Archaeological investigations at Morgan Chapel Cemetery (41 BP 200), a historic cemetery in Bastrop County, Texas




Taylor, Anna J.
Fox, Anne A.
Cox, I. Waynne

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


During August 1984, archaeologists from the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR), The University of Texas at San Antonio, and City Public Service (CPS) of San Antonio relocated the burials from Morgan Chapel Cemetery (41 BP 200), in Bastrop County, Texas. Twenty-one burials, of which 13 were unmarked, were located, exposed, recorded, and removed for reinterment in the nearby McDade and Ridgeway Cemeteries. The nature of the clay subsoil at the site obscured grave outlines, which made detection of unmarked burials quite difficult. This situation resulted in a decision by CPS, following consultation with representatives of the Texas Historical Commission and the CAR-UTSA archaeologists, to remove all the soil from the 3.055 acres of cemetery property to a depth of six feet. The excavation procedures utilized during the cemetery removal, and problems encountered during this process, are detailed to aid other archaeologists involved in similar projects. Descendants of the deceased and also other local informants provided details about the identification and location of burials. Information concerning the burial customs and physical condition of the people of this area was gained as a result of the project. Because the cultural deposits and features associated with Morgan Chapel Cemetery were removed during the cemetery operations, and no in situ cultural deposits remain, the site is no longer considered to be a significant cultural resource. The suggestion is therefore made that the site not be recommended for nomination as a State Archeological Landmark, or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Investigations were done in compliance with Texas state statutes governing cemeteries.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, cemeteries, Morgan Chapel Cemetery, Bastrop County, historical burials, cemetery relocation