University of Texas at Tyler
3900 University Blvd
Tyler, TX 75799
The University of Texas at Tyler and the Maya Research Program will celebrate National Archaeology Day and Texas Archaeology Awareness Month by hosting the 83rd Texas Archaeological Society's Annual Meeting on October 25-28, 2012, in Tyler, Texas! Our meeting will have a special focus on the archeology of the southeastern US, including east Texas and its neighbors.
All TAS members are invited and non-TAS members can attend the sessions and /or Banquet. Almost all of our events will be in the new Univeristy of Texas at Tyler University Center. (Please see here for the meeting's webpage: http://www.txarch.org/Activities/AnnualMeeting/am2012/index.php)
We kick off with an informal gathering on Thursday evening at Coyote Sam’s. Pick-up food will be provided through the generosity of the Department of Cultural and Behavioral Sciences at Stephen F. Austin State University.
The next day, everything will occur in the UT-Tyler University Center. In the morning there will be various committee meetings and in the afternoon, the Silent Auction and Exhibit Rooms will open and the first presentations will be scheduled.
The Public Forum at 7:00 pm on Friday, October 26
The Friday night forum will be promoted and open to the public at no charge. This year our focus is to inform Society members and the general public more about the cosmology and symbolism of southeastern Indian groups. Our speaker will be Dr. Kent Reilly of Texas State University, the Director of Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America and Professor of Anthropology at Texas State University. Kent holds a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin.
In 1995, Dr. Reilly was a guest curator and a catalog contributor to the Princeton University exhibition "The Olmec World: Art, Ritual, and Rulership." He has published articles on the ecological origin of Olmec symbols, the influence of Olmec symbols on the iconography of Maya rulership and the origin and function of the Olmec symbol system. His current interests include the art and iconography of the prehistoric Mississippian Period of the Southeastern United States. In 2004, he was a member of the advisory board and a catalog contributor to the Art Institute of Chicago exhibition "Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand; Ancient Native American Art of the Midwest and South."
In 2011 Dr. Reilly was chosen as the Field Anthropologist Consultant for the Muscogee Nation of Florida. The tribe hopes Dr. Reilly will be able to offer fresh insight, research material, and advice as they seek federal recognition. This is the final phase of a 63-year journey, and the tribe asked Dr. Reilly for his assistance in this last step because of his extensive knowledge of Muscogee government, ceremonial cycles, and traditions.
To see Dr. Reilly speak on the same topic, just go to: http://vimeo.com/37126749.
Following the Public Forum
A Careers in Archeology Social and Artifact Identification will follow the forum. Archeological firms and agencies will set up displays to encourage questions about archeological work in Texas and about pursuing careers in archeology. This Friday night event is open to the public, and they are encouraged to bring in artifacts for discussion with a panel prepared to assess both type and dates or related information about the artifacts.
Saturday morning activities begin at 8:00 am, with several concurrent sessions offering papers, posters, and table discussions. The Poster Sessions allow detailed discussion of special topics. We always have more interesting and informative presenters to hear and see than time permits. Check the schedules early to plan your day and line up the papers, discussions, and posters you wish to attend. The Silent Auction and Exhibit Rooms also open at 8:00 am on Saturday.
Your registration fee includes a lunch to be served at the TAS Business Meeting on Saturday where officers are elected, budgets approved, and general TAS business is conducted. After lunch, the rest of the day will be filled with paper presentations, discussions, and poster sessions. This is the real core of what the Annual Meeting is all about; our chance to see, hear, and learn about the great and varied archeology that is continually being done all across our state.
The Banquet at 7:00 pm, Saturday, October 27
Our venue shifts from the University Center to the nearby Ornelas Center (MAP) beginning with a Social Hour at 6:00 pm followed by our Banquet dinner starting at 7:00 pm. Our Banquet speaker will be Dr. Tim Pauketat of the University of Illinois whose work has elevated studies of the Mississippian period to a new level. Some of his recent books include: Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi; Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions (Issues in Eastern Woodlands Archaeology); An Archaeology of the Cosmos: Rethinking Agency and Religion in Ancient America; and The Archaeology of Traditions: Agency and History Before and After Columbus.
He will talk with us about New Evidence of Ancient Religion at Cahokia and its Colonies. The latest archeological discoveries related to ancient North America's only city, Cahokia, include findings of astronomical alignments, elite neighborhoods, great wooden posts, human sacrifices, stone carvings, and distant mission settlements. Cahokia, near modern-day St. Louis, was built in short order around AD 1050 in ways that suggest the existence of a new religion which attracted people far and wide. Pilgrims visited and immigrants poured in while some Cahokians travelled great distances to the north and south. We are now at the edge of understanding why this happened and what its lasting historical effects were.
We’re hoping that TAS members have been diligent in letting the Awards Committee Chairman, Alan Skinner, know about the nominees who they feel should receive recognition for their hard work at TAS. Awards for those various categories will be presented Saturday evening to the recipients.
On Sunday morning the Executive Committee and the newly elected TAS Board will meet. Papers may be scheduled on Sunday morning as needed to accommodate presenters.
For those of you that are able to come early or stay late there is plenty to see and do in the Tyler area. The Tyler Rose Festival has events and activities scheduled all month. See www.visittyler.com/ for all the details! And don't forget Camp Ford, the largest Confederate War Prison West of the Mississippi. This is where Dr. Alston Thoms of TAMU led an excavation in 1997 and 1998. You can read about it in the publication: Uncovering Camp Ford. More information is available at: www.smithcountyhistoricalsociety.org.
Local Arrangements Committee Personnel
The following Local Arrangements personnel have met and started planning:
Meeting Organizer - Dr. Thomas Guderjan
Exhibits - Daniel Parker
Registrar - Linda and Brett Lang
Papers - Dr. Timothy K. Perttula
Silent Auction - Trudy Williams