THC Recommendations–CHCs and Archeology

Initial THC Recommendations for CHCs packet was issued in 2016 and is explained here. The following revised recommendations were shared via the CHC listserv in 2020 to help CHCs resume activity that could be accomplished within social distancing guidelines. This revised set of recommendations highlights basic work that CHC chairs can address or delegate to fellow appointees. 

Importance of archeological expertise

Harrison CHC chair and Archeological Steward, Tom Speir, provides public presentations regularly. Many CHCs want to jump into archeology projects as they do with other preservation pursuits. However, expertise is required to handle archeology-related projects appropriately--ethically and legally. Preservation work related to archeology should be handled by professional archeologists and/or professionally trained avocational archeologists.

The following recommendations will help CHCs work with archeology experts and existing repositories of archeological artifacts. Contact subheading below will explain how to contact THC archeologists, connections that CHCs should make before pursuing archeology-related work.  

At right: Harrison CHC chair and Archeological Steward,
Tom Speir, provides public presentations about archeology. 

Develop awareness of archeology

Learn a bit more about archeology discoveries in your county and the organizations that support and/or feature archeology. This section focuses on gathering information; the next section will address contacting THC staff before taking action on archeology-related issues. 

  • Review THC web material related to archeology. Visit the THC archeology main page to build a general understanding of work addressed by our agency. While on the THC website, review information about the Texas Archeological Stewardship Network (TASN) here. More about contacting THC archeologists and Stewards under the next heading.       
     
  • Houston Archeological Society display. Identify any archeology-related organizations that operate in your county and region––societies, clubs, etc. Note any educational opportunities offered by these groups that may be open to CHCs. The How To Get Involved in Texas Archeology brochure will provide more information.  
     
  • Check with museums, colleges, and other potential repositories and develop a list of archeology-related collections that exist in your county. Consult with THC archeologists prior to pursuing this item to ensure appropriate information is gathered. 
     
  • Try to collect information about private artifact collections that exist in your county and note general information––owner/repository, general description of collection, and if collection may be viewed by the public. Again, consult with THC archeologists if you'd like to pursue this item. 

At right: Houston Archeological Society displays. Seek out educational opportunities and learn from exhibitors!

Contact THC staff with all archeology issues

Make use of THC staff expertise when facing local issues that involve archeology. THC archeologists can help you understand state and federal policies related to historic property and provide more information. CHCs should also contact THC staff prior to pursuing archeology-related projects. 

  • Each county is assigned a THC archeology reviewer but the assignments differ slightly depending whether the issue is regulatory-related. Regulatory assignments are found on the Contact Us webpage; scroll down to the "Contacts by County" table. Non-regulatory assignments are on the reviewer map hosted on the Regional Archeology webpage. Don't know the difference? Just call the Archeology Division mainline and a THC staff member will direct you to the appropriate archeologist (512-463-6096).
     
  • Contact THC archeologist, Rebecca Shelton, with questions about the Texas Archeological Stewardship Network (TASN) -- rebecca.shelton@thc.texas.gov or 512-463-6043. She can connect CHCs with Stewards and take recommendations for individuals who may be appropriate to serve as future Stewards. 
     
  • THC Archeologist, Rebecca Shelton, attends marker dedication in Tom Green County. Respond to correspondence from THC and federal agencies. If the information is confusing, call the federal agency or county’s THC archeology reviewer.
     
  • Identify threats related to archeology and notify your county’s archeology reviewer, particularly if digging is proposed or looting is involved.
     
  • Familiarize appointees with the various state and federal reviews connected to archeology by reviewing this brochure.  

THC Archeologist, Rebecca Shelton, attends marker dedication with preservationists in Tom Green County.

Connect the public to archeology

Public programming that promotes archeology typically includes hands-on activities that attract a wide range of participants. These are great opportunities to share information about local history but also identify community questions related to archeology and connect people to archeology expertise.

  • Learn more about Texas Archeology Month (TAM). Attend virtual events and in-person events when appropriate, and encourage fellow appointees and citizens to attend, as well. 
     
  • Share details of public archeology-related events with THC staff so that our agency can provide professional support to local archeology efforts.
     
  • Refer the public––individuals and organizations––to THC archeologists to ensure that archeology-related issues are handled by professionals.
     
  • Use and promote the THC education material––posters, brochures, and how-to’s––that are free and can be distributed for local outreach efforts. 
     
  • Share THC archeology web material with property owners in your county.

At right: Travis CHC chair and Archeology Steward, Bob Ward, participates in an atlatl demonstration. 

 



CHC Appointee Orientation Content featured here

Web series addressing CHC work within social distancing parameters below.

  • THC Recommendations for CHC basics are here
  • THC Recommendations for CHCs and Historical Markers are here
  • THC Recommendations for CHCs and Cemeteries are here
  • THC Recommendations for CHC Research and Writing are here
  • THC Recommendations for CHCs and Historic Buildings are here
  • THC Recommendations for CHCs and Archeology are above.