Heritage, Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 1986 Page: 35
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several former restaurants and diners on
the block. The identifiable metal objects
were horseshoes and other pieces of
forged iron, items also in keeping with
the known past usage of the block by several
blacksmiths and wheelwrights.
Once excavation reached a point ten
feet or so below the current ground surface,
cultural materials disappeared and
there followed a period of archaeologically
sterile excavation. Layer after layer
of stratified former river terrace deposits
were removed, much of it good, rich redbrown
soil which left the site for use as
topsoil in other development projects. Finally,
after excavation had passed the
forty-foot depth and pierced a pair of
loosely consolidated calcareous rock
formations, a significant find was unearthed-a
large fragment of the tusk of a
mastodon or mammoth.
This discovery, which occurred ony a
few months after a much-publicized paleontological
find of similar remains at a
construction site in the 300 block of Congress
Avenue, caused some brief excitement.
However, the find proved to be an
isolated one when no other remains were
uncovered in the area. The tusk was
found at a depth nearly thirty feet below
those uncovered earlier up the aveue.
This difference in burial depth effectively
ruled out the chances of the two finds
being associated and indicates the 100
Congress tusk fragment is probably much
the older of the two finds.
The fragment, though broken off at
both ends, is still nearly a yard long, Even
at this size, its structure reveals it to be
that of a juvenile animal. Mammoth and
mastodon tusks do not differ enough to
distinguish a fragment such as this one.
Evidently it arrived at the site after having
been washed down a former channel
of the Colorado River and coming to rest
on an ancient sand bar. The fragment has
been donated to the Vertebrate Paleontology
Laboratory of the University
of Austin for use in research.
Lincoln Property Company is to be
complimented for having furnished the
opportunity and sponsorship for archaeological
and historical research into the
background of this section of Austin. The
company's twenty-two-story office building,
now well along in its construction on
the site, will bear a plaque reminding
those who enter that it stands where Austin's
earliest structure once stood, at the
capital city's first address, Block 5 of the
original city of Austin.
Henry B. Moncure is an archaeologist with the
Texas Archeological Research Laboratory,
Balcones Research Center, the University of
Texas at Austin.
8~~~~~~~~~~~0 ~~ ~Photo: Craig Stafford 0
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 4, Number 3, Winter 1986, periodical, 1986; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45440/m1/35/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.