University of Texas at Austin wordmarkCollege of Liberal Arts wordmark
Texas Beyond History
TBH Home
Frontier Forts Main

The Archeologists

The Red River War Battle Sites Project archeological crew. Left to right, Brett Cruse, Pat Mercado-Allinger, Rusty Winn, Luis Alvarado, Rolla Shaller, Lee Allen, Alvin Linn, Randy Vance. Photo courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.
The Red River War Battle Sites Project archeological crew. Left to right, Brett Cruse, Pat Mercado-Allinger, Rusty Winn, Luis Alvarado, Rolla Shaller, Lee Allen, Alvin Linn, Randy Vance. Photo courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.

Survey in the rugged Texas Panhandle can be grueling work, but the archeologists heading up the Red River battle site investigations were well suited for the job. Brett Cruse served as Project Director, leading Texas Historical Commission crews as well as volunteers in field investigations during 1998 and 1999.

Cruse is a native of Turkey, Texas, a small farming and ranching community in the Panhandle. Brett received a B.S. in anthropology from West Texas State (A&M) University and an M.A. in anthropology from Texas A&M University. After working on various archeological field projects in the south, southwest, and eastern U.S., he joined the staff of the Texas Historical Commission in 1995 where he serves as the Regional Archeologist for the Plains Region and Project Director for the Red River War Battle Sites Project.

Patricia Mercado-Allinger is the Texas State Archeologist. Pat is a "Texan by choice" having grown up in Southern California, where she spent many hours during her childhood roaming the golf course where her father was the greenskeeper. In fact, she credits her interest in archeology to her golf course wanderings because she observed numerous artifacts that piqued her curiosity about the toolmakers and the uses and antiquity of the objects.

Both her B.A. and M.A. degrees in anthropology were earned at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She moved to Texas in 1979, working as the park archeologist at Caprock Canyons State Park. Later, while employed by a private consulting firm in Austin, she worked on projects throughout Texas and in southwestern Missouri.

Mercado-Allinger has been with the Texas Historical Commission since December 1984 and has served as State Archeologist since 1996. She is also an active member of the Texas Archeological Society, serving on numerous committees and as president in 1990.


THC archeologists Randy Vance (left) and Brett Cruse use a Global Positioning system receiver to record the locations of artifacts. Photo courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.
THC archeologists Randy Vance (left) and Brett Cruse use a Global Positioning system receiver to record the locations of artifacts. Photo courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.

Click images to enlarge