Archeological testing of sites 41GD113 and 41GD114 in Goliad County, Texas




Greaves, Russell D.

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


Archeological testing of two previously identified prehistoric archeological sites in Goliad County, Texas, was performed by the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Testing examined 41GD113 and 41GD114 to determine their potential eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and whether they warranted designation as State Archeological Landmarks (SAL) . The work was performed for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on July 24–August 2, 2002. Archeological testing was performed in relation to a proposed highway realignment to avoid the Noble Cemetery currently adjacent U.S. Highway 59. These investigations were conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 2899, with Dr. Raymond P. Mauldin serving as Principal Investigator. 41GD113 is a Late Archaic site that is a palimpsest deposit of multiple, probably short-term, occupations. Five backhoe trenches and seven 1-x-1-m test units were excavated on this site. Geoarcheological investigations identified the site as a floodplain setting subject to periodic, fine, low-energy deposition. No intact features were identified, although fire-cracked rock was present and is almost certainly derived from cultural thermal use. A single late stage biface fragment, three flake tools, one core, and a relatively small debitage assemblage (n=866) was recovered. Most of these lithics came from two excavation units within intact deposits and another from a highly disturbed context. No diagnostic artifacts were encountered. The few faunal remains recovered cannot be unambiguously associated with past human activity. The portion of 41GD114 within the TxDOT right-of-way was extensively mechanically disturbed prior to these testing efforts. Three backhoe trenches and two 1-x-1-m test units were excavated on this site. Soils in the test units were shallow and encountered bedrock or gravel deposits at approximately 60 cm below surface. No tools or diagnostic artifacts were recovered and only 65 pieces of debitage were collected from controlled excavations. Subsequent to laboratory analyses, natural gravels, gastropods, and mussel shell remains from 41GD113 were discarded. All of the magnetic susceptibility samples from 41GD113 and 41GD114 were discarded following analysis. The entire assemblage from 41GD114 also was disposed of after analyses and will not be curated. All discarded materials were disposed of following proper artifact disposal procedures with the pre-approval of TxDOT and the Texas Historical Commission. All other materials and samples from 41GD113 were curated at the CAR permanent curation facility. Following the field investigation and analyses by CAR, neither 41GD113 nor 41GD114 is considered to be eligible for nomination for NRHP listing nor warrant designation as a SAL. Based on this testing effort no additional archeological investigations are considered necessary and it is recommended that construction of the proposed highway bypass be allowed to proceed.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, Goliad County, excavations