An archaeological survey of the proposed location of the Bastrop City wastewater treatment plant, Bastrop County, Texas




Moses, Bruce K.

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


Between August 11 and August 13, 2004, the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio conducted an archaeological survey of the proposed location for the City of Bastrop Wastewater Treatment Plant in central Bastrop County, Texas. The pedestrian survey was performed for Raba-Kistner Consultants, Inc. on behalf of the City of Bastrop. Construction of the proposed wastewater treatment facility will primarily impact the northwestern portion of the property, although a gray-water outfall line will traverse the property and empty into the Colorado River. The survey, carried out under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 3501 with Dr. Steve A. Tomka serving as Principal Investigator, was performed to identify any cultural deposits present within the project area. The Phase 1 project included a 100% pedestrian survey of the 26.5-acre property, the excavation of 27 shovel tests, and the excavation of seven backhoe trenches. Two archaeological sites, both located on the southern portion of the project area, were identified. Site 41BP678, located at the confluence of the Colorado River and a tributary, Spring Branch, consists of a light surface scatter of chipped stone debitage and buried cultural materials. The results of shovel testing suggest that two components may be present, with one located from the surface down to 20 cm, and a second located between 40 cm and 60 cm below surface. No features were identified, though burned rock is present in small numbers. No temporally diagnostic artifacts were recovered. The second site, 41BP679, abuts Spring Branch. This site consists of a light surface scatter of chipped stone, minimally including a biface and a core. Shovel testing demonstrates that debitage and burned rock is present down to 30 cm below surface, though deeper deposits (ca. 75 cm to 92 cm below surface), evidenced by two flakes present in a backhoe trench profile, are present at the site. No features were identified at 41BP679. While no diagnostic artifacts were recovered, a broken biface was collected from the backdirt of a backhoe trench. The highly patinated biface has parallel flaking reminiscent of late Paleoindian (c.f. Angostura) forms. The proposed wastewater treatment facility will impact limited portions of each of these sites. The gray-water outflow line will cut through roughly 109 m of 41BP678, and 61 m of 41BP679. In addition, the construction of one clarifier tank and a flume will directly impact small portions of 41BP679. We currently lack sufficient information on either site to make determinations of eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or for determining State Archeological Landmark status. If the proposed wastewater treatment facility cannot be moved to avoid these sites, we recommend that limited testing be conducted to determine the eligibility status of 41BP678 and 41BP679. 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