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Data Recovery at 41HY163 - Zatopec, San Marcos, Hays County, Texas


ZapotecClick here to be directed to a web site devoted to CAS's work at 41HY163 Zatopec, or keep reading for a brief introduction to the archaeological site.


Site 41HY163 was first excavated by Texas State University field schools under the direction of Dr. James Garber in the years 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986. Throughout these field seasons, Dr. Garber and his crew of students recovered thousands of artifacts including stone tools, debitage from the production of stone tools, fauna, and ceramics. In addition to material recovered during field school excavations, several features were identified, including burned rock middens, cooking pits, stone tool production areas, and what appeared to be a semi-circular arrangement of post-holes.

In 2007, Texas State University resumed excavations at the site, this time under contract with the City of San Marcos as part of the Wonder World Drive Extension Project. During this work, CAS crew recovered thousands of additional stone and organic artifacts and observed several more features.

Currently, CAS is analyzing the many thousands of artifacts recovered from this habitation site, and working on a detailed report of findings that will include both the field schools and the subsequent contracted work. Based on preliminary results of analyses, 41HY163 appears to have been intermittently occupied as early as the Late Paleoindian period, though no intact deposits were encountered from time periods before the Middle Archaic, approximately 5,000 years ago. Most of the site dates to the Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric periods, and remains indicate that periodic bison hunting took place here, as well as tool manufacturing and other activities associated with large band societies. Examples of these activities include certain rituals, and enculturation from learning and practicing important skills.

Pictured above: three adjacent 2-by-2 m units excavated during field schools.