BREAKING NEWS

General Meeting: TAS Field School, 2021: A Report by HCAA Participants – July 17, 2021

HCAA will have a LIVE-Onsite General Meeting on Saturday, July 17, 2021

Location: Union Church, 107 Travis St, Kerrville 78028

Doors open at 12 noon, Program begins at 1pm.

The presentation will be “TAS Field School, 2021: A Report by HCAA Participants.” After a year hiatus, the annual Texas Archeological Society Field School returned in full force in June, 2021.

With excavations and research projects located throughout Kerr County, the event was a huge success.
The event drew more than 360 participants from all over Texas and several other states. This included over 250 avocationals, 25 professional archeologists, over 30 college students, and a youth group of over 35 elementary and middle school students.

Research projects included prehistoric and historic excavations, a three-day Cemetery Workshop, expert laboratory analysis, and field surveys on numerous ranches in Kerr County. We enjoyed social gatherings every evening with great food, educational programs, dancing with a live band, and other unique entertainers.

HCAA members were key participants in helping prepare for the event, as well as serving as organizers, crew chiefs, surveyors, and excavators.

HCAA Board members Terry Farley – Vice President, Francoise Wilson – Board Director, and Mike McBride – President will present a program reporting on all the exciting events of the Field School.

This will be fun, see your there! Your board of directors!

Note: Masks are optional, bring your own snacks, seating will be safely spaced, and bottled water will be provided.

Union Church Location Map


2021 TAS Field School in Kerrville, June 12-19

HCAA has joined forces with TAS to conduct the 2021 TAS Field School in Kerrville!

The Texas Archeological Society is hosting the 2021 annual Field School on a private ranch just west of Kerrville (TAS 2021 Field School). This private property is 88 acres in size and borders the Guadalupe River near Bear Creek. It is located on the same river terrace as the Gatlin Site (41KR621) which was accidentally discovered by TxDOT crews in 2004 when construction for the new Thompson Drive extension to the new bridge crossing the river.

Gatlin has been hailed in literature as one of the most significant Early Archaic sites ever found in Central Texas. It has a robust point assemblage and 50 carbon 14 dates in addition to animal and plant remains. Much of the Research Design for the Field School private ranch will center on increasing understanding beyond what Gatlin could provide due to limits of TxDot construction schedules and right of ways.

Based on the work that the Hill Country Archeology Association (HCAA) has done on the property over the last 5 years, most all of the 88 acres contains archeology deposits.

The HCAA has been exploring the property to identify promising areas for the 2021 field school excavations. The terrace deposits are rich in culture containing middens, abundant lithic scatters, discrete fire cracked rock (FCR) hearths and a large variety of stone tools and projectile points. Radiocarbon dating on the site has been limited but the oldest cultural material found thus far is 7280 ybp (years before present) calibrated from an FCR hearth with associated Early Archaic Projectile point. A good representation of diagnostic points cover the Early, Middle, Late and Transitional Archaic periods. Some broken points have been found which are tentatively identified as Late Paleolithic, and one Perdiz arrow point was found representing the Late Prehistoric Period. Learn more about study site.

Learn More about TAS 2021 Field School & how to register. . .

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Presentation Announcement—A Zoom Meeting—Houston Archeological Society

Date/Time:

Thursday, May 20th at 7:00 pm (Zoom doors open at 6:30 pm)

Presentation Title:

“41KR754 – A New Multicomponent Site Containing Late Paleoindian Through Late Prehistoric Assemblages: Kerr County, Texas”

Speaker:

Steve Stoutamire

The next monthly meeting of the Houston Archeological Society will be held on Thursday, May 20th via ZOOM and YouTube Livestream. This month’s program will feature a presentation by Steve Stoutamire from the Hill Country Archeological Association who will speak on 41KR754 in Kerr County. Steve will also discuss the 2021 TAS Field School, hosted by HCAA, which will be held at a neighboring prehistoric site in Kerr County. HAS members will receive a link to the ZOOM meeting shortly. The business meeting will start at 7:00 but we will open the meeting to HAS members at 6:30 to offer everyone 30 minutes to socialize. The program will begin 7:15 on Zoom and will also be livestreamed to nonmembers starting at 7:15 p.m. on the HAS YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/PA_kJT1wuH8.

