In association with the T.A.S. Annual Meeting

Organized and sponsored by the Journal of Texas Archeology and History.org

  …an I.R.C. Section 501(c)(3) tax exempt Texas nonprofit corporation whose mission is to protect, promote and preserve the “Texas Borderland” region’s archeology and history related cultural resources through public outreach, education and research publication.

Find us at: www.JTAH.org or www.Facebook.com/JTAH.org/


We dedicate this year’s book festival to the memory of Dennis J. Stanford

May 13, 1943 – April 24, 2019


     Greetings! The Journal of Texas Archeology and History.org is pleased to once again bring you the finest recent book publications and their authors in the 2019 J.T.A.H. Archeology and History Book Festival as part of the TAS Annual Meeting in Amarillo, Texas.  We are pleased to honor and put a spotlight on another terrific line-up of authors, presenting their recent publications of interest to our Membership and the public.  The event will begin Saturday, October 12th at 9:00 am and run through the day ending at 4:55 pm.  There will be a two-hour break for the T.A.S. business luncheon.

Authors will address the room to discuss their books and the writing process.  Afterward, they will be selling and autographing their books.  The book festival is open to the public and will take place near the book sales and silent auction room.  Following is information on our authors and their books, links to their websites, book sales sites and other publication information that you will find useful.


Our schedule for the book festival:


Saturday morning            

9:00  -   9:55 am  -    Mary S. Black

10:00 - 10:55 am  -   Ashley Lemke

11:00 - 11:55 am  -     Don Wyckoff


Break for the T.A.S. Annual Business Luncheon Meeting, 12:00 am – 2:00 pm


Saturday afternoon         

2:00  -   2:55 pm - James Harrison Macrae

3:00  -   3:55 pm - Roseann Bacha-Garza, Christopher L. Miller, and Russell K. Skowronek

4:00  -   4:55 pm - Roseann Bacha-Garza, Christopher L. Miller, and Russell K. Skowronek





                              Saturday, 9:00 – 9:55 AM

                                      Mary S. Black


“Secrets in the Dirt: Uncovering the Ancient People of Gault

By Mary S. Black


     The Gault archaeological complex, located in Central Texas, is one of the most important and extensive sites for the study of Clovis culture in North America, commonly dated between 11,000 and 13,500 years ago. Indeed, according to author Mary S. Black, recent discoveries at the site by veteran archaeologist Michael Collins may suggest that Texas has been a good place for people to live for as much as 20,000 years.

Secrets in the Dirt examines this important site and highlights the significant archaeological research that has been carried out there since its discovery in 1929. In 2007, Collins, who has been working at the Gault site since 1998, and his colleagues discovered an unusual stone tool assemblage that predated Clovis, suggesting the possibility that they were made by some of the earliest inhabitants in the Americas. Black provides a reader-friendly account of how these and many other artifacts were uncovered and what they may represent. She also offers absorbing vignettes, extrapolated from the painstaking research of Collins and others, that portray some of the ways these early Americans may have adapted to the location, its resources, and to one another, thousands of years before Europeans arrived.  This generously illustrated, engaging book introduces readers to the Gault site, its fascinating prehistory, and the important research that continues to uncover even more secrets in the dirt.

Secrets in the Dirt: Uncovering the Ancient People of Gault tells the story of the Gault archaeological project and the modern people who discovered debris of human life from over 13,000 years ago. The author uses field journals, analytical reports and other materials through the consent and encouragement of the Gault School of Archaeological Research, as well as interviews with TAS members and others, to explain the process of discovery.

                                              Mary S. Black



      Mary started adult life as a newspaper reporter and later switched to teaching social studies. She went on to earn a doctorate in education before she retired                                     She met Steve Black at UTSA and has hung around archaeologists ever sinc.

She lives down the street from Mike Collins and is a long-time member of TAS.  Other books written by her are “From the Frio to Del Rio: Travel Guide to the Western Hill Country and the Lower Pecos Canyonlands” and the novel “Peyote Fire: Shaman of the Canyons” about the ancient Lower Pecos. She created curriculum about archeology for Texas Beyond History and other platforms and taught social studies education at the University of Texas at Austin.


