Archaeological testing at 41BP679, Bastrop County, Texas




Munoz, Cynthia M.

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


During the spring of 2006 (May 11 through May 18, 2006), the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio conducted testing at 41BP679, a site formally listed as a State Archaeological Landmark. Site 41BP679 is located in Bastrop County at the confluence of the Colorado River and Spring Branch Creek, one of its tributaries. The site is on land that is the proposed location for the City of Bastrop Wastewater Treatment Plant. The installation of outflow pipes will impact the northern portion of 41BP679. The testing was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4117, with Kristi Ulrich serving as Principal Investigator and Cynthia Moore Munoz serving as the Project Archaeologist. The testing involved mechanical auger borings, backhoe trenching and the hand-excavation of a limited number of test units. Testing confirmed that 41BP679 is likely to be a single component site (30-70 cm below surface) dating from the Paleoindian to Archaic period. One temporally diagnostic artifact, a Clear Fork tool, was recovered. Testing efforts failed to encounter features, and the low density cultural materials consist primarily of lithic debitage, burned rock and a handful of lithic tools. A detailed debitage analysis of the samples from the site suggests that the debitage collection represents a focus on tool production. The low density cultural remains have been impacted by bioturbation and vegetation clearing or plowing and their research potential is limited. The portion of the site tested during the investigations reported herein, along with the materials recovered, do not contribute to the State Archeological Landmark eligibility of 41BP679. We therefore recommend that the planned construction be allowed to proceed. We also recommend that the portion of the site located to the south of the area tested by CAR remain protected. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) concurred with the conclusions and recommendations reached by the CAR. In addition, the THC requested that the portion of 41BP679 not assessed by CAR be protected from potential construction-related impacts by a fence. The desired location of the fence would be furnished by CAR to insure that intact portions of the site are not adversely affected by the fence's construction. Furthermore, if significant archaeological deposits are uncovered during plant construction, the THC requested that all work should stop in those immediate areas and the City of Bastrop should immediately contact the THC. CAR staff informed the City of the THC request. City representatives have indicated to CAR that fencing will be installed around the perimeter of the construction area both to keep people out of the construction area and keep construction impacts limited to the designated area. The fence will be a five-strand barbwire fence. All artifacts collected during this project are curated at the Center for Archaeological Research according to Texas Historical Commission guidelines.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, archaeological surveying, excavations, Bastrop County, Colorado River, archaic period, paleoindian period, debitage analysis, wastewater treatment plant site