Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991 Page: 28
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The Will R.
Wilson, Sr. Family
The Archaeological Conservancy
The Archaeological Conservancy, a
national non-profit preservation organization
based in Santa Fe, NewMexico,
honored the Will R. Wilson, Sr. family at
a dedication ceremony held at the Green
Pastures Restaurant in Austin on April 12,
The Wilson family of Austin donated
2.5 acres of land located about twenty miles
north of Austin near the town of Leander
in Williamson County. The property contains
one of the most significant archaeological
sites ever discovered in Texas.
In 1982, archaeologists working with
the Texas Department of Highways and
Transportation discovered the remains of a
woman buried beneath a 10,000 year old
campstite, twelve feet beneath the surface.
From left to right: Jim Walker, Southwest Regional Director of the Archawoligical Conservancy;
Will R. Wilson, Sr.; Bob Mallouf, State Archaeologist and guest speaker for the event; and
Bonnie McKee, Vice President of the Texas Historical Foundation.
"Leanderthal Lady," as she has been
named, who was probably no more than
thirty years old when she died, is the oldest
intact intentional burial discovered in
North America. Carbon 14 tests indicate
she lived 10,000 to 13,000 years ago.
The Highway Department excavations,
conducted in preparation for an
extension of state road FM 1431, uncovered
only half of the archaeological site.
The portion of the site lying outside the
road right of way has been owned and
protected by the Wilson family for many
years. Tests conducted in 1983 indicate
that the archaeological deposits discovered
by the Highway Department archaeologists
extend underneath the property donated
by the Wilson family.
The property has been dedicated as the
Marjorie Ashcroft Wilson Archaeological
Preserve in honor of the late Mrs. Will R.
Wilson, Sr., who was avidly interested in
archaeology. The preserve will be managed
under the terms of a 100 year management
plan to be developed with the assistance of
the Texas Historical Commission and the
Office of the State Archaeologist. The
preserve will be fenced and patrolled with
the assistance of local residents. Although
the Conservancy does no excavating, all of
its preserves are available for professional
study under controlled conditions.
It is hoped that someday a portion of the
site can be excavated and interpreted for
the public as a county, state, or national
park complete with a visitor's center.
The Archaeological Conservancy has
established sixty-eight archaeological
preserved in twelve states, including six
preserves in Texas. The Conservancy
maintains four Caddo Indian ceremonial
mound complexes in east Texas, a historic
Wichita village site near Waco and archaic
period burned rock midden near Wimberley.
The Conservancy has 7,000 members
For more information, or to make a contribution
to the project, contact
The Archaeological Conservancy
415 Orchard Drive
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tour the dramatic and exciting archaeological
sites of the Southwest with the experts as
recommended by The New York Times and
Washington Post. The Archaeological Conservancy
is a national, non-profit preservation organization
that has been conducting tours for
Leading archaeologists serve as guides for
week long trips with first class accommodations
to the nation's most sensational prehistoric
sites, contemporary Indian villages, and
breathtaking natural scenery in New Mexico,
Arizona, Colorado and Mexico.
* Fall tours of the Southwest include Mesa
Verde, Chaco Canyon, Bandelier, Santa Fe,
Tumacacori and Casas Grandes.
* Winter tour to the great Mayan ruins of
THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL CONSERVANCY,
415 Orchard Drive, Santa Fe, NM
87501. (505) 982-3278.
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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/m1/28/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.