All posts by Vanessa Davis


Volume 2, Article 5

By: Michelle Stokely
For many Americans, tipis symbolize the nomadic Native American culture and lifestyle. This understanding has been so extensively advanced by paintings, advertising, films, and television that tipis have come to be associated with Native American groups in almost all geographical regions. Tipis were, however, an integral part of residential and ceremonial life in the Great Plains where both construction and use were closely tied to indigenous social organization, politics, war, and spirituality. Among the Kiowa and Plains Apache, residents of the Southern Plains, some tipi covers were painted to reflect war deeds or spiritual blessings. This paper examines the construction, decoration, ownership, and destruction of historic Plains Apache tipis, as well as modern uses of the iconic structures.

Trans-Rio Bravo/Rio Grande International Research Collaboration Symposium and Panel Discussion at the 2015 Texas Archeological Society 86th Annual Meeting


2015 Texas Archeological Society 86th Annual Meeting                 Omni Westside Hotel, Houston Texas, October 24, 2015         Organized and sponsored by the Journal of Texas Archeology and

Download Full Press Release Here

Greetings! The Journal of Texas Archeology and is pleased to organize and sponsor the “Trans-Rio Bravo/Rio Grande International Research Collaboration Symposium and Panel Discussion”. The symposium is designed to explore the dearth of archeological research collaboration between two seemingly isolated groups of researchers who are geographically separated only by a thin channel of water that happens to be an international border. There is precious little direct involvement between researchers in Mexico and Texas. This is astounding considering we share a border that is 1,254 miles long!

We hope this event will promote goodwill between the two isolated groups of researchers: Texans and Mexicans. Four guest researchers have been invited to travel from their homes and work in Mexico to participate in this symposium and to engage with us during the TAS Annual Meeting.

Arguably, there is a critical lack of cooperation and collaboration between researchers in Texas and Mexico who are studying archeology and history of the region. Our objectives are threefold: to create a starting point for discussion of the subject; to act as a spring-board toward greater and more meaningful research collaboration in the future; and to open new channels of communication between the two groups.

Through this symposium and panel discussion, we propose to: Facilitate a dialogue regarding issues challenging current and future archeological research collaboration with perspectives presented by participants from both sides of the international border; and to throw a spotlight on recent archeological research along the international boundary region shared by Texas and Mexico where there has either been benefit from successful collaboration or where a project could be enhanced by “trans-Rio Bravo collaboration”. Our goals are to: promote an open dialogue between to two isolated groups of researchers; to hold a discussion of the limiting factors in open forum; to explore ways to address or overcome the hurdles faced by modern researchers of archeology in the region; and to promote future collaborative efforts.

The Panel Discussion will follow the final paper and will cover topics relevant to collaboration between researchers across the international boundary line between Texas and Mexico. These topics

may include, but are not limited to: language barrier, logistics, safety, publication, funding, access, travel, information sharing, communications, politics, etc.

Discussion will be co-directed by Dr. Todd Ahlman, Director of CAS and Sr. Gustavo Ramirez Castilla, Tamaulipas State Archeologist for INAH. Discussants will include: Tom Hester, Moises Valadez, Victoria L. Munoz, Breen Murray, Mary Jo Galindo and Martin Salinas. Dr. Jean Clottes will be included if he is available for the discussion. A generous grant from the Summerlee Foundation has made this symposium possible.


SATURDAY, October 24, 2015


1:30 PM – 1:50 PM THOMAS R. HESTER – 50 Years Along the Rio Grande: Reflections on a Variety of Archaeological Research Projects on the Border.”

1:55 PM – 2:15 PM    EMILIANO GALLAGA MURRIETA – “Escuela de Antropología e Historia del Norte de México (EAHNM): a Powerful Ally”

2:20 PM – 2:40 PM    VICTORIA L. MUNOZ – “¿Dónde está la frontera?” 

2:45 PM – 3:05 PM    WILLIAM BREEN MURRAY – “Connections: Rock Art Across the River of Two Names”

3:10 PM – 3:30 PM    MARY JO GALINDO – “Con un pie en cada lado: Nuevo Santander Ranching Communities”

3:35 PM – 3:55 PM   MARTIN SALINAS RIVERA – “Archival Resources for Ethnohistorical Studies of northeastern Mexico and Texas”


            An outstanding panel of researchers working along both sides of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande will assemble to explore the challenges and prospects of archeological research along our 1,254 mile international border.

