GENERAL MEETING, March 16, 2019

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Doors open at 12 noon with refreshments. Meeting begins at 1:00 pm.

Topic: 

“Connellee Peak (41MY5): A Geographically Aberrant Middle Ceramic Period Mesa Top Community in Motley County, Texas”

Speaker:

Dr. Christopher Lintz, Research Associate, Texas State University

Abstract:

The Connellee Peak site is a small mesa top occupation located in the Middle Pease River drainage in Motley County that has been historically known at least since 1886. The occurrence of flakes, bone, chipped and ground stone tools, prehistoric pottery and ashy deposits on top of the mesa as well as more than a dozen deep mortar holes in talus slope boulders attest to prolonged and intensive prehistoric occupations at the site.

Abundant historic graffiti occurs on the sides of the mesa, and even a few turn of the century photographs document that the mesa has been a favorite recreation area since the 19th century. The mesa top sediments were extensively vandalized by a family of relic hunters and their friends between 1947 and 1993, when the patriarch died. The local bank in Matador displays three frames containing more than 500 projectile points attributed to this site which document dominant prehistoric occupations spanning the Late Archaic through perhaps Late Ceramic Periods (ca. 3,000 to 300 years ago).

A collection of more than 1,800 plain and cord marked potsherds from Connellee Peak were given to a friend of the family during the period of excavations. Over the years, considerable efforts at matching and restoring vessel portions have reduced the pottery assemblage to 1,531 sherds all from the Late Prehistoric/Middle Ceramic Period (AD 1200 – 1550). No sherds attributed to the Early or Late Ceramic Periods, nor clear trade wares from East Texas or the Southwest are evident in the ceramic assemblage.

The closest recorded site with cord marked pottery occurs some 75 km to the north in the Red River Drainage. The Connellee Peak cord marked pottery has a remarkably high incidence of punctated, incised, and modelled decorations relative to the Antelope Peak Phase peoples in the Canadian River drainage of the central Texas panhandle. Although decorated pottery is rare in most Classic Antelope Creek assemblages, sites in Southern Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle and the eastern edge of the Texas panhandle display a wide range of decorations that have been inadequate investigated or rigorously documented.

This talk focuses on a description of the mesa, associated features and petroglyphs, and the decorated cord marked ceramic assemblage from Connellee Peak. Comparison of the ceramic decorative motifs draws comparisons with ceramic motifs found elsewhere in a preliminary attempt to determine if the Connellee Peak occupation represent a displaced group, or a newly recognized group of people with a distinctively different range of motifs in their cord marked ceramic assemblage.

Bio:

Dr. Chris Lintz, PhD Archeologist from Austin, Texas, currently Research Associate with Texas State University, Anthropology Department. Chris is newly retired from the Wildlife Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. While there, he conducted and oversaw the cultural resource studies on 1,200 square miles in 51 Wildlife Management Areas across Texas and also conducted archeological studies for federally-funded wildlife habitat enhancement grants on private lands. He has conducted archeological projects in many, many states and Puerto Rico in his more than 50-year career. He graduated with a B.A. from Arizona State University, and earned MA and PhD degrees from the University of Oklahoma.

Place: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028


GENERAL MEETING, January 19, 2019

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Doors open at 12 noon with refreshments. Meeting begins at 1:00 pm.

Topic: “Constructing Power in the Preclassic Maya: Monumental Architecture and Sociopolitical Inequality at Early Xunantunich, Belize”
Speaker: Zoe Rawski, Anthropologist, UTSA
Abstract:

 

This research focuses on the origins of sociopolitical inequality and, eventually, divine kingship at the site of Early Xunantunich in Belize. Rawski examines this topic primarily through an analysis of public monumental architecture and how these buildings change through time. She also emphasizes the importance of ritual performance, feasting, and the exchange of exotic goods in the consolidation of sociopolitical power, and discuss how this played a role in the development of kingship in the region. She will also discuss some of the exotic materials found, including a set of late Preclassic jade diadem jewels which are an indicator of early kingship in the region. More on Xunantunich: Xunantunich Maya Site Belize, Xunatunich Wikipedia

Bio: 

Zoe Rawski is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her M.A. from UTSA in 2018 and her B.A. from Hunter College in 2013. In 2017, Zoe was named a National Geographic Young Explorer. Her research focuses on the role of monumental architecture in the rise of sociopolitical inequality and dynastic rulership in the Maya lowlands.She is particularly interested in the strategies implemented in the Preclassic to centralize power and legitimize an emergent Maya elite. She has conducted research at a variety of sites across Belize, most recently focusing on the Preclassic center of Early Xunantunich in the Mopan Valley, where she is completing her dissertation project.

PlaceRiverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, November 17, 2018

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Doors open at 12 noon with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

This Meeting Will Review Our HCAA Site Work:

Title: Part 1: Kemosabe: A Rich Multi-Component Site Along The Guadalupe River, Kerr County – Over 7,000 Years Of Archeology

A Rich Multi-Component Site Along The Guadalupe River, Kerr County
A Rich Multi-Component Site Along The Guadalupe River, Kerr County

 

Speaker: Steve Stoutamire, Retired Geologist, MS Geology, BA Anthropology, Texas Archeological Stewardship Network, Member of Texas Archeological Society and Hill Country Archeological Association

Abstract:

Kemosabe is an 88-acre archeological project along the Guadalupe River, West Kerrville, Texas. Five years of investigations by the Hill Country Archeology Association reveal that it is a rich multi component site with solid cultural representations from the Earl Archaic through Late Archaic. Hints of Late Paleo Indian and Late Prehistoric culture also occur. Kemosabe is similar to the nearby Gatlin Site (41KR621) which is hailed in literature as one of the 3 most significant Early Archaic sites ever found in Central Texas. The majority of culture at Kemosabe and Gatlin is within sediments of the second river terrace. Approximately 350 cubic meters of soil was hand excavated at Gatlin compared to 84 cubic meters, thus far, at Kemosabe. The artifact density per cubic meter appears richer at Kemosabe, however. Pending final logistics, the TAS 2020 Field School is planned to be held at Kemosabe.

Title Part 2: Stones, Slaves, Caves, Log Cabins and Arrowheads: Archeological Sites in Kendall County and Beyond.

Speaker: John Benedict, Retired TAMU Biologist, BA Biology, PhD. Arthropod Biology, Texas Archeological Stewardship Network, Member of Texas Archeological Society and Hill Country Archeological Association

HCAA Survey Team Standing in a Lithic Scatter Feature, Gillespie County
HCAA Survey Team Standing in a Lithic Scatter Feature, Gillespie County

 

Abstract:

A goal of the Hill Country Archeological Association is to survey and record new archeological sites before they are lost to construction, looting and erosion. Many of our members are engaged in this activity. I will discuss some of the newly recorded historic and prehistoric archeology sites in Kendall and surrounding counties. These range from a historic slave cabin, to a cemetery for former slaves, to prehistoric rock art, to burned rock middens and sinkholes explored for grave sites of prehistoric peoples. Some of these sites represent the first peoples to live in this area while others are the first German immigrants to settle here in 1850’s. Others were the first English settlers who came from Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi, some with their slaves, and settled here to grow cotton or setup grist mills to grind grain for flour, or make bricks, or shingles from bald cypress, or charcoal for cooking, or raise cattle and sheep. They all have a story to tell and have left behind bits and pieces of their lives that tell us how they lived and maybe a little of who they were.

Place: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

HCAA General Meeting, September 15, 2018

Title: “Sorting the Fragments: Osteological Research of Hellenistic to Early Christian Tombs in Cyprus”

Speaker: Dr. Nick Herrmann, Associate Professor, Anthropology Dept, Texas State University

Place: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

Abstract:

The island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean has been occupied for well over 12,000 year. During the Bronze Age through the Roman period, the population across the island increased significantly with major towns and cities being established at what would become several of the modern metropolises. As a result, tombs from all time periods are often found during planned excavations and during construction in the cities.

The analysis of a highly commingled human bone collection recovered from three tombs in Nicosia will be discussed and placed within the island’s historical context. In addition, the methods applied will be highlighted relative to forensic anthropological applications utilized for commingled human remains.

