Heritage, Volume 11, Number 2, Spring 1993 Page: 10
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"Approaching the buildings and excavations of
the landmark, a visitor will typically begin to
sense the significance of the site. It is difficult to
put into objective terms, but the feeling springs
from the realization that this is a specific place
where human beings can be shown to have been
living for about 1 2,000 years.
Texas Monthly Field Guide to Archeological Sites of Texas
10 HERITAGE * SPRING 1993
extraordinary cultural resource for generations
to come," said Andrew Sansom, executive
director of the Parks and Wildlife
That sentiment is amplified byJohnson,
who has worked at the site for more than 22
years. "Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
facilitates community participation
at the site by encouraging the typical tourist
to experience the process of research,"
In the almost two and one-half years
since the park was opened to visitors, some
60,000 tourists have viewed the interpretive
center that contains a series of dioramas
and exhibits explaining theories of
how humans came to the New World, how
they lived 12,000 years ago, and how the
climate at Lubbock Lake has changed during
the time from a mild, maritime one to the
current semiarid conditions.
Many visitors have experienced the
sense of adventure that comes from witnessing
a researcher carefully brushing away
minute particles of sand from an ancient
bone or a stone tool. Because tourists can
see the process and then question the scientist
on the spot, many come away with a
keen interest about archaeology, geology,
and paleontology. Johnson and her staff
encourage those persons to come again, to
become part of history that is being made at
the site today as other history is being
Johnson's reliance on community volunteers
spans her 22 years at the site. But she
was not the first archaeologist to appreciate
what community involvement can do to
enhance a university's research program.
Two teenage cousins, watching a Works
Progress Administration team attempt to
deepen springs around the lake to revitalize
the water supply in the midst of the Depression
and Dust Bowl, found the first spear
point discovered at the site in 1936. They
took their treasure to Curry Holden, then
director of the former West Texas Museum
and currently professor emeritus at Texas
Tech. Holden recognized the significance
of the find and began a crusade to preserve
the site. In 1939, three years after the boys'
find, the Works Progress Administration
crew, headed by archaeologist Joe Ben
Left: A Lubbock Lake Landmark volunteer docent
displays Native American artifacts that might have
been a part of daily life at the site. Such displays help
recreate a feeling for life at the site in many different
periods during the last 12,000 years.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 11, Number 2, Spring 1993, periodical, Spring 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46808/m1/10/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.