Published by Texas A&M Press, 2019

ISBN-13:  978-1-62349-749-1

Author contact: www.marysblack.com

Available at: https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781623497491/secrets-in-the-dirt/










                                 Saturday, 10:00 – 10:55 AM

                                         Ashley K. Lemke


 “Foraging in the Past:

Archaeological Studies of Hunter-Gatherer Diversity”

 Edited by Ashley K. Lemke


     The label “hunter-gatherer” covers an extremely diverse range of societies and behaviors, yet most of what is known is provided by ethnographic and historical data that cannot be used to interpret prehistory. Foraging in the Past takes an explicitly archaeological approach to the potential of the archaeological record to document the variability and time depth of hunter-gatherers.

Well-established and young scholars present new prehistoric data and describe new methods and theories to investigate ancient forager lifeways and document hunter-gatherer variability across the globe. The authors use relationships established by cross-cultural data as a background for examining the empirical patterns of prehistory. Covering underwater sites in North America, the peaks of the Andes, Asian rainforests, and beyond, chapters are data rich, methodologically sound, and theoretically nuanced, effectively exploring the latest evidence for behavioral diversity in the fundamental process of hunting and gathering.

Foraging in the Past establishes how hunter-gatherers can be considered archaeologically, extending beyond the reach of ethnographers and historians to argue that only through archaeological research can the full range of hunter-gatherer variability be documented. Presenting a comprehensive and integrated approach to forager diversity in the past, the volume will be of significance to both students and scholars working with or teaching about hunter-gatherers.

                                        Ashley K. Lemke


     She is assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington and visiting assistant professor at the University of Michigan. She is the recipient of the Louise Williams Distinguished Dissertation Award and the Diversity Field School Award from the Society for Historical Archaeology for her commitment to archaeological practices that foster diversity.


Publisher: University Press of Colorado

Publication Date: 2018

IBSN: 978-1607327732

Available at: https://upcolorado.com/university-press-of-colorado/item/3476-foraging-in-the-past

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/Foraging-Past-Archaeological-Hunter-Gatherer-Diversity/dp/1607327732

Author Contact:  ashley.lemke@uta.edu

Author Project Links:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLG2Xe_bkJY&feature=youtu.be









                                   Saturday, 11:00 – 11:55 AM

                                    Don G. Wyckoff


“The Culture History of the Central Great Plains Prior to the Introduction of Pottery”

Edited by Ruthann Knudson and Don G. Wyckoff

Presented by Don G. Wyckoff


      This is the publication of E. Mott Davis’s previously unpublished 1954 dissertation from Harvard University.  It details the archaeological and geoarchaeological thinking, work, and findings at three deeply buried early Holocene sites discovered in the Medicine Creek drainage of southwestern Nebraska.  Studied between 1948 and 1953, Dr. Davis was often alone in his concern for understanding the geology and taphonomy that created the Lime Creek, Red Smoke, and Allen sites; most archaeologists of that era were focused on the many Plains Village sites threatened by reservoir construction.  The book contains full descriptions of the work and findings at these apparent camp and lithic workshop sites that now are believed to date around 9000 years ago.   

Between 1948 and 1953, E. Mott Davis was responsible for salvage archaeological work at the Lime Creek, Red Smoke, and Allen sites in southwestern Nebraska.  Buried under 15 to 20 feet of windblown silt, E. Mott had to confront issues of recovering as much information possible about these deeply buried camp sites, the lithic technologies prevalent there, and issues of lanceolate typology at a time when few other Plains site had yielded comparable artifacts.  While portions of his dissertation were eventually published in separate locations, this book represents his complete description and thoughts on Plains lanceolate lithic traditions, a topic of much current interest.

E. Mott Davis was a long-time faculty member at the University of Texas where he actively supported the Texas Archeological Society in its many roles.

Don W


                                           Don Wyckoff


     Don at the 21,000-year old pond deposits known as the Bar M Exposure in Harper County, Oklahoma.

