Texas Archeology Month looks little different than usual this year, since our in-person events are cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But, that won’t stop us from bringing you tons of new and exciting Texas archeology updates and activities! Here’s one new way to connect with us:
TARL is now in Instagram!
Follow @ut_tarl for great photos, activities, and contests.
We also thought we’d introduce TARL to anyone who isn’t familiar with us! Former TARL staffer Lauren Bussiere (ahem, that’s me) sat down with Associate Director Jonathan Jarvis and Head of Collections Marybeth Tomka to talk about what’s new at TARL. Check out the video below!
Many thanks to Jonathan, Marybeth, and Annie, as well as to Tom Williams of the Prehistory Research Project, who recorded and edited this video.
We are pleased to introduce a component of the TARL family, the
Center for Archaeological and Tropical Studies (CATS). The CATS
research facility is primarily focused in tropical Central America,
but has research interests in broader regions of the neotropics.
This interdisciplinary research unit has been operating for several
decades with a sister facility in Belize, the Programme for Belize
Archaeological Project (PfBAP). PfBAP research has been conducted on over 60 Maya sites within the research focus defined by the nature reserve covering 260,000 acres at the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area.
While this comment serves to Introduce CATS, forthcoming
newsletters will provide specific research interests and findings
of CATS as well as ongoing research right here at CATS Corner!
Serving as Director of CATS is Dr. Fred Valdez of the Department
of Anthropology (UT-Austin) and may be reached at
TARL wants to say a huge thank you to staff writer Michael Barnes of the Austin-American Statesman, who wrote a wonderful piece highlighting our history and collections for our local paper.
Anyone interested in seeing artifacts from TARL’s collections should check out current exhibits at the LBJ Museum, the Witte Museum, and the Texas State History Museum. TARL is not open for public tours; due to the fragile and irreplaceable nature of our collections, access is restricted to credentialed researchers only. But, we do offer various events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year!
Folks interested in getting involved with TARL can follow us on Facebook. Our Facebook page also has a link to sign up for our email list, which we use to send out news about events and research.
Additionally, everyone interested in archeology, history, or science in general should come out to the 2017 Texas Archeology Month Fair, which will take place October 14 here at TARL. The Fair is a collaborative event between TARL, the Texas Historical Commission, and other local agencies, and will feature fun and educational activities for kids and adults.
Here at the Texas Archeological Research Lab we underwent some new and important changes over the course of 2014. A new Director, a new Head of Collections, a new position created for a NAGPRA Specialist and a new sense of commitment to making the archeological collections and associated records available to the university and academic communities, CRM firms and various government entities. Combining new staff, ideas and collections management approaches with the dedicated existing staff, organizational history and long standing position within Texas archeology as a center for research, TARL is moving forward into an exciting new era as an eminent steward of Texas history. The purpose of this blog is to invite the public along with us on this ‘re-commitment’ as we undertake and encourage collections-based projects that will deepen our understanding of the cultural, historical and biological origins of our shared past. We will post information about current and ongoing projects here, provide updates about their progress, introduce you to our staff and students, and give you insight into the deep time and broad cultural landscapes represented in the vast collections curated at TARL. Being that blogs are inherently informal and more conversational, for more thorough information about any of the topics you read about here you should visit our organizational website, http://www.utexas.edu/research/tarl/, and also the comprehensive educational website Texas Beyond History at http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/. The staff here at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory is extremely passionate about Texas archeology, making TARL’s collections available for research, and working with students and the public to expand their understanding of how the collections we steward here inform our understanding of the past, present and future. We look forward to sharing that knowledge and passion with you!