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2021 Annual Meeting Papers and Posters

Papers are arranged by the last name of the lead author. Poster information is listed in the table below.


DesHotels, Anna

The 2021 TTU Archaeological Field School: Excavations at Mission San Jose (41BX3), San Antonio, TX.

Eight architectural features in the mission plaza at Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo in San Antonio were investigated during Texas Tech’s 2021 Summer Archaeological Field School. Little to no information was available for the partial capped ruins that dot the mission’s compound and to date these features have not been fully interpreted. Archaeological investigations provide one avenue of research that can potentially shed light on the purpose of the ruins and possibly identify their dates of  construction. Despite encountering mixed deposits throughout most of our test units, important information about the construction and building sequence was recovered. This paper will outline the goals of the excavations and summarize our findings.

Session

Saturday, October 23rd, 3:20 - 4:50 pm


Dylla, Emily Ph.D. and Rebecca Shelton

Women in Texas Archeology: Current Realities and Looking Forward

Featuring: Vicky Roberts, Sarah Wigley, Victoria Pagano, Nadya Prociuk, Lindsay Vermillion

This panel continues a series of discussions with and about women archeologists in Texas. It highlights the voices and perspectives of women who are early- to mid-career in a variety of archeological career paths. Taking an intersectional and inclusive approach, we will address why more women appear to be choosing archeology as a career path in Texas, identify and discuss a series of issues pertaining to women in Texas archeology, and brainstorm constructive, actionable items and best practices for future success. Our purpose is to amplify dialogue about these and related issues and to encourage Texas archeology to continue to become a more diverse and accepting space for those who have historically been marginalized from the discipline. 

Panel

Saturday, October 23rd, 8:00 - 10:30 am



Farley, Terry

Trade Items Discovered in an Archaic Site on the Guadalupe River

Initial excavation work by the Hill Country Archeological Association began at site 41KR754 in 2018 and continues to present. Numerous artifacts, not locally sourced, have been found in an archaic assemblage at a multi-component site located on the north branch of the Guadalupe River in western Kerr County. Trade items discovered in situ include obsidian sourced from Malad, Idaho, crystal quartz and vein quartz, hematite spheres, ochre, and Caddo pottery sherds have been found in situ. Projectile points from the archaic site span the middle archaic to late prehistoric Toyah periods. Faunal remains from the archaic site include Bison bison, turkey, canid, and deer. This report will review the significant artifacts representing each group, as well as possible areas where the materials were sourced.

Friday, October 22nd, 12:40 - 12:50 pm


J. Kevin Hanselka and Waldo Troell

The Bolivar Archeological Project: TxDOT Investigations and Community Outreach at the Sartin Hotel and Tom Cook Blacksmith Shop

In 2020–2021, the Texas Department of Transportation sponsored investigations of the Sartin Hotel (41DN593) and the Tom Cook Blacksmith Shop (41DN617), two late-nineteenth-century commercial businesses located in Bolivar, a small town along the Chisholm Trail route in western Denton County. The Sartin Hotel served cattlemen working the Chisolm Trail. The latter site is particularly significant because Thomas Cook was an African American freedman, a successful businessman, and a prominent member of the community. The project seeks to understand the role of successful black entrepreneurs like Tom Cook during and after the Chisholm Trail era. In this presentation we introduce the project and discovery of these sites. We discuss the test excavations and archival research that revealed their research potential and significance to the history of Bolivar, and ultimately led to the data recovery investigations and an extensive public outreach program. The project has also been a highly successful public archeology effort despite limitations amid the Covid 19 Pandemic, based on collaborations between TxDOT, Cox|McLain Environmental Consulting, the University of Texas Department of Anthropology, the North Texas Archeological Society, the Denton County Office of History and Culture, and local residents of Bolivar and Denton County, including Tom Cook’s direct descendants.

