas Historical Commission


In June 2016, Gray & Pape, Inc. of Houston, Texas, at the request of Benchmark Ecological Services, Inc., conducted marine and terrestrial cultural resources surveys on property proposed for development in Harris County, Texas. The Lead Agency for this project has not yet been identified but is assumed to be the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District.

The goals of the survey were to establish whether or not 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. Work was conducted on lands owned and controlled by the Port of Houston Authority, a political subdivisions of the state of Texas, and thus required a Texas Antiquities Code permit prior to survey. Work was completed under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 7670. The project also contains a marine component which is being investigated under a separate marine permit application and separate report.

The property boundary for this project is approximately 162 hectares (400 acres). However, approximately 42 hectares (104 acres) of that amount had been previously surveyed. Although the results of that survey are discussed in the current document, that portion of the project was excluded from the current investigation. Thus the current archaeological Area of Potential Effects amounts to 120 hectares (296 acres). Field investigation consisted of visual inspection and shovel testing within the Area of Potential Effects. Subsurface investigation here resulted in the excavation of 35 shovel tests, of which 34 were negative for archaeological deposits. Another 49 planned shovel tests were unexcavated due to a very low and wet landscape, which describes the majority of the project. The southern section of the project is also largely disturbed. Disturbances there included rip rap, heavy trash like cement fragments, tires, etc., existing pipelines, and existing cement or gravel laydown yards. One test contained a potentially human-modified stone flake but was found within a disturbed context and thus has a questionable provenance. No archaeological sites, standing structures, or other cultural resources were identified as a result of the survey.

Based on the largely negative results of the archaeological investigation, Gray & Pape recommends no further work and that the project be allowed to proceed as planned. As specified under the conditions of Texas Antiquities Code Permit Number 7670, all project associated records are curated at the Center of Archaeological Studies at Texas State University.

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