An Archaeological Survey of a Portion of the Choke Canyon Reservoir Area in McMullen and Live Oak Counties, Texas




Thoms, Alston V.
Montgomery, John L.
Portnoy, Alice W.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


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


An intensive cultural resource survey was carried out on approximately 2544 hectares (6285 acres) of the proposed Choke Canyon Reservoir by the Cultural Resources Institute (CRI) of Texas Tech University from August through October 1977. The project was undertaken in response to needs of the Bureau of Reclamation. This report is one of a multivolume study concerning the area's cultural resources. During the 1977 survey, 113 archaeological sites, 42 low density artifact scatters, and five isolated finds were located and recorded. A no-collection policy was maintained, except isolated finds. In the late fall 1977, 15 of the recorded sites were subjected to limited testing activities. The cultural resources recorded during the survey document the presence of human groups in the reservoir beginning in late Paleo-Indian times and extending to the present. Based upon the limited occurrence of diagnostic artifacts, most of the prehistoric occupation occurred during the Archaic. Historic sites recorded were occupied primarily during the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. This report documents the research design and particularly the methodology utilized during the project. Special emphasis is given to describing the systematic and intensive survey, as well as to the random/judgmental approach of selecting the various sites for limited testing. Cultural material recovered during testing activities are described in techno-morphological terms. The nature of survey projects in general and the paucity of reliable time markers recovered during field work severely limited the development of a cultural chronology for the study area. Research efforts resulted in the development of a model of lithic technology based on the ready availability of raw materials. Also presented is a settlement and subsistence pattern model which is based primarily on a rainy and dry season dichotomy and the availability of food resources.



Texas History, Choke Canyon Reservoir (Tex.)--Antiquities, Live Oak County (Tex.)--Antiquities, McMullen County (Tex.)--Antiquities, Texas--Antiquities