Heritage, Volume 15, Number 1, Winter 1997 Page: 15
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selection of two tour types. Each tour takes
about two-and-a-half hours with three activities
occurring simultaneously and rotating
every 45 minutes.
The basic unit includes a tour of the
southern area interpretive trail and open
test pits, work at the "dig" tables, and a
combination museum visit/atlatl dart toss.
The interpretive trail involves a review of
each sign with verbal interpretation and a
stop at open excavation units with discussion
of burned rock features, how they got
there, how they were covered or uncovered,
why certain artifacts are not present
due to lack of preservation, how some tools
are used, how archaeologists attempt to
interpret material, and who the occupants
of the site were. The "dig" tables expose the
student to the concepts of excavation -
vertical and horizontal patterning - without
digging. This is achieved through liftout
levels with artifacts glued to the surface
of plywood boards. Students are required to
map artifacts on grid paper and offer some
type of interpretation. The museum provides
student and teachers a chance to
view and handle artifacts from the site and
region, and interact with professional and
avocational archaeologists. At the atlatl/
dart toss, students attempt to throw a dart
with an atlatl at a hay bale target.
The second type of tour includes a simulated
site documentation exercise, a tour of
the southern area, and a short visit to the
museum. The atlatl and dart toss is also
included in this tour and is offered during
lunch. Because this exercise requires about
one-and-a-half hours, it is offered to groups
of 20 or less. The site documentation involves
the recording of a simulated prehistoric
site laid out in the picnic area of the
KAC. Burned rock features, tool-making
areas, shell concentrations, and artifacts
are placed within a site area. Students are
divided into crews that are accompanied by
professional and avocational archaeologists.
Each crew marks the location of artifacts or
features with brightly colored pin flags,
maps the site with a compass, and com
pletes a single-page form requiring identification
of terrain, vegetation, artifacts, and
other "discoveries". These exercises mimic
standard, but greatly abbreviated methodology
among professionals. The tour is designed
to help students and teachers gain
an understanding of the science and purpose
of professional archaeology.
Visual markers at the Kingsland Archaeological
Center, such as the one above, introduce students to
different historic periods. This sign tells readers
that from 400 years ago to recent pioneer times,
"Europeans were discovering North America. They
brought horses as well as metal tools such as axes,
knives, and firearms. All of these were introduced
to the native Indians. One result was increased
hunting of buffalo and other animals. The introduction
of the horses as well as pressures from the
growing number of settlers resulted in more frequent
movement by Indians...Records from early
settlers identify tribes including Comanches,
Apaches, and Tonkawa in Central Texas..."
HERITAGE * WINTER 1997 15
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 15, Number 1, Winter 1997, periodical, Winter 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45400/m1/15/: accessed May 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.