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Archaeological Monitoring of the Olmos Basin Golf Course Tree Planting Project, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
At the request of the City of San Antonio (COSA), Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc. (Pape-Dawson) monitored for cultural resources during the planting of new trees within portions of the existing Olmos Basin Golf Course, located west of the intersection of Basse Road and US 281, in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The trees were placed randomly throughout the golf course along with new, connecting irrigation lines. Excavations for the trees averaged 3.6 feet (ft) (1.1 meters2 [m2]) in diameter and 1.6 ft (0.5 m) deep. Irrigation lines were installed approximately 1 ft (0.3 m) below the ground surface and were on average 0.75 ft (0.23 m) in width.
As the Olmos Basin Golf Course is a municipal golf course operated by the COSA, compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) will be necessary. No federal funding or permitting is anticipated and compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) will not be required.
Prior to fieldwork, Pape-Dawson archaeologists coordinated with the COSA archaeologist and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to determine areas of concern for field investigations. Based on this coordination, archaeologists focused on monitoring during tree planting and irrigation line installations located only within the boundaries of previously recorded sites 41BX1799 and 41BX1800. Within these sites, archaeologists monitored between 50 and 75 percent of the total tree installations. Archaeological monitoring was conducted within the approximately 185-acre project area intermittently between January 22 and April 9, 2019. Pape-Dawson archaeologists monitored the excavation of 208 tree pits, 20 of which were positive for cultural materials. Of these 20 positive pits, nine were located within previously disturbed soil contexts. A total of 2.35 km of irrigation lines were also monitored for cultural resources. Isolated cultural materials from prehistoric, historic, and modern time periods were observed throughout the irrigation line trenches.
Sites 41BX1799 and 41BX1800, were revisited during archaeological monitoring. Site 41BX1799 is a multicomponent site, consisting of a prehistoric lithic scatter, a lithic material procurement site, and a historic artifact scatter of indeterminate temporal affiliation. Site 41BX1800 is a low-density prehistoric lithic scatter, dating to the Late to Transitional Archaic time period. Most materials observed were situated within disturbed contexts, however, archaeologists did identify intact deposits of prehistoric and historic materials in 11 of the excavated tree pits. As a result of this monitoring, 41BX1799’s site boundary was extended out an additional 1.11-acres. No cultural materials were observed outside of the current 41BX1800 boundary; thus, it remains unaltered. Due to the lack of intact cultural features, the paucity of diagnostic artifacts, and the extensive disturbances noted throughout both previously recorded sites, 41BX1799 and 41BX1800 are recommended Not Eligible for National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and State Antiquities Landmarks (SAL) designations. If future work within sites 41BX1799 or 41BX1800 reveal additional archaeological deposits, work should temporarily cease, and the City Archaeologist and THC should be immediately notified before recommencing work.
All records associated with this project are curated at the University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Archaeological Research (UTSA-CAR).
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