Article Title

Significance Testing Of Archeological Sites 41SR242, The Cornelio Alvarez SR. Site, Starr County, Texas


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), conducted National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility testing of the Cornelio Alvarez Sr. site (41SR242) as part of the State Loop (SL) 195 project (Project) (CSJ: 3632-01-001) in Starr County, Texas. Subsequent to the field investigations, SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted artifact analysis, reporting, and curation preparation for the multi-component historic and prehistoric site. Investigations were conducted in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 United State Code 30601) and the Antiquities Code of Texas (9 Natural Resources Code). The investigations assessed the site’s eligibility for listing on the NRHP (36 Code of Federal Regulations 60.4) and for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL; 13 Texas Administrative Code 26.8, 26.12). Christopher W. Ringstaff served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 7912. TxDOT conducted the field investigations were from February 20–24, 2017, and April 10–14, 2017.

Site 41SR242 is primarily a Middle to Late Archaic site with lesser Late Prehistoric and perhaps earlier components. The open occupational site is located on an upland margin landform in a tributary valley a few miles from the Rio Grande. The investigations revealed material assemblages consisting of diffusely scattered burned rock, debitage, and lithic tools, which were predominantly recovered from a 30- to 50- cm-thick stratum of mixed artifacts. However, a few concentrations of artifacts were identified, and each location yielded isolated intact features. Formation and post-depositional processes are generally not conducive to preservation of intact archeological surfaces, patterns, or site structure. Although the overall site lacks integrity and potential data yield, isolated discrete behavioral loci are present. Therefore, site 41SR242 is recommended as eligible for the NRHP and as an SAL. This recommendation pertains to the portions of the site within the APE. The site extends beyond the APE, and the areas outside of the APE have not been evaluated.