Indian artifacts discovered in bayou

September 8, 2009 4:40:17 PM PDT
A very special discovery here in the Houston area has piqued the interest of archaeologists. A flood control project has uncovered evidence of an ancient culture. Harris County Flood Control is not revealing where the find was made because they want to preserve the discovery as much as possible. In the opinion of archaeologists, it may prove to be valuable for the history of a people and an area.

Cypress Creek is one of many bayous that cut through Harris County. Surrounded now by roads, shopping centers and homes, it is an ancient waterway. If you peel back the layers of the sand and soil, you can peer back in time one thousand years and more.

"This is a Gary point which is a common projectile point found in this area," said archaeologist Roger Moore.

These are some of the artifacts revealed when a sandy cliff began to crumble on Cypress Creek. Harris County Flood Control had to clear the waterway, but before that happened, an archaeological survey had to be done.

"Sure enough it's a very rare thing to find in excavation, but we did find a site of significance," said Heather Saucier of Harris Co. Flood Control.

In 500 A.D., perhaps even earlier, this was an Indian encampment here. Bits of pottery reveal it was made from the sand and soil of Cypress Creek, the dart tips were used to hunt the game that roamed here.

"They were very sophisticated about their environment. They knew that if they returned here every few years, they would find a good berry crop," said Moore.

Evidence of a hearth was also found in the excavated soil.

They were hunter gatherers. Archaeologists believe they were part of the Akokisas tribe, which traveled from this part of Texas eastward into Louisiana. Spaniards wrote of them in the 1700s and the find on Cypress Creek places them here centuries before that.

"They represent a people who've dropped off the pages of history," said Moore.

Now, artifact by artifact, they're finding their way back.

Soil believed to contain evidence of that cooking hearth will be examined next. Eventually the artifacts will be given to the State Archaeological Laboratory at the University of Texas.

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