Sunday, December 16, 2007

Site at Risk? Buy it Yourself!

Love this: a 33-acre archaeological site north of Austin, TX has been bought by one of the professors fighting to preserve it. The prof, one Michael Collins, then gave the parcel of land to the Archaeological Conservancy.

Like most college professors, Collins is not extravagantly wealthy. He cashed out his personal savings to close the sale.

The Gault site, as it's called, "was one of the major areas of activity for the Clovis people in North America and contains relics that are as many as 13,500 years old." That quote is from the American-Statesman web article. The Gault site was first worked over 1929 by University of Texas archaeologists, who loved the place so much they kept coming back. Here's a link to the UT website about Gault.

Even more spectacular--don't you agree that a site, used for several centuries some 13,000 years ago by mammoth hunters is spectacular?--is that in 2002, the University of Texas archaeologists found artefacts that predate Clovis.

(Clovis is defined by certain types of arrow and spearheads, originally discovered in Clovis, NM. The pictured points are from the Gault site, according to an article. For a long time, archaeologists insisted that Clovis people were the first in North America, and nothing could predate them. But excavations elsewhere--like Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania--are chipping away at this belief.)

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