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Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Archeology


Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site
Seminole Canyon State Park and Historic Site

TEXAS PAST REDUX

Archeology in Texas received its first sustained attention in the 1930s thanks to funding from the Works Progress Administration. About 50 sites throughout the state were excavated, kickstarting efforts and interest in delving into Texas' past. Scattered prehistoric evidence-artifacts such as dart and arrow points, flint flakes, pottery, and features such as hearths, burnt rock middens, and rock shelters may cover our landscape but lacking written accounts, these physical remains provide a limited set of clues to understanding the prehistoric peoples who once made the land that became Texas their home.

Historic sites, however, including those connected to early Texas exploration, can supply a much more robust vision of our past thanks to journals and letters, and remains that augment what has been recovered from archeological investigations. These touchstones, garnered from accounts written at the time of exploration or from objects like tools, weapons, and ornamentation, are all we really have left to help us understand our past. Artifacts and information-available online and in libraries and archives, or to be experienced firsthand at excavated and restored sites, museums, and interpretive displays-can be found throughout the state, helping to tell the story of how we came to be the Texas of today.

Map of Theme

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Read more about historical archeology in the Handbook of Texas Online.