The Hill Country Archeology Association began investigations at 41KR754 in August, 2018 after an invitation by the owners, who had recognized ancient cultural material on the surface of a river terrace on their ranch. Initial visits by the HCAA focused on pedestrian surveys particularly in the area of two middens located within the site. These surface areas yielded a good density of chert tools and diagnostic dart points. With the encouragement of the owners to excavate and identify more cultural definition, the HCAA began controlled excavations in December, 2018.

Initial excavations revealed a robust assemblage of Middle Archaic through Late Prehistoric dart and arrow points along with various lithic tools, organics including bison bone, pottery, obsidian flakes and other apparent trade items. In July of 2019 the first Paleoindian point was found on the site after the landowner had dug a new ditch for a water line. The point was found in the soil heap which had come from the ditch and was identified as Saint Mary’s Hall. Operations then focused within that area of the site, recovering a total of 20 SMH, four Angostura and one possible Golondrina. One C14 date was obtained from bone closely associated with several of the SMH points and yielded a date of calibrated 10,248-10,193 YBP. Operations continue at the site as of April, 2021.

Bio:

Steve Stoutamire is a retired petroleum geologist. He received a BA in Anthropology (1972) from Florida State University and an MS in Geology (1975) from Texas Tech University. During a 32-year career in the petroleum industry he held technical, business and managerial positions in both domestic and international operations. Since retirement in 2007, he and wife Nancy have lived near Kerrville, Texas. He is an active avocational archeologist and regularly works to educate the public through teaching classes and giving archeology lectures.

He works with private landowners, by their invitation, to help them understand archeological sites on their property. He is also a member, past president, and current field committee chairman of the Hill Country Archeological Association, a member of the Texas Archeology Society, the Gault School of Archeological Research and the Center for The Study of First Americans. He serves as vice chairman of the board of the Gault School of Archeological Research at the University of Texas, Austin. He also serves as a Texas Archeology Steward for the Texas Historical Commission.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact HAS President, Linda Gorski.

Zoom Link to follow shortly!  If you do not receive the link in 24 hours reply to this message! 

See your there!  HCAA Board of Directors


General Meeting Announcement for Hill Country Archeological Association – A Zoom Meeting

Date/Time:

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 1:00 pm. Zoom “doors open” at 12:30 pm

Presentation Title:

Locating and Recording Lost Cemeteries of the Hill Country

Speaker:

Jenny McWilliams, Cemetery Preservation Program Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission

Abstract:

Site identification is at the very core of preservation. Small family cemeteries are scattered throughout the Texas Hill Country. Without identification and assessment, they will be lost to land-clearing and development. Archeologists are trained to observe the landscape and look for clues of the past. It is this skill that will be needed to save forgotten isolated graves and small family plots. I invite you to learn more about the needs and procedures involved in finding, recording, and preserving these historic sites of the Texas Hill Country.

Bio:

Jenny McWilliams works for the Texas Historical Commission as the Cemetery Preservation Program Coordinator. Her position includes answering inquiries about cemetery law, access issues, cemetery maintenance, preservation, protection and recording. As the Cemetery Program Coordinator, Jenny also manages the Historic Texas Cemetery designation program as well as the THC’s online Historic Sites Atlas.

Prior to her work at the THC, Jenny was an archeologist for Cultural Resource Management firms in Texas. As part of her 20-year archeological career, Jenny traveled extensively throughout Texas, often excavating graves for relocation for clients such as TxDOT, lignite mining companies, and a reservoir project.

Jenny received her undergraduate degree from Southwest Texas State University and her Master’s Degree from Texas Tech University. Jenny was raised in College Station, where her father was a professor at Texas A&M, and she currently lives in Austin.

Place:

A Zoom Meeting on your computer, smart phone, or laptop. Zoom Link to be sent by email!
Watch for it!


General Meeting Announcement for Hill Country Archeological Association. A Joint Zoom Meeting with the Houston Archeological Society, on March 20, 2021


Date/Time: Saturday, March 20, 2021, 1:00 pm. Zoom “doors open” at 12:30 pm

Presentation Title: The Lone Oak Site: A 12,000 Year Occupation in Northern Colorado County, Texas.

