The Texas Archeological Society (TAS) offers a wide range of opportunities for those interested in Texas heritage. The mission of the Society is to promote study, preservation and awareness of Texas archeology. A recent strategic plan calls for the Society to create training opportunities for students, enhance and expand programs, increase and diversify membership, inform the community of their archeological heritage and cultivate and preserve resources. The membership generally numbers around 1400.
The Society calendar begins in October with the Annual Meeting, an event that has taken place since 1929. Archeologists, professional and avocational, get together as the founders of the Society did to share information in research sessions and to hear about the latest research from luncheon and banquet speakers. A popular event on Friday is the Public Forum with high profile speakers and artifact identification. In 2010 the meeting will be in Corpus Christi, October 22-24.
Each year (January into March) TAS offers sessions of the Texas Archeology Academy. Topics in this series of workshops include
Archeology 101 (including a field day); Ceramics: The Stories Pottery Tells;
Lithics: Reading Stone Tools; Rock Art of Texas;
The Big Bend: Archeology, Culture, and History, a Regional Academy;
Historic Archeology: In Pursuit of the Past; and the brand-new
Geoarcheology: Recognizing and Evaluating the Archeological Potential of the Landscape (this too includes a field component). Additional topics are in production. Each Academy features power point presentations, a manual and hands-on activities to reinforce concepts presented. In 2009, sessions were held in Georgetown, Study Butte, and Lake Jackson. In 2010, workshops are planned in San Marcos, Kerrville, and Killeen/Fort Hood. Surveys at the close of sessions reveal that participants greatly value the information imparted during the workshop and the camaraderie of fellow students.
Summer brings a Field School in June and an opportunity for folks to contribute to research about Texas archeology. Offered at various locations around the state, each year a principal investigator in charge of research is supported by staff and experienced volunteers. Newcomers appreciate an orientation session before joining crews in the field. Survey and lab sessions provide other venues for people who want to learn more about the archeological process. The Field School in 2010 will be in south central Texas near Hondo. TAS offers diversity, collegiate, and Native American scholarships as funding is available. A youth program instructs around 60 students each year.
Publications of the Society include a journal, the Bulletin of the TAS, a quarterly newsletter and two web sites. The organizational web site
relates current programs and opportunities. The second web site
is a creative venue that offers information in the form of multi-level exhibits. TAS has been a supporting partner of Texas Beyond History since its inception in 2001.
For more information about TAS see
www.txarch.org or call 210.458.4393.