Houstonian: Archaeologist digs for artifacts on SHSU Riverside grounds

From the Houstonian:
An archaeologist and alumnus of Sam Houston State University is conducting an archaeological dig on 345 acres of SHSU property near Riverside.

President [James] Gaertner hopes to turn the property into a university camp or retreat area like many other universities have. Before any developments can be made, however, a review is needed because of laws that protect pieces of land containing historical artifacts. Jenkins said that in the past, there were many Native American tribes in this particular area that had sites that they frequented along the Trinity River.

Mac Woodward, curator of collections at the Sam Houston Museum, said most of the tribes were Caddoan and there were different subgroups or bands within that group. Hasanai is another tribe that possibly inhabited the area.

"It's possible these sites could go back five or 10,000 years," Woodward said.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice originally owned the land and transferred it to SHSU. Sandra Rogers, an archaeological steward with the Texas Historical Commission, said there was a site identified within the property as a possible archeological landmark in the 60s or 70s.

"That's by virtue of someone who had found some artifacts that showed there might have been some Native American activity at some point. Potentially, something is there," Woodward said.

The Texas Historical Commission has only designated a portion of the 345 acres of SHSU property as having historical significance, but Jenkins said they are still reviewing the entire piece of property just to be careful.

Moore has yet to complete the archaeological dig. Once the dig is finished, Moore will submit a report to the University Camp Committee at SHSU and the Texas Historical Commission, followed by a final report to the University Camp Committee.


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