Heritage, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1988 Page: 16
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indication of everyday activities, and a
glimpse of that people's place in the story of
humanity that we all share reminds us that
we are not the first to be born, to love, to
laugh, to rebel, to fight, to die.
No other state can boast a richer array of
historic and prehistoric sites, or a more
valuable legacy for present and future generations.
Thousands of Texans, as well as
tourists from out of state, benefit each year
from visits to the San Antonio missions,
Hueco Tanks and Seminole Canyon Rock
Art sites in west Texas, Caddoan Mounds
State Park in east Texas, the Lubbock Lake
Park in east Texas, the Lubbock Lake bison
kill site, frontier forts all across the state,
and countless other sites-both prehistoric
and historic-that provide a sense of
continuity with the past. All of us benefit
both culturally and financially from
guardianship of the past.
What can be done to preserve these
sites? Successful long-term protection of
cultural resources requires local understanding
of the value of our cultural past,
and a willing partnership of government,
landowners and citizens toward site preservation.
The Texas Historical Commission
is developing legislation to be brought
before the legislature in the next session,
asking that the protection now offered to
Anglo cemeteries be extended to include
Native American cemeteries as well. The
Texas Historical Foundation, at its July
meeting, voted to support the concept of
the preservation of Indian burial sites, and
to act further when a final bill has been
Although on the surface the issue is a
straightforward request to the stop desecration
of human burial sites, the legislation is
not without controversy. The pan-Indian
group wants all excavation of burial sites
halted-even that tiny fraction performed
by trained archaeologists, usually faced
with the threat of destruction to the site.
Collectors and pothunters object that their
rights of free enterprise are intruded upon
by such legislation, that their livelihood, or
value of their collections, is endangered.
Archaeologists and preservationists assert
entai e Weekend
on the abinels
Saturday 10-7 * Sunday Noon-6
Featuring all varieties of antiques and collectibles.
$2 admission * San Gabriel Park Community Center
Saturday & Sunday 1-6pm
Featuring five lovely, historic homes and one church.
Saturday 10-7 * Sunday Noon-6
Exhibit of all hand-made items, new and old.
it is unethical to desecrate human burial
sites, or to profit from such desecration
So where does all this leave us? "Preservation
isn't a legal issue so much as it is a
moral obligation," concludes Mallouf.
"Now it is a matter of making people aware
of what they are doing when they collect
artifacts or destroy sites."
"We are working with a legacy in pieces.
They are making it impossible to retell the
full story of the past. They are cutting
themselves short. They are cutting their
children and their grandchildren short.
What is going to be left of the past...for the
Carolyn Fasel is Assistant Editor of Heritage.
[This article was supplemented by additional
information in publications of the Texas Historical
Commission's Office of the State
Archaeologist, "A Legacy in Pieces" and "You
are the Guardian of the Past". -Ed.]
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 6, Number 3, Fall 1988, periodical, 1988; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45436/m1/16/: accessed March 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.