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
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
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
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