Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991 Page: 17
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Other potential routes were
either too rough, as in the case of the
western Edwards Plateau of Central
Texas, or too dense with timber,
such as the Eastern Cross Timbers
and Piney Woods of East Texas. In
fact, these two barriers would have
helped funnel far-ranging animals
into the Brazos-Colorado bison
corridor. This, then, is a push-pull
model of the Late Prehistoric
appearance of bison in South Texas,
complete with an explanation of
why bison moved, their geographic
origin, and the route they took.
What we know currently is this:
Apparently, bison did not range into
southern Texas for several centuries
before A.D. 1200. With their
appearance at A.D. 1200, pedestrian
hunting cultures began taking them
for food and other bone, hide, and
This switch to a new food source
was so successful that it changed the
hunting and gathering cultures from
what they had been before. Hunting
tools-projectile points and
knives-were distinctive but similar
to those on the High Plains. Hunting
parties were small, just a few hunters,
and they journeyed from camps
along streams, to where bison grazed
in grassy prairies above the stream
Kills were butchered on the spot,
and cuts-not the whole animalwere
taken back to the camps. Bands
that benefitted from bison hunting
either traveled back and forth yearly
from the inland prairies and the
coast, or interacted with coastal
Archaeology is often called a
mosaic science in which a picture of
the past is assembled one piece at a
time. Each single site excavated
carefully and scientifically comprises
only one piece. From this perspective,
site excavation is a means to an
end, not an end in itself. It is also true
that an accurate interpretation of
the past can only be built up over
Conservation and preservation,
tools of ecology, become important
aids to the careful assembling of our
prehistory. And the comparison
with biological ecology is apt.
Because just as prehistory is fragile and
irreplaceable, so its preservation and
understanding help put modern humanity
into better perspective and balance with
the world. Thus archaeology becomes a
little-recognized but important facet of
human ecology. And in South Texas its
goals are advanced by scientific
archaeologists, avocational archaeology
groups, and students.
Jeffery A. Huebner and David G. Robinson are
staff archaeologists at the Texas Archeological Research
Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin.
HERITAGE * SPRING 1991 17
End scrapers from the La Jita site.
Perdiz arrowpoints from the La Jita site in Uvalde County.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991, periodical, Spring 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45424/m1/17/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.