National Register of Historic Places Eligibility Testing of 41BX474 for the Laurens Lane Hike and Bike Connection to the Salado Creek Greenway, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

Date
2014
Authors
Munoz, Cynthia M.
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Publisher
Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio
Abstract

From January 23 through January 29, 2014, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted eligibility testing at 41BX474. The site, initially recorded in 1977 (McGraw and Valdez 1977), was revisited in 2013 (Munoz 2013) during a pedestrian archaeological survey of the proposed Laurens Lane connection trail to the existing Salado Creek Greenway located in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The construction of the connection trail will impact 41BX474, identified in the 2013 survey as containing a high-density of buried cultural materials. The testing, conducted under the requirements of the Texas Antiquities Code, was performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 6756, with Dr. Steve Tomka serving as Principal Investigator for much of this project and Cynthia Moore Munoz serving as Project Archaeologist. Dr. Raymond Mauldin served as Principal Investigator for the completion of Permit No. 6756. The work was conducted in advance of the proposed improvements. The testing involved the hand-excavation of five test units. Testing confirmed that the portion of 41BX474 with existing terrace deposits contains a high-density of cultural material. The vertical distribution of the material and the result of magnetic soil susceptibility analysis suggest the presence of at least one broad temporal component in the upper sediments and a possible older component in the lower sediments. The upper component produced five temporally diagnostic projectile points suggesting a date range from the Initial Late Archaic to the Initial Late Prehistoric. The diagnostics were stratigraphically out of place. One Terminal Late Prehistoric point was removed from the surface. No diagnostics were recovered from the lower component. No features were encountered, but burned rock was collected from throughout the test units suggesting the presence of buried thermal features. No organic material was recovered for radiocarbon dating. A detailed debitage and tool analysis suggests that the excavated lithic materials represent late stage reduction focusing on tool production. Although the excavations yielded a relatively large number of lithic artifacts, the stratigraphically out of place diagnostics recovered from the site suggest that the majority of the materials recovered during the excavations are in a disturbed context. This disturbance, along with the presence of modern materials in the upper levels, suggests that the prehistoric cultural materials lack integrity. This reduces their research potential and, therefore, the CAR recommends that the site is not eligible for formal listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The CAR further recommends that the installation of the Laurens Lane hike and bike connection alignment proceed as proposed. Following laboratory processing and analysis, and in consultation with both the City of San Antonio (COSA) and the Texas Historic Commission (THC), all burned rock, snail, and sediment samples collected from the project area were discarded. This discard was in conformance with THC guidelines. All remaining archaeological samples collected by the CAR, along with all associated artifacts, documents, notes, and photographs, were prepared for curation according to THC guidelines and are permanently curated at the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Keywords
archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, archaeological surveying, excavations, Bexar County, San Antonio, Salado Creek
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