The Texas Army National Guard intends to lease approximately 4000 acres on the privately owned L7 Ranch, located in the Texas Panhandle, for tank maneuvers and individual troop training. The vast L7 Ranch extends across the eastern edge of the Llano Estacado and the Caprock Canyonlands below the escarpment. CAS surveyed the property to identify any cultural resources that would be impacted by military training. As a result of the survey, CAS documented 61 prehistoric sites. The prehistoric sites range in age from the Early Archaic period to the Late Prehistoric period. Additionally, three cutbank profiles were described in conjunction with a geomorphic study designed to accompany the archaeological investigation.
CAS archaeologists recovered significant prehistoric artifacts including Alibates chert (the source of which is 150 miles north of L7 Ranch), obsidian from a mountain range north of Santa Fe, and ceramic sherds from El Paso and southeast New Mexico. The geographic distribution of the above-mentioned artifacts' sources is indicative of the trade network of these prehistoric Americans. In addition to artifacts, a number of prehistoric campsites were discovered and remote rock shelters were documented. The L7 Ranch also contains historic sites. CAS archaeologists documented the remnants of one of the earliest ranches in the area, dating to the late 19th century, and the foundation of a professional government trapper's cabin dating to the 1930s.
Pictured above: crew examining a tall cut bank exposure.