Each October, Texas Archeology Month (TAM) features events such as archeological fairs, lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, and tours in collaboration with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and our partners across the state. TAM is a vital educational program that the THC will continue to promote and support even under current circumstances. However, in response to the pandemic, the THC is currently working to reorganize TAM to be safer and more accessible by promoting and facilitating virtual events and activities on the TAM website . Events can take place on many platforms including videos, virtual tours, live-streamed presentations, and printable activities, and more. Check out the TAM website for a list of ideas and best practices for suggested ways to participate and contribute!
CALL FOR TAM 2020 EVENT AND ACTIVITY SUBMISSIONS!!
We are now soliciting contributions from our TAM partners, and the 2020 Texas Archeology Month Event/Activity Form is live! Please complete and submit it as soon as possible. **We understand you may not have all the information yet (tentative dates/times, still searching for speakers, etc.), and that’s okay! Just submit what you have now and send the TAM coordinator updates as needed.** Like previous years, we will provide free archeology-related printable materials, which you can receive by submitting the Public Outreach Materials Order Form or emailing Donna McCarver (email@example.com ). Please feel free to share this e-mail with anyone you know who might be interested in participating!
The THC understands there can be difficulties with organizing online events, and we’re here to help. We can act as moderators, locate speakers, and help with technological issues. For more information about our resources, support, and the new structure of TAM, visit our website at www.thc.texas.gov/tam or contact TAM Coordinator Maggie Moore at Maggie.Moore@thc.texas.gov .
We look forward to celebrating TAM with you!
The CTA is happy to announce that research funded through a CTA Student Research Grant was recently published by Dr. Crystal Dozier (Wichita State University). Dr. Dozier was the recipient of the Student Research Grant in 2017.
You can read more about the research in this press release and free access to the article "Chemical Residue Evidence in Leon Plain Pottery from the Toyah Phase (1300-1650 CE) in The American Southern Plains" is also available for next 45 days:
Congratulations, Dr. Dozier!
On Juneteenth, the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) expresses our commitment to fighting racism, protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and creating a better world through our research. Texas has a wealth and diversity of cultural heritage that represents a wide range of people, experiences, and thought over the past 13,000-plus years. Our discipline has the ability to research and interpret the material remains of structural inequality and to work with descendant communities in interpreting these remains for the present and future. We stand united in promoting an anti-racist archeology in Texas and beyond.
How do we create an anti-racist archeology in Texas? First is to speak out against structural inequality and racism whenever possible and to undertake tangible change in our own thoughts and actions. Change begins with ourselves and the actions we take in promoting equity and equality.
We are committed to providing training and research opportunities for people of color. We rely on universities to provide education and training, but college is expensive. CTA member firms can support minority scholarships, research grants, and internships to help cover education costs. Graduate research is increasingly becoming more expensive and in Texas will probably only get worse in the next couple years as the economy recovers from COVID-19, so research grants and jobs are important. The CTA offers research grants for graduate students and we should work with universities and colleges in the state to promote these opportunities with people of color.
Training should lead to hiring more people of color. Archaeology has been a predominately white field and to increase the representations of people of color in archeology we need to make sure there are job opportunities and careers that include people of color. In addition, we should seek to hire and subcontract with minorities such as surveyors, backhoe operators, editors, illustrators, GIS specialists, insurance agents, etc. There are many structural hurdles in education and training that people of color face, so review your hiring practices so that they do not face these same structural hurdles in the job market.
We need to engage descendant communities in our archaeology. Descendant communities are often left out of archeology and we need to advocate with our clients and agencies to make sure these voices have a place in our research and in our regulatory compliance activities. And we should seek to make sure descendant communities are properly compensated for their time and efforts.
Lastly, it is important that we thoughtfully engage our own community on these issues. This includes our colleagues, project sponsors, governmental agencies, regulatory entities, and ourselves. Microaggressions against people of color build up over time and can be perpetuated by our reluctance to speak up against the status quo or prevailing viewpoints. It is important to understand and recognize how systemic racism works, and to be prepared to expend our efforts against it when and how opportunities arise.