Session 

Saturday, October 23rd, 3:20 - 4:50 pm


Kimbell, Jenni

Geoarcheological Investigations at a Mossy Grove Site, 41HR366, along Little Cypress Creek in Houston, TX

Between November 2020 and April 2021, Terracon Consultants, Inc. conducted eligibility testing investigations at 41HR366, a site originally recorded as a Late Archaic/Woodland period site in 1978. Later investigations determined the site was eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places and as a State Antiquities Landmark. Harris County Flood Control District contracted Terracon to conduct additional testing to provide a better understanding of the deposits present at the site and their integrity in advance of proposed drainage improvements that will directly impact this site near the confluence of two creeks. This paper is intended to provide a preliminary report on the site investigation while research is ongoing. A combination of closely spaced shovel testing, backhoe trenching, and hand excavation of 1-x-1-meter units revealed several areas of prehistoric activity. Area 1 seems to include both Middle and Late Mossy Grove components with limited stratigraphic resolution. Diagnostic artifacts representing multiple stages in the transition from dart to arrow point technology were found in stratigraphic order, providing an opportunity for further research into this important period. Area 2 appears to comprise a preceramic early Mossy Grove component that may provide useful information about this poorly understood period. Elsewhere, near-surface Late Mossy Grove components are represented by shallow pits and ceramic clusters. The site appears to represent a loosely stratified, multi-component site; such sites are exceedingly rare in the greater Houston area of southeast Texas.

Session

Saturday, October 23rd, 1:10 - 3:10 pm


Lohse, Jon C.

A Series of Snapshots in Time: Recent Historic, Caddo, and Woodland Investigations at the Remarkable Site of 41AN162

Working under contract with TxDOT, Terracon Consultants, Inc. recently completed eligibility testing and data recovery excavations at 41AN162, a small multi-component site overlooking the Neches River in Anderson County, East Texas. Artifact analyses and geoarcheological reporting are underway, but preliminary results of fieldwork, radiocarbon dating, and archaeomagnetic analyses indicate that the site consists of three remarkably preserved and very short-term occupations that are minimally overprinted. The Woodland period component includes a burned rock feature shown by archaeomagnetic analyses to be virtually undisturbed since a very intense, single episode of use; this feature is AMS dated to a 30-year span of time. The Caddo component is thin and ephemeral but consists of several features that consistently date to the Middle Caddo period and that may reflect approximately one generation of human occupation. Archaeomagnetic studies of one burned rock feature provide evidence for how cooking features may have been used. A single Late Caddo feature indicates nearby residential occupation, and together these point to a shifting settlement pattern in the area leading up to better known Frankston Phase developments. A small house and associated yardscape was present by 1929 and likely occupied for a brief period by tenant farmers under arrangement with the Saunders Family.

Session

Saturday, October 23rd, 1:10 - 3:10 pm



McBride, Mike

Late Paleoindian Occupations at 41KR754, Kerr County, Texas: St. Mary's Hall Lithic Evidence

Excavations by the Hill Country Archeological Association at site 41KR754 have recovered over 20 specimens of St. Mary’s Hall (SMH) points and fragments. A Clear Fork Tool was also recovered in situ in the SMH layers. Additionally, 4 Angostura point bases have been recovered. This presentation will review the diagnostic lithic assemblage from the site, represented by Late Prehistoric arrow points, continuing through Late, Middle, and Early Archaic dart points, and finally, the Angostura and SMH points. As evidence of Paleoindian occupations, special focus will be on the SMH material. This includes morphology and manufacturing techniques of SMH points, demonstrating the unique “top-left/lower-right” parallel-oblique flaking pattern found in the majority of this site’s assemblage. This pattern is extremely rare in comparison to most other documented SMH points, which commonly show a “top-right/lower-left” pattern.

