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SAWMILL SITE. The Sawmill Site, now submerged by Lake Sam Rayburn in San Augustine County, was occupied first by Archaic hunting and gathering peoples sometime between 3000 B.C. and A.D. 500, then by agricultural peoples sometime between A.D. 800 and 1500. The site was partially excavated in 1956 by E. B. Jelks, who exposed two human burials and four trash pits. Thousands of artifacts were collected, including Archaic dart points, knives, and scrapers, and, from the later occupation, pottery and arrow points. Because the Archaic materials occurred at a greater depth than the others, the Sawmill Site documented a clear temporal separation of Archaic and post-Archaic artifacts. The site was so named because of a sawmill that operated there in the 1920s and 1930s. Artifacts and field notes from the site are stored at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, J. J. Pickle Research Campus, University of Texas at Austin.


Edward B. Jelks, The Archeology of McGee Bend Reservoir, Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1965). Curtis D. Tunnell, "Evidence of a Late Archaic Horizon at Three Sites in the McGee Bend Reservoir," Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 30 (1959).

Edward B. Jelks


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Edward B. Jelks, "SAWMILL SITE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 31, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.