656 research outputs found

    National Register Testing at 41BQ285, Bosque County, Texas: FM 56 Bridge Replacement at the North Bosque River

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    Prewitt and Associates, Inc., conducted archeological test excavations at 41BQ285 in June 2006 for the Texas Department of Transportation under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4102. Site 41BQ285, in southeastern Bosque County, was located during an archeological survey for the proposed replacement of the FM 56 bridge over the North Bosque River. It is a prehistoric campsite buried in a cumulic soil in the upper deposits of a late Holocene alluvial terrace. Mechanical excavations consisted of re-opening four backhoe trenches from the survey phase followed by hand excavation of six 1x1-m test units. This work identified three burned rock features and yielded a moderate amount of materials, including projectile points and bifaces, pottery sherds, unmodified debitage, vertebrate faunal remains, and freshwater mussel shells. Diagnostic artifacts and five radiocarbon ages indicate that the site has a lower but rather ephemeral Late Archaic component and an upper and more substantial Late Prehistoric component. The Late Prehistoric component yielded Perdiz arrow points and ceramics, and it is radiocarbon dated to between a.d. 1280 and 1650. The evidence suggests a series of relatively short occupations and a focus on the use of local resources. Site activities included late-stage biface reduction and bifacial tool production, tool resharpening, and the exploitation and intensive processing of deer. Foodstuffs were processed and prepared using bifacial tools, ground and battered stone tools, rock-lined cooking basins, and small ceramic jars and bowls. The Late Prehistoric component is Toyah-like in many ways, but the small sample size and nature of the materials preclude assigning it a specific sociocultural group or archeological phase. Of particular interest are the five pottery sherds—two plain, two fingernail punctate, and one engraved sherd from a carinated bowl with a Caddo-like design. Geochemical analysis indicates that none of the pottery, including the engraved bowl sherd, matches any Caddo-made pottery from East Texas. The fact that a Caddo vessel form and decorative style appears on pottery that was probably made in or near Bosque County is interesting and adds a new dynamic to our understanding of the Toyah phenomenon in central Texas. The portion of site 41BQ285 within FM 56 is considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or for designation as a State Archeological Landmark (SAL). However, current investigations already recovered most of the Late Prehistoric component within the spatially limited project area, and additional investigations inside the highway right of way cannot reasonably be expected to contribute any more significant archeological information. Therefore, no further fieldwork is recommended, and construction should be allowed to proceed

    Val Verde on the Sunny Rio Grande Geoarcheological and Historical Investigations at San Felipe Springs, Val Verde County, Texas

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    In the fall of 1997, Prewitt and Associates, Inc. conducted archival and oral history research, an archeological survey, and National Register testing of a prehistoric site in the vicinity of the San Felipe Springs in southeastern Val Verde County, Texas. The work was done in preparation for construction of a water treatment plant and related facilities for the City of Del Rio. The survey resulted in the recording of one historic site (41VV1820) and further documentation of historic and prehistoric components at a previously known site, 41VV444. The latter site also was the focus of intensive geoarcheological investigations. National Register testing of 41VV444, called the San Felipe Springs site, was restricted to portions of the alluvial terraces of San Felipe Creek near the East and West San Felipe Springs. A 40-m\u27 block excavation near the East Springs revealed three stratified prehistoric components in the upper ca. 100 m of alluvium. These sediments represent continual deposition over the last 3,000-4,000 years, and archeological materials denoting Late Prehistoric, Protohistoric, Late Archaic, and Middle Archaic occupations were recovered. The upper component post-dates A.D. 1300 and produced plain bone-tempered potsherds, ClifIton and Perdiz arrow points, and steeply beveled scrapers. This component represents a Toyah phase occupation on the western periphery of the Toyah culture area, but it shares many attributes with Protohistoric Infierno phase occupations of the Lower Pecos. The middle component is characterized by Shumla dart points and three pit features originating near the base of a dense burned rock layer. It represents utilization of the area during the Flanders Subperiod of the Late Archaic. Although recovered from many sites (particularly rockshelters), the chronology of Shumla points is not well established in the region. Radiocarbon assays place the age of the San Felipe Springs Shumla component at ca. 800-200 B.C. Geomorphic evidence suggests that a major flood episode (or episodes) occurred along San Felipe Creek between ca. 1300 and 800 B.C. This gravelly deposit separates the middle component from the lower component and is indicative of a high volume flood event, possibly similar to the August 1998 flooding along San Felipe Creek resulting from Hurricane Charley. Underlying this zone is a discrete Middle Archaic occupation containing a dense burned rock layer and an internal pit feature. Radiocarbon dates, along with associated Bulverde and Langtry variant dart points, correlate to the San Felipe Subperiod. Also associated with this occupation is a small concentration of artifacts representing a dump or cache of usable lithic materials. Historic components at 41VV1820 and 41VV444 contain structures related to the City of Del Rio\u27s water pumping and distribution system. These resources, particularly the East Springs pump house and pond enclosure at 41VV444, are historically significant; however, they will be removed during construction of new water pumping facilities. Site 41VV444 encompasses most of what is now the San Felipe Country Club golfcourse. Built by Texas\u27 first golfcourse architect, John Bredemus, in 1922, the San Felipe course is now recognized as an important historic landscape