Speaker: Wilson “Dub” Crook

Abstract:

In early 2019, Houston Archeological Society (HAS) member Mr. Stan Theut of Columbus, Texas, notified the Board of Directors that he owned several properties in northern Colorado County which contained both prehistoric as well as historic sites. He invited the HAS to come and visit his properties and assess if any contained sites that might warrant excavation by the society. A visit to the area indicated that the Lone Oak site had the best potential for excavating undisturbed stratigraphy. A total of 37 shovel tests and 4-one x one meter units were excavated in 2019 (Phase I). The results indicated a large Late Archaic occupation with a smaller Late Prehistoric habitation near the surface.

After reviewing all the artifacts recovered in 2019, an extensive walking survey of the entire Lone Oak property was conducted in March, 2020. This survey indicated two areas of interest on the northwest and northeastern parts of the site. From late April through September, a total of 18 shovel tests and 14 units were excavated in these two areas (Phase II). On the northwest side of the site, a small Dalton occupation was recovered as well as evidence of Late Paleoindian (Angostura) and Early Archaic (Hoxie, Early Triangular, Clear Fork tools). In the northeast side of the site, an extensive Toyah occupation was found including every component of the Toyah toolkit except ceramics. More recently, the HAS focused on a limited area in the southern part of the site (Phase III). In this area, a lithics workshop was identified including evidence for both the manufacture and repair of lithic tools. Two St. Mary’s Hall points and an Angostura point were found in the excavations.

In his presentation, Mr. Crook will review the highlights of all the work to date including specific activity areas as identified by the excavated artifacts. A complete report covering the first two phases of excavation will be published by the HAS shortly and is available to all society members as part of their membership. Non-members will be able to purchase the report on Amazon once it is published.

Bio:

Dub Crook is a Life Member (Fellow) of the Houston Archeological Society, a Life Member of the Dallas Archeological Society, a member of the Texas Archeological Society, a member of the Center for the Study of the First Americans, a Life Member of the Gault School of Archeological Research, a Research Fellow with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin, and a Fellow of the Leakey Foundation. He is also an Archeological Steward for the State of Texas. He is the author of over 180 papers in the field of archeology and has recently published his fourth book titled The Carrollton Phase Archaic: A Redefinition of the Chronology, Composition, and Aerial Distribution of the Early Archaic Horizon along the Trinity River, Texas.

Wilson “Dub” Crook in Africa

Place:

A Zoom Meeting on your computer, smart phone, or laptop. Zoom Link to be sent by email! Watch for it!


Article – African American History in Kendall County – Boerne “Flats”
by John Benedict

People have asked me, about the history of the African Americans that moved into the area of Boerne known as “The Flats” and what happened to them? I will tell you what I know of the lives of these first African Americans in Kendall County. They began moving off their farms and into the Boerne Flats about 1900. Most of those who moved to the Flats were from the Freedom Colonies here in Kendall and nearby counties. (read more)


Light hearted short video – Bunkhouse Dig

For the last two years members of the HCAA have been excavating a fire-cracked rock midden in Kendall county. At the last excavation of 2020 one of the members decided to take some video which he stitched together in this video. While it is intended to be humorous, it actually shows HCAA members actively excavating and enjoying the camaraderie that excavations bring.

Become an HCAA member and join in on the fun!



Joint Zoom Meeting with Houston Archeological Society, Jan 21

Date/Time: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 7 pm

Presentation Title: The Anthropology of Hunting

Speaker: Wilson “Dub” Crook

Abstract:

One of the most significant aspects of prehistoric life in Texas (and North America in general) was hunting. From the earliest Paleoindian times through to the Late Prehistoric, subsistence hunting formed an integral component of the daily lives of the indigenous inhabitants of the state. But how often do we think about what hunting entails? HAS member Dub Crook will combine both his archeological knowledge with his in-depth global hunting experiences to talk about prehistoric hunting, animal behavior, and the various hunting techniques that are required to successfully stalk and kill wild game.

