TOUR TO THE ALIBATES FLINT QUARRIES
AND AFFILIATED ANTELOPE CREEK VILLAGES
Sunday October 13, 2019
Bus departs the Embassy Suites at 8:15AM & returns at 3:00 pm
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument Visitor Center
Morning tour to the Alibates Flint Quarries
Start time: 9:00 a.m. (tour duration = 2-1/2 hours)
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is well known for its hundreds of hand-dug quarry pits, probably excavated between A.D. 1150–1450 during the Antelope Creek phase of the Plains Village or Middle Ceramic period. Also within the Monument are several villages occupied by the Antelope Creek people. The post-meeting tours will visit both the quarry pit area and the remains of several villages.
The quarry pits are clustered on top of a mesa, requiring a leisurely hike of about 30 minutes and a rise in elevation of 300 feet. The trail is excellent, fully graveled with steps where necessary. It is NOT wheelchair accessible, however. Four shade shelters with benches along the trail provide an opportunity to rest and discuss topics such as geology, native plants, and culture history. Along the trail at the top of the mesa, visitors will see numerous quarry pit depressions and literally millions of chipped stone debris pieces from thousands of years of toolstone exploitation.
Only one of the 731 known quarry pits within the Monument has been professionally excavated and the tour will visit the site of this excavation. The pit has not yet been backfilled and the interior of the pit can be viewed and discussed.
Lunch Break: 11:30 to 12:30
There will be a one hour break for lunch at the nearby Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument Visitor Center. Picnic tables are available outside the Visitor Center. Inside is a small, but excellent series of displays and exhibits. An 11-minute, award-winning film about the Antelope Creek people and the national monument will be shown several times during the lunch hour. There is a gift shop inside the Visitor Center and rest room facilities inside and outside of the building.
Afternoon tour to the Antelope Creek Villages and Petroglyphs
Start time: 12:30 p.m. (tour duration = 2-1/2 hours)
Reaching the village tour trailhead will require driving over unpaved ranch roads. High clearance vehicles are recommended. The trail is not improved, but it is relatively level throughout. It is NOT wheelchair accessible, however. Stops along the trail include the remains of an isolated Antelope Creek house at Alibates Ruin #30 and the remains of a large, contiguous room structure at Alibates Ruin #28. Both sites were excavated by the WPA in the late 1930s. Adjacent to Alibates Ruin #28 are a series of petroglyphs, including a bison, two turtles, and three feet, one of which appears on an early Texas Archeology Month poster.
* NOTE: You can sign up for both tours on the Meeting Registration form. This includes a round trip bus ride from the Embassy Suites Downtown Amarillo and a box lunch. However, if you are only able to participate in one of the two tours, you will have to drive yourself to the Alibates Visitor Center and provide your own lunch. [Food is not available at the Visitor Center, but drinks are.] Both tours will start and end at the Visitor Center. Carpooling will be necessary due to limited parking at both trailheads.
Article submitted by Paul Katz, Ph.D.
[tour guide for both tours]
Palo Duro Canyon and
Panhandle Plains Museum Tour
Friday October 11, 2019
The bus will depart form the Embassy Suites Hotel at 9:00AM
In Palo Duro park we will visit the site of the 1874 Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, open air campsites with rock art and bedrock mortars, including several of the sites investigated during the 2019 TAS Field School and the many buildings constructed by the CCC in the 1930s.
Lunch Break 11:30 - 12:30
In the afternoon, following a box lunch in the canyon, the bus will depart for the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) in nearby Canyon Texas.
This is the largest history museum in the state and has a wild variety of excellent exhibits including archeology, paleontology, geology, art, weapons, ranching, transportation, the petroleum industry, textiles, and windmills. For more information on the PPHM see the bus will return to the Embassy Suite