    Microarchitecture, but Not Bone Mechanical Properties, Is Rescued with Growth Hormone Treatment in a Mouse Model of Growth Hormone Deficiency

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    Growth hormone (GH) deficiency is related to an increased fracture risk although it is not clear if this is due to compromised bone quality or a small bone size. We investigated the relationship between bone macrostructure, microarchitecture and mechanical properties in a GH-deficient (GHD) mouse model undergoing GH treatment commencing at an early (prepubertal) or late (postpubertal) time point. Microcomputed tomography images of the femur and L4 vertebra were obtained to quantify macrostructure and vertebral trabecular microarchitecture, and mechanical properties were determined using finite element analyses. In the GHD animals, bone macrostructure was 25 to 43% smaller as compared to the GH-sufficient (GHS) controls (P < 0.001). GHD animals had 20% and 19% reductions in bone volume ratio (BV/TV) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), respectively. Whole bone mechanical properties of the GHD mice were lower at the femur and vertebra (67% and 45% resp.) than the GHS controls (P < 0.001). Both early and late GH treatment partially recovered the bone macrostructure (15 to 32 % smaller than GHS controls) and the whole bone mechanical properties (24 to 43% larger than GHD animals) although there remained a sustained 27–52% net deficit compared to normal mice (P < 0.05). Importantly, early treatment with GH led to a recovery of BV/TV and Tb.Th with a concomitant improvement of trabecular mechanical properties. Therefore, the results suggest that GH treatment should start early, and that measurements of microarchitecture should be considered in the management of GHD

    Bioarchaeological Investigations of Nineteenth-Century African American Burials at the Pioneer Cemetery (41BO202) in Brazoria, Texas

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    A search for unmarked graves in the state-owned right of way and underneath the pavement of State Highway 332 resulted in the discovery and archeological excavation of 11 unmarked graves associated with Pioneer Cemetery, an African American burial ground in Brazoria, Texas. Prewitt and Associates, Inc., conducted the fieldwork for the Texas Department of Transportation’s Archeological Studies Program. Between 2008 and 2012, the 11 unmarked graves were discovered, exhumed, analyzed, and then reinterred in Pioneer Cemetery in September 2012. This report describes the bioarcheological investigations of those burials along with 3 other unmarked burials that were previously exhumed and reburied in 2003. The mortuary remains, especially the manufacturing dates on the coffin hardware, indicate that the 14 exhumed burials date to the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth centuries. Based on the osteological evidence, the deceased persons were 5 women, 2 men, 2 indeterminate adults, and 5 children. Seven of the 14 individuals display skeletal traits indicating that they are of African descent, but 2 indeterminate adults and 5 children do not. Based on historical evidence, it is likely that all 14 individuals were African Americans, and several of the older individuals may have been born into slavery. These 14 burials do not constitute a representative sample of the African Americans in Brazoria County or the town of Brazoria, but they are an interesting and historically significant burial population nonetheless. The overall health status of these people was generally good, with no evidence of abnormally high pathologies. However, skeletal remains of several older individuals exhibited evidence of various forms of degenerative joint disease indicative of lives spent doing hard labor. One adult male had an amputated leg and an iron and wooden prosthesis; it is not known if the loss of his leg was due to violence, accidental trauma, or disease. Several of the Pioneer burials exhibit traits that may represent mortuary behaviors of African origin. Three individuals had vaulted burials, with the casket or coffin located inside a shaft under a protective wooden arch. One adult female was buried with a complete whiteware saucer and a bird talon that was partially wrapped in gold plating and may have been worn as a necklace