Don G. Wyckoff, retired David Ross Boyd Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma; member of the Texas Archeological Society since 1961; special interests: lithic technology, lithic sources on the Southern Plains, middle Holocene Calf Creek Horizon, Plains hunter-gatherer adaptations, and the origins and spread of Caddoan speaking people.


     Ruthann Knudsen, a Ph.D. graduate (1973) of Washington State University worked for the National Park Service and, upon retirement, established an archaeological consulting service.  Her many publications focused on the early Holocene development of unfluted lanceolate projectiles and the technologies that produced them.



Publisher: Mammoth Run Publishing

Publisher Info:  10512 Co. Road 39, Sterling, Colorado 80751

Publication Date: 2019

ISBN (all applicable): 978-1-943277-89-6

Links to online sales:      








                                  Saturday, 2:00 – 2:55 PM

                                 James Harrison Macrae


“Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography”

By James Burr Harrison Macrae

     The book describes the 2003 recording and comparison of forty-three Pecos River Style sites throughout the rugged canyons and cliffs of the Lower Pecos.  The rock art sites were analyzed using iconographic methods developed to interpret Maya hieroglyphic writing.  This study and years of additional research resulted in this book.  The idea of "core motifs" is introduced.  The purpose of the book is to illuminate and contextualize a highly arcane, ancient, and significant form of ancestral Native American art and symbolism using a scientific, repeatable, and non-destructive methodology.

It is a first of a kind study, recording significant portions of a corpus of Pecos River Style rock art produced by native people of the Lower Pecos circa two to four thousand years ago.   This book is the best current synthesis explaining this form of ancient pictographs in a social context.  This book is a must for anyone interested in the Lower Pecos region or Indian pictographs.

Pecos River style pictographs are one of the most complex forms of rock art worldwide. The dramatic prehistoric pictographs on the limestone overhangs of the lower Pecos and Devils Rivers in West Texas have been the subject of preservation and study since the 1930s, and dedicated research continues to this day. The medium is large-scale, polychrome pictographs in open rock shelter settings, emphasizing the animistic/shamanistic religion practiced by the local aboriginal peoples.

     Creating large-scale rock murals required intelligence, skill, and knowledge. These enigmatic images, some dating to 4,500 years ago and possibly earlier, depict strange, vaguely human and animal shapes and various geometric forms. While full understanding of the meaning of these images is abstruse, archaeologists and other scholars have identified what they believe to be patterns and religious themes, mixed with what could be figures and objects from everyday life in the local hunter-gatherer culture as it existed in the region centuries before the arrival of colonizing Europeans.

Although interpretation of these pictographs remains controversial, in Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography, James Burr Harrison Macrae contributes to the beginnings of a syntactic “grammar” for these images that can be applied in diverse contexts without direct reference to any particular interpretation. “The strength of structural-iconographic analysis,” Macrae writes, “is that it relies on repetitive patterns rather than idiosyncratic information, such as trying to make broad inferences from one or only a few sites.” Pecos River Style Rock Art offers the framework of an empirical methodology for understanding these ancient artworks.

                                              James Macrae


     James is a native Texan who first visited the Lower Pecos in 1991.  This led to a now 30-year interest and obsession with appreciating and understanding the ancient Pecos River Style paintings.  He published "Pecos River Style Rock Art: A Prehistoric Iconography" in 2018.  James is currently a professional archaeologist, living in Bellingham, Washington with his family, running his CRM firm Falcon Cultural Resources, LLC.


