Archeological Investigations at the Kitchen Branch (41CP220), B. J. Horton (41CP20), and Keering (41CP21) Sites, Big Cypress Creek Basin, Camp County, Texas

Timothy K. Perttula, Mason Miller, R. Bo Nelson, Leslie L. Bush, Leslie G. Cecil, Linda Scott Cummings, Chase Earles, Rachel Feit, Jeffrey R. Ferguson, Michael D. Glascock, Melissa K. Logan, Robert Z. Selden Jr, LeeAnna Schniebs, R. A. Varney, Chester P. Walker, Mindy Bonine

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This report details excavations at the Kitchen Branch site (41CP220) in Camp County, Texas. Working on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, archeologists from AmaTerra Environmental, Inc., Archeological and Environmental Consultants, LLC, Hicks & Company Environmental, Archeological, and Planning Consultants, Inc, and Coastal Environments Inc., completed National Register of Historic Places and State Antiquities Landmark eligibility testing and later data recovery investigations of components of the Kitchen Branch site. Work was conducted for compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended) and the Antiquities Code of Texas (13 TAC 26) between 2004 and 2007 when portions of the site were proposed to be impacted by expansion of Farm to Market Road 557 at its crossing of the Kitchen Branch of Prairie Creek. Testing phase investigations (Antiquities Permit 3609) included excavation of 23 1 x 1-meter and 40 x 40-centimeter test units and 13 Gradall trenches, documenting artifacts and features attributed to Middle-Late Archaic, Woodland, and Late Caddo Titus phase occupations along with a small, minor historic (late nineteenth and early twentieth century) component. Archeologists, citing intact, buried features, lithics, ceramics, and faunal and floral materials, determined that the Titus phase site components were eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and as a State Antiquities Landmark. Subsequent data recovery investigations (Antiquities Permit 4473) targeted the Titus phase component of the Kitchen Branch site and included geophysical survey (magnetometer, ground-penetrating radar, and electrical resistivity), block test unit excavations (167 1 x 1s in three main blocks), and mechanical and hand scraping. Approximately 4,000 prehistoric ceramic sherds, 4,400 lithic flakes, 137 projectile points, numerous other tools, and various faunal and floral materials were recovered and analyzed during both phases of investigations while archeologists documented 236 prehistoric features (and unnumbered possible post holes). To supplement the basic qualitative and quantitative data from artifact analysis, researchers collected and processed a variety of other samples including organic residue, petrographic, neutron activation, thermoluminescence dating of prehistoric ceramics and radiocarbon assays of ceramic residue and burned plant remains from the site. In addition nearly 1,000 historic artifacts were also recovered and interpreted as part of the field and analysis effort.

Based on the various analyses, the primary investigated component at the Kitchen Branch is a single, small, Titus phase domestic farmstead occupied for a relatively short time during the 15th century AD.

To complement the discussion of the Kitchen Branch site, this report includes brief analysis and interpretation of Titus phase ceramic vessel photographs from the Horton site (41CP20) and a small assemblage of artifacts, field notes, and photographs from the Keering site (41CP21). Both sites were investigated in 1974 by State Department of Transportation and Public Transportation archeologists in association with roadway projects and never formally reported.

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JournalIndex of Texas Archaeology: Open Access Gray Literature from the Lone Star State
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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