CO-MODERATORS:     Dr. Todd M. Ahlman and Sr. Gustavo Ramirez Castilla

PANELISTS:           Dr. Thomas R. Hester

Dr. Moises Valadez Moreno

Victoria L. Munoz

Dr. William Breen Murray

Dr. Mary Jo Galindo

Dr. Martin Salinas Rivera

SPECIAL PANELIST:     Dr. Jean Clottes


After the panel discussion, the panelists will join the “President’s Reception” in the hotel lobby where our guest discussants and co-moderator from Mexico will be honored. They will be available to take your questions and continue the discussion.


Saturday, October 24th @ 4:00 PM – 4:50 PM                                       MYRIAM ARCANGELI                                                                                    Omni Westside Hotel, Houston Texas (open to the public)

“Sherds of History: Domestic Life in Colonial Guadeloupe”

Myriam Arcangeli

Book10pic1Ceramics serve as one of the best-known artifacts excavated by archaeologists. They are carefully described, classified, and dated, but rarely do scholars consider their many and varied uses. Breaking from this convention, Myriam Arcangeli examines potsherds from four colonial sites in the Antillean island of Guadeloupe to discover what these everyday items tell us about the people who used them. In the process, she reveals a wealth of information about the lives of the elite planters, the middle and lower classes, and enslaved Africans.

By analyzing how the people of Guadeloupe used ceramics–whether jugs for transporting and purifying water, pots for cooking, or pearlware for eating–Arcangeli spotlights the larger social history of Creole life. What emerges is a detail rich picture of water consumption habits, changing foodways, and concepts of health. Sherds of History offers a compelling and novel study of the material record and the “ceramic culture” it represents to broaden our understanding of race, class, and gender in French-colonial societies in the Caribbean and the United States.

Arcangeli’s innovative interpretation of the material record will challenge the ways archaeologists analyze ceramics.

Book10pic2Myriam Arcangeli recently earned her doctorate in historical archaeology from Boston University. Her research on colonial-era ceramics in Guadeloupe–the basis for this book–explored the history of Creole culture and proposed a novel and original approach for analyzing and interpreting ceramics. Myriam has been interested in ceramics since the beginning of her career, and her first research projects examined the history of local potteries near Toulouse, in southwestern France. Intrigued by the colonial period, she then left for the United States, where she discovered American archaeology while excavating at Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George Washington. Currently, she is working on publishing her research in both French and English journals, and contributed to the forthcoming The Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia, edited by Mary C. Beaudry and Karen B. Metheny.

Publisher: University Press of Florida, 2/3/2015, ISBN: 978-0-8130-6042-2
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Saturday, October 24th @ 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM                                        WES & JACE TUNNELL                                                                                      Omni Westside Hotel, Houston Texas (open to the public)

“Pioneering Archaeology in the Texas Coastal Bend: The Pape-Tunnell Collection”

John W. Tunnell Jr. and Jace W. Tunnell

Book9pic1With a foreword by Thomas R. Hester and contributions from Harold F. Pape, John W. Tunnell Sr., and Thomas R. Hester

When Harold F. Pape moved to Gregory, Texas, in 1927, he quickly became fascinated by the wealth of Native American artifacts along the nearby shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay and what is now called Port Bay, a southern arm of the larger Copano Bay. A lifelong natural history enthusiast and collector, Pape met and married Lucile H. Tunnell, a widow with three young sons. Before long, John W. Tunnell, Lucile’s oldest son, was accompanying Pape on his field studies in surrounding areas and the wider Texas Coastal Bend.

Working in the days before much of the development that now covers the region, Pape and Tunnell studied more than two hundred sites throughout the Coastal Bend, making meticulous logs, maps, and notes of their discoveries.

John W. (Wes) Tunnell Jr. and Jace Tunnell have organized and documented their family collection and present it, along with brief biographies of the two collectors, as a survey of the state of knowledge in the late 1920s and 1930s, as well as a tribute to these two important early researchers and their body of work.

