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Thursday, September 29, 2011

100 People Brave 100 Degrees for Archeology Fair

By José Zapata, Landmark Inn site manager

Despite the hot weather, Landmark Inn State Historic Site in Castroville hosted an Archeology Fair on August 20 that was attended by more than 100 area residents. Landmark Inn staff made the rounds to ensure visitors and guests stayed cool and hydrated.

The fair, organized by the Southern Texas Archaeological Association, featured staff from the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) instructing children on the basics of archeological investigation with a mock excavation. Staff also instructed visitors on how to use an atlatl (spear-thrower) and a Native American pump drill.

The day-long event included flint knapping demonstrations and artifact identifications. Visitors witnessed how arrowheads and other stone tools are made, and a few brought artifacts for identification.

The fair also featured presentations by two highly regarded archeologists. The morning presentation featured Dr. Steve Tomka, whose talk focused on recent excavations at St. Mary’s Hall and Brackenridge Park in San Antonio. Dr. Tomka is the director of the Center for Archaeological Research at UTSA. The afternoon presentation featured Dr. Tom Hester, who discussed the archeological record of South Texas with a focus on the Medina River Valley. Dr. Hester is an internationally recognized expert on stone tool technology.

Landmark Inn State Historic Site is located in Castroville, approximately 20 miles west of San Antonio, in the Texas Hill Country Trail Region.

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