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Credits and Sources

Learning from Cabeza de Vaca was written by Alston V. Thoms, associate professor of anthropology at Texas A&M University, where he also directs the Archaeological-Ecology Laboratory. The exhibit was created by TBH editor Susan Dial and developed for the web by Editorial Assistant Heather Smith, who also created image collages. The Southern Texas Archaeological Association and individual donors, including members of the Texas Archeological Society, provided funds for this exhibit.

Thoms' research interests center on the hunter-gatherers of North America and include land-use practices, tool-stone and cook-stone technology, heritage resources management, site-formation processes, archeological ecology, and cooperative research with American Indians and other archeological stakeholders. He has carried out extensive archeological field research for over three decades in Texas, the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, and the Southeast. Thoms' fieldwork in Texas spans more than 30 years, during which time he has worked closely with avocational archeologists, Native American groups, Civil War enthusiasts, and local historical organizations. Thoms is a sixth-generation Texan whose archeological interests date to his grade-school days in the Texas Panhandle when his father taught him how to find Indian campsites around playa lakes and along draws. A valued editorial advisor to TBH since its inception, Thoms contributions to Texas Beyond History include collaborations on the Camp Ford and Richard Beene site exhibits. To learn more about his research interests and accomplishments, see Thoms' TAMU faculty profile.

Images used throughout the exhibit derive from a variety of sources. Most of the photos and graphics, unless otherwise spcified, were provided by Thoms. Phil Dering provided additional images of useful plants. Jack Johnson, archeologist and interpretive guide at Seminole Canyon State Park, created two new drawings specifically for this exhibit: a scene of native women digging roots and a depiction of the various trade goods carried by Cabeza de Vaca during his time as a trader. Other artwork includes the paintings of Ted DeGrazia, made available courtesy of the DeGrazia Foundation, and the mural art of Nola Davis, courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Author's acknowledgements:

Several reviewers offered comments and suggested changes to an earlier version of this essay. Their input is greatly appreciated, as it made this a more factual and readable essay. TBH co-editors Susan Dial and Steve Black were especially helpful and Heather Smith did a fine job of formatting the document and integrating graphics. Ken Brown, Phil Dering, and William Foster also provided useful technical comments that improved the quality of the text.

Alston Thoms, shown during excavations at the Richard Beene site.

Plant gallery of the South Texas Plains, a compendium of photos of plants with notes on their use, by J. Phillip Dering.
Ethnobotany of the Lower Pecos Region: a gallery of photos of useful plants along with botanical information and ethnohistorical notes on their use, written by J. Phillip Dering.
Land Heritage Institute of the Americas

Applewhite Bears More Fruit
Read an update on the status of the Land Heritage Institute in the San Antonio Current, Jan. 9, 2008, by Elaine Wolfe.
This excellent resource from the Southwestern Writer's Collection at Texas State University includes an online copy of the 1555 edition of Cabeza de Vaca's journal, La Relación, along with related essays by historians and scholars.

Print Sources

Adorno, Rolena and Patrick Charles Pautz
1999 Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca : his account, his life, and the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez. Three volumes. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.

Black, Stephen L., Linda Ellis, Darrell G. Creel, and Glenn T. Goode
1997 Hot Rock Cooking on the Greater Edwards Plateau: Four Burned Rock Midden Sites in West Central Texas. Studies in Archeology 22, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin and Archeology Studies Program, Report 2, Texas Department of Transportation, Environmental Division, Austin.

Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Nunez
1993 The Account: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's Relacion. Translated by Martin Favata and Jose Fernandez. Arte Publico Press, Houston.

Campbell, T. N. and T. J. Campbell
1988 Cabeza de Vaca among the Indians of Southern Texas. In The Indians of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico: Selected Writings of Thomas Nolan Campbell, by T. N. Campbell, pp. 7-38. Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin.