Bio:

Nicholas Herrmann received his BA and MA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1988 and 1990, respectively. After stints at the University of New Mexico Office of Contract Archaeology and the Smithsonian Institution, he completed his PhD at University of Tennessee in 2002. Since then he has worked for the University of Tennessee in a Post-Doctoral position in 2003 and then as a Research Assistant Professor in the Forensic Anthropology Center and Archaeological Research Laboratory. He then moved to the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University in 2008 until 2016. In January of 2016, he started as an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. He has worked across the US and in Central American. Currently, he has active projects in Greece and Cyprus as well as the US.  

GENERAL MEETING, July 21, 2018

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

Speaker: Dr. Elton Prewitt, Research Fellow at TARL, University of Texas, Austin

Topic: “The Mystery of Painted Pebbles in Prehistoric Cultures”

Abstract: 

Small painted stones found in dry rockshelters throughout the Lower Pecos Canyonlands have intrigued avocational and professional archeologists for nearly a century. Traditionally interpreted as ritual objects, they often are attributed to women’s roles in increase rituals involving fertility and water abundance, with specific motifs linked to natural phenomena relating to life cycles. Post-painting breakage of painted pebbles is common. Once they were used for their intended purposes, they apparently no longer were sacred and were returned to secular use as mundane tools. Many pebbles, whether whole or broken, display pitting and scratching suggestive of knapping tools.

In this talk I discuss the history of pebble investigations, the previously defined styles of painted pebbles and their variability through time. I explore the differences in painting techniques, the colors used, and the kinds of stones selected in the sample of over 700 specimens currently under analysis. Some of the problems encountered during analysis of painted pebbles are reviewed, including preservation and post-excavation/collection treatment. Some of the component elements observed and their variation in placement are described. While interpretations of the meaning of the painted images are far from being identified, a few suggestions for avenues of research are provided.

My collaborators on this project are Dr. Jean Clottes of Foix, France and Dr. Carolyn Boyd who holds the Shumla Endowed Professorship at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Red & Black Painted Pebbles
Red & Black Painted Pebbles
Red Painted Pebbles
Red Painted Pebbles
Black Painted Pebbles
Black Painted Pebbles
Painted Pebbles from Val Verde County
Painted Pebbles from Val Verde County

Bio:

Mr. Prewitt (B.A., M.A.) is a Research Fellow at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin. A Registered Professional Archeologist, the retired co-founder of Prewitt and Associates, Inc, also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Shumla Archeological Research and Education Center, and the Gault School of Archeological Research.

His area of interest is Texas archeology, and over the past 55-plus years has worked in every part of the state. He has authored or co-authored numerous monographs, articles and book chapters, and has delivered over 90 papers, lectures and talks. His areas of specialty include southern plains prehistory, projectile point morphology, regional Texas chronologies and portable art.

A native of Kirbyville, Mr. Prewitt makes his home near Austin with his wife Kerza.

Place: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, May 19, 2018

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 MuseumHarry J. Shafer, PhD

Topic: “Bison: Human Predation and Climate Change”

Abstract:

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.

Bio:

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.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, March 17, 2018

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

[2017 HCAA Ancient Echoes Journal NOW AVAILABLE!All current members will receive a complimentary copy of the latest journal at the March 17 General Meeting. Those interested in purchasing a copy may do so at the March 17 meeting.]

Speaker: Dr. Michael J. O’Brien, Provost, Texas A&M University-San Antonio & Professor of History, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Lecture Title: “CULTURAL LEARNING AND THE CLOVIS COLONIZATION OF NORTH AMERICA”

Abstract:

The timing of the earliest colonization of North America is debatable, but what is not at issue is the point of origin of the early colonists: Humans entered the continent from Beringia and then made their way south along or near the Pacific Coast and/or through a corridor that ran between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets in western North America. At some point, they abandoned their Arctic-based tool complex for one more adapted to an entirely different environment.

That new techno-complex is termed “Clovis,” and its dispersal allows us to examine, at a fine scale, how colonization processes played out across a vast continent that at the time had at best a very small resident population. Clovis has figured prominently in American archaeology since the first Clovis points were identified in eastern New Mexico in the 1930s, but the successful marriage of learning models grounded in evolutionary theory and modern analytical methods that began roughly a decade ago has begun to pay significant dividends in terms of what we know about the rapid spread of human groups across the last sizable landmass to witness human occupation.

