Texas Historical Commission
In 2003–2004, Prewitt and Associates, Inc., performed National Register of Historic Places testing and subsequent data recovery excavations at the Jayroe site (41HM51) in Hamilton County for the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division, under Texas Antiquities Permit Nos. 3211 and 3405. The investigations were prompted by the planned replacement of the County Road 294 bridge at the Leon River (CSJ No. 0909-29-030), in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations (36 CFR Part 800) and the Antiquities Code of Texas.
Testing consisted of the excavation of 6 backhoe trenches and 19 test units, and the data recovery work consisted mainly of hand excavation of 153 contiguous 1x1-m units within a single block, with 2 backhoe trenches and 2 manual units apart from the block excavation. Combined, the testing and data recovery identified 16 cultural features interpreted as 3 open hearths, 4 shallow earth ovens or surface hearths, 8 scatters of various kinds of debris, and 1 knapping station. The excavations recovered 322 chipped stone tools, 26 cores, 6,589 pieces of unmodified debitage, 21 ground or battered stone tools, 38 potential pigment sources, 43 ceramic sherds, 15 modified bone artifacts, 7,649 animal bones, 1,200 mussel shells, and macrobotanical remains. Four analytical units are defined for the site, only one of which—the Toyah phase component— has much interpretive potential. It is interpreted as a campsite used at least several times, mostly in the a.d. 1470s, at which butchering of mostly bison and deer, late-stage lithic tool manufacture and repair, and other maintenance tasks figured prominently in the site activities.
The artifacts recovered and records generated by the project are curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies, Texas State University.
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