Archaeological Investigations at 41LK201, Choke Canyon Reservoir, Southern Texas




Highley, Cheryl Lynn

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


Two phases of archaeological investigations were carried out by the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio, in the Choke Canyon Reservoir region in south Texas. Sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the investigations were necessitated by the impending dam construction and subsequent filling of the reservoir. During Phase I, numerous prehistoric sites were recorded and tested. As a result, several sites were recommended for additional excavations during Phase II. Site 41 LK 201 was selected for intensive investigations because it contained both Archaic and Late Prehistoric cultural remains, was well stratified, and contained preserved charcoal and faunal samples throughout the occupational zones. Phase II excavations were designed to expose the stratified components both horizontally and vertically. The Archaic deposits included a series of burned rock features which provided wood charcoal suitable for radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dates for Middle and Late Archaic deposits ranged from 1300 B.C. (derived from Phase I excavations) to 480 B.C. Diagnostic artifacts were limited to a few dart points and gougelike tools. The upper levels contained an extensive late phase Late Prehistoric occupational zone that produced Perdiz arrow points, end scrapers, bone-tempered pottery, and other types of midden debris. The extensive, concentrated nature of the Late Prehistoric zone warranted additional investigations. A UTSA Field School carried out extensive excavations that were primarily restricted to the upper 20 cm of deposits. Numerous Perdiz points, beveled knives, end scrapers, perforators or drills, bone and shell artifacts, and the largest ceramic sample from a single site in the reservoir region were recovered. Faunal remains recovered were marine shells, land snails, and a wide array of identifiable animal bone, including bison. Two radiocarbon dates, A.D. 1470-1500 and A.D. 1510-1590, were derived from these levels.



Texas History, Excavations (Archaeology)--Texas, Choke Canyon Reservoir (Tex.)--Antiquities, Texas--Antiquities, Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, Late Prehistoric