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Credits & Sources

photo of the crew during excavation in 1986
David Hughes (left) and crew during the excavation of the Kit Courson house in 1986. Landowner Harold Courson is on the right in light blue. On his right is Alicia Hughes-Jones, who ran the laboratory during this many other Buried City digs.

The Buried City exhibit was written by Dr. David T. Hughes, associate professor of anthropology at Wichita State University, where he has taught since 1988. Hughes has been directing field investigations and subsequent analysis of Buried City since 1985. Son of Jack T. Hughes, David has been involved in archeology since early childhood. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He makes his home in Newton, Kansas where he lives with wife Dr. Alicia Hughes-Jones, a fellow archeologist who has served as David's confidant, editor, goad, colleague, office manager, lab manager, co-project director, and sounding board. As he puts it, "Whatever I may have accomplished is at least as much the result of her efforts as of my own."

David got his first field experience excavating bison kill sites under Billy Harrison in 1968, had his first technical report published in 1974, and has been actively doing archeological research for over 35 years. Hughes has published dozens of technical reports and scholarly articles. He has worked with Earl Greene at Ft. McKavett, Frank Weir for the Texas Department of Highways and Transportation, Vance Haynes at the Lehner and Murray Springs sites, Don Wyckoff at the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey, and scores of people on contracts and summer employment in Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, and beyond. In recent years his interests have broadened to include ethnohistory and ethnography. He has directed ethnographic studies in St. Louis and Pipestone, Minnesota as well as extensive ethnohistoric studies for Pipestone National Monument and for the Scotts Bluff and Agate Fossil Quarries National Monuments in Nebraska.

The investigations at the Buried City since 1985 were funded largely by the Harold Courson family with additional support from the field schools of the Texas Archeological Society and Wichita State University, as well as small private contributions. Institutional support in the form of personnel and facilities was provided by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the Texas Historical Commission Office of the State Archeologist, the University of Oklahoma, and Wichita State University, among others.

The photographs used here were taken by David T. Hughes, Madeline Jeffress, Steve Black, and Wallace Williams. Many photographs were drawn from the Courson Archeological collection currently housed at Wichita State University. Graphics and maps were prepared by Hughes as part of past or planned publications on the Buried City.

The ideas and concepts presented here resulted from observations made during the investigations and were refined, expanded or, in some cases altered, as the result of conversations with other archeologists such as Don Blakeslee, Todd Bevitt, Scott Brosowske, Doug Boyd, Joan Few, Mott Davis, Tom Ellzey, Billy and Donna Harrison, Jack Hughes, Ron Ralph, Harry Shafer, Susan Vehik, and Doug Wilkens, and many others.

The list of crew members involved in the Buried City research would fill several pages. We began with a crew of five in 1985, expanded to about 15 in 1986, had 300 TAS members in 1987, and by some reports, 400 in 1988. In 1990 WSU students involved in the Temple excavation numbered about 40 all told. Alicia Hughes-Jones was the lab and office manager, records concordance supervisor, and co-director throughout. Danny Witt was a key local informant and expediter as well as willing and informed worker in all phases of the work. The Courson family has volunteered their time, talent, and perspiration as well as fiscal support, ever willing to offer advice, suggestions, and labor when needed. The efforts of all who have helped on Buried City are greatly appreciated.

Steve Black edited this exhibit and put it together with the help of webmaster Meg Kemp.

Buried City References

Eyerly, T. L.
1907 Buried City of the Panhandle. The Student, publication of the Canadian Academy, Canadian, Texas.

1908 Buried City of the Panhandle. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, Vol 21(1):219-228, December, 1907. Download PDF file.

1912 The Buried City of the Panhandle. The Archaeological Bulletin, Jan-March 1912, Vol 3(1):1-5. Download PDF file.

[Eyerly's reports all have substantially the same content.]

Franklin, C. B.
1919 Field notes on file at Phillips Academy and Courson Archeological Project records (Perryton and WSU).
[Franklin was hired by Moorehead to make a buggy-trip around the Arkansas River drainage in 1919. A portion of his field notes pertaining to the Buried City can be downloaded here as a PDF file, courtesy of the Department of Archaeology, Peabody Foundation, Phillips Academy.]

Krieger, Alex D.
1946 Cultural Complexes and Chronology of Northern Texas. University of Texas, Austin.
[Krieger mentions the Buried City as possibly a second focus within the Panhandle Aspect but notes there is too little reliable information to make a certain determination at that time. ]

Moorehead, Warren King
1920 Field notes on file at Phillips Academy
[Moorehead's original field notes were an invaluable asset in evaluating the history of his expeditions to the area. They were provided courtesy of the Department of Archaeology, Peabody Foundation, Phillips Academy.]

1931 Archaeology of the Arkansas River Valley. Published for the Department of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., by the Yale University Press.
[This is the final report of investigations from Moorehead's 1917 through 1920 investigations of the Arkansas River Valley. It is available in University libraries and some larger community and city libraries. The topics covered include sites in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and, while it is neither definitive nor authoritative, it is still a good summary of the state of the art in 1920.]

Suhm, Dee Ann, Alex D. Krieger and Edward B. Jelks
1954 An Introductory Handbook of Texas Archeology. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 25.
[Review of the Antelope Creek Focus and the Panhandle Aspect but specifically does not mention or include Buried City as a component of the Antelope Creek Focus.]

Hughes, David
1988 1988 TAS Field School, Ochiltree County, Texas: The Site. Texas Archeology 32(2).
[Summary of the TAS field school for 1988 emphasizing the people and their contributions to the investigation.]

1991 Investigations of the Buried City, Ochiltree County, Texas. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 60:107-148.
[More extensive details of work on the Buried City through 1988. Includes photographs, site maps, architectural details, and radiocarbon date results.]

2002 Buried City Ceramics, Ochiltree County, Texas. A paper presented at the Plains Anthropological Conference, Oklahoma City, October 2002.
Outlines the range of variability of the Buried City ceramics and offers comparisons with Borger Cordmarked ceramics from the Alibates 28 site. Download here as a PDF file.]

Hughes, David and Alicia Hughes-Jones
1986 The Courson Archeological Projects, 1985 and 1986. A Final Report of the 1985 investigations and a preliminary report of the 1986 work. Innovative Publishing, Perryton, Texas.
[Limited availability (200 copies were printed and distributed, now out of print) report of the findings from the first two seasons of work at the Buried City.]


photo of David Hughes
David Hughes pauses for a cup of coffee at the 1987 TAS field school at Buried City. Photo by Madeline Jeffress.