Mike McBride of the Hill Country Archeology Association gave a presentation to our club last Wednesday.
The HCAA is an organization of volunteers (avocational archeologists) whose goal is to preserve the local archeology and educate landowners and the public about the rich history of our area. They work with private land owners, by their invitation, to help them understand archeological sites on their property. Any artifacts found remain the property of the land owner.
Through a series of slides, Mike educated us about the migration of the earliest humans to the Americas. During the last ice age, when the ocean was 300-400 feet shallower than today, a land bridge formed between current day Siberia and Alaska, allowing land travel down the Pacific coast through Canada and eventually to our area. They believe the period of migration down the Pacific coast took place over several thousand years, from roughly 25,000 years ago to 18,000 years ago. Recent DNA research indicates that Native Americans can be traced to perhaps three distinctive populations of these early inhabitants.
Artifacts point to Native Americans reaching Texas as early as 15,000 years ago. The flint in the hill country area is some of the best in the United States, and so it is not surprising that they found Texas appealing with the flint for arrowheads and tools, plentiful game, varied plants for food, and permanent and reliable water sources.
The HCAA will host the Texas Archeology Field School June 12-19 of this year, with a week of excavation and research, and they are expecting about 400 people. The public is invited to the event one evening, June 17th at 7:00 pm, for archeological demonstrations and informal Q&A with members. Bring your artifacts for help with identification.