Excavation of Prehistoric Human Remains from 41ZP144 in San Ygnacio, Zapata County, Texas




Munoz, Cynthia M.

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


From December 18-20, 2012, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted archaeological excavations at 41ZP144, a site identified in 1991 by James Warren of Archaeology Consultants, Inc. during monitoring of utility pipeline installation. The CAR was contracted by Zapata County to exhume human remains exposed and reburied as part of Warren’s investigations. The project, conducted under the requirements of the Texas Antiquities Code, was performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 6387, with Dr. Steve Tomka serving as Principal Investigator and Cynthia Moore Munoz serving as Project Archaeologist. The work involved the mechanical removal of asphalt and road base from above the interment and the hand-excavation of two test units. The individual was identified as an adult female of Native American ancestry. No mortuary items were recovered with the burial. The human remains were claimed by the Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation in New Mexico for reburial at the Zapata County cemetery. All non-burial-associated archaeological artifacts collected by the CAR, along with all project-associated documents, notes, and photographs, were prepared for curation according to Texas Historical Commission (THC) guidelines and are permanently curated at the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, archaeological surveying, Zapata County, prehistoric human remains