Texas Historical Commission
Raba Kistner, Inc. (RKI) was contracted by Harris County Engineering Department (CLIENT) to conduct archaeological investigations in support of road improvements along 5.35 miles (8.6 kilometer [km]) of existing road along House Road, Bauer Hockley Road, Becker Road, Kickapoo Road, and Badtke Road, located in northwestern Harris County, Texas. The purpose of this investigation was to identify any surface-exposed or shallowly buried cultural deposits within the limits of the proposed undertaking and, if possible, assess their significance and eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and for formal designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). As the project will be conducted on publicly-owned land and is sponsored by the Harris County Engineering Department, an entity of the State of Texas, the project was subject to review under the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) (Texas Natural Resources Code, Title 9, Chapter 191). All work was conducted in accordance with the Archaeological Survey Standards for Texas, as set forth by the Council of Texas Archaeologists (CTA) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) under Texas Antiquities Committee Permit Number 9623.
Investigations consisted of a background review and intensive pedestrian survey augmented with shovel testing within the area of potential effects (APE). The background review revealed that the majority of the project area is underlain by soils derived from loamy deposits of the Pliocene-age Willis Formation. One area along Bauer Hockley Road totaling 1,100-feet (335 meters [m]) contained Holocene-age deposits. As such, in a background review submitted for consultation to the THC, RKI recommended that archaeological investigations focus on the area containing the Holocene-age deposits. Based on the information provided in the background review, the THC concurred with the recommendation. Therefore, the APE for the project is defined as the one 1,100-feet (335 m) area along Bauer Hockley Road within the 75-foot (22.8 m) right-of-way (ROW), totaling approximately 1.89-acres (0.76 hectares [ha]).
Field investigations were conducted on October 7, 2020. Antonio E. Padilla served as the Principal Investigator for the project and all fieldwork was conducted by Staff Archaeologists Adam Birge, Chris Matthews, and Archaeologist Tiffany Lindley. Report preparation was conducted by Tiffany Lindley. Adam Birge and Bruce Martin provided geographical information system (GIS) during fieldwork and report production.
During the pedestrian survey of the APE, it was found that the area had been lightly graded for the existing roadbed with both shoulders consisting of graded shoulders. The shoulders were observed to slope downwards to the tree line and in some cases along the northern side of the APE, upwards towards the tree line. Disturbances observed within the APE consisted of an existing culvert box and guard rails that had been installed at the crossing of Little Cypress Creek. As a result of the pedestrian survey, 4 shovel tests (CM1–CM2 and TL1–TL2) were attempted; however, only 2 were excavated. No cultural materials were observed on the surface or encountered within any of the shovel tests.
RKI has made a reasonable good faith effort to identify cultural resources within the APE. No significant deposits or features were identified during the intensive pedestrian survey. As such, RKI recommends no further archaeological investigations within the APE. However, should changes be made within the APE, further work may be required. All field records and photographs produced during investigations will be permanently housed at the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
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