Analysis of discrete habitation units in the Trinity river delta, upper Texas coast.
This report describes excavations in small shell middens in the Trinity River delta on the upper Texas coast. Individual episodes of habitation were observed consisiting of two elements: hearth, and refuse pile. These had artifacts and other domestic debris arrayed differentially around them. A close correlation also was documented between changes in stream hydrology and the extent of clam beds on the one hand, and the intensity of settlement adjacent sites. Subsistence and seasonality data indicates that the individual episodes took place over very short intervals of time, during the late spring and early summer, and serviced small groups of perhaps not more than a half dozen individuals. These individual habitation episodes appear to be the smallest discrete unit of habitation and to be the origin of at least one of the two major types of strata documented in the large stratified shell mounds of the upper Texas coast.