Book9pic2JOHN W. (WES) TUNNELL JR. is associate director and endowed chair of biodiversity and conservation science at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies and regents’ professor, Fulbright scholar, and Professor Emeritus of biology at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.

Book9pic3JACE W. TUNNELL, formerly director of research and planning at the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, is the director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, where he oversees research, environmental monitoring, and educational outreach.

Publisher:  Texas A&M University Press, 5/5/15, ISBN:  978-1-62349-274-8
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Saturday, October 24th @ 2:00 PM – 2:50 PM     DIANA GREENLEE   Omni Westside Hotel, Houston Texas (open to the public)

“Poverty Point: Revealing the Forgotten City”

Jenny Ellerbe and Diana M. Greenlee

Book8pic1The settlement of Poverty Point, occupied from about 1700 to 1100 BC and once the largest city in North America stretches across 345 acres in northeastern Louisiana. The structural remains of this ancient site—its earthen mounds, semicircular ridges, and vacant plaza—intrigue visitors as a place of inspiration as well as puzzlement. “Poverty Point: Revealing the Forgotten City” delves into this enduring piece of Louisiana’s cultural heritage through personal introspection and scientific investigation.

With stunning black-and-white photography by Jenny Ellerbe and engrossing text by archaeologist Diana M. Greenlee, this imaginative and informative book explores in full Poverty Point’s Late Archaic society and its monumental achievements. Ellerbe’s landscapes and commentary reflect the questions and mysteries fostered by her many visits to the site, and Greenlee discusses the most recent archaeological findings, explaining what past excavations have revealed about the work involved in creating the mounds and about the lives of the people who built them. The conversation between artist and archaeologist also covers what is still unknown about this place, including the city’s function in the ancient world and how its people acquired their stone materials, some of which originated over a thousand miles from Poverty Point.

The historical significance of Poverty Point, which was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014, resonates regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Jenny Ellerbe has spent most of her photographic career exploring and documenting the largely overlooked region surrounding her hometown of Monroe, Louisiana.  She is a self-taught photographer whose photographs have been published in journals such as Lenswork Magazine, The Oxford American, Science, Louisiana Life, and Louisiana Cultural Vistas.  Her work resides in the permanent collections of the Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, Louisiana, and the Book8pic2Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, as well as private collections in the US and Canada.

Diana M. Greenlee, Ph.D., is the Station Archaeologist at the Poverty Point World Heritage Site and an Adjunct Professor of Archaeology in the School of Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2002 and has been the Poverty Point Station Archaeologist since August 2006. In recognition of her contributions to the effort to place Poverty Point on the World Heritage List, she was named the 2013 Archaeologist of the Year by the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana.

Publisher:  LSU Press, April 2015, ISBN:   978-0807160213
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Author website
Poverty Point Facebook 
Poverty Point World Heritage Initiative Website


Saturday, October 24th @ 11:00 AM – 11:50 PM     HARRY SHAFER     Omni Westside Hotel, Houston Texas (open to the public)

“Painters in Prehistory:  Archaeology and Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.” 

Harry J. Shafer, PhD.

 Book7pic1Painters in Prehistory is an updated edition of the book Ancient Texans: Rockart and Lifeways along the Lower Pecos.  It presents the results of years of research and dedication to the story of the ancient Lower Pecos canyon dwellers, told by scholars, artists, and photographers who have deepened the understanding of the rock art interpretations and life of these prehistoric people.  The work draws from leading scholar in the field and on new scientific analysis of artifacts to yield a vivid view of the lifeways of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands.

Book7pic2Harry J. Shafer, PhD., is the new Curator of Archaeology for the Witte Museum.  He received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and has been active in archaeological research for the past 52 years. He is professor emeritus at Texas A&M University and his main research interests are Texas prehistory, the American Southwest (Mimbres and Jornada Mogollon), and Lowland Maya lithic technology.  His is a Texas Archeological Society Fellow and recipient of the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Shafer has written two books, Ancient Texans: Rock Art and Lifeways of the Lower Pecos and Mimbres Archaeology at the NAN Ranch Ruin. He is the editor of Painters in Prehistory, Archaeology and Art of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, and is a co-author (with Thomas Hester and Kenneth Feder) of Field Methods in Archaeology.  He has authored or co-authored more than 300 articles in scientific journals book chapters, and monographs.