    Testing And Data Recovery Excavations At 41CV286, Coryell County, Texas

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    In 2008–2009, Prewitt and Associates, Inc., performed testing and data recovery excavations at prehistoric site 41CV286 in Coryell County for the Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Affairs Division, under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4955. The investigations were prompted by the planned replacement of the County Road 314 bridge over Station Creek (CSJ No. 0909-39-117) just upstream from where it flows into the Leon River and were done in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Antiquities Code of Texas. The work consisted of a ground-penetrating radar survey and excavation of 12 backhoe trenches, 14 test units, and 28 m2 in block units; manual excavations totaled 17.3 m3 . Combined, the testing and data recovery identified eight cultural features interpreted as remnants of four earth ovens, a hearth with associated discard pile, two incipient burned rock middens, and a rock discard pile. The excavations recovered 3 arrow points, 29 dart points, 46 nonprojectile bifaces and fragments, 14 unifaces and modified flake tools, 25 utilized flakes with no retouch modification, 3 cores, 13,923 pieces of debitage, 1,179 pieces of microdebitage from flotation samples, 7 battered or ground stone tools, 2,112 animal bones, 1 modified bone, 2,200 mussel shells, and 2 modified shells. Documented but not collected from both feature and nonfeature contexts were 730 kg of burned rocks. Five analytical units are defined for the site, with most of the cultural materials reflecting repeated use during the Late Archaic period as a campsite at which processing of plant foods using thermal rock features played a prominent role in site activities, along with processing of game and mussels and production and repair of stone tools. The artifacts recovered and records generated by the project are curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin

    Electromagnetic Momentum in Dispersive Dielectric Media

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    When the effects of dispersion are included, neither the Abraham nor the Minkowski expression for electromagnetic momentum in a dielectric medium gives the correct recoil momentum for absorbers or emitters of radiation. The total momentum density associated with a field in a dielectric medium has three contributions: (i) the Abraham momentum density of the field, (ii) the momentum density associated with the Abraham force, and (iii) a momentum density arising from the dispersive part of the response of the medium to the field, the latter having a form evidently first derived by D.F. Nelson [Phys. Rev. A 44, 3985 (1991)]. All three contributions are required for momentum conservation in the recoil of an absorber or emitter in a dielectric medium. We consider the momentum exchanged and the force on a polarizable particle (e.g., an atom or a small dielectric sphere) in a host dielectric when a pulse of light is incident upon it, including the dispersion of the dielectric medium as well as a dispersive component in the response of the particle to the field. The force can be greatly increased in slow-light dielectric media.Comment: 9 pages. To be published by Optics Communication

    Data Recovery Investigations at the Tank Destroyer Site (41CV1378) at Fort Hood, Coryell County, Texas

