Archaeological investigations at De Zavala Point for the proposed Penn-Texas shoreline improvement project, Harris County, Texas
In May 1990, archaeologists for the Center of Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio, conducted a surface survey and subsurface testing program on De Zavala Point, a small tongue of land sticking out into the Houston ship channel in Harris County. The locality has been selected for the construction of a large-vessel docking facility. Survey and testing activities were performed in order to evaluate known archaeological sites and to locate any additional archaeological remains which might be affected by dock construction and operation. In addition, the state of preservation of the important De Zavala historic cemetery (41 HR 487), located within the property, was evaluated. This site has been completely submerged and eroded. Extensive prehistoric archaeological remains were encountered along the shoreline of the study area. Surface and subsurface evaluation of these remains revealed that these archaeological beach deposits are not in situ, being redeposited from inundated ancient land surfaces within the modern ship channel. No significant damage to these archaeological resources is expected with the establishment of the docking facility. In fact, the proposed dock construction will likely halt further subsidence-related degradation to this important historic area. While no further archaeological research is recommended at present, careful monitoring of the initial phases of dredging and dock construction are strongly recommended to insure that any remnants of the original De Zavala home site are not destroyed. The location of this important historic building and any possible associated structures has not been established accurately.