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Texas Historical Commission
In 2014, Prewitt and Associates, Inc., performed data recovery excavations at site 41MS99 in Mason County for the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division, under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 6876. The investigations were prompted by the planned construction of a bridge over Comanche Creek on the north edge of the City of Mason (CSJ No. 0914-26-006), 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.
The excavations consisted chiefly of 114 hand-dug units covering 113.6 m2 and accounting for 86.7 m3 of sediment. They exposed 27 prehistoric features, most of which are hearths of one sort or another, and 5 late historic/modern features (postholes, a refuse deposit, and subsurface utility alignments). The recovered artifact assemblage consists of 27 cores, 9,633 pieces of debitage, 187 chipped stone tools, 114 ground or battered stone tools, 8 possible pigment sources, 1 ceramic sherd, and 1 possible fossilized shell ornament. Other remains recovered are 3,740 animal bones (6 modified or shaped for tool use), small numbers of mussel and snail shells, sparse botanical remains, a mud dauber nest, and 230 historic/modern artifacts. Most of these materials are from the lower half of the excavation block and represent archeological deposits derived from a series of repeated occupations during a period of intensive use mostly in the first half of the Transitional Archaic period, ca. 405 b.c.–a.d. 60. These materials, constituting Analysis Unit 2, received the most analytical attention because they are most interpretable. Included in the descriptive analysis but receiving less attention are the materials in Analysis Unit 1 from the upper part of the excavations, which represent a series of brief, ephemeral Late Prehistoric and terminal Archaic occupations mixed with late historic artifacts and modern trash.
The artifacts recovered and records generated by the project are curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies, Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas.
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