Marker Text: The Native American bands that inhabited the southern Texas and northern Mexican gulf coast before European colonization were hunter-gatherers
In this vicinity starting in 1973, Texas Highway Department (later Texas Department of Transportation) archeologists excavated burial grounds of native Americana in two separate soil strata. The older graves date from the middle-archaic period (around 850 B.C.), while the upper level dates from the late-archaic (around 250 B.C.). Artifacts reveal that the hunting-gathering culture endured over the two periods, with reliance on the use of spears tipped with dart points to hunt large game such as deer and bison
About 200 graves contained personal possessions such as tools for sewing and cooking, shell ornaments and red and yellow ocher stains. A few graves containing the remains of adult males had white-tail deer antler racks affixed to them, indicating the individual had a high social status. Trade items such as projectile points and shell beads indicate the groups engaged in exchange of goods with coastal and interior groups. The forensic evidence suggests that only thirteen males and four females may have lived past the age of forty.
Scientists and scholars from various universities (Adam Mickiewicz University of Poland, Texas A&M, University of Texas at Austin and San Antonio, and Texas Tech) assisted the Texas Department of Transportation in the Loma Sandia excavation project. (2012)
Marker No: 17752
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: US 281 & IH 37, Three Rivers