THE MESSAGE BOARD POINT CHATTER IS NOW CLOSED TO ALL NEW POSTS.
Although I'm not new to the passion of hunting down pieces of history, I am new to the concept of digging them out of the ground and I have a few questions to ask the pros.
First a little background, my name is Brad (Im sure it says that in the author line), I've lived in Texas near my whole life in the beautiful HillCountry (Kerrville if anyone was curious). When I was young I had my first opportunities to chase down artifacts on the surface at some un-developed land between Kerrville and Hunt (Bumble Bee Estates and Canyon Springs Ranch now... man there was a ton of history lost when THOSE got developed). Since, I've only recently gotten back to town (couple years ago now) after serving 10 years in the Navy, and I've come across some new ground to tromp on in search of the elusive un-broken artifact.
Now for some site background. Located adjacent to the Medina River, very rocky terrain overall. There is a creek that cuts the bluffs caused by massive river erosion into the hillside, but the quantity of non-flood plain, non super rocky terrain is very limited overall. I THINK I have found what appears to be a mound of burt rock but there is no evidence (snails, flint etc) to support that as being a "mound" used frequently enough to find artifacts there; plus it is located in the middle of the super rocky area so there isn't really any soil per say to dig on.. its all rocks. At the base of the rocky terrain (where the hill starts to climb again after being cut by the creek), and just out of flood plain from where the creek runs into the river, there is a grove of big pecan trees and 2 giant oaks. Here there is about 8 inches of solid black soil then it softens up underneath to a brown, earthy-loam type soil. This is where I decided to dig my test hole (after finding artifacts on the surface all around the area plus the logistics I figured I was on a decent camping site), but the ammount of evidence I found wasn't overly convincing that I was on the right track. In a 7x7 area I really only found a half-handful of rabadous shells, a dozen or so chunks of limestone (hard to say if they were burnt), a handful of thumbnail or bigger size chips, a very few tiny chips, and two large hunks of flint (I think they had be knapped a bit). I know the craftsmanship is in the area, and judging by the ammount of surface pieces I've found, I'd guess there was a large population camped closeby... I'm just having trouble locating the proper place to dig and strike gold. So...if you are still reading this and not completely confused...perhaps you could offer me some advise on how to spot a definate camp thats under 2 foot of dirt.
Attached are the pictures of surface finds all over the area... from near the bluffs all the way down the hillside to about 100ft from where I dug the test hole, and one knife that would have been pretty nice before the river got aholt of it.
I think you are looking in the right area per your description, but I don't see anywhere in your post how deep your test hole was. Make sure you are going down far enough before you give up. Sometimes 3, 4 or 5 feet is needed before the clear evidence appears. You are finding enough clues that it warrants a solid effort to confirm or deny the presence of a camp there. Depending on the age and size of the camp, it may be concentrated and covered-up well so you may also expand the 7x7 area out to 20 x 20 and see how it changes in content. Keep your eye out for that snail, bone and burnt stuff for more clues.
Hey thanks for the input. I only went down about 2 and a half feet on the test hole so the next chance I get I'll try a bit deeper. I'll try to draw a rough paint image with general terrain features so ya'll can get a better idea of the site later this evening after I get done with this lovely thing called work.
Ok, here's an above shot of the site. You may need to save if for yourself to enlarge it to get a better idea.
Yellow- surface finds (rough estimate)
Orange-suspected burnt rock pile
Red- test dig area
Light Blue- soft dirt area(only real deep soft dirt around)
Dark Blue- creek path to river
The white squiggly and yellow lines are roads and fences respectively and of no concern really (property is cross-fenced several times).
Any other inputs based on this information are greatly appreciated!
PS- I did get your mail Glenn, check yours for response.
I suck at typology. Any ideas on the time-span I've run across so far on the surface?
Thanks a second time pmm for your help. Seems I am on the right path.
I've removed the sat. image to keep honest folks honest, but I can share via email if anyone is overly curious about the general layout of the site, or how I came about the imagery for research purposes of other sites.
Digging time is running short on this one for me, at least until hunting season is overwith, so I'll try to get my ass in gear on Saturday and keep ya'll posted of any finds I make.
Here is a blow up of the only un-broken piece so far.
Until next time, happy hunting.
You'll have to cut and paste the links in your browser until I figure out how to post the pics direct RGS; or go to the website photoalbum direct at this address:
Here are the direct links again:
hello there All!
Hay there Brad .. I put the pic's on my site server, AngleFire dosen't allow you to let people load from urls... So you wouldn't be able to post pictures from there and have people view from here..
There are others that do let you though!!
Thanks for sharing!
Took the test hole to 6 foot deep and expanded it to 15' x 15' or so and still not much results. A few rabadous shells, some larger rocks but flint is few and far between. The only solid results from the hole was this chopper/hand tool:
These items were found on the surface about 50 yards from the test hole:
I'm afraid I don't have enough evidence to support a large camp at the test hole; kinda frusterating.
Thinkin some more about this site. Great promise but hunting restrictions and other factors are going to keep me from locating the major camp site. I'll visit one last time to fill in the holes and let it set for another year or so I think.
I found enough to know I'm close, but I don't want to **** off the land owners when a prize longhorn falls into my test hole.
More digging here in the future but not for a while; thanks to those whom offered support! Until the next adventure....