Session

Friday, October 22nd, 1:40 - 3:40 pm


Menaker, Alex

Archeology at the Sartin Hotel and Tom Cook Blacksmith Shop: 19th Century Life along the Chisholm Trail in Bolivar, Texas

This paper presents preliminary results of recent archeological and archival research at the late-19th-century Sartin Hotel (41DN593) and Tom Cook Blacksmith Shop (41DN617) in Bolivar, Texas as part of a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) road improvement project. Cox|McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc., in collaboration with TxDOT, the Department of Anthropology at UT-Austin, the North Texas Archeological Society, and the Denton County Office of History and Culture, conducted investigations of these sites in 2020–2021. This was a unique opportunity to learn about a rural community along the famous Chisholm Trail as well as the archeology of late-19th-century blacksmithing and hotel sites in Texas. Extensive hand and mechanical excavations revealed a range of features, including a stone building foundation, a stone-lined well, a rock-walled dugout, and hints of the former blacksmith shop. The work yielded approximately 30,000 artifacts associated with commercial, domestic, and blacksmithing activities. The smithy belonged to Tom Cook, an African American freedman, whose descendants still reside in nearby Denton and became active participants in the investigations. Not only does this project provide insights into the recent past, it also highlights the impacts that historical archeology can have in the present through community outreach and collaboration with the descendant community/stakeholders. 

Session

Saturday, October 23rd, 3:20 - 4:50 pm



Ringstaff, Chris

An Analysis of Lithic Artifacts from a Folsom-age Component in Eagle Cave, Val Verde County, Texas

From 2014-2017 the Ancient Southwest Texans Project (ASWT) of Texas State University conducted excavations at Eagle Cave (41VV167), Val Verde County, Texas. During these excavations, a discrete Paleoindian-age occupation was encountered with associated burned rock, chipped stone tools, debitage, and elements of Bison Antiquus. The occupation is designated Feature 14 and includes three sub-features Features 15, 19, and 22. Radiocarbon assays from this cultural component cluster between approximately 12, 500 and 12,600 Cal BP. This paper presents an overview of the recovered lithic assemblage and focuses on an artifact class often considered mundane: lithic debitage. During the examination of Feature 14 lithic debitage, several discrete reduction events were noted and segregated by their distinctive raw material composition into analytic nodules. The debitage analysis characterizes the number and type of lithic reduction activities represented, examines the variety of raw materials utilized, and identifies probable sources of those materials. The results of this analysis provide an understanding of lithic technological organization and insights into mobility, labor expenditure, duration of occupation, and stratigraphic integrity in this early component of Eagle Cave.

Session

Friday, October 22nd, 3:50 - 4:50 pm



Stoutamire, Steve

The Geoarcheology of 41KR754: A Late Paleoindian to Late Prehistoric Multicomponent Site, Kerr County, Texas

Geo-archeological investigations at 41KR754 were undertaken in August 2019 and reveal at least three separate river terrace deposits ranging in age from Early to Late Holocene. The site, located on terraces of the North Fork of the Guadalupe River in Western Kerr County, contains culturally rich deposits of Late Paleoindian through Late Prehistoric. Subsurface control consists of six groups of excavation units scattered over the approximate six-acre site, none of which penetrated bedrock. The deepest unit (2.5 meters below the main terrace surface) penetrates two (T1 and T2) of the three terrace deposits at the site. This unit reveals a stratigraphic column of fining upward sediments with clast supported river gravels at its base. Culture has been identified in the oldest (T2) deposits in a separate part of the site where low energy deposits of silt and clay predominate. Cultural items in these deposits consist of Late Paleoindian Saint Mary’s Hall and Late Paleoindian/Early Archaic Angostura dart points, as well as various flake tools and bone fragments. A calibrated date of 10248-10193 BP has been obtained from bison bone in association with the Saint Mary’s points. A typical Central Texas assemblage of Archaic to Late Prehistoric dart, arrow points and flake tools populate the T1 terrace deposits. No culture has, thus far, been found within deposits of the youngest (T0) terrace. Timing of terrace construction indicates that the oldest (T2) deposits were laid down during Early Holocene and possibly Late Pleistocene. Sometime during the Late Early Archaic, the river channel began movement Eastward and initiated down cutting. This eventually resulted in a modern channel bed that is 13-14 foot lower in elevation than the riverbed present at time of T2 deposition, and a channel axis that is 80-100 meters East of the axis during T2 deposition. The interpretations to date not only explain why the cultural materials excavated are where they should be, but also where there is potential for more cultural material to be recovered.

