2018 J.T.A.H. International Scholars Symposium PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint presentations from the 2018 J.T.A.H. International Scholars Symposium held in conjunction with the T.A.S. Annual Meeting in San Antonio are now available here in PDF format.  Scroll down for complete listing of Symposium presentation title, abstract, presenter biography, photo and a link to the PowerPoint.  Please note: these PowerPoint PDF’s are copyright property of the authors and are provided here strictly for individual use and are not to be used for commercial purposes or other republication. Contact the author to request permission to reuse the information provided.

This symposium is sponsored and organized by the Journal of Texas Archeology and History.org, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax exempt, Texas non-profit corporation, with generous financial support from the Gilmore Foundation and support from Friends of the Texas Historical Commission.


Dr. Mary Jo Galindo, GalindoENV@gmail.com, Galindo Environmental, LLC, Austin, TX

Gustavo Alberto Ramirez Castilla, M.A., gustavoramirezc@gmail.com, I.N.A.H., Tamaulipas, MX

SYMPOSIUM TITLE: Spanish Colonial Borderlands: Colonial Roots of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico
ABSTRACT: By 1749, the Spanish colony of Nuevo Santander extended from Laredo to South Padre Island, with the Rio Nueces as the northern boundary between it and Coahuila y Texas. Nuevo Santander colonists were granted land on both sides of the Rio Grande (Rio Bravo del Norte). They were tasked with pushing the frontier further north away from the mining communities of Nuevo Leon, defending their property from hostile Native American groups in the area, and perfecting an open-range style of Longhorn cattle raising that involved horse-mounted management of herds. The colonists participated in the regional economy, including copper mining, and adapted to the area with knowledge gained from Native Americans.   Welcome Slide Information. 

  1. TITLE: Nuevo Santander – The Unrealized Archaeological Potential of a “Civilian” Province In Northern New Spain

ABSTRACT: In 1746 the Viceroy of New Spain called for the founding of a new province to be located between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River. Between 1748-1755 two dozen civilian communities of farmers and ranchers were established by the province’s founder José de Escandón. Many towns were founded along the banks of the Rio Grande where there was access to water and lands for agriculture and grazing. Each town served as the administrative, economic, and ecclesiastical hub for surrounding land grants and ranches. Were it not for the work of W. Eugene George, Mindy Bonine, and Mary Jo Galindo, our knowledge of the architectural and archaeological history of this region would be woefully incomplete. In this presentation the CHAPS Program team draws on the work of these pioneers and continuing original research concerning the surviving archaeological and architectural record of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

PRESENTERS: Russell K. Skowronek, Ph.D.,
Professor of Anthropology & History
Director of the CHAPS Program,
Christopher L. Miller, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of History
Associate Director, CHAPS Program
AUTHORS: Russell K. Skowronek, Russell.skowronek@utrgv.edu
Christopher L. Miller, christopher.miller@utrgv.edu
Roseann Bacha-Garza, roseann.bachagarza@utrgv.edu
AFFILIATION: Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools Program (CHAPS), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, www.utrgv.edu/chaps

2. TITLE:    The Mier Codex and the Distribution of Land to the Tlaxcaltecan Founders of the Village of Mier in 1753.

ABSTRACT:  The Historical Archive of Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas, protects an extraordinary document, unique in its characteristics for being a pictorial testimony on the distribution of plots made by Colonel José de Escandón to the founding families of the village of Mier in 1753. It is a codex composed of two sheets of paper in which they are represented figuratively, in the style of the Mesoamerican codex  of central Mexico, the characters who participated in the distribution. This unique document is possibly a testimony prepared by a Nahua Indian who testifies the distribution of land to the Tlaxcaltecan families who joined the colonizing expedition of the Nuevo Santander. In this paper the characteristics of the codex are described, the Nahuatl graffiti are translated and an interpretation of its meaning is made, contrasting it with the testimonies referring to this event in the historical sources.

PRESENTER:    Gustavo Alberto Ramirez Castilla, M.A., gustavoramirezc@gmail.com, I.N.A.H. – Monterrey, MX

3. TITLE: Barbery on the Frontier – The Obsidian Blades from the 1554 Wreck
of the San Esteban (41KN10)
ABSTRACT: Between 1972-1975, four obsidian blades from the 1554 shipwreck of the Spanish ship the San Esteban (41KN10) were recovered by archeologists off the coast of South Padre Island. Chemical sourcing of the specimens at the Missouri University Research Reactor in 2018 identified the provenance of the blades as the central Mexican state of Hidalgo in the Sierra de las Navajas. This research provides an opportunity to reconsider the significance of these artifacts in light of other artifacts recovered from the 1554 wreck sites and similar finds from other mid-sixteenth century vessels in the Gulf. Far from anomalies, the obsidian blades are reinterpreted as examples of an indigenous manufacturing industry that supplied a needed commodity for the barbering kits of residents and travelers in the Spanish colonies.

PRESENTER: Bradford M. Jones, Brad.Jones@thc.texas.gov
Collections Manager/Curatorial Facilities Certification Program Coordinator,
Texas Historical Commission, Austin, TX
Authors: Bradford M. Jones, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.
Michael D. Glascock, Archaeometry Lab, University of Missouri Research Reactor.
Sara Gilmer, Archaeometry Lab, University of Missouri Research Reactor.

