CREVICE INTERMENTS DECONSTRUCTED

Volume 2 (2015) – Article 1

CREVICE INTERMENTS DECONSTRUCTED

By: Stephen L. Black, M. Katherine Spradley, and Michelle D. Hamilton

ABSTRACT
The discovery of two well-preserved human crania in a crevice overlooking a spring-fed creek near Austin, Texas, led to medico-legal, archeological, and bioanthropological investigations aimed at understanding the context and biological affinity of the crania. Archeological excavations uncovered no evidence that the crania were interred in the crevice during prehistoric times. Skeletal analysis showed they were of Native American ancestry. Radiocarbon dating indicated they are contemporary to one another and probably date to the seventh or eighth century A.D. Measured stable isotopic rations of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N) derived from human bone collagen samples from the crania are not consistent with other burial populations from the region, having higher nitrogen values than all other comparative samples. The crania also showed polish from repeated handling and several of the molars in one cranium had been glued in place. Taken together, these lines of evidence suggest the crania were removed from an unknown locality outside the Central Texas region, kept in a private collection, and placed in the crevice recently.

Complete Vol 1 (2014)

Complete Volume 1 – 2014 .pdf

Front Matter for Volume 1 – 2014 (Publishers Note: the “Front Matters” contain the front cover, inside cover, table of contents, forward from publisher and list of authors.)

 

FOREWORD TO VOLUME 1 (2014): PUBLISHER’S REFLECTIONS

Every journey begins with a first step. The seed thought for this Journal germinated during lunch at the Bob Bullock State History Museum barely a year ago. From that late November discussion with Tim Perttula, we have traveled much farther and faster than ever imagined. The rough concept we outlined that day has grown and matured rapidly. Today, we are putting the polishing touches on the premier volume and readying it for publication.

As I pen these thoughts, it is a time to give thanks and reflect on one’s blessings for the year past. The Journal of Texas Archeology and History could not have been possible without the generous participation of many individuals who believe in our mission and purpose. Chief among these is our editor-in-chief, Tim Perttula, who has invested a great deal of his time to ensure the quality and accuracy of the Journal’s content. Supporting Tim is our outstanding editorial board, Steve Black, Chris Lintz, Robert Z. Selden Jr., Frank de la Teja, Juliana Barr, and Todd Smith. These individuals have provided expert editorial review services to make sure the peer review process has been solid and seamless. Several subject matter experts also stepped up to add their expertise to the review process. It is important to note for posterity that everyone involved with this effort contributed freely and cheerfully their time and efforts to support this publication, indicating their commitment and enthusiasm to the goals of this Journal: free, open access to digital publication of archeological and historical research of the region.

Ranking highest on my list on this day of thanksgiving are the authors who trusted us with the fruits of their labor at an untested, unproven new publication. Researchers and writers pour their blood, sweat, and tears into their works. It is no small thing that they entrusted us with its safekeeping. So, to the 11 courageous authors of Volume 1, I salute you!

Finally, looking toward the future, we have already begun to assemble content for Volume 2. Based on early indications, we will build on the success and quality of the premier volume in size, breadth of coverage and concept of content. Beyond that, the Journal of Texas Archeolog y and History has broad plans to publish several “Special Publications” of important themed materials from multiple research groups and may offer Spanish and French versions as well. We hope to strengthen our ties with researchers and writers in the surrounding states and northern Mexico. 2015 will be an interesting and busy year at the Journal of Texas Archeology and History!

Journal of Texas Archeology and History

Steve Davis, Publisher

Thanksgiving Day, 2014

ARCHIVAL RESEARCH OF THE HISTORY OF THE FRANCISCO FLORES RANCH

Volume 1 (2014) – Article 6

ARCHIVAL RESEARCH OF THE HISTORY OF THE FRANCISCO FLORES RANCH

By: Adriana Muñoz Ziga

ABSTRACT
The Francisco Flores Ranch, located northwest of Floresville, Texas, encompassed five sitios of land and one labor on the west bank of the San Antonio River at the paraje known as Chayopines. The Flores Ranch is one of the last surviving privately owned colonial ranches that have been identified in the San Antonio River valley containing standing structures possibly dating to the original date of occupation. I outline previous research on the property and offer new interpretations on the farm and ranch complex.

