TAMUCT Archaeology Field School coming May 2017

For the first time this year at TAMUCT an Archaeology Field School course (ANTK 485) will be offered at the site of the early Texas settler O. T. Tyler’s house (c. 1859) in Mound, TX. The course will be offered during the May minimester (May 15-Jun 2) by Texas A&M University Central Texas and registration for the course will open in April. 

Ruin of wall at O.T. Tyler house

O.T. Tyler is a well known historical figure in Central Texas. In his later years he served as a judge and as the first mayor of Salado. Historic homes owned and lived in by O.T. Tyler in later periods still stand in both Belton and Salado. O.T. Tyler made his way to the Central Texas area when he was contracted by the U.S. Army to grow corn to feed the soldiers at Fort Gates (c. 1849-1852). The Tyler house is one of the earliest pioneer homestead sites in Central Texas.  The home is typical of a wealthy businessman, and historical records indicate Tyler also owned slaves who likely occupied a simple dwelling on the site. The home was razed by a fire in the 1860s and was abandoned thereafter. Free from any later alterations or disturbance to the home and immediate vicinity, the site is potentially full of archaeological treasures. Our field school will be the first archaeological work attempted at this historically important site.

View of Tyler house site at a distance, Mound,Tx

Our classroom will be exclusively outdoors, with hands-on training in archaeological methods instead of lecture. No past experience is needed, you will learn archaeology on site. We will work at the site Monday-Thursday from 9am to 2pm for the first two weeks weather permitting. We will not be staying overnight at the site but will travel there each work day.

Students excavating a unit at the nearby Fort Gates Cemetery

Work will include learning how to take site elevations, use a compass, set up and excavate 1 by 1 meter units, map any artifacts, take soil samples, screen dirt for artifacts, and learn about site processes based on the evidence we uncover. The final week of class will be lab time to process artifacts and will be held on campus.

Class size is limited to 12. For information email Dr. Jones at bioarchjones@tamuct.edu


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