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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc. (RKEI), was contracted by Kleinfelder (CLIENT), on behalf of Valley Proteins, Inc., to perform cultural resources investigations for a pipeline rehabilitation and replacement project east of San Angelo in Tom Green County, Texas. The pipeline targeted for replacement is located within the channel of the Concho River, approximately 18 feet below the current banks. Archaeological investigations of this lower terrace focused on areas that may be impacted by the project, which includes laydown and equipment staging areas, as well as ingress and egress areas. Ashley E. Jones acted as Principal Investigator and Rhiana D. Ward served as Project Archaeologist. Rhiana D. Ward and Chris Matthews completed field investigations, which resulted in negative findings. All work was conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee Permit No. 8286.

Although the pipeline is controlled by a privately-owned wastewater company, the project is located within and adjacent to lands owned by the City of San Angelo, a political subdivision of the state. As such, the project was subject to review under the jurisdiction of the Antiquities Code of Texas (Texas Natural Resource Code, Title 9, Chapter 191). Furthermore, because the proposed project will directly impact the Concho River, compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 United States Code 306108) and its implementing regulations (36 Code of Federal Regulations 800) will be required. A preliminary review conducted by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers-Fort Worth Division (USACE-FW) determined that archaeological investigations were required for the project due to its proximity to the Concho River, as well as its location within the boundaries of known archaeological site 41TG307. Site 41TG307 is designated as eligible for listing as a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) property and was designated as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) in 1996.

Archaeological investigations for the San Angelo Veribest Pipeline Replacement Project were conducted on January 24-25, 2018. Investigations consisted of an intensive pedestrian survey augmented with shovel testing of the 1.26-acre Area of Potential Effects (APE). Twelve shovel tests (STs) were excavated, with eight on the western side of the Concho River and four on the eastern side. Excavations encountered compact to very hard silty clay soils with modern refuse identified as deep as 50 centimeters below surface (cmbs) (ST 5 and ST 10). STs were excavated to a depth of 60 cmbs, except in locations where bedrock was shallowly buried beneath the soil. Compact soils and the presence of modern refuse indicated that the APE has been impacted, likely from the construction of Farm to Market 380 and the existing pipeline right-of-way. Additional disturbances documented include multiple sewer manholes near the western APE terminus, and an underground electric cable to the north of the APE.

Approximately 0.27-acres of the western APE is located within the site boundaries of 41TG307. Site 41TG307 is a prehistoric open campsite recorded in 1991 atop an upper terrace of the Concho River. During a revisit in 1996, the site tested positive for multiple occupational components that date as early as the Early Archaic (5170-8210 B.C.). The artifact assemblage consists of burned rock, mussel shell fragments, lithic chert flakes at ground surface, and one possible rock-lined hearth feature. Site 41TG307 was designated as eligible for listing as a NRHP property and listed as an SAL in 1996 (THC 2018).

Investigations conducted a total of five shovel tests (ST 1-5) within the known site boundaries of 41TG307, none of which identified any evidence of cultural materials or features. The portion of the site within the APE has been impacted from road and utility construction, evidenced by compact soils and the presents of modern materials (two aluminum pull tabs) at 20 to 40 cmbs within ST 5. Given this conclusion, RKEI does not recommend further archaeological investigations for the documented site located within the boundaries of the APE. Furthermore, no further work is recommended for the remaining APE. However, should changes be made to the project area, it is recommended that additional testing be conducted to determine the extent and significance of cultural deposits beyond the currently defined boundaries. Furthermore, because site 41TG307 is designated as eligible for listing as a NRHP property and is listed as an SAL, avoidance measures are recommended to prevent impacts of any cultural deposits that might not have been identified during investigations. The regulating agencies have required avoidance measures of the site and request the use of timber mats or other protective materials to prevent ground disturbance within the laydown area within the site boundary.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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