Links to online book sales:





Author contacts and social media:




Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

Publisher Contact:  www.tamupress.com

ISBN: 978-1-62349-640-1

Publication Date: 2018






                 Saturday, 3:00 - 3:55 PM

               Christopher L. Miller, Russell K. Skowronek,

               and Roseann Bacha-Garza


“Blue and Gray on the Border: The Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail”   

Edited by Christopher L. Miller, Russell K. Skowronek, and Roseann Bacha-Garza


     Most general histories of the Civil War pay scant attention to the many important military events that took place in the Lower Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border. It was here, for example, that many of the South’s cotton exports, all-important to its funding for the war effort, were shuttled across the Rio Grande into Mexico for shipment to markets across the Atlantic. It was here that the Union blockade was felt perhaps most keenly. And it was here where longstanding cross-border rivalries and shifting political fortunes on both sides of the river made for a constant undercurrent of intrigue. And yet, most accounts of this long and bloody conflict give short shrift to the complexities of the ethnic tensions, political maneuvering, and international diplomacy that vividly colored the Civil War in this region.

Now, Christopher L. Miller, Russell K. Skowronek, and Roseann Bacha-Garza have woven together the history and archaeology of the Lower Rio Grande Valley into a densely illustrated travel guide featuring important historical and military sites of the Civil War period. Blue and Gray on the Border integrates the sites, colorful personalities, cross-border conflicts, and intriguing historical vignettes that outline the story of the Civil War along the Texas-Mexico border. This resource-packed book will aid heritage travelers, students, and history buffs in their discovery of the rich history of the Civil War in the Rio Grande Valley. Runner-up, 2019 Texas Old Missions and Forts Restoration Book Award, sponsored by the Texas Old Missions and Forts Restoration Association (TOMFRA).


                                        Christopher L. Miller



     Christopher L Miller, professor of history at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is the associate director of the Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools (CHAPS) program. He is also the author of Prophetic Worlds: Indians and Whites on the Columbia Plateau.  He resides in Edinburg, Texas.



                                         Russell K. Skowronek



     Russell K. Showronek, professor of history and anthropology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is the founding director of the Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools (CHAPS) program. He is also the author of X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy and HMS Fowey Lost . . . and Found! He resides in McAllen, Texas.



                                         Roseann Bacha-Garza




     Roseann Bacha-Garza, lecturer of anthropology and history at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is the project director of the Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools (CHAPS) program.  She is also the author of Images of America: San Juan and coeditor of The Native American Peoples of South Texas.  She resides in McAllen, Texas.



Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

Publication Date: 2019

IBSN: 978-1-62349-682-1

Online sales: https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781623496821/blue-and-gray-on-the-border/

Link to Editor: http://www.tamupress.com/product/Bruseth-James-E,197.aspx

Link to Publisher: www.tamupress.com








                      Saturday, 4:00 - 4:55 PM

                    Roseann Bacha-Garza, Christopher L. Miller,

                    and Russell K. Skowronek


“The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846–1876”

Edited by Roseann Bacha-Garza, Christopher L. Miller, and Russell K. Skowronek



     Long known as a place of cross-border intrigue, the Rio Grande’s unique role in the history of the American Civil War has been largely forgotten or overlooked. Few know of the dramatic events that took place here or the complex history of ethnic tensions and international intrigue and the clash of colorful characters that marked the unfolding and aftermath of the Civil War in the Lone Star State.


     To understand the American Civil War in Texas also requires an understanding of the history of Mexico. The Civil War on the Rio Grande focuses on the region’s forced annexation from Mexico in 1848 through the Civil War and Reconstruction. In a very real sense, the Lower Rio Grande Valley was a microcosm not only of the United States but also of increasing globalization as revealed by the intersections of races, cultures, economic forces, historical dynamics, and individual destinies.


     As a companion to Blue and Gray on the Border: The Rio Grande Valley Civil War Trail, this volume provides the scholarly backbone to a larger public history project exploring three decades of ethnic conflict, shifting international alliances, and competing economic proxies at the border. The Civil War on the Rio Grande, 1846–1876 makes a groundbreaking contribution not only to the history of a Texas region in transition but also to the larger history of a nation at war with itself.




Editor Email:       christopher.miller@utrgv.edu



Editors Social Media Link: https://www.facebook.com/rgvcwt/

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

Publication Date: 2019

IBSN: 978-1-62349-719-4

Online sales: https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781623497194/the-civil-war-on-the-rio-grande-18461876/

Link to Publisher: www.tamupress.com

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