Prehistory Research Project Update


The Prehistory Research Project (PRP) at TARL is working on three major projects; the Texas Clovis Fluted Point Survey (TCFPS), the Gault Archaeological Site, and the Little River Complex. Alan Slade, director of the TCFPS, has more than doubled the size of the database he is working with (750+) and found projectile points in 25 counties with no previously known points. Alan has been contacting museums and talking to collectors to build a better picture of the distribution of Clovis in Texas. In November Alan and Clark Wernecke presented some preliminary information about the TCFPS at the Plains Anthropological Conference in Kansas City. Ultimately the database, containing metrics and county level locations, will be made available online to help other researchers.

The PRP is also dealing with the monumental task of preparing the Gault collection for curation. The scientific monograph on Clovis and the older assemblage at Gault is currently being edited. About  2.6 million artifacts, 60,000+ photos, 200,000+ pages of field paperwork and a vast digital analysis database must now be prepared for future researchers.. Headed up by our curator, Jennifer Gandy, more than 15 students and volunteers have been working on the project. The work is expected to last more than 3 years.

The Little River Complex is a set of five single component Clovis sites from SW Kentucky. Carl Yahnig painstakingly collected everything, from debitage and tested cobbles to finished tools and points, over a period of 50 years. The PRP is inventorying and preparing this collection so it can be utilized by researchers in the future.

Jennifer Gandy preparing collections.

The PRP staff also had some things published this year. Sergio Ayala has two chapters in a book about The Calf Creek Horizon to be published by TAMU press this winter and a paper on an Andice cache in the Journal of Texas Archeology and History. Alan with other collaborators published a paper regarding allometry in western Clovis points in the Journal of Archaeological Science and Clark Wernecke, PRP project director, published a paper in the Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society about an early collector in Texas, Erich Pohl.



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