Bio:

Michael J. O’Brien was born in Houston in 1950 and graduated from St. Thomas High School in Houston in 1968. His undergraduate degree is from Rice University (1972) and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin (1977). After graduation he served as a research associate at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln until 1980, when he joined the University of Missouri as an assistant professor of anthropology and director of the American Archaeology Division, the research arm of the anthropology department.

He became director of the Museum of Anthropology several years later and joined the College of Arts and Science dean’s office as associate dean for research. He was promoted to the rank of professor in 1989 and became dean of arts and science in 2006 following a national search.

O’Brien is best known for his work in evolutionary archaeology and biology and has authored or edited 26 books and written over 150 articles, which have appeared in journals such as Science, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Journal of Human Evolution, and Journal of Theoretical Biology. O’Brien and his wife, Gloria, have five grown children and a rather lazy cat, Marley.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, January 20, 2018

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

Speaker: Dr. David Maltsberger PhD, Professor, School of Religion and Philosophy, Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio campus

Lecture Title: “With My Own Two Hands”: A Survey of Domestic, Military, and Agricultural Lithic Artifacts in the Ancient Near East

Abstract: 

The lithic story of the Ancient Near East extends from the Paleolithic period into later periods when copper, bronze, and iron implements began to appear alongside earlier stone tools. Yet, the widespread use of stone tools and weapons did not entirely diminish in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Domestic hand tools, agricultural blades, and mace heads and slingstones provide insights into the extended functionality of these utilitarian collections that allowed for the settlement and conquest of the Near East despite changes in social structures and political rule.

Beginning with a survey of the development and spread of stone tools across the cultural spectrum, we will examine how various lithic assemblages that appeared by the Neolithic Period evolved and remained an integral part of the life of the peoples of the Levant for millennia side by side with their more durable metal counterparts.

Bio:

David Maltsberger serves as a Professor in the School of Religion and Philosophy at Wayland Baptist University’s San Antonio campus. Since 1984 he has participated in and served as principle investigator on archaeological projects in Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. His work has included studies of Late Bronze Age scarabs and seals in Israel, several surveys of Jordanian megalithic funerary monuments of the Early Bronze Age, and, more recently, studies of Greco-Roman sacred iconography in SE Turkey. He and his wife Elaine live in Boerne and have four adult children.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, November 18, 2017

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

Speaker: Kat Brown, Associate Professor, UTSA, Anthropology Department

Lecture Title: The Chamber of Secrets at Xunantunich, Belize: Investigating Ancient Maya Sages 

Abstract: 

Although ancient Maya graffiti has been documented at a number of sites, our understanding of this art form remains limited. New evidence from the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich may shed light on the function of graffiti in certain contexts. Investigations at El Castillo, a 39 meter tall acropolis, uncovered a Late Classic eastern room that was carefully filled with clay and stacked stones. The walls were covered with incised images and designs, ranging from simple sketches (graffiti) to more formal renderings.

In this presentation, we suggest that this room was a special place where an ancient Maya Sage trained apprentices in the arts and sacred knowledge. Lending support to this interpretation, the walls were partitioned into sections and several images were repeated as if the designs were being practiced. This suggests that some plastered walls were not simply structural but also served as canvases for sketching, artistic training, and learned scribal expression. This newly discovered chamber of secrets provides a glimpse into how ancient Maya sacred knowledge was passed on.

 

Bio: 

M. Kathryn Brown is the Lutcher Brown Endowed Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her Ph.D in Anthropology at Southern Methodist University in 2003. Her research focuses on the rise of complexity in the Maya lowlands and the role of ritual and ceremonial architecture in the Preclassic period.

Much of her research examines questions related to the development of divine kingship during the Preclassic and how this institution is continually maintained and legitimized during the Classic period through religion, economy, and warfare. She is currently the director of the Mopan Valley Preclassic Project and co-director of the Mopan Valley Archaeological Project.

