An Intensive Pedestrian Archaeological Survey of Five Northeast Independent School District Campuses in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
From May to June 2010, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted an intensive pedestrian archaeological survey of project areas for five proposed campuses at four separate locations in San Antonio, Texas to fulfill contract requirements with the Northeast Independent School District. The campuses include Vineyard Ranch Elementary School (23 acres), Rosehart Elementary School (22 acres), Knights Crossing Elementary School (30 acres), Bulverde Ranch Elementary School (26 acres), and Bulverde Ranch Middle School (45 acres). The survey was conducted under the requirements of the Texas Antiquities Code. The survey was performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 5619, with Dr. Steve Tomka, CAR Director, serving as Principal Investigator and Cynthia Moore Munoz serving as Project Archaeologist. The work was conducted in advance of proposed improvements to the property. The principal goal of the pedestrian survey was to identify and document all prehistoric and/or historic archaeological sites that may be impacted by the construction of the new campuses. A pedestrian reconnaissance, and 151 shovel tests were used to search for cultural resources on the project areas. Twenty isolated surface finds, including debitage, tools, cores, and burned rock and six new sites, 41BX1864-41BX1869, were documented on the project areas. This report summarizes the results of the fieldwork and provides recommendations regarding the management of cultural resources located on the project area. The six sites, one located on Vineyard Ranch, two on Knights Crossing, and three on the Bulverde Ranch project areas, consisted of surface scatters of lithic debitage, tools, cores, and burned rock with no associated staining or charcoal. No features were noted on the sites. No sites were located on the Rosehart property. Two sites, 41BX1867 and 41BX1868, were documented on the Knights Crossing property and one, 41BX1869, on the Vineyard Ranch property. One diagnostic artifact, an untypeable dart point, was recovered from the surface of site 41BX1867 placing the site into the Late Archaic. The lack of material depth, features, and the low density scatter of artifacts, in conjunction with evidence that the properties have been subjected to some clearing in the past, suggest that sites 41BX1867, 41BX1868, and 41BX1869 possess low research potential. Therefore, the CAR recommends that these three sites be considered ineligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and that they do not warrant formal designation as State Archeological Landmarks (SAL). The CAR also recommends that the construction of the new NEISD campuses on the Vineyard Ranch, Knights Crossing, and Rosehart properties proceed as proposed. Site 41BX1864, a high density surface scatter on the Bulverde Ranch project area, was originally documented as four separate concentrations of artifacts. However, upon closer inspection, it was noted that cultural material continued between the concentrations, although at a lower density. Artifact collections from twenty-one four meter diameter dogleashes spread across the site suggest that three artifact clusters exist within the site. Sites 41BX1865, a high density surface scatter, and 41BX1866, a low density surface scatter, are located 495 and 310 meters west of 41BX1864, respectively. The undisturbed condition of the Bulverde Ranch property along with the close proximity of the three lithic scatter sites, 41BX1864, 41BX1865, and 41BX1866, and the separate concentrations of artifacts on 41BX1864 suggest research potential related to patterns in spatially clustered lithic procurement sites. The CAR recommends that the sites be considered potentially eligible for listing on the NRHP and formal designation as SALs. In order to investigate the spatial patterning the CAR suggests controlled surface collections at 41BX1864, surface collections at both 41BX1865 and 41BX1866, and subsequent artifact analysis. These methods would also result in reduction of the surface visibility of the sites making them less obvious targets for future collection. The CAR also suggests the development of a teaching module to be used by 7th grade Texas history classes at the proposed Bulverde Ranch Middle School. The module would include a detailed background of the previous owners of the property, the Steubing and Classen families, the ranching history of the property, as well as instruction on the prehistory of sites 41BX1864-41BX1866, potentially utilizing artifacts collected from the sites. Following laboratory processing and analysis, and in consultation with both the NEISD and the THC, all sediment samples were discarded. This discard was in conformance with THC guidelines. All remaining archaeological samples collected by the CAR, along with all associated artifacts, documents, notes, and photographs, were prepared for curation according to THC guidelines and are permanently curated at the CAR at UTSA. The CAR requested and was assigned the following trinomials for the newly documented sites: 41BX1864, 41BX1865, 41BX1866, 41BX1867, 41BX1868, and 41BX1869). The TexSite records are on file at The Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL).