General Meeting Announcement for Hill Country Archeological Association – A Zoom Meeting
Saturday, May 15, 2021, 1:00 pm. Zoom “doors open” at 12:30 pm
Locating and Recording Lost Cemeteries of the Hill Country
Jenny McWilliams, Cemetery Preservation Program Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission
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.
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.
A Zoom Meeting on your computer, smart phone, or laptop. Zoom Link to be sent by email!
Watch for it!
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.
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
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.
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.
A Zoom Meeting on your computer, smart phone, or laptop. Zoom Link to be sent by email! Watch for it!
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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.
To contact us: Visit our contact page, or email contact email@example.com
Mail your inquiries to HCAA, PO Box 290393, Kerrville Texas 78029-0393