Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.
Speaker: Dr. Thomas R. Hester, PhD
Lecture Title: OBSIDIAN AT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN TEXAS; THEIR GEOLOGICAL SOURCES AND CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS
Since 1970, the Texas Obsidian Project has analyzed dozens of obsidian flakes, broken bifaces, and arrow points from a wide range of central and south Texas sites The geochemical analyses done through X-ray fluorescence and neutron activation techniques have linked these pieces to distant obsidian outcrops, from southern Idaho to western Mexico. Moreover, the time frame for the obsidian artifacts ranges from Clovis times on up to the Historic era.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this project has been the identification of Mexican obsidian sources at about 20 sites in central and south Texas. Some of these sources lie 600-800 miles distant. At one site in Medina County, 4 pieces of obsidian were found – from 2 different sources in the State of Jalisco, Mexico.
The growing database on Texas obsidian sources has allowed us to assess its cultural meaning in hunter-gatherer groups, yet leaves several mysteries that continue to be pursued.
Dr. Hester is a native of Carrizo Springs and now lives in Marble Falls. His BA is from UT-Austin, and his Ph.D., UC-Berkeley. He taught for more than 30 years at UTSA and at UT-Austin. He has done archaeological research in Texas, Mexico, Belize, California, and Montana, and is the author of more than 600 published books, monographs and articles on his studies.