Heritage, Volume 9, Number 3, Summer 1991 Page: 27
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rain water runoff and sediments that would
have undone the meticulous work of the
It did not take long to recognize the
magnitude of the project at hand. With the
concurrence of Du DuPont, the Blue Bayou
Committee was formed to raise funds to
support the investigations. The committee,
comprised of local business men and
women and avocational archaeologists was
chaired by Will Armstrong. In less than
one month, over $10,000 was raised from
local constributions. These monies were
used to cover costs of radiocarbon dates to
determine the age of the site and to provide
stipends for archaeology graduate students
from UTSA who worked at the site.
Community involvement was increased
by several positive and factual
articles in the Victoria Advocate written by
staff reporter Liz Conner. These reports not
only increased community awareness
about local prehistory, but also drew many
interested persons to the site to learn, often
in a hands-on fashion, about archaeology.
As the 1982 field season was brought to
a close with the onset of winter, plans were
made to continue the dig in the spring. The
warmer weather brought out even more
volunteers from the community to help at
the site. This outpouring of support
allowed the last details of the excavation to
be completed by early June 1983.
The final step of the field investigations
involved the stabilization of the site. Aluminum
cans were placed in the lower corners
of each excavation unit and the units
were backfilled. A thin mantle of crushed
limestone was carefully spread over the entire
site followed by a layer of top soil and
finally sod. This not only allows for the old
excavations to be easily identified by future
researchers, but protects the site from further
erosion, ensuring its preservation.
Also, a camera was erected so that the site
can be monitored by DuPont's security staff
thus protecting it from the worst enemy of
According to the State Archaeologist
Bob Mallouf, over 5,000 sites are lost a year
to these "thieves of time" for the sake of a
collection or commercial gain. Through
the actions of a concerned community
Blue Bayou will not join these ranks.
While the field work was complete, the
project was far from over. The Blue Bayou
Committee now turned to the academic
community for assistance in the analysis of
the recovered data. Two graduate students,
Tony Comuzzie of Texas A&M University
and the author, then at UTSA, completed
masters theses on the physical anthropology
and the archaeology of the site.
These research efforts were supported by
grants both from the Blue Bayou Committee
and DuPont. As the final step in this
near decade-long research project, a technical
monograph combining all phases of
the investigations is scheduled for publication
later this summer by the Texas Archeological
Research Laboratory, the
University of Texas at Austin.
The Blue Bayou project stands as a fine
example of a community-based preser
vation effort involving both private and
corporate citizens. For their efforts the Blue
Bayou Committee was awarded the 1982
Robert F. Heizer Memorial Award by the
Southern Texas Archaeological Association
in recognition of their outstanding
contribution to Southern Texas archaeology,
and the DuPont Victoria Plant was
presented with the 1991 Excellence in Archeology
for Preservation Award by the
Texas Historical Commission.
Jeffery A. Huebner is a staff archaeologist for the
Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, the
University of Texas at Austin.
HERITAGE * SUMMER 1991 27
Left: Excavators Sonny Timme, Bill Birmingham, and Margie Greco carefully expose a feature
at the Blue Bayou site. Top: Custom-made antler and stainless steel tools created by Bill Birmingham
specifically for the Blue Bayou excavations. Above: A busy crew at Blue Bayou.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 3, Summer 1991, periodical, Summer 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45423/m1/27/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.