The Rosillo Peak Site: A Prehistoric Mountaintop Campsite in Big Bend National Park, Texas

Trans Pecos Archaeological Program (TAP) Publications

Rosillo Peak cover

Papers of the Trans-Pecos Archaeological Program, Number 1

Robert J. Mallouf, William A. Cloud, and Richard W. Walter
Robert J. Mallouf, Series Editor
Kelly S. García, Technical Editor

©2006 The Center for Big Bend Studies
0-9707709-4-4 paper 7x10 180 pages

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During March 2005 the Center for Big Bend Studies of Sul Ross State University conducted an archaeological investigation at the Rosillo Peak site (41BS762) in Big Bend National Park. Located in a small saddle on the summit of Rosillo Peak, this small, open prehistoric campsite was repeatedly occupied by small groups of hunters and gatherers over several thousand years, beginning in the latter half of the Early Archaic period. Fieldwork was conducted prior to construction of a radio repeater on the mountain summit and involved instrument mapping, controlled surface collection, and subsurface testing. Both surface and excavation data indicate that the most substantial site occcupations occurred during the Middle Archaic period. Radiocarbon assays are indicative of terminal Middle Archaic and Late Archaic habitations, while only minor evidence of post-Archaic occupation was recovered. Rationales for initial occupation and repeated re-occupation through time of the same location on the summit are explored. The spectacular location, in combination with an unusual artifact content, implies a special function for the Rosillo Peak site. Recovered artifactual materials are curated at Big Bend National Park.