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    Data recovery investigations at the Tank Destroyer site (41CV1378) were conducted in August 2007 for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This work was required because of potential impacts to the site from TxDOT’s planned improvements of Tank Destroyer Boulevard and State Highway 9. The investigations focused on a burned rock mound (Feature 1), one-half of which has been destroyed by an adjacent tank trail. The mound contained two internal features: an off-centered earth oven and a small cluster of Rabdotus sp. shells. With the exception of the location of its earth oven, the mound at the Tank Destroyer is typical of a classic central Texas domed mound, though slightly flattened by postdepositional processes. In all, an area of 30.5 m2 and volume of 11.8 m3 of cultural deposits were hand excavated, and an additional ca. 17.3 m2 was mechanically stripped. The mound excavations yielded 5,570.5 kg of burned rocks. Artifacts recovered from mound and nonmound contexts consist of 129 chipped stone tools, 9 cores and core fragments, 4,466 pieces of unmodified debitage, 1 ground stone tool, 2 unmodified bone fragments, 1,415 Rabdotus sp. shells, and 40 historic artifacts. In addition, 413 pieces of microdebitage and 251 Rabdotus sp. shells were recovered from flotation and soil column samples taken from the mound. There was virtually no preservation of vertebrate faunal remains and poor preservation of botanical remains. No economic plants (i.e., food resources) were recovered despite the collection and processing of flotation samples. Sixteen radiocarbon assays on charred wood and Rabdotus sp. shells date the site occupation to 1500 b.c. through a.d. 1650. The date range for the diagnostic projectile points recovered from the site (200 b.c. to a.d. 1200) fits nicely within the range of radiocarbon dates. As a group, the radiocarbon dates and the projectile points suggest that the most intensive period of site use occurred intermittently between 1000 b.c. and a.d. 1200. Like most burned rock mounds, the mound at the Tank Destroyer site consisted of a jumbled mass of burned rocks that episodically accreted around an earth oven. These processes and repeated use over centuries limit our ability to recognize distinct components for analysis. Given these limitations, our analysis took a different approach. While it includes traditional analyses of the lithic, burned rock, and snail assemblages, it also examines social identity during the Late Archaic period in central Texas and the relationships between burned rock mounds and middens and environmental variables through a landscape analysis

    Relocation of the Salvador Camarena Burial: Historical and Bioarcheological Investigations of a Mexican Migrant Worker Grave (41MV372) in Maverick County, Texas

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    F rom 2011 through 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation collaborated with Prewitt and Associates, Inc., to investigate an isolated grave in a remote area alongside FM 481 in Maverick County, Texas. An initial archeological investigation confirmed that the location was a historic grave, and archival records revealed that it contained the remains of Salvador Camarena, a Mexican citizen who died in Texas in January 1950. Additional research identified Camarena’s son and other family members living in Mexico, California, and Texas. With the family’s permission, the burial remains were exhumed, examined, and reinterred at La Marque Cemetery in Galveston County, Texas, where Camarena’s mother and two sisters are buried. The bioarcheological analysis of the skeletal remains corroborates the historical information. Together, the bioarcheological and historical data provide a rare glimpse into the life and death of a migrant laborer. The burial of one immigrant worker may seem insignificant. However, the Camarena case represents a sad but common theme in the history of migrant labor. Like many before him and even more since, Camarena probably died in a foreign country seeking a means to support his family when traveling to seasonal agricultural work

    Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge: Continued Archeological and Historical Research at El Capote Ranch Community, Hidalgo County, Texas

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    Phase II cultural resources investigations for the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge currently under construction in Hidalgo County, Texas, were conducted by Prewitt and Associates, Inc. in September 1993 and June 1994. The work included additional survey and documentation of seven historic sites, testing and evaluation of three sites, archival and oral history research on the former Hispanic community of EI Capote, and collection of additional geoarcheological data. The seven historic sites (4IHG162-41HG168) represent former nineteenth- and twentieth-century housesites within EI Capote. Due to a lack of integrity, it is recommended that all seven sites be considered ineligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Three other probable historic sites (Garza Ranch No.2, a segment of the Old Military Road, and the de la Viila Ranch) are located outside the area of potential effects. These were not recorded, but their locations are noted. Also outside the area of potential effects, a historic housesite (4IHG 169) contains the only known standing dwelling associated with nineteenth-century EI Capote. Mechanical and hand excavations of the historic components at 41HG153 and 41HG158 revealed severe disturbances and lack of intact features. It is recommended that these site~ be considered ineligible for listing on the National Register. Surface and subsurface search for additional evidence of prehistoric occupations at 41HG153 yielded one artifact. It is recommended that the prehistoric component at 41HG153 also be considered ineligible for listing on the National Register. Mapping and recording of features at a historic brick factory confirmed the site\u27s high archeological integrity. Site 41HG156 is the only Ranching Period brick kiln known in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. It is recommended that it be considered eligible for listing on·the National Register