Saturday, January 24, 2009

Archaeological Find in Seguin

Seguin couple’s backyard yields rich discovery

By Roger Croteau
Seguin, Texas (AP)
One day this past June, Floyd McKee hauled a load of topsoil from near the bank of the Guadalupe River, on which his property sits, and dumped it on the grass in his yard. “It rained that night, and when I went out in the morning, the yard was covered with spear points,” he said. “I got more dirt and sifted it and found a dozen more.” Surprised, McKee contacted local archaeologists Bob Everett and Richard Kinz, both of whom soon declared that McKee’s property, near Starcke Park, was among the richest Paleo-Indian archaeological finds they had ever seen. During late September, they announced the discovery, some of which will be on display next month at the Seguin Heritage Museum for Archaeology Awareness Month.

So far, McKee has excavated a trench about 50 feet long, 10 feet wide and 7 feet deep and has found hundreds of spearheads, arrowheads, bones and stone tools. Archaeologists have dated the artifacts and said they could be as old as 11,000 years or as young as 200. The Texas Historical Commission said it plans to send a team to Seguin during October to check out the find.“To be here in the city limits, it’s unique,” McKee said. “But we don’t really know what we’ve got yet.”McKee’s wife, Jody McKee, said the couple suspect that their backyard was once an “important trading center.” “It was like a Wal-Mart for Paleo-Indians,” she said. such trading posts have been unearthed in Bastrop and San Marcos. Among the finds on the McKee property so far: rare Andice spear points; Guadalupe bi-face stone woodworking tools, used to build dugout canoes; arrowheads from Oklahoma and Colorado; and cleavers and seashells from the coast. Michelle Hammond, assistant director of the Seguin Heritage Museum, said the facility awaits the artifacts.“We’re lucky to have such a collection to display at the museum,” she said. The museum is also planning a sort of “artifacts road show” for Oct. 25 and 26, in which people can bring up to three artifacts for archaeologists to examine and identify, she said.

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