Vertisols and Their Implications for Archeological Research1


  • 1

    When an archeologist works in a closely related discipline, he requires assistance and aid from the various specialists in that area. With out help of this type, such studies as this one would be almost impossible. Consequently, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Francis D. Hole, Professor of Soils at the University of Wisconsin, who gave considerable encouragement and direction to the research, and H. C. Dean, Area Conservationist in Austin, Texas, who made available unpublished soil surveys and loaned some printed soil surveys that were not otherwise accessible. Mr. Dean spent much time in discussing the problems with me. I also want to express my appreciation to Dr. Dee Ann (Suhm) Story, Executive Di rector of the Texas Archeological Research Lab oratory of the University of Texas, whose keen editorial comments contributed greatly to this study. My sincere thanks are extended to these people and my apologies if I have unintentionally misused or misinterpreted their statements.


Vertisols are soils with dynamic characteristics. They are capable of disrupting the stratigraphic sequence and/or cultural context of a site; in addition, these soils are not easily tilled by primitive agricultural methods. They seem to have been a factor in restricting the westward spread of prehistoric village farmers in Texas and thus contributed to the development of the so-called “cultural sink.”