Covey, Cyclone (translator and editor)
1993 Cabeza de Vaca´s Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America. Seventh printing, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

DeGrazia Foundation
1973 DeGrazia Paints Cabeza de Vaca, the First Non-Indian in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, 1527-1536. De Grazia Gallery in the Sun, Tucson, Arizona.

Dering, J. Philip
1996 Earth Oven Plant Processing in Archaic Period Economies: An Example from a Semi-arid Savannah in South-Central North America. American Antiquity 64(4):659-674.

Favata, Martin. A., and José B. Fernández
1993 The Account: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s Relación. Arte Público, Houston.

Foster, William C.
1995 Spanish Expeditions into Texas, 1689-1768. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Foster, William C. (editor)
1997 Texas and Northeastern Mexico, 1630-1690. University of Texas Press, Austin.

1998 The La Salle Expedition to Texas: The Journal of Henri Joutel, 1684-1687.

Griffen, William B.
1969 Culture Change and Shifting Populations in Central Northern Mexico. Anthropological Papers, No. 13. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Hester, Thomas R.
1989 Texas and Northeastern Mexico: An Overview. In Columbian Consequences, vol. 1. Archaeological and Historical Perspectives of the Spanish Borderlands West, edited by D. H. Thomas, pp. 191-211. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington

1998 “Coahuiltecan”: A Critical Review of an Inappropriate Ethnic Label. La Tierra 25(4):3-7.

Hodge, Frederick W. (editor)
1907    The Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeça de Vaca.  In Original Narratives of Early American History:  Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States, 1528-1543, edited by Frederick W. Hodge and Theodore H. Lewis, pp. 3-126.  Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York.

Howard, David A.
1997 Conquistador in Chains: Cabeza de Vaca and the Indians of the Americas. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Krieger, Alex
2002 We Came Naked and Barefoot: The Journey of Cabeza de Vaca across North America, edited by Margery Krieger. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Thoms, Alston V.
1989 The Northern Roots of Hunter-Gatherer Intensification: Camas and the Pacific Northwest. Ph.D dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman.

1993 Indian Land Use: Examples and Patterns in the Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Records. In The Brazos Valley Slopes Archaeological Project: Cultural Resources Assessments for the Texas A&M University Animal Science Teaching and Research Complex, Brazos County, Texas, edited by Alston V. Thoms, pp. 21-32. Archaeological Research laboratory, Reports of Investigation, Texas A&M University, College Station.

1998 Earth Ovens and Plateau Roots Foods. In Archaeology of Prehistoric North America: An Encyclopedia, edited by Guy Gibbon, pp. 232-235, 664-666. Garland Publishing, Inc., New York.

2001 Introduction to a Lineal Descent and Cultural Affiliation Study for Mission San Juan Capistrano, Texas. In Reassessing Cultural Extinction: Change and Survival at Mission San Juan Capistrano, Texas. , edited by Alston V. Thoms, pp. 1-20. Reports of Investigation No. 4, Joint Publication of the Center for Ecological Archaeology, Texas A&M University, College Station and San Antonio Missions National Historic Park, San Antonio.

2004 Native American Land Use in the Yegua Creek Basin and Vicinity: Ethnohistoric and Archaeological Records. In Yegua Creek Archaeological Project: Survey Results from Lake Somerville State Parks ad Trailway, East-Central Texas, edited by Alston V. Thoms, pp. 35-48. Reports of Investigations No. 5. Center for Ecological Archaeology, Texas A&M University, College Station.

Thoms, Alston V. and Rolfe D. Mandel (editors)
in press Archaeological and Paleoecological Investigations at the Richard Beene Site, 41BX831, in South-Central Texas. Reports of Investigation 8, Center for Ecological Archaeology, Texas A&M University, College Station.

Wandsnider, Luanne
1997 The Roasted and the Boiled: Food Composition and Heat Treatment with Special Emphasis on Pit-Hearth Cooking. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 16:1-48.