Way back in 1998, Hicks & Company conducted archaeological testing and data recovery at a Late Prehistoric site (41TV441) at the proposed location of Southeast Metropolitan Park in Travis County, Texas. A total of 54 shovel tests, 34 backhoe trenches, and two open area blocks were excavated during the data recovery. The investigations documented an extensive Late Prehistoric occupation site seemingly spanning the transition period between the Austin and Toyah Intervals in central Texas prehistory (A.D. 1235-1425). The use of pit oven thermal features to process plant foods including onion bulbs is documented from 1235-1425 A.D. A Toyah lithic tool kit dominates the stone tool assemblage with admixture typical of the late Austin Interval. The interpretation from the fieldwork and analysis was that the Toyah Bluff site may represent a specialized plant food processing station within the Toyah subsistence settlement system or alternatively the tool kit was adopted by the late Austin Interval groups in response to the spread and availability of Bison. The material results of the field investigations are summarized in this presentation, without accounting for the latest research developments of the last 20 years or so regarding the Austin to Toyah cultural transition.
James Karbula is currently a Program Manager for HBK Engineering, LLC, based in Texas. HBK is a Quanta Services Company and has 15 office locations across the U.S. James has more than 25 years of experience in cultural resource consulting in Texas and adjacent states, most recently with companies including Quanta Environmental Solutions, Paleowest, LLC, and William Self Associates, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from THE University of Texas, Austin.