A Precise Chronology of Middle to Late Holocene Bison Exploitation in the Far Southern Great Plains

Volume 1 (2014) – Article 5

A Precise Chronology of Middle to Late Holocene Bison Exploitation in the Far Southern Great Plains

By: Jon C. Lohse, Brendan J. Culleton, Stephen L. Black, and Douglas J. Kennett

ABSTRACT
In regions on the margins of the Great Plains grasslands, documenting the intermittent history of bison exploitation has presented challenges to archeologists. Chronologies based on archeological associations have long been useful in regional research, but can be imprecise and of inadequate resolution for constructing precise sequences of prehistoric events. Here, we present a record of directly dated bison from archeological contexts spanning the last 6000 years on the very southern extent of the Great Plains. This study includes 61 specimens from archeological contexts that were dated by XAD purified AMS radiocarbon, with reported errors of only 15-20 14 C years for most dates. The resulting record of bison exploitation for this area defines four main periods (Calf Creek, Late Archaic 1 and 2, and early Toyah) during which bison were exploited. Several dates also indicate an early historic presence of bison; this period may represent a late facet of the Toyah horizon. This study adds significant chronological resolution to the regional record of bison in parts of Texas and begins to help correlate cultural chronologies with important climatic data. It also points to the research value of obtaining additional directly dated bison samples from temporally and geographically diverse archeological contexts in our study area and beyond.

Deflation Troughs, Water, and Prehistoric Occupation on the Margins of the South Texas Sand Sheet

Volume 1 (2014) – Article 4

Deflation Troughs, Water, and Prehistoric Occupation on the Margins of the South Texas Sand Sheet

By: Juan L. González, Russell K . Skowronek, and Bobbie L. Lovett

ABSTRACT
Within the South Texas Plains, the area broadly defined by the Rio Grande to the south and the Nueces River to the north, a distance of ca. 175 km, evidence of open human occupation is remarkably abundant. Because it is predominantly a region of loose, sandy soils and active and relict sand dunes where wind processes dominate, the area is known as the South Texas Sand Sheet (STSS). There is no running water within the STSS and all streams are ephemeral. Existing drainage systems are small, localized, and not integrated, carrying water for a few days and up to two weeks after the passage of a storm. The lack of running water makes human occupation on this semi-arid area even more remarkable. The STSS and the adjacent wind deflated areas have hundreds of small and shallow elongated deflation troughs. Most of these poorly drained swales retain seasonal fresh water that sustain high moisture plants and are ephemeral wetlands; a small percentage of them hold water year round. As a result, the long history of human occupation of the STSS was possible due to the presence of the deflation troughs. This study explores the connection between human occupation of the STSS and deflation troughs at four previously unreported archeological sites in northern Hidalgo County using a combination of intensive archeological and geological survey, oral history, GIS technology, and existing soil maps.

Evidence for a Long-Distance Trade in Bois d’Arc Bows in 16 th Century Texas ( Maclura pomifera , Moraceae)

Volume 1 (2014) – Article 3

Evidence for a Long-Distance Trade in Bois d’Arc Bows in 16 th Century Texas ( Maclura pomifera , Moraceae)

By: Leslie L. Bush

ABSTRACT
A piece of wood charcoal identified as bois d’arc (Maclura pomifera) was recovered from the Janee site (41MN33) in Menard County, Texas. The specimen has been directly dated to 400 ± 30 B.P., a period when no naturally-occurring bois d’arc stands are believed to have been present within 400 miles of the site. Bois d’arc ecology, economic uses of bois d’arc wood, and historical accounts of bois d’arc trade indicate the specimen is best interpreted as part of a trade item related to Caddo bow-making traditions in Northeast Texas and adjacent areas of other states.

Copyright 2015. Journal of Texas Archeology and History. All rights reserved. ISSN 2334-1874