Site 41HY163, the Zatopec site, named for previous landowners, contains evidence of intermittent prehistoric occupation throughout the last 10,000 years. Though the site's earliest occupations, those prior to about 4,000 years ago, are not well preserved, artifacts left during later occupations provide a considerable amount of insight about past lifeways in the San Marcos area.
This web site presents the results of archaeological investigations and analyses of Zatopec. In the 1980s, Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) conducted field schools here, recovering thousands of artifacts from different contexts. From August 2007 to February 2008, excavations were again carried out by Texas State University, this time by the Center for Archaeological Studies working under contract with the City of San Marcos prior to the city's construction of the Wonder World Drive Extension between Hunter Road and Ranch Road 12. This exhibit presents the results of this work, along with analyses of the earlier field school materials.
Archaeological investigations of this scale produce an incredible amount of information. Understanding and interpreting archaeological data of this magnitude and reconstructing past events associated with an archaeological site are fundamentally detective work; using various lines of evidence and reasoning are used to solve a puzzle. Understanding the record at Zatopec involves reviewing the natural setting, performing a number of very technical analyses, and considering all of the results to offer interpretations of past inhabitants and their lives at the site.
Visitors to this website can follow tabs to learn more about Zatopec's natural setting and to see how archaeologists here conducted their analyses. Links at the bottom of the pages that follow can be used to navigate backward and forward through the story. The navigation bar beneath the banner (near the top of the page) allows visitors interested in particular aspects of our work to independently view each component of our investigation.
CAS would like to thank you for taking interest in this work. It is important to note that the City of San Marcos sponsored this research as part of their effort to make local history and prehistory accessible to the public. Have fun, learn much, and feel free to send us questions or comments!