Structural racism exists in archaeology and the CTA should be at the forefront in dismantling this system. Beyond our annual multi-cultural grant to the Texas Archeological Society that helps cover the cost of a Native American to attend the TAS field school, we will seek new actions to fight racism in Texas and our discipline. Our actions will speak louder than our words.
The public archeology program at Kleb Woods Nature Center is designed to educate the public on the history of northwest Harris County, to foster stewardship of both the park and the area's cultural resources, and to provide archeological data on the property to compliment archival and historical documentation. Kleb Woods is unique, as it is one of two parks in Precinct 3 that retains historic resources and disseminates information on the natural and historic resources in the area. This includes preserving the original house on the property (c. 1895) and a museum display with letters, receipts, and other documents that discuss the Kleb family's experiences on their farm after immigrating from Germany. Since 2017, the Houston Archeological Society, Harris County Precinct 3 Parks, and Moore Archeological Consulting, Inc. have worked to build a sustainable public archeology program that engages the community through hands-on educational activities.
Please see this document for information from TARL, CAS, and CAR regarding curation during COVID-19.
The 2020 CTA Spring Newsletter is now available!
As an update to our previous post regarding the upcoming spring meeting, the CTA will be hosting the meeting virtually on Zoom on April 17 at 9:00 am. Additional instructions and a link to the meeting will be distributed to members via email. Only members will be able to participate in the meeting so please renew your membership on the CTA website by logging in, if you have not done so already!
Additionally, if you are not receiving emails from the CTA but have already renewed your membership, please check your spam/junk folder to ensure our emails are not being filtered out of your inbox.
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to connecting with you soon and be safe!
In response to COVID-19, several companies have developed guidelines to ensure safe working conditions for their employees both in the office (or telecommuting) and during fieldwork. In an effort to support our community during this time, the CTA is interested in providing various examples of introduced guidelines/safety plans which members might find useful in developing their own plans or using as a guiding resource.
If you would like to share your company's COVID-19 safety plan to be included in this post, please email email@example.com.
A current list of examples is below:
As a brief follow up to yesterday's announcement, the Bayesian workshop scheduled for Thursday, April 16 is officially canceled. Considering the current circumstances, this is the best decision for all involved. We may look at rescheduling this exciting training in the future.
Please see the below message from CTA President, Dr. Jon Lohse:
It is with deep regret but an appreciation for the importance of keeping our members and community safe from unnecessary exposure to the Coronavirus that the spring 2020 meeting (April 17) has been cancelled. This includes our morning business meeting, as well as the afternoon session featuring USACE training, and the later-afternoon social. Most local governments are urging people not to gather in large groups, and it simply doesn't make sense for us to try and conduct the meeting as planned. I am in touch with Derek Hamilton about the Thursday Bayesian training and will have an update about that as soon as one is available, so for the present time, this notice applies only to all events scheduled for April 17.
We are working on plans to have an on-line meeting in place of the regularly scheduled event, and our hopes are to have these details worked out in time to have the meeting in the same Friday morning time slot. The difference is that those of you who attend can do so from your computers (home or office) rather than meeting in person.
My goal will be for our on-line meeting to include as much of our expected agenda as possible. This will include officer, agency, and committee reports, or those that can be arranged, as well as some items for vote. Items that need to be voted on will include the 2021 budget, new officers, a by-law change for curation, and (perhaps) some revised Standards and Guidelines documents. We are working with our Communications Committee to arrange details for just how the on-line voting will work, so please look for those details soon. It is likely that this will include having to sign into the Members Only section and cast a one-time vote per issue. For officers, we typically open the election to nominations from the floor; we'll endeavor to make this available but these will need to be submitted early on, for obvious reasons.
I realize this is far from our ordinary experience, and I appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the details. Our goal will be to make this as normal and convenient as possible for the majority of our members, but we understand that the shift to an on-line platform for this meeting may result in some people not being able to attend or participate as they otherwise would. And of course, we'll all miss the opportunity to see and catch up with our friends and colleagues. Please be on the lookout for more details soon about what this will look like and how it will work. If you're working on a submission for the newsletter (deadline is March 27), please keep to that schedule.
Let me know if anyone has any questions or concerns. More information will be available soon.