Archaeological testing at 41BP678, Bastrop County, Texas




Figueroa, Antonia L.

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Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio


During the spring of 2006 (April 27 through May 4, 2006), the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio conducted testing at 41BP678, a site formally listed as a State Archaeological Landmark. Site 41BP678 is located in Bastrop County at the confluence of the Colorado River and Spring Branch Creek, one of its tributaries. The site is on land that is the proposed location for the City of Bastrop Wastewater Treatment Plant. The installation of outflow pipes and the excavation of a 500-foot deep water well and associated utilities installations will impact the central and eastern portions of 41BP678. The testing was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4117, with Kristi M. Ulrich serving as Principal Investigator and Antonia L. Figueroa serving as the Project Archaeologist. The testing involved mechanical auger borings, backhoe trenching and the hand-excavation of a limited number of test units. Testing confirmed that 41BP678 is a multi-component site, with a Late Prehistoric presence in the upper 40 cm of the site, and a second component (40-80 cm below surface) of unknown temporal affiliation. Testing efforts failed to encounter features, and the low-density cultural materials consist primarily of lithic debitage and fire-cracked rock. A detailed debitage analysis of the samples from the two components suggests that the Late Prehistoric debitage collection represents a focus on tool production while the underlying component resembles an assemblage focused more on core reduction. This pattern suggests that site activities may have changed over time. The low-density cultural remains have been impacted by bioturbation and vegetation clearing or plowing and their research potential is severely limited. CAR recommends that the portion of the site tested during the investigations reported herein, along with the materials recovered, do not contribute to the State Archeological Landmark eligibility of 41BP678. We therefore recommend that the planned construction be allowed to proceed. We also recommend that the portion of the site located to the south of the area tested by CAR remain protected. All artifacts collected during this project are curated at the Center for Archaeological Research according to Texas Historical Commission guidelines.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, archaeological surveying, excavations, Bastrop County, Colorado River, prehistoric site