The Archeology of Texas

This workshop will consist of a morning session, featuring content knowledge and hands-on activities that build observation, categorization, measurement, and analytical skills. The afternoon session includes a visit to a nearby archeological site, where participants will perform excavations and practice methods learned in the morning session.

The dig is outside, and it will be hot. Participants should bring sturdy, closed toed shoes, light clothing with sleeves and long pants, sunscreen, a hat to shade the sun, and bottled water.

Unit 1:  the basics of archeology, definitions and methods of archeology excavation and analysis. The relationship of archeology as a sub-discipline of anthropology and other sub-disciplines such as linguistics (history and evolution of languages), physical anthropology (study of human remains to determine biological and behavioral aspects of humans) and cultural anthropology and ethnography (study of human culture variation) will be discussed.

Unit 2: the life ways and customs of Central Texas “Historic” Native Americans (the Comanche, Apache, etc.) as they were observed and recorded by the Spanish in Texas from the 1600’s to 1800’s, and by American settlers and U. S. Army units in the 1800’s.

Unit 3: the life ways of ancient Native Americans, with the oldest being 12,000 years before present.  Artifacts (such as tools and weapons), processing methods of, and foods eaten (plant and animal) by Prehistoric Native Americans in Central Texas will be explained.  Prehistoric site recognition, types of sites and natural resources such as chert (flint) used by Native Americans will be discussed.

Teachers will be able to handle, recognize and understand the lithic (stone) tools and weapons made by Ancient Native Americans. There will also be discussion as to how other non-perishable material such as the debris (debitage) of tool making such as flakes, and native limestone “cooking rocks” can reveal ancient information. 

After the lunch break, the class will drive approximately 5 miles to a ranch outside of Kerrville that contains several Ancient Native American archeological sites.  The class will then have the opportunity to perform excavations using shovels, trowels, buckets and screens (to filter soil) at one of those sites.  Many of the topics presented in the morning session can be observed and practiced as artifacts such as flint flakes, knives, scrapers and spear/arrow points are likely to be discovered.  This session will last approximately 3 hours. 

Steve Stoutamire

Field Committee Chairman, Hill Country Archeology Association

Stoutamire is a retired petroleum geologist with an MS in geology from Texas Tech University and a BA in Anthropology/Archeology from Florida State University. During a 32-year career in the petroleum industry Stoutamire worked in both domestic and international positions and within technology, exploration and business positions. Since retirement in 2007 he has worked extensively with archeology in the hill country of Texas through both site work and public education. He is a member, current field committee chairman and past president, of the Hill Country Archeology Association (HCAA), member of the Texas Archeology Society and serves as a Texas Archeology Steward for the Texas Historical commission.