Heritage, Volume 14, Number 1, Winter 1996 Page: 26
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Work of Avocational Archaeologists Applauded By Professional Community
Horn Rock Yields Important Archaeological Finds
By Calvin B. Smith
The Horn Rock Shelter No. 2 is an
erosional Cretaceous limestone recess located
on the west bank of the Brazos River
downstream from Lake Whitney in eastern
Bosque County. It has been recorded by the
Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory
as site number 39B5-55 and is about
150 in length with a maximum overhang of
25 feet and faces east at a sharp, southerly
bend in the river.
In the spring of 1967 after completing
work on Horn Shelter No. 1, just south of
the larger shelter, Albert J. Redder and the
late Frank Watt began excavations in the
south end of what was to become Horn
Shelter No. 2. In November 1968 R. E.
Forrester returned to begin excavations on
the north end of No. 2 after potholers
ceased their activities. Forrester completed
his work in 1989 and his final report is
being published as the "Strecker Occasional
Papers No. 3" (in press). Frank Watt
passed away on October 9, 1981, but Al
Redder continued to excavate and carefully
record the archaeological sequences
in great detail until 1990.
During the intervening years, more than
100,000 artifacts were found in what has
become one of the best documented stratified
sites in the region revealing 10,000
years of human occupation. The bags and
boxes of material gathered have never been
processed so no detailed analysis has been
made although two publications have resulted
from the initial investigations: "Central
Texas Archaeologist Volumes 10 and
11", 1985 and 1988 respectively. In the
early 1990s, Redder agreed that the Strecker
Museum should become the repository for
this most substantial collection.
In discussions with Redder and archaeologist
Mike Collins it became evident
that an inventory was vital to the future
interpretation of the materials, and the
best way that could be accomplished was to
place a graduate student with Redder to
All too often avocational
collections are overlooked,
however, has made an
(important) impact on
the archaeology of Central
accession the vast quantity of artifacts and
Each student in the Department of Museum
Studies at Baylor University must complete
an internship for six hours credit. This
usually entails a 40-hour/week position with
a specific objective encompassing no less
than 10-12 weeks. However, an opportunity
to work with Redder, considered one of
the most knowledgeable individuals in the
field today, and to actually accession items
from one of the most important sites in the
region was considered a major career enhancement
even if the student had to dedicate
a full year to the assignment.
In applying for a grant from the Texas
Historical Foundation, specifically from
the Joseph Ballard Archaeology Fund, (the
THF grant amount was matched by Foundation
Board members Mike and Karen
Collins of Austin), it was with the understanding
that there would be significant
other matching funds. An equivalent cash
amount was received from the Madison
Cooper Foundation of Waco and in-kind
services from the Strecker Museum, The
Department of Museum Studies, and Baylor
Ian McGuire, who has received bachelor
degrees in anthropology and musuem
studies, and who is currently in the master's
program in museum studies, is now work
ing with Redder to inventory and document
the objects, verifying their provinance
within the site and to place an accession
number on the identifiable artifacts so retrieval
can be easily accomplished.
Long-range usage of the collection cannot
be underestimated. Researchers from
both North and South America have long
anticipated the chance to see first-hand
the Paleo-American evidence represented.
As the final computerized cataloging
procedures are accomplished and once the
collection is physically entrusted to the
Strecker Museum, the information will definitely
make an impact on the research in
All too often avocational collections
are overlooked, or worse disregarded, in
studies related to a specific area. Redder,
however, has made such an impact on the
archaeology of Central Texas, not only
with the wealth of information he has
accumulated but also in the professional
manner in which it has been recorded, that
the discoveries are too important to ignore
and too vital to future investigations.
As a result, it is now possible for the
future generations to learn from and enjoy
the results of his dedication to preserving
the cultural heritage of our endemic people
with an unequaled sensitivity and respect
for their life ways.
The goal of the Strecker Museum is to
exhibit a full-scale cross section of the Horn
Shelter No. 2 as an experience module in
the new museum facility That $12.5 million
structure will also have professional staff
and modern labs to assist and accommodate
researchers in the retrieval of Redder's, as
well as other avocational collections.
By December 1995, halfway through
the project, McGuire has completed 44 of
86 boxes encompassing the collections.
Smith is director of the Strecker Museum.
26 HERITAGE *WINTER 1996
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 14, Number 1, Winter 1996, periodical, Winter 1996; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45404/m1/26/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.