Excavations at 41LK67, a Prehistoric Site in the Choke Canyon Reservoir, South Texas
In 1977-1978 excavations were conducted at 41 LK 67 in Live Oak County, south Texas, by the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio. The investigation of this prehistoric archaeological site was part of an extensive program of reconnaissance and excavation necessitated by the construction of the Choke Canyon Reservoir on the Frio River by the Bureau of Reclamation. The site is situated in shallow colluvial deposits capping an old terrace remnant of the Frio River. The excavations involved 193 m2 in three separate areas and revealed in situ Late Prehistoric and Late Archaic components. Recognizably older artifacts (including patinated chert flakes) from the surface and from excavations may represent older disturbed components or artifacts collected prehistorically from nearby sites. Radiocarbon dates, with medians ranging from 1590 to 660 B.C. (MASCA correction) are available only from the Late Archaic component. The principal kinds of debris recovered from the excavations are fire-cracked rock, cores and chipping debris, shells of snails and freshwater mussels, plainware potsherds, and chipped stone tools. Mussel shell was surprisingly abundant; more than 9000 specimens, including 3000 specimens identified taxonomically, were recovered. Fish otoliths were the only animal bones preserved, except for a few recent, intrusive elements. Debris frequencies from the two larger excavation blocks (Areas A and B) were factor analyzed. In most cases the analysis showed the strongest covariation occurring among different classes of chipping debris. For Area C factor analysis indicated that the strongest spatial patterning occurred in the upper part of the deposits. Unfortunately, the analysis was not particularly successful in defining activity sets. The small collection of chipped stone tools was examined microscopically. Two tool classes in particular, distally beveled tools ("gouges") and quadrilateral bifaces ("beveled knives") seem to represent more functionally specific tool forms, but other hafted bifaces (projectile points) show a wide range of use wear mostly unrelated to projectile use.