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  • What is lithic reduction? Can I visit the archeological sites featured in Texas Beyond History? Most land in Texas You must have the landowner's permission to visit archeological sites on private land. Fortunately, some of the most interesting sites in Texas are on public land and can be visited at certain state and national parks. Keep in mind that there really isn't much to see at most archeological sites unless excavations are underway.

    By joining the TBH partner organization Texas Archeological Society or one of the many regional and local societies and associations across the state, such as the TBH partner organization Southern Texas Archaeological Associationyou too can participate in archeological investigations. What is an artifact?

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    An artifact is anything modified by human manufacture or use. How do archeologists find archeological sites? Archeologists often identify prehistoric archeological sites by finding the chips left from making stone tools like arrow and dart points. Cooking stones and broken pottery are sometimes found, as well as bones from ancient dinners.

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    Historic sites often are marked by broken glass and china, wells, building foundations, and domestic plants. Archeologists systematically walk across areas looking for these artifacts and other signs of archeological sites. There are many other methods for locating archeological sites, including aerial photography, remote sensing, oral history, and archival research.

    Where can I go to collect arrowheads and fossils? While artifact and fossil collecting is illegal on public lands, it is not unlawful on private property as long as permission is granted by the landowner. It is the responsibility of the collector to know who owns the land, to understand the laws that apply, and to obtain permission to enter private property. We do encourage you to take an active part in preserving Texas' heritage for future generations by adopting a "look but don't touch" approach to appreciating archeology.

    What do you learn from artifacts? Artifacts have the potential to tell many things about the way people lived in the past. By carefully examining their shape, evidence is collected on their manufacture, age, and uses. Archeologists can also conduct replicative experiments to gain a better understanding of how tools were made and used, or how shelters were built. Physical and chemical tests provide detailed information on the age of organic materials, and the types of residues left on tools.

    What is the oldest archeological site in Texas? One of the largest and most important Clovis sites in North America is deep in the heart of Texas, the Gault site near Georgetown see the Gault site exhibit. There is also tantalizing evidence that people may have visited Texas several thousand years earlier.

    One example is at Bonfire Shelter, where humans may have have killed and butchered now-extinct animals including mammoth, horse, and camel about 14, years ago 12, B.

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    As explained in the Bonfire site exhibitthe evidence for human involvement is fairly convincing, but still not certain. The search for definitive evidence of "preClovis" peoples is one of the most exciting and controversial problems in North America.

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    Texas has several candidates, but none that are beyond question. The standards of proof for the earliest evidence of humans in the New World North and South America are rigorous as well they should be.

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    Many claims of great antiquity have proven to be false upon close scrutiny of the evidence. A good example is the Lewisville site, a site that today lies beneath the waters of Lake Lewisville south of Denton, Texas.

    There in the s, prior to the damming of the lake, local archeologists from the Dallas Archeological Society uncovered a series of small burned patches thought to be remnants of campfires "hearths" or possibly natural fires such as those created by lightning strikes.

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    Associated with these were the bones of numerous animals including some that became extinct at the end of the last ice age the Pleistocene, which ended about 11, years ago. A few stone tools were also found, but only one of these, a Clovis point, was found in direct association with one of the hearths.

    Radiocarbon assays from charred materials from the hearths indicated an age of greater than 37, years ago, much older than other Clovis dates. If the dates were valid, Lewisville would be the earliest definitive human habitation site in North America and archeologists would have to completely revise their understanding of Clovis culture.

    In the late s and early s, controversy raged over Lewisville: The local archeologists were accused of salting the site with the Clovis point, an archeological sin of the worst kind. Finally, betweenprolonged drought lowered the lake levels and a team led by archeologist Dennis Stanford from the Smithsonian Institution of Washington was able to reexamine the Lewisville site.

    The problem, it was discovered, was that pieces of lignite a form of coal that outcrops in the area apparently had been used as fuel along with firewood by Clovis peoples, giving a falsely old radiocarbon age.

