Native American artifacts found at the Park

In March, 2011, a prescribed burn at the Park exposed Native American artifacts in an area that may be developed in the future. Thus, it became necessary to understand this site’s extent and significance – there are already three prehistoric sites within 1 km and two more within 3 km.

Efforts were made to define the boundaries of the new site; however, due to its size and the inevitable time constraints, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) created an arbitrary boundary that extended from the eastern Park boundary to Jamaica Beach, on the west side of the Park. This boundary served to protect the site until time and funding became available to complete the boundary survey and determine site integrity at key locations.

In January, 2013, TPWD archeologists returned to the Park to complete the boundary survey. Unfortunately, they were rained out after only completing six shovel tests (STs), though three of the six provided ceramic sherds. (Note: STs are holes dug in order to perform a rapid archeological survey)

In June, 2013, Ruth Mathews of TPWD was back on-site, assisted by volunteers from Houston Archeological Society and Brazosport Archeological Society. 16 STs, none of which provided cultural material, helped to better define the site boundary.

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In addition, the team completed two deeper STs in an area that includes large mammal burrows. Native American ceramic artifacts had been found at the lip of each burrow following the prescribed burn in 2011.

Each of the deeper STs was performed in layers. In the first ST, layers one – four provided artifacts; layer five was sterile. In the second ST, artifacts were not found until layer four. In both cases, work was terminated due to time constraints and limited personnel.

In conclusion, TPWD has recommended that investigations should continue in the future.

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