She has focused her recent investigations at the site of Xunantunich, Belize. She is the coeditor of Ancient Mesoamerican Warfare (with Travis Stanton, 2003) and Pathways to Complexity: A View from the Maya Lowlands (with George J. Bey III, 2018), and she has several recent publications that have appeared in Mexicon, Advances in Archaeological Practice, Latin American Antiquity, and Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, September 16, 2017

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

Speaker: Eric Schroeder, BA, MA, MS, Anthropology, Archeology, Geography 

Lecture Title: AN INVESTIGATION INTO LATE PREHISTORIC TRADE FAIR SITES IN TEXAS

Abstract:

Travels of Juan Sabeata ca. 1683-1692

Archeologists have used the term, “trade fair” to describe a cluster of spatially distinct contemporaneous artifact assemblages within a particular site that are understood to represent distinct cultural groups who engaged in exchange. Such an inference has been taken as being somewhat tenuous, as it is based largely on conjecture and lacks the robustness to be considered a meaningful archeological pattern. This talk seeks to enhance our understanding of prehistoric trade fair sites by proposing an improved model of this phenomenon – one that incorporates ethnohistoric and ethnographic data on native trade practices.

Bio: 

Eric Schroeder is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin writing his dissertation on how prehistoric mobile populations in Texas between A.D. 1250 and 1700 organized their internal politics. His work focuses on the particular strategies tribal and group leaders employed to establish and maintain leadership and control over intertribal coalitions. In addition to his academic interest, Eric is a long-time professional in archeology and historic preservation, and operates his own archeological consulting firm out of the Austin area. Eric was raised in west Texas, where as a young lad he learned the value of a good hard days work as a farmhand on his family’s farm. He is a retired US Army combat veteran, and currently lives in Bastrop County with his wife Susan.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

 

GENERAL MEETING, July 15, 2017

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

Speaker: Dr. Christopher Lintz, Ph.D.

Lecture Title: HAULING ROCKS AND FIRED CLAY: LATE PREHISTORIC INTERACTIONS AROUND AND BEYOND THE ALIBATES QUARRIES IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE

Abstract:

Two of the Late Prehistoric period (AD 1200-1500) Plains Village farming groups in the panhandle are the Antelope Creek phase, centered on the Alibates flint quarries in the Canadian River drainage, and the Buried City Complex along Wolf Creek in northeastern part of the panhandle. Both groups lived in similar kinds of stone foundation houses and made cord-marked pottery, but the people of the Buried City Complex made much larger houses and have a much higher incidence of decorated cordmarked pottery. These differences are sufficiently stark to permit archaeologists to draw potentially different kinds of adaptations for the two areas. Attempts to understand and explain the differences between Antelope Creek and Buried City have been elusive.

This talk examines the formation and occurrence of the beautifully banded Alibates chert that was mined by the Antelope Creek people and surveys the distribution exchange of this valuable commodity used for making cutting and scraping implements before the occurrence of metal artifacts. Compiling petrographic and geo-chemical data from pottery sites across the region, I proposes that the Buried City Complex is not a different culture, but rather this functionally specialized area that represents both a rendezvous trade center hosting southern Kansas groups, and a gateway region for keeping foreign groups away from the valuable chert mining quarries in the Canadian River valley.

Bio:

Dr. Christopher Lintz is recently retired as the Wildlife Division archaeologist at Texas parks and Wildlife Division and is currently a Research Associate with Texas State University in San Marcos. He has been an archaeologist since 1963 and participated in and conducted projects in 17 States and Puerto Rico. Since 1970, he has focused his geographical research interests on the southern High Plains with emphasis on ecological anthropology involving paleo-environmental reconstruction, settlement/subsistence patterns, architectural and community patterns, technological trends in lithic resource extraction and tool manufacture, ceramic technology, and exchange/interaction across the Southern Plains region with adjacent areas. His PhD dissertation awarded in 1984 focused on defining the Antelope Creek phase of the Texas-Oklahoma panhandle region. More than 40 of his 350 publications have dealt with investigating facets of the prehistoric human primary activities and adaptations to this region.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

GENERAL MEETING, May 20, 2017

Speaker: Thomas R. Hester, PhD

Bio: 

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.

Lecture Title: OBSIDIAN AT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN TEXAS;
THEIR GEOLOGICAL SOURCES AND
CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS

Abstract:

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.

