Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.
Speaker: Dr. Harry J. Shafer, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Texas A&M University, Curator of Archaeology, Witte Museum
Topic: “Bison: Human Predation and Climate Change”
This talk is about bison predation by prehistoric Indians and climate. Bison were valuable resources for food and trade to central Texas Indian groups but were not always present. The climate over the past 12,000 years has gradually warmed but during that time several cold episodes had dramatic affect on bison movements into central Texas.
The ebb and flow of bison presence and absence significantly impacted the economy and lifeways of the native Indian groups. Trade, establishing territorial rights, and internecine warfare were all consequences of bison presence. In this talk I highlight the material expressions left behind during the bountiful and lean times that help us tell the story of central Texas’ dynamic past.
Dr. Shafer is the Curator of Archaeology at the Witte Museum. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Anthropology at The University of Texas at Austin. He was employed for 10 years as an archaeologist at UT-Austin before moving to Texas A&M University in 1972 to establish the archaeology program. He retired after 30 years of teaching at Texas A&M University and moved to San Antonio.
His research specialty is material culture, especially lithics, ceramics, architecture, and mortuary patterns. His field research areas include Texas, the Mimbres and Jornada areas of the American Southwest, and southern Maya Lowlands in Belize.
Dr. Shafer has authored or co-authored over 300 monographs, journal articles, book chapters, and posters. He has written two books, Ancient Texans: Art and Lifeway Along the Lower Pecos, and Mimbres Archaeology at the NAN Ranch Ruin, New Mexico, and has co-authored two books, Maya Stone Tools and Field Methods in Archaeology and edited Painters in Prehistory: Archaeology and Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands. He co-owns an archaeological consulting business Abasolo Archaeological Consultants with Dr. Thomas Hester in San Antonio Texas.