Select Archeology Projects

Crystal City Archeological Survey  – Zavala County, Texas

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In April 2013, Hicks & Company archeologists completed a low-invasive metal detector survey for the Texas Historical Commission (THC) at two locations of the Crystal City World War II Interment Camp in Zavala County, Texas: a pool and bathhouse locale and the location of the Japanese Elementary School. Investigations were coordinated with the THC under Texas Antiquities Permit #6521. The proposed project was undertaken on behalf of the THC and the City of Crystal City through a National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program 2012 grant. The THC and the City of Crystal City have partnered to increase the interpretation and awareness of the significance of the camp through further historical documentation and to facilitate the site’s evaluation for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The metal detector survey at the former confinement site’s swimming pool/irrigation reservoir and the Japanese Internee (U.S., Latin American, and Enemy Alien) Elementary School consisted of pedestrian surface inspection, supplemented with metal detector sweeps and the excavation of positive hits (n=248), augur probes (n=4), expanded shovel tests (n=4), and a single 1-x-1-meter test unit. Predominately, the positive hits were modern cultural materials such as aluminum can fragments, automotive parts, and miscellaneous metals. Additionally, ferrous building materials were recovered (nails and roofing tacks) which may be associated with the construction of nowazed internment camp facilities. Items recovered that can be chronologically affiliated with the internment camp include a marble, a glass shard bearing the “Pepsi-Cola” logo, and green plastic fragments of currency created for internment camp use. Following survey, trinomials were assigned to each of the two locations with the Japanese Elementary School now Site 41ZV527 and the pool and bathhouse Site 41ZV528.

Archeological Inventory Survey of Lost Maples State Natural Area – Bandera and Real Counties, Texas

Lost Maples 01In June and October 2010, archeologists from Hicks & Company conducted an archeological inventory survey of approximately 2,000 acres of the Lost Maples State Natural Area within the Sabinal River Canyon in western Bandera and eastern Real Counties, Texas. The investigations were sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and, although much larger in size, conducted in accordance with the minimum standards established by the Texas Historical Commission) for archeological surveys of 200 acres or less.

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The survey was part of a broader effort by TPWD to identify and assess cultural resources within its state park system for management and interpretive development planning. During the course of the survey, archeologists revisited the mapped locations of six previously recorded archeological sites (41BN15–17 and 41BN153– 155) and recorded 40 newly documented sites (41RE130–140, 41RE151–152, and 41BN220–246). All formally recorded archeological sites were prehistoric in age, consisting of initial lithic reduction and procurement areas along the northern, western, and eastern uplands, surficial lithic scatters along the southern uplands, and burned rock middens on creek terraces. Additional isolated finds were both historic and prehistoric in age.

 Landa Park Golf Archeological Services  – New Braunfels, Texas

Archeological services were performed in coordination with the Texas Historical Commission to monitor construction activity within areas that were previously determined to have moderate or high probability of containing artifacts to ensure that any adverse impacts to intact cultural deposits were properly mitigated under the Antiquities Code of Texas.  Sites included six listed State Archeological Landmarks.  Coordination was conducted with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify the need for any Section 404 permitting requirements.

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La Belle Artifact Illustrations  – Austin, Texas

Shipwrecked Jesuit Trade Rings and Lead Weight by Gregg Cestaro for the Texas Historic Comission

Hicks & Company was responsible for producing stippled, hand-drawn illustrations of selected artifacts from the La Belle shipwreck that sank off the Texas coast in 1686. The drawings will be used in an upcoming technical volume publication on the excavation and artifact analysis of the data recovered from the shipwreck by the Texas Historical Commission during a major archeological investigation in 1997.

The drawings, which La Belle IIvary in size, are all pen-and-ink illustrations that better represent characteristics of the artifacts that cannot be properly illustrated through photography. Here, some examples of some of these artifact drawings are depicted.  Find out more on the La Belle shipwreck project on the Texas Historical Commission’s website.