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

GENERAL MEETING, March 18, 2017

Doors open at 12:30 pm with refreshments. Lecture begins at 1:00 pm.

Lecture Title: Hall’s Cave, Kerr County, Texas, A Unique Paleoenvironmental Site with Associated Archeology

Speaker: Steve Stoutamire

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

Abstract:

Hall’s Cave is typical of many caves within the karsted limestones of the Edwards Formation of the Edwards Plateau. It is very atypical, however, in that its sediments have recorded a nearly complete history of at least the last 17,000 years. Within these sediments are remains of plants and animals which lived within the cave or whose remains were washed into the cave or were brought there by carnivores. The cave has been studied by numerous scientists including vertebrate paleontologists, paleobotanists, geologists and archeologists.

Native Americans used the cave and surrounding area intermittently from at least the late Paleo Indian period to the Late Prehistoric period. Studies of the floral and faunal remains within the cave sediments have enabled scientists to interpret Central Texas ancient temperatures and moisture levels, ancient soil cover and depths and, ultimately, past landscapes and floral coverage. Hall’s Cave is considered by some scientists to be the best site in Texas to study ancient environments. It is also considered to be one of the top sites in the United States and the world for these type of studies.

Bio:

Steve Stoutamire is a retired petroleum geologist with an MS in geology from Texas Tech University and a BA in Anthropology/ Archeology from Florida State University. Since retirement in 2007 he has devoted much of his time to the archeology of the hill country of Texas through both site work and public education of professional archeology standards and topics. He is a member, and past president, of the Hill Country Archeology Association (HCAA), member of the Texas Archeology Society and serves as a Texas Archeology Steward for the Texas Historical commission.

GENERAL MEETING, January 21, 2017, 12:30pm

Lecture Title: The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas

Speaker: Dr. Carolyn E. Boyd, Research Director

Carolyn Boyd

and founder of Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center

 

Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028

Abstract:

The prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, created some of the most spectacularly complex, colorful, extensive, and enduring rock art of the ancient world. Perhaps the greatest of these masterpieces is the White Shaman mural, an intricate painting that spans some twenty-six feet in length and thirteen feet in height on the wall of a shallow cave overlooking the Pecos River. In discussing the White Shaman Mural, Carolyn E. Boyd takes us on a journey of discovery as she builds a convincing case that the mural tells a story of the birth of the sun and the beginning of time—making it possibly the oldest pictorial creation narrative in North America.

41vv0124_site_tour_0197-95dpiUnlike previous scholars who have viewed Pecos rock art as random and indecipherable, Boyd demonstrates that the White Shaman mural was intentionally composed as a visual narrative, using a graphic vocabulary of images to communicate multiple levels of meaning and function. Drawing on twenty-five years of archaeological research and analysis, as well as insights from ethnohistory and art history, Boyd identifies patterns in the imagery that equate, in stunning detail, to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples, including the ancient Aztec and the present-day Huichol. This paradigm-shifting identification of core Mesoamerican beliefs in the Pecos rock art reveals that a shared ideological universe was already firmly established among foragers living in the Lower Pecos region as long as four thousand years ago.

 

Dr. Boyd will be doing a book selling and signing after her presentation.

Bio:

Dr. Carolyn E. Boyd is the Research Director and founder of a nonprofit corporation, Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center (www.shumla.org). The organization’s mission is to preserve through documentation and education the prehistoric art of southwest Texas and Coahuila, Mexico. She serves as Research Professor at Texas State University. Boyd received her doctorate in archaeology from Texas A&M University based on her analysis of the 4,000 year-old rock art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of sWhite Shaman Muralouthwest Texas. She is the author of Rock Art of the Lower Pecos, published in 2003 by Texas A&M University Press and The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative, available through the University of Texas Press in the fall of 2016. She has published in numerous peer reviewed journals, such as Antiquity, American Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, Revista Iberoamericana de Lingüística, and Archaeometry and has contributed chapters in several edited volumes. Boyd teaches Field Methods in Rock Art, a three-week field school offered through Texas State University, gives numerous lectures around the country and abroad, serves on graduate committees, and is the Principal Investigator for the Lower Pecos Border Canyonlands Archaeological Project.