Session

Friday, October 22nd, 1:40 - 3:40 pm



Talley, Olivia

An inside look at the documentary about the Gault Project and Dr. Mike Collins

Filmmaker Olive Talley will show video clips and provide an update on the production of a feature-length film about Dr. Mike Collins and his leadership in saving the Gault Archaeological Site. Many members of the Texas Archaeological Society have played critical roles in the Gault project over the past three decades as staff and volunteers. The film will recognize the value of professionals and avocational archaeologists working together on these vital projects. The goal is to use Mike’s story as a narrative spine for exploring the challenges of preserving cultural resources like Gault and weave in scientific advances about the peopling of the Americas during this time frame. We hope to educate private landowners about the value of working with archaeologists to expand research that benefits humankind. Talley will answer any questions and ask viewers/ members to share examples of how they’ve managed to rally public support and create a sense of urgency for protecting cultural resources.

Friday, October 22 - 1 pm


Wakeland, R. G.

Cultural contexts in Casas Grandes and Jornada Mogollon polychrome ceramics, 1150-1475 C.E.

Shifting cultural definitions and boundaries since 1930 contributed to wrong attribution of culture to ceramics in museum collections. They were assigned to Mogollon culture, rather than correctly to Casas Grandes or Jornada Mogollon. Overlap, contradictions, boundary disputes, and ambivalence within the literature impacted clarity. Further, not until 1997 did archaeologists commence to define the end of Mogollon culture. At that time, most museums had completed accessioning, cataloging, and indexing these artifacts. Villa Ahumada polychrome and El Paso polychrome illustrated such catalog errors. In addition, both culture of manufacture and culture of use designations arose as preferable database field structures to accommodate trade ware. Online searches, public records requests, and resulting photos and catalog data from the Museum of New Mexico, Arizona State Museum, and the University of Colorado Boulder Museum of Natural History supplied sources.

Session

Friday, October 22nd, 3:50 - 4:50 pm



Walter, Richard

Preliminary Results of a Case Study of a Lunate Stone Burial from the Lane Site (41GR58), Garza County, Texas and Comparisons with other Lunate Stone Burials in the Southern High Plains and Adjacent Regions, Texas and Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Lunate stones are semi-elliptic-shaped ground and polished objects commonly made of greenstone and a lesser number made of other type rocks. These objects often exhibit a series of notches along the crest. There are both similarities and differences in workmanship, morphometrics, and raw material types in relation with contexts. Based on their association with corner- and side-notched dart points, lunate stones are thought to be affiliated with the Late Archaic period. Recent discoveries of lunate stone findings extend their distribution as far south as the Pecos River Valley adjacent to the western periphery of the Stockton Plateau and as far west as the Davis Mountains. An AMS radiocarbon date of heated bone collagen from the lunate stone burial at the Lane site produced an unexpected date of ca. 729 – 668 BP (AD 1221 –1282). The results of XRF and LA-ICP-MS analyses of the lunate stone from this burial indicate that nepheline syenite was selected to fashion the lunate stone and strongly suggests a south-central Arkansas origin. These results and other findings from FTIR, stable isotope, and osteological analyses are discussed as well as comments concerning the social dynamics of bison-oriented groups using a combination of collector and foraging subsistence strategy. Evidence from differentiation of the energy invested in construction of burial pits and mortuary offerings suggests the evolution of simple to more complex hunter and gatherer society and participation with the Southern Mississippi Valley Interaction Sphere during the Late Holocene.

