|15 January 2012
Remains of prehistoric hut found in southern Texas
Last month, workers preparing San Antonio's Mission County Park for construction found the remains of a prehistoric hut that had burned down about 3,500 years ago.
Betty Bueche, who manages county facilities, said the structure dates from the Late Archaic Period, 3000 to 1000 BCE. Evidence is being analysed by the state archaeologist and the University of Texas, San Antonio, Center for Archaeological Research. "It's determined to be the third-oldest-known structure in the state of Texas, so it's in its own category in prehistory," says Bueche.
Officials are waiting on a second round of carbon dating to establish when the structure burned. It's not known yet what the structure was used for, and its dimensions aren't certain. "In that timeframe, the structures that have been found previously are with bent poles, so they formed sort of a domed hut. These were done with upright posts, so this was a method of construction that until this find and the carbon dating that's been done, we didn't know dated that far back," Bueche said.
Few artefacts have been found at the location. "There were some chips of flint that obviously had come from dart points, but very little. We're at a very preliminary stage" of the investigation, she said. Signs of ancient human settlements have been found elsewhere in Texas, some more than 10,000 years old.
Edited from San Antonio Express-News, My San Antonio (12 January 2012)
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