Moccasin Confluence: Occupation and Settlement in the Lower Fredericksburg Basin of the Edwards Plateau




Gunn, Joel D.
Kerr, Anne C.

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


During the summer of 1982 the eastern half of Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park was surveyed and sites tested. The work was sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and performed by Center for Archaeological Research and the Division of Behavioral and Cultural Sciences, The University of Texas at San Antonio. The Principal Investigator was Joel D. Gunn. The field work was conducted by the field course in archaeology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Members (listed in the Acknowledgments section) of the Anthropology Laboratory class assisted the Principal Investigator with laboratory analysis. Most of the sites were shallow or deflated and of limited information value except for their location in the overall settlement pattern. Excavation of 41 GL 21, Hop Hill (Gunn and Mahula 1977a), was completed. An old stream channel was found in the bedrock under the site. It was filled with occupation debris from the Late Archaic. The site may have been used as an overlook to an adjacent ford in the Pedernales River. At the confluence of the Pedernales River and Williams Creek (Moccasin Confluence) at the east end of the park a very important site was found. Moccasin Confluence consists of two segments divided by Williams Creek. The west segment (41 BC 71) is a deeply stratified alluvial site with a Holocene sequence. Whether the sequence is continuous through the Holocene remains to be determined. The levels are extremely thick in the Middle and Early Holocene. The location, at three sources of varying sediments, indicates that the site could be a very sensitive geological barometer of Holocene climate, a hypothesis that seems to have merit based on analysis of sediment grain size composition and IPF analysis of sediment chemistry. The site is very rich in chronological diagnostics and is of great potential for studying environmental and cultural process in the Edwards Plateau region. Analysis of artifact wear patterns, points, flake size and frequencies, and mollusks indicates the site was inhabited over long periods of time, sometimes with a fair amount of intensity. Nomads apparently visited the site at the beginning of each cultural period and eventually settled there until their culture was disrupted. The site is recommended for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. The site (41 BC 63) on the east bank of Williams Creek outside the park, considered to be the eastern segment of Moccasin Confluence, was tested enough to show that it has a dense burned rock midden. It is assumed to represent a shift of occupation locus to the east side of the creek during the Middle Archaic.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, Texas History, Excavations (Archaeology)--Texas--Gillespie County