Investigation of prehistoric rockshelter and terrace sites along portions of the Salado Creek drainage, northern Bexar County, Texas




McGraw, A. Joachim
Valdez, Fred

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


During late fall and winter of 1977, personnel from the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), conducted limited test excavations and controlled surface collections along portions of the Salado Creek drainage in northern Bexar County (Fig. I). Four specific areas were examined, as they were soon to be inundated or critically altered by proposed floodwater retarding structures. The sites in these locations had previously been identified and recommended for further work by Hester et al. (1974). During field operations, the areas of Floodwater Retarding Structures 3, 6, 10 and 15 were investigated. A total of four terrace sites, two small rockshelters and two rockshelter cQmplexes were tested. Of the shelters, one complex and one individual shelter, both previously unrecorded, were discovered in the immediate vicinity of the retarding structures during the course of testing operations. Testing was concentrated in the immediate vicinities of Mud Creek, Panther Springs Creek and portions of the main channel of Salado Creek. Methodology involved throughout the testing period was based upon a systematic examination following the guidelines presented in Field Methods in Archaeology (Hester, Heizer and Graham 1975). The current study of the dam site areas was directed toward: (1) a preliminary assessment of the archaeological sites in terms of their content and importance; (2) the detailed recording of such information for further research; and (3) recommendations for any further investigations at the sites. Observations of material distributions were noted not only to define site boundaries but also to distinguish areas of particular site activity. Consideration was also given to the presence or absence of particular cultural materials as well as to horizontal and vertical distances from water sources. Except at dam site 15, controlled surface collection was rejected as inefficient in terms of both time and manpower. All information has been recorded on standard excavation forms presently used by the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio. Black and white 35 mm photographs and color slides were also taken of various sites and features. Artifacts collected were placed in plastic or paper bags and labeled as to tested area, level of excavation, date, type of collection and collector's name. All materials were collected and processed according to standard archaeological procedures, and the assessments presented ln this study are based upon a preliminary examination of the recovered artifacts, photographs, excavation forms and field notes. The project was conducted under contract between the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio and the Soil Conservation SerVice, United States Department of Agriculture. All field work was done under the supervision of Dr. Thomas R. Hester, Director, and Mr. Jack D. Eaton, Assistant Director, Center for Archaeological Research. The field crew consisted of A. Joachim McGraw, Fred Valdez, Jr., Santiago Escobedo and Curtis McKinney, assisted by volunteers Rebekah Halpern, Kathy Gonzalez and Sampale Lindholm.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, Indians of North America, San Antonio, Salado Creek Watershed, Bexar County