Details for Loma Sandia Prehistoric Cemetery (Atlas Number 5507017752)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507017752


Marker Number 17752
Atlas Number 5507017752
Marker Title Loma Sandia Prehistoric Cemetery
Index Entry Loma Sandia Prehistoric Cemetery
Address IH-37
City Three Rivers
County Live Oak
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 580505
UTM Northing 3154751
Subject Codes Native Americans; cemetery; archeology
Marker Year 2012
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Private Property No
Marker Location IH-37 southbound frontage road, 0.4 mi. S of US 281, N of Three Rivers
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27" x 42" with post
Marker Text 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 Americans 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 pigment and ocher stains. A few graves containing the remains of adult males had white-tailed deer antler racks affixed to them, indicating the individuals held high social status. Trade items such as projectile points and shell beads indicate that the groups engaged in the 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)