Session

Saturday, October 23rd, 1:10 - 3:10 pm


Wilson, Francois

A Succession of Paleoindian Cooking Hearths in West Kerr County, Texas

Excavations at 41KR754 in West Kerr County have revealed a cluster of fire cracked limestone cooking hearths within river terrace deposits of Early Holocene age. Based on the literature and personal communication with Dr. Charles Frederick, we believe these cooking hearths may be among the earliest recorded in Texas. Following the discovery of a Late Paleoindian component at the site in July 2019, an excavation area of 17m 2 has yielded this ancient hearth cluster and a total of 23 Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) points and point fragments, as well as Angostura points, flake and core tools, and mammal bone fragments in association with the SMH lithics. Carbon dating of selected fragments of the larger mammal bone, most likely bison, has yielded a date between 10248-10193 cal yr BP. This would suggest that the large mammal bone is from Bison antiquus or Bison occidentalis. The hearth cluster appears to be the disturbed remains of at least three separate hearths within a vertical sequence of 90 centimeters. Based on the condition of the fire cracked rock the hearths were likely single or double use cooking facilities. While attempts at dating both charcoal and small mammal bone fragments from the hearth cluster have provided no results due to poor specimen condition, additional attempts at obtaining good calibrated dates are forthcoming, as continued, deeper excavations yield additional fire cracked rock, charcoal, tools, and bone.

