Texas Historical Commission
Raba Kistner, Inc. (RKI) was contracted by Harris County Engineering Department (CLIENT), to conduct archaeological investigations in support of a road improvements along 8.09 miles (13 km) of existing road along Old Washington County Road and Binford Roads, 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 proposed project is 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 Archeological Survey Standards for Texas, as set forth by the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) under Texas Antiquities Committee Permit Number 9622.
Investigations consisted of a background review and intensive pedestrian survey augmented with shovel testing within the 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. Only six separate areas along Binford Road totaling 4,410-feet (1,344 m) contain 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 Area of Potential Effects (APE) for the project is defined as the six areas along Binford Road totaling 4,410-feet (1,344 m), within the 75-foot (22.8 m) ROW, totaling approximately 7.59-acres (3.07 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 Adam Birge. 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 with ditches. Vegetation ranged from manicured lawns to tall grasses with hardwood trees. As a result of the investigations, 15 shovel tests (AB1–AB2, CM1–CM9, and TL1–TL4) were attempted; however, only 14 were excavated. The fifteenth was not excavated due to the lack of soil. No cultural materials were observed on the surface or encountered within any of the shovel tests.
RKI has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identified cultural resources within the given APE. No significant deposits or features were identified during the intensive pedestrian survey of the APE. 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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