The Berger Bluff Site (41 GD 30A) : excavations in the upper deposits, 1979




Brown, David O.

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


During summer 1979, the Center for Archaeological Research conducted excavations at the Berger Bluff site (41 GO 30A) in Goliad County, Texas. The site, located on a high bluff above Coleto Creek, had been shown to be a valuable archaeological resource in previous test excavations and was potentially endangered by wave erosion from the waters of the soon to be completed Coleto Creek Reservoir. The excavations were considered necessary as a partial mitigation, under the provisions of the Texas Antiquities Code. A single three by four meter excavation unit was opened at the site. Depth of this excavation unit varied from one to two and one-half meters. A large quantity of artifacts, shell, and animal bone was removed from this unit. Although some mixing of deposits was noted, the general cultural stratigraphy appeared much better preserved than at any other sites in the region. Although no radiocarbon dates were available from the upper zone at the site, a comparison of diagnostic materials from the site with those from nearby areas suggested that the site was occupied a number of times between the Middle Archaic and the Late Prehistoric. The most intense periods of occupation were during the early Late Prehistoric Austin phase and a probable Late Archaic occupation, which could not be tied to a known phase or complex. In addition to the Archaic and Late Prehistoric materials from the upper zone, a radiocarbon date of 11,500 ± 800 B.P., or 9600 B.C., from a hearth (Feature 5) at the base of the bluff suggested a Paleo-Indian occupation at the site. Several general hypotheses concerning the inland coastal cultures of this area are presented as concluding remarks. In addition to the work at 41 GO 30A, a brief examination of the Burris site (41 VT 66) was undertaken at the same time. Data concerning the condition of the site and a list of material collected from the surface are presented in Appendix I.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, Berger Bluff site, Coleto Creek, Goliad County