Session

Friday, October 22nd, 1:40 - 3:40 pm



Posters

 Author  Co-Author(s)  Title  Abstract  Schedule
Dozier, Crystal A. Bryan Haley Remote Sensing at the Boxed Springs Site (41UR30) The Boxed Springs Site (41UR30) is a critically understudied Early Caddo mound site off the Sabine River in Uphsur County, Texas. Mound structures that had been visible in the early 20th century are no longer recognizable at surface level, due to avocational, looting, and modern construction activities. To better understand site organization, possible mound structures, and occupational areas, Wichita State University contracted with Coastal Environments to conduct magnetometry and ground penetrating radar investigations on the eastern half of the site. This poster relates the results of geophysical investigation, highlighting areas of high potential for buried domestic and ritual features. Saturday, October 24th, 8:00 - 8:25 am
McBride, Mike   Chert Heat Treatment: A Singular Example from an Archaic Period Hearth In March, 2019, members of the Hill Country Archeological Association (HCAA) performed pedestrian surveys and salvage excavations at 41GL498 in central Gillespie County, Texas. The excavations centered on several backhoe trenches dug by the landowner, one of which struck apparent subsurface fire cracked rock (FCR). Controlled excavations of this trench defined a well-organized in-situ hearth feature with minimal disturbance at ~57-75cm depth. Further controlled disassembling of the individual hearth stones produced an expected charcoal layer immediately under the stone layers, as well as an unexpected, partially bifaced, piece of tabular Edwards chert under the FCR layers. The decorticated face of the chert piece showed heat patina, and further examination showed evidence of successful heat alteration. As a temporal anchor, a well-made Nolan Point was recovered approximately 10cm under the feature and chert piece. This report, although a singular example, seeks to add data to the heretofore seemly poorly reported in-situ examples of chert heat treating. Saturday, October 24th, 8:30 - 8:55 am
McCuistion, Emily Steve Black and Susan Dial 20 Years and Counting: Texas Beyond History TexasBeyondHistory.net (TBH), the award-wining public education service of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, has notched two decades! The Virtual Museum of Texas’ Cultural Heritage first went live in October 2001 with 20 online exhibits plus content aimed at schoolchildren and teachers. TBH now has 80+ exhibits, much more K-12 content and curricula, and many other features highlighting Texas’ diverse archaeological and historical record. As our 20 th Anniversary Year unfolds, TBH is entering an exciting new phase of growth. Here we graphically review our two-decade history, introduce new and soon-to-be-live web content, and call on Texas archeologists and our partner organizations to help us reinvigorate Texas Beyond History as it moves into its third decade! Saturday, October 24th, 9:00 - 9:25 am
Robbins, Christine R. Linda Dixon, Gabriel Field, and Mark Robbins Community Archaeology and Historic Preservation at Rancho Colorado, a South Texas Farm Labor Cemetery This poster presents the ongoing efforts to research and preserve an endangered Hispanic farm labor historic cemetery located in rural Nueces County in South Texas. Once, many such Hispanic farm labor cemeteries could be found on the edges of private farms and ranches throughout South Texas, but today they are understudied and underpreserved. Founded in the 1910s as a burial ground for the Hispanic families who lived and worked on farms around Petronila, Texas, the Rancho Colorado Cemetery lies today in a fragile state of preservation. Members of the Nueces County Historical Commission and faculty and students from Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Del Mar College have been collaborating since 2011 to stabilize the site by clearing overgrown brush, re-discovering and documenting burial information, and securing grave markers. While county records document the presence of eight internments at the site, the number of grave markers still present tells a much different story. Endeavoring to build a more complete picture of the names and numbers of individuals buried at the site, the project directors began an oral history project to locate and interview descendants. This poster presents some of the knowledge which has resulted from the intersections of archaeology and oral history, including the pinpointing of auxiliary sites and communities. It incorporates information derived from artifact analysis and GIS applications at the site, including analysis of space and landscape. As a collaborative poster created by faculty and student authors, it interweaves a discussion of the ways in which this research has created a context through which many student participants have reflected on their own cultural heritage and the significance of community archaeology for our region. Saturday, October 24th, 9:30 - 9:55 am
Selden, Robert Z. Michael J. Shott and Morgane Dubied Processing Matters: 3D Mesh Morphology Substantive advancements have been made toward automating the application of landmarks and semi landmarks. These approaches can aid in expediting the landmarking process, while simultaneously reducing landmarking errors and investigator bias. This study enlists a template-based approach to quantify deviations in mesh processing outputs using a Pontchartrain dart point from the collections of the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, which was scanned and processed at multiple resolutions using microCT and laser scanners. Following data collection and output, meshes were processed using an automated and replicable workflow. A batch processing protocol was developed in Geomagic Design X and Control X to facilitate exploratory comparisons of the processed meshes, which indicated that the greatest changes to the meshes occurred along the lateral margins of the dart point. Results of the geometric morphometric study evince implications for processed meshes curated in digital repositories. Investigators that endeavor to incorporate curated meshes should begin with the unprocessed data, enlist uniform processing protocols across the sample, and comprehend the many vagaries of 3D data collection and processing across different modalities. Saturday, October 24th, 10:00 - 10:25 am
Williams, Declan Ashley Lemke Texas Students Conduct Underwater Archaeology in Lake Huron The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) conducted an archaeological field school in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron, Michigan in the summer of 2021. This poster will present the various activities undergraduate students learned as well as highlight the experience of students who participated in archaeological fieldwork for the first time. The cold, fresh waters of the Great Lakes are ideal for archaeological preservation and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects over 200 historical shipwrecks as well as evidence of much older submerged archaeological sites, dating to the early Holocene. UTA students participated in remote operated vehicle construction and piloting, designed side scan sonar surveys, and mapped a historical shipwreck using standard terrestrial methods, e.g. a total data station, and photogrammetry. Saturday, October 24th, 10:30 - 10:55 am
Yelacic, David  

TAS Academy Program: 2021 Academy Season

With two-thirds of the 2020 TAS Academy offerings hastily abandoned at the onset of the pandemic, the Academy Committee decided to offer the 2021 Academy as a series of mostly virtual workshops. The 2021 offerings included: Ceramics Academy, Archeology 101 (with in-person field component at San Felipe de Austin), and Paleobotany Academy. While in-person instruction and interaction was missed, the virtual workshops were an overall success. Moving forward to the 2022 offerings, the Academy Committee is planning to return to in-person instruction with Lithics Academy at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory and the much-anticipated Geoarchaeology 201 Academy in Victoria County. Saturday, October 24th, 11:00 - 11:25 am


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