NTAS Monthly Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of the month, at 7:00pm except in June and December. The monthly meetings are located at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in the Research & Education Building, Room 114. The NTAS meetings are hybrid meetings held in-person and offered via Zoom.
NTAS meetings are a staple of our membership. In these meetings, we discuss NTAS Announcements, which include upcoming volunteer opportunities, upcoming NTAS events, upcoming Texas Archeology Society (TAS) events, and each month we feature a guest speaker. Our guest speakers deliver programs on various archeological topics. Past topics include geoarcheology, bioarcheology, regional archeological sites and topics, and more. NTAS meetings are open to the general public.
Guest Speaker: Tim Roberts
Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, also known by its archeological site trinomial ‘41EP2’, is located 32 miles east of El Paso in the northern Chihuahuan Desert of far West Texas. The 860+ -acre site is centered on four massive igneous hills, or low-lying “mountains”, that rise more than 400 feet above the surrounding desert floor. Numerous eroded basins and cracks within these rocks collect and hold water, some for months, following rainstorms, creating a natural oasis in an otherwise arid landscape. The availability of water, as well as shelter and the resources for tool making, food processing, cooking, and other day to day activities, has drawn people to Hueco Tanks for nearly 11,000 years and has resulted in an unbroken archeological record of human occupation that represents every known cultural-historical period in the region, from Early Paleoindian to Historic, and reflects the lifeways of hunter-gatherers and the eventual transition to an agrarian subsistence strategy. In addition to meeting the secular needs of its inhabitants, Hueco Tanks also provided the opportunity to satisfy their spiritual needs. The many caves and crevices within its rock outcrops were considered entranceways to the spiritual realm and were also commonly linked with the dead. As such, these natural portals were attractive, powerful locations for the placement of rock imagery that was intended to communicate with the deities and/or deceased ancestors. The first of these images may have been placed on the rocks by Middle Archaic people more than 3,200 years ago. By the Formative period, about A.D. 650 or shortly thereafter, Hueco Tanks was becoming established as a focal point in the spiritual landscape of the Jornada Mogollon and an early site in the development of the katsina belief system that still guides Hopi and Puebloan societies today. As such, Hueco Tanks is considered one of the most important repositories of religious, cosmological, and ideological symbols and iconography in the American Southwest. This presentation is an introduction to Hueco Tanks and its role as a natural and cultural oasis in far West Texas.
About Tim Roberts
Cultural Resources Coordinator - Region 1, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Tim Roberts received undergraduate degrees in art/anthropology and sociology from Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas in 1985, and a graduate degree (M.A.) in archeology from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1988. Prior to being hired as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Cultural Resources Coordinator for the far West Texas region in 2000, Mr. Roberts worked as a contract archeologist for several private cultural resource management firms and research institutions across the United States and Caribbean. As a result of these varied experiences, his research interests have also been varied, ranging from the effects of intensive cultivation on the material culture of the Jornada Mogollon in West Texas, to changing subsistence and settlement patterns between the Middle and Late Prehistoric periods on the northwestern Plains, and the effects of sedentism on cultural development in the upper Midwest and elsewhere. A common thread that ties these interests together is the dynamic changes that occurred within cultural groups when transitioning from hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies to the adoption of more intensive horticultural or agricultural practices.
North Texas Archeological Society
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