4. TITLE: Languages, Culture and the Displacement of the Historic Ethnic Units
of the Lower Rio Grande. (Ed. Note: PowerPoint not yet available).
ABSTRACT: The Indians along the lower Rio Grande were among the last to be disrupted during the Novo-Hispanic settlement of the river in 1749 during the Spanish Colonial era. This work scrutinizes the impact of Spanish colonization on the native culture and on their demographic numbers. Since 1864 and particularly during the first part of the twentieth century, scholars have improvised their classification of the native languages of the Gulf Coastal Plain—located between the Guadalupe River in Texas and the Soto la Marina River in Tamaulipas—creating a flawed anthropological understanding of this part of North America. This study argues for a reconsideration of the linguistic cartography of northeastern Mexico and southern Texas and reviews the diverse human adaptability evident in these plains.

PRESENTER: Martin Salinas, M.A., martinsalinasrivera@yahoo.com.mx
Director of the Historical Documents Section of the Municipal Archive of Reynosa, Reynosa, MX.

5. TITLE: The End of Empire:
The Lingering Spanish Colonial Influences in the U.S.-Mexican War
ABSTRACT: In 1821 when Mexico gained its independence from the failing Spanish Empire, the young republic inherited a vast territorial realm, remnants of a Late Medieval societal structure, as well as a military tradition that included outdated Spanish tactics and armaments. These inheritances arguably hindered this young republic’s ability to create and maintain a stable and sustainable government while simultaneously protecting their large, inherited North American empire. Through this lens, the Battle of Palo Alto will be reexamined, and the insights gained there will be utilized to better understand this unique social, cultural, and military context – the last gasp of Empire, and the birth of what would become the modern Mexican Republic, by the close of the U.S.-Mexican War. In the spring of 1846, on the clay soils of the Rio Grande Delta, the legacies of the Spanish Colonial Period would ultimately lead to the end of Mexico’s ability to maintain the vast territories it inherited from Spain.

PRESENTER: Rolando L. Garza, rolando_garza@nps.gov
Archeologist/Chief of Resource Management
Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, National Parks Service

6. TITLE: The Presidio San Carlos, a Remote Outpost in the Nueva Viscaya Region.
ABSTRACT: The Camino Real was a cultural, political, and economical link between the Viceroy of Mexico and the northern communities of the New Spain, mostly mining centers. But these new territories were not only harsh geographically but dangerous. Because of that the Spanish empire establishes a military line of presidios from California to Florida. These structures were simple constructions made of local material. Several of these presidios were short lived; others become major cities today, such as Chihuahua. The conformation of the frontier in colonial times is well known historically, but poorly knows archaeologically specially in Mexico. The Presidio San Carlos is located near the community of Manuel Benavidez, Chihuahua, near the Texan border. It’s isolation contribute to its well preservation and present a good archaeological opportunity to explore. Here we will present the result from the recent archaeological survey project conducted at the Presidio San Carlos this summer of 2018.

PRESENTER: Dr. Emiliano Gallaga Murrieta, gallagam@gmail.com
Director de la Escuela de Antropología e Historia del Norte de México,
EAHNM-INAH, Chihuahua, Chihuahua, MX.

7. TITLE: Falcon Reservoir: Efforts to Preserve an Endangered Landscape
ABSTRACT: The cultural landscape of the Falcon Reservoir is defined by 1000s of years of occupation along the Rio Grande River. Although some of the most enduring features of this landscape can be traced to the Spanish Colonial period, the archaeological sites dating to this period are also the most endangered. Despite increased efforts by the United States International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) to protect sites, the resources continue to be impacted due to the reservoir’s function as both the international boundary and a flood control reservoir that attracts thousands of recreational visitors a year. In this paper we report on a 2018 survey at Falcon Reservoir when the USIBWC and THC observed impacts at historic sites with roots in the Spanish Colonial period. The results suggest that erosion, looting, and development continue to impact the cultural landscape, and in this paper, we contextualize these destructive processes and identify potential partnerships to mitigate future impacts.

PRESENTERS: Casey Hanson, Ph.D., Casey.Hanson@thc.texas.gov
South Texas Regional Archeologist
Texas Historical Commission, Austin, TX
Mark L. Howe, mark.howe@ibwc.gov
Cultural Resources Specialist, United States Section,
International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC), El Paso, Texas

8. TITLE: Con Un Pie En Cada Lado:
Nuevo Santander Ranching Communities Along The Lower Rio Grande
ABSTRACT: The eighteenth-century colony of Nuevo Santander attracted my attention after a look up my grandfather Pedro Hernández Barrera’s family tree. What I learned about my lineage made me question the version of Texas history that I was taught as a child growing up in Texas public schools. That version did not credit the contributions of Nuevo Santander colonists to this state’s modern cattle industry, yet theirs were some of the earliest ranches in Texas, from Laredo to the Gulf coast. They received land grants straddling the Río Grande in 1767 on which to establish livestock ranches. The colonists and their descendants literally lived con un pie en cada lado, with a foot on each side of river.

PRESENTER: Mary Jo Galindo, Ph.D., GalindoENV@gmail.com
Principle, Galindo Environmental Consulting, LLC
Austin, Texas

Copyright 2021. Journal of Texas Archeology and History. All rights reserved. ISSN 2334-1874

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