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    Did humans and dinosaurs live at the same time in Texas? The last dinosaurs to roam the earth, including the area that became Texas, became extinct about 66 million years ago. The earliest humans may not have arrived in this area of North America until shortly before 13, years ago 11, B. Some scientists think humans probably arrived by 15, years ago or maybe even as much as 20, years ago.

    This still leaves quite a gap! But what about the human footprints along side dinosaur footprints I heard about? If you want to see something bad enough, you will. The alleged human footprints are vague impressions that could be anything. Some of them have been "enhanced" by true believers who wish to disprove evolution. These claims are made by so-called creation "scientists" who reject evolution as just another "theory.

    What tribe lived here or made this? Texas archeologists hear this question all the time and often the answers we give are not very satisfying. We usually don't know and can't know because there were hundreds of different "tribes" who lived in Texas at the time of earliest historic records and there were at least 13, years of prehistory during which many more hundreds of distinct groups must have existed.

    Want a longer and more complete answer? The fact is that most archeological sites in Texas formed in prehistoric times, before the arrival of people with writing systems Spanish and French explorers, soldiers, missionaries, and traders.

    For the first several hundred years of recorded history, from the arrival of Cabeza de Vaca in to the mids or even later, we have comparatively few firsthand accounts and most of these were not written to describe the native inhabitants. Historians have a great deal of trouble in tracing the location of even the well-known groups during this era, much less the movements of hundreds of different groups who identified themselves by a distinctive name in Texas when the first Europeans arrived on the scene.

    The arrival of Europeans in Texas triggered many changes, most of them bad for native peoples. Horses and guns made it easy for mounted raiders like the Apache and Comanche to dominate the landscape causing many other native groups to flee. Some were taken as slaves, others had little choice but to join up with other refugees.

    Because of these changes, many of the best known tribes in Texas were relative newcomers. Take the Tonkawa for instance. Long considered the quintessential central Texas tribe, it is now known that the Tonkawa actually arrived in Texas in the early s.

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    Now think about the 13, years of prehistory that we know about in Texas. That is more than human generations of people that lived and died in Texas and adjacent areas. For most of this time the people lived as hunters and gatherers who were highly mobile and moved from place to place during the year.

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    So, any one spot in Texas, especially a good spot with permanent water, was probably visited by hundreds of different groups over the generations.

    Without written records, we will never be able to answer the "who were they" question for most places. One last complication is that the word "tribe" means different things to different people. Do we mean people who all spoke the same language?

    The sunny days of spring bring on spectacular shows of wildflowers March into June. Most of Texas suffers hot, dry summers from June into September. Then cold fronts pushing down from the north usually trigger precipitation and make October a rainy month, bringing "a second spring" of wildflowers.

    Northers give way to warm spells, right through the winter.

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    Attractions[ edit ] ZDT's Amusement Parka family-owned, family-oriented amusement park, it features over a dozen attractions.

    Repurposed century-old agribusiness structures provide Texas' highest indoor playground with tunnels and slides, wall climbing up former silos, and riding go-karts through, and on the roof of, an old warehouse, as well as modern parachute drop and a water ride.

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    A new, old-style wooden roller coaster, called Switchback, opened in The Texas Agricultural Education and Heritage Center - The "Big Red Barn" helps kids and others learn the mechanics and history of farming in Central Texas, with sample crops and gardens, barnyard animals and poultry, and displays of vintage equipment and tools.

    A collected village has houses, barns, a one-room schoolhouse, a pharmacy, a blacksmith shop, a gas station, a church, and other relics from the rural past. Many events are held on weekends, and tours are given by appointment. Here on the frontier, settlers began experimenting with concrete construction years before the Civil War, and built or so structures of "lime-crete", as it was called. A team of slaves built this mansion, mixing local gravel, sand, lime, and some organic materials, then pouring the mix into wooden forms.

    When the concrete was solid, they raised the forms and repeated the process. A journalist declared Seguin "the Mother of Concrete Cities". Sebastopol House, a well-preserved architectural masterpiece, built in in Greek Revival style, is now a museum offering free tours.