Trinity University Press, 2013. Published in association with the Witte Museum. ISBN 978-1-59534-086-3 (hardcover).
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Saturday, October 24th @ 10:00 AM – 10:50 PM     MIKE WATERS  Omni Westside Hotel, Houston Texas (open to the public)

“The Hogeye Clovis Cache”

Michael Waters and Thomas Jennings

Book6pic2 Roughly thirteen thousand years ago, Clovis hunters cached more than fifty projectile points, preforms, and knives at the toe of a gentle slope near present-day Elgin, Bastrop County, in central Texas. Over the next millennia, deposition buried the cache several meters below the surface. The entombed artifacts lay undisturbed until 2003, when commercial sand mining uncovered this stash of ancient tools.  This is the story of the Hogeye cache and its remarkable collection of Clovis artifacts–a time capsule from the past.

Ultimately, fifty-two bifaces were recovered from the site.  This book provides a well-illustrated, thoroughly analyzed description and discussion of the Hogeye Clovis cache, the projectile points and other artifacts from later occupations, and the geological context of the site, which has yielded evidence of multiple Paleoindian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric occupations. The cache of tools and weapons at Hogeye, when combined with other sites, allows us to envision a snapshot of life at the end of the last Ice Age.

Book6pic1Dr. Michael R. Waters is the Director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans and Executive Director of the North Star Archaeological Research Program. He is known for his expertise in First American studies and geoarchaeology. Waters has worked on many archaeological field projects in the United States, Mexico, Russia, Jamaica, and Yemen. His current research projects include the Debra L. Friedkin Site, Texas; Coats-Hines Mastodon site, Tennessee; Page-Ladson site, Florida; and the Hueyatlaco site, Mexico. He has authored or co-authored numerous journal articles and book chapters and is the author of Principles of Geoarchaeology: A North American Perspective. Waters received the 2003 Kirk Bryan Award and the 2004 Rip Rapp Archaeological Geology Award given by the Geological Society of America. He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2004.

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press, 3/02/2015,ISBN: 978-1-62349-214-4 (hard cover), 978-1-62349-232-8 (eBook)
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Center First Americans Website  
Michael Waters Website  


Saturday, October 24th @ 9:00 AM – 9:50 PM     ANDY HALL

“Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast”

Book5pic1smIn the last months of the American Civil War, the upper Texas coast became a hive of blockade running. Though Texas was often considered an isolated backwater in the conflict, the Union’s pervasive and systematic seizure of Southern ports left Galveston as one of the only strongholds of foreign imports in the anemic supply chain to embattled Confederate forces. Long, fast steamships ran in and out of the city’s port almost every week, bound to and from Cuba. Hall ends this tale with an epilogue that describes the efforts of nautical archaeologists to unravel this tale of daring, desperation and profit.

Book5pic2Andy Hall has volunteered with the office of the State Marine Archaeologist at the Texas Historical Commission to help document historic shipwrecks in Texas waters since 1990. He has worked on numerous marine archaeology projects in Texas, notably from 1995 to 2004 on the Denbigh Project, the most extensive excavation and research program on a Civil War blockade runner in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2001 Hall was part of the inaugural group of volunteer marine archaeological stewards appointed by the Texas Historical Commission, the first group of its kind in the nation. Hall writes and speaks frequently on the subjects of Texas’ maritime history and its military conflicts in the 19th century. In 2012 Hall published his first book, The Galveston-Houston Packet: Steamboats on Buffalo Bayou, with the History Press of Charleston, South Carolina. His second book with the History Press, Civil War Blockade Running on the Texas Coast, was released in 2014. Hall was recently appointed an Honorary Texas Navy Admiral in recognition of his work in bringing Texas’ maritime history to a wider audience.

