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Undergraduate students from Texas A&M University at work at the Gault site in July, 2001.
Undergraduate students from Texas A&M University at work at the Gault site.
Two of many Clovis points from the Gault site.
Two of many Clovis points from the Gault site.

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View of the 1930 excavations at Gault under the direction of James E. Pearce. Pearce focused on one of the most obvious archeological features at the site—a massive burned rock midden—the thick rocky layer extending from the surface to below the workmen's waists.
View of the 1930 excavations at Gault under the direction of James E. Pearce. Pearce focused on one of the most obvious archeological features at the site—a massive burned rock midden—the thick rocky layer extending from the surface to below the workmen's waists.
Clovis blades.
Clovis blades.

 

The Gault site, midway between Georgetown and Ft. Hood in central Texas, has a long history of archeological investigation as well as uncontrolled artifact digging. Located in a small wooded valley with a spring-fed creek and an unlimited supply of excellent flint, the site was occupied intensively during all major periods of the prehistoric era. James E. Pearce, the first professional archeologist in Texas, learned of the Gault Farm site and excavated there in 1929-1930. Over the next 60 years, artifact collectors churned up the upper deposits over almost the entire site, but stopped digging when the dark rich midden soil played out. In 1990, an artifact collector dug deeper and found Clovis artifacts along with several unusual incised stones, something never before found with Clovis materials. Learning of the find, Drs. Thomas R. Hester and Michael B. Collins of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory carried out testing at Gault in 1991, just enough to confirm the collector's story. But the property owner at the time continued to let pay-to-dig artifact collectors destroy the site.

Fortunately for archeology, the property changed hands and the new owners recognized the scientific importance of the site. Since 1998 a major excavation project has been underway at Gault, led by Collins. The work has been carried out by a cast of hundreds of individuals representing dozens of organizations. A relatively small core of professional staff works with university field schools from Texas A&M, UT Austin, and Brigham Young University as well as volunteers from near and far including many members of the Texas Archeological Society.

The Gault site is attracting national and international attention because of the wealth of new information on Clovis culture that is emerging from right here in the heart of Texas. In Clovis Reconsidered you will learn about the unfolding interpretations of what Clovis life was like 13,000 years ago at the Gault site and how these ideas are helping to mold a dramatically new view of the peopling of the Americas. You can also look through the TAS Field School Gallery for pictures of the 2001 Field School and TAS members taking part in the exciting investigations at Gault. Credits and Sources provides links to additional sources of information.


Clovis blade core.
Clovis blade core.
Major excavations began again in 1998 at the Gault site. Here archeologists in standard-issue white cowboy hats gather around Dr. Tom Hester who is examining a Clovis artifact.
Major excavations began again in 1998 at the Gault site. Here archeologists in standard-issue white cowboy hats gather around Dr. Tom Hester who is examining a Clovis artifact.