In his presentation, Dub will discuss hunting tactics for dangerous big game (elephant, mammoth, mastodon, buffalo, bears, big cats), plains game (antelope, deer, elk, caribou), mountain game (sheep, goats, ibex), and small game animals. He will discuss the risks and rewards facing the prehistoric peoples and how this impacted their hunting methods, strategies and decisions. He will also describe the many factors such as weather, wind, cover, ground terrain, and water/food availability that affect hunting. The objective of the talk is to give you, especially non-hunters, a better appreciation of the difficulties faced by our prehistoric inhabitants on a daily basis. This talk was a basis for a class taught by Mr. Crook to anthropology students at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Bio:

Mr. Crook is a Life Member (Fellow) of the Houston Archeological Society, a Life Member of the Dallas Archeological Society, a member of the Texas Archeological Society, a member of the Center for the Study of the First Americans, a Life Member of the Gault School of Archeological Research, a Research Fellow with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory in Austin, and a Fellow of the Leakey Foundation. He is also an Archeological Steward for the State of Texas. He is the author of over 180 papers in the field of archeology and has recently published his fourth book titled The Carrollton Phase Archaic: A Redefinition of the Chronology, Composition, and Aerial Distribution of the Early Archaic Horizon along the Trinity River, Texas.

Place: Your computer, smart phone, or laptop.

The Zoom Link will be sent separately.

For more information about this meeting, email HAS President Linda Gorski at lindagorski@cs.com.


Zoom – General Meeting, January 16, 2021

The Zoom Meeting “Doors” will open at 12:30 pm so you can log on to the meeting. The meeting will start at 1:00 pm as usual. You will receive an email with the Zoom link several days before the meeting.

Presentation Title: Dogma and the Peopling of the Americas

Speaker: Clark Wernecke, Executive Director, The Gault School of Archaeological Research

Abstract:

In 1590, a novel idea was proposed to explain the presence of humans in the New World: they must have walked here from Asia. That idea seemed better than the alternatives being floated at the time so it became generally accepted and gradually added to until it became the story we teach 4th graders today. With the discovery of older materials at Blackwater Draw in New Mexico it was put forward that Clovis technology must represent these first peoples.

Unfortunately, there was never any scientific proof that this is what had happened. Popular media would have it that scientists began to doubt this train of events in the 70’s with the discovery of Monte Verde though the reality is that there have been many in the scientific community that have always doubted all aspects of this idea – who, what, when, where, and why. Recent discoveries have shown that humans were in the Western Hemisphere a lot longer than previously thought and should cause us to reexamine all aspects of the old hypothesis.

Photos are of some of the oldest materials from Gault (left photo), and a Clovis point from Zephyr, Texas, that was recently brought to the GSAR.

Bio:

Clark Wernecke is the Project Director for the Prehistory Research Project at the University of Texas at Austin and Executive Director of the Gault School of Archaeological Research, a nonprofit dedicated to research and education regarding the earliest peoples in the Americas. Dr. Wernecke started his academic career with a degree in history from SMU followed by an MBA from Northwestern University, an M.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic, and finally his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. He came back to archaeology after a career in business and has worked in the Middle East, Mesoamerica, the American Southeast and Southwest, and Texas. Dr. Wernecke’s primary specialty is that of archaeological project management but he has also written extensively on architecture and paleoindian art.

Place: Your home, computer, laptop, or smart phone. Be sure your Zoom app is up-to-date.


Interesting Discoveries – Perttula Paper Kerr County

A number of prehistoric Indian pottery sherds were recently discovered by the Hill Country Archeological Association at two sites in Kerr County. The pottery types are Leon Plain, Doss Red and Caddo.

The Leon Plain and Doss Red pottery sherds are typical made by tribes here in the Hill Country from A.D. 900 to late A.D. 1700’s and were associated with the Toyah phase; whereas the Caddo pottery sherds were likely from pottery made in east Texas by the Caddo Indians during Woodland period from B.C. 500 to A.D. 1830.

The Caddo pottery sherds found during these studies were likely traded as pots and carried into the Kerr County from East Texas….Read More.


Presentation – HCAA Discovers Paleoindian Points in Kerr County!

First Saint Mary’s Hall Found. Characteristic Oblique, Parallel Flaking Pattern (but UL to LR)

The Texas Historical Commission has just posted a YouTube story of our discovery of 14 ancient St Mary’s Hall Points near bison bone and a cooking hearth during excavations in Kerr county. This exciting story is told by Steve Stoutamire and can be viewed by clicking Texas Archeology Month 2020 Virtual Symposium – Central and North-Central Texas.


