Ongoing Long-term Archaeological Research Project
Baker Site (41SS192)
The Baker site (41SS192) lies 30 miles west of the Simms Creek site (41LM113), another ongoing LUAS research project. Baker is located on the San Saba River in the general vicinity where in 1847 German colonists led by John O. Meusebach negotiated a peace treaty with southern Comanche bands. LUAS is investigating an earlier use of the site, specifically a large Late Prehistoric/early historic Native American camping area spread out along a fossil channel of the river. We are attempting to map the horizontal extent of the Toyah occupation using shovel tests and isolated test units. Toyah is a regional archaeological culture dating between AD 1300 and 1700. Most Toyah sites appear to be small, but at this point in the investigation we know the occupation area at Baker covers 16 acres with the potential for being much larger.
Interestingly, 25 percent of the pottery fragments so far recovered from the site are from vessels that were manufactured several hundred miles to the east by Caddo potters. Another interesting aspect of the Baker site is that the Native American camping area was located along a narrow strip of high ground between a spring-fed lake and the San Saba River. The lake was drained in the 1870s for agriculture, which necessitated the construction of an aqueduct to carry irrigation water across the depressed lakebed. This aqueduct is now in ruins but still an impressive (and unusual) feature.
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