Depletion of waters in the lakes across Texas due to persistent droughts has exposed a ghost town and long-hidden artifacts in Bluffton.
The largest lake of the state, the Buchanan, proves valuable to many historians and looters alike. Numerous arrests have been made on account of stealing ancient Native American Tools from sites, the Associated Press reports.
Pat Mercado-Allinger, director of Texas Historical Commission, believes the site is an archive of significant information. Most people in Texas probably didn't realize what was under these lakes, he said.
Other remnants recovered include rusty nails, an eroded tank and concrete slabs from a gas station. Foundation of a hotel, cotton gin and the grist mill are also unearthed.
Inscribed over a century ago, an infant's tombstone marks the year 1882. Johnny C. Parks' tomb lies among the many graves of a small cemetery now revealed. In addition to the prehistoric skull, ancient tools and fossils, huge concrete foundations of old towns were also recovered, the AP reports.
The Buchanan lake was constructed by the Lower Colorado River Authority to provide water to the region in the 1930s. Home to many birds, the 20-30 feet deep lake is now gradually shrinking.
Historian Alfred Hallmark said the dam construction lead to many Bluffton residents abandoning their homes in 1931. A new settlement several miles of the original town site was formed.
Reminders of the past have also been recovered from several other lakes across Texas. The vanishing waters of the Falcon Lake uncovered a century old church. Building foundations were excavated in Woodville, Oklahoma.
Abraham Phillips, a natural resources specialist, has said authorities patrol the Lake Whitney in hopes of securing the region from further thefts. A skull, believed to be of Native American origins, was discovered by fishermen at the Lake Georgetown near Austin. Federal laws ban further excavation concerning American Indian sites.
Chairman of the county's historical commission Bruce McManus has said that excavation crews plan to move the remains of a burial site of Navarro County to a cemetery close to Dallas.
Referring to the artifacts as a 'once-in-a-lifetime find,' McManus said, Maybe, the only silver lining in the ongoing drought.