Article – An English Architect in Kendall County, Alfred Giles, Architect (1853-1920) Part I

Edward Steves Home, 509 King William Street, San Antonio One of Alfred Giles’s First Designs in 1876.
(Photo by E. Eugene George)

by Myrna Flach Langford

By appearance and reputation it would seem, at first glance anyway, that it was an easy life for architect Alfred Giles. Should you meet him in late 1800s perhaps on a street in Comfort near the Faltin building or in Boerne near the old Kendall County Courthouse, where he would later oversee its new façade design and expansion, he would seem a privileged gentleman of means and talent.

You most certainly would have heard of his reputation for the fine architecture of countless Texas courthouses, military facilities, and San Antonio’s King William area mansions, as well as his large homestead, Hillingdon Ranch in Kendall County . . . (read more, pg 7-9)


Back to Bondage: The Story of the Sugarland 95

Presentation by: Reign Clark, Catrina Whitley, and Ron Ralph (October 20, 2020)

This is a fascinating and detailed archeological study of 95 African American convicts buried in a cemetery at the Bullhead Convict Labor Camp in Sugarland, Texas (41FB355). These convicts died during forced labor in sugarcane fields in the period from 1875 to 1908. The Zoom presentation is from the October 20th meeting of the Travis County Archeological Society. Lots of great detail. In the last 40 minutes the physical anthropologist gets down to the dirty story of what their living conditions and diet were like, and how this affected their heath.


Notice of Field Work

In an effort to keep HCAA membership apprised of our association’s current status, following is an update of HCAA field activities:

In early March of this year, field work at CWR was suspended due to COVID-19. In early May exploratory efforts were made with a small crew going back out to see how well CDC recommendations could be implemented in the field. Following several successful outings the number of participants was expanded to 10, the CDC-recommended limit for outdoor gatherings. Social distancing and frequent hand-washing are among the newly adopted protocols in effect for the return to regular weekly excavations.

HCAA members are welcome to join us on Mondays. You can click here to contact me, Françoise, via email, and your name will be added to a rotating list of members to be contacted. Rotation is being implemented to give all interested parties a fair chance at being contacted regarding available space.

Additionally, Paul Unger is starting up a new project. It does not have an official HCAA Principal Archeologist (P.A.) as do other HCAA controlled sites. If you are interested in assisting Paul, you may click here to contact Paul via email or at 512-760-5788 for details.

Finally, there is also a need for a few members to volunteer to help Terry Farley and John Benedict record historical cemeteries in the area. Terry and John have been coordinating an effort with the Texas Historical Commission on this effort. If you have an interest, click here to contact Terry Farley via email or at 830-496-0531.

We hope these opportunities can satisfy those members who are eager to return to participating in safe, outdoor activities with others interested in “Protecting the Past”. Françoise Wilson, P.A. for CWR


Unconventional Warfare in the Hill Country: INSURGENCY AND COUNTER INSURGENCY

In 1862, General H.P. Bee, commander of all Confederate forces in South Texas, declared Gillespie, Kerr, Kendall, Medina, and Bexar Counties – where the German protests were the strongest – to be “in open rebellion” and, in effect, declared war on them. Robert G. Schulz, Jr. wrote an unpublished article “The Nueces Massacre, also known as the Battle of the Nueces” describing the events preceding and following that terrible outrage. Read more . . .


EVENT – Texas Archeological Society Field School 2020 Kerrville

CURRENT FIELDWORK

The Creek Shelter Project–HCAA-KR-44 (August 2019)

In December of 2018, Marvin Gohlke, Jr. and his son, Trei (Marvin Gohlke, III) were exploring along a bluff above a creek on a new place they had bought in Western Kerr County. . . More.

CWR Prehistoric Project (August 2019)

In December 2018, HCAA crew members began to perform hand excavations at CWR, a privately-owned ranch in west Kerr County. Since then we’ve uncovered a remarkably rich trove of artifacts. . . . More.

Johann Scherz Homestead and Grave Site Project

Author: John Benedict

In the fall of 2018, a team of HCAA members visited, surveyed, recorded the old Johann Schertz homestead. . . More.

Historic African-American Family Cemetery Project

Cleared & recorded historic cemetery in Boerne . . . Read more with Part 1 article and Part 2 article.

Former Slave Cabin Project

Surveyed a log cabin built by a former slave . . . More.

MUST SEE

To contact us: Visit our contact page, or email contact info@hcarcheology.org

Mail your inquiries to HCAA, PO Box 290393, Kerrville Texas 78029-0393

“Never neglect details.” – Colin Powell