In 1984 Texas Historical Commission developed the Texas Archeological Stewardship Network (TASN). One of the most innovative and successful programs of its kind, that has served as the model for similar programs in other states. Stewards are not professional archeologists, yet highly trained and motivated avocational archeologists who strictly work on a volunteer basis. They cooperate with the Texas Historical Commission, local county Historical Commissions, city and county governments, nonprofits, private landowners, and professional archeologists in archeological and educational activities.
What exactly do stewards do? Quite a lot. They find, record and monitor archeological sites. They help obtain protective designations for important sites, and record private artifact collections. They help to develop county Historical Markers, and identify archeological lands to be protected in conservation easements. Some stewards give talks to schools and preservation groups and help organize events during Texas Archeology Month. Others assist THC archeologists on digs and surveys or carry out emergency, or “salvage,” excavations when an archeological resource is threatened with imminent destruction. Some write archeological publications and handbooks.
A steward might get involved in many activities or concentrate on one or two areas. In fact, some of the newest members, the marine stewards, specialize in investigating and protecting historic shipwrecks in Texas waters.
The Stewards Handbook provides details about the TASN’s purpose, activities, procedures and rules.
We are honored to have a number of THC Archeological Stewards as members of our organization. In recognition for their dedication and commitment to archeological preservation we thank the following HCAA member Stewards (listed alphabetically):
Stephen T. Bishop