Publisher: The History Press, June 2014, ISBN:  978-1626195004
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Friday, October 23rd @ 4:00 PM – 4:50 PM     MARILYN JOHNSON

“ Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble”

Book4pic1smLives in Ruins has been praised for demystifying the profession and reporting on it with clarity and humor. The Dallas Morning News wrote: “As archaeologists collect potsherds and spearpoints, Marilyn Johnson became a collector of archaeologists, tracking them to Machu Picchu and to Fishkill, N.Y., to a Caribbean slave plantation and a Philadelphia beer tasting. In Lives in Ruins, she sifts and sorts them, unearthing a treasury of rare characters.” Sarah Parcak, K. Kris Hirst, World Archaeology, Discover, and American Archaeologist have recommended it, and Nature called it a “gem of hands-on reportage.”

Book4pic2Marilyn Johnson is not an archaeologist. Besides Lives in Ruins, she has written two other books for HarperCollins about people in cultural memory professions: The Dead Beat, about obituary writers, and This Book Is Overdue! about librarians and archivists. She wrote Smithsonian magazine’s story about the chancel burials in Jamestown this summer. She lives near New York City. After this conference, she will speak at the Houston Museum of Natural Science October 26th at 2:30 pm.

Publisher:  Harper, 2014, ISBN: 978-0062127181
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Friday, October 23rd @ 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM                                      NANCY KENMOTSU & DOUG BOYD

The Toyah Phase of Central Texas: Late Prehistoric Economic and Social Processes

Editors: Nancy A. Kenmotsu and Douglas K. Boyd

Book3pic1smContributing authors: John W. Arnn, III, Douglas K. Boyd, Zackary I. Gilmore, Leonard Kemp, Nancy A. Kenmotsu, Karl W. Kibler, Raymond Mauldin, Khori Newlander, Elton R. Prewitt, John D. Speth, and Jennifer Thompson.

This book is an edited volume with 9 chapters presenting a variety of perspectives on the archeology and ethnohistory of the Toyah phase.  Texas is particularly suited to the study of hunter-gatherers, for the majority of its lands were home to such groups for thousands of years.  The Toyah Phase of Central Texas focuses on the hunter-gatherers who occupied at least 25 percent of the state, particularly its central core, just before and during the early incursion of Spain north of the banks of the Rio Grande, a time frame known as the Toyah phase (AD 1300 – 1750).  Toyah phase sites have been of great interest to professional and avocational archeologists since they were first recorded and investigated over seventy years ago.  Several TAS field schools have investigated Toyah sites, including at Rowe Valley, Mission Espiritu Santo, and, more recently, Area 4 of the Eagle Bluff site.  The authors take advantage of previous and recent work on Toyah phase sites, especially a number of recent cultural resource management-sponsored excavations.

Once thought to be a single “cultural group” that spread across a large portion of Texas, it now seems likely that the Toyah phase represents a large social field composed of many different communities that shared a common material culture and lifestyle.  The authors examine topics such as what defines the Classic Toyah area and the variability seen in the peripheral Toyah areas, the archeological evidence for interregional exchange systems, subsistence, the role of intergroup conflicts, and the nature of Toyah society during the dynamic period of early European contact.  While this book may not provide definitive answers to all, it does make one step back and think about Toyah’s archeological and ethnographic evidence in new ways.

Book3pic2Dr. Nancy A. Kenmotsu is a Senior Archeologist at Versar, Inc.  Nancy’s primary research interest is how small-scale societies adapt to environmental and cultural change and has studied this topic by examining the impact of Spanish colonization on native populations of hunter-gatherers north and south of the Rio Grande as well as the interaction of the people of La Junta de los Rios (modern Presidio, Texas) with their hunter-gatherer and Puebloan neighbors.  She has also studied the history of Native Americans in the Lone Star state from Spanish contact to the early 20th century.

Book3pic3Douglas (Doug) K. Boyd
is a Vice
President at Prewitt & Associates, Inc., a firm specializing in cultural resource management.  Doug has been involved with Texas archeology throughout his
life, and he is very interested in the period when native peoples came under influence from European contact and the many changes that they experienced.  Born and reared in the Texas Panhandle, Doug has conducted extensive research on the history and prehistory of that region of the state.

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas, 2012, ISBN:  978-1-60344-690-7 (hard cover), 978-1-60344-755-3 (ebook)
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