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Ancient Southwest Texas


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Ancient Southwest Texas (ASWT) is an ongoing long-term research program Dr. Stephen Black launched in 2009 with the broad aims of: (1) improving our understanding of the prehistoric human record of southwestern Texas and adjacent northern Mexico; (2) sharing what we learn with the scholarly community and the public; and (3) training the next generation of archaeologists.

Dr. Black is an assistant professor of anthropology at Texas State, and is concentrating his research efforts on the Lower Pecos Canyonlands (LPC) on the northeast edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. This archaeological region is known for its dry rockshelters and caves which prehistoric peoples used for the sacred and mundane as witnessed by vivid pictographs dating back over 5,000 years ago and thick deposits formed over millennia of well-preserved habitation debris ranging from basketry and sandals, to food remains and coprolites. Despite 80-years of research, the extraordinary archaeological record of hunter-gatherer life remains understudied.

In January 2014, ASWT launched the Eagle Nest Canyon (ENC) Expedition. The ENC project is a multi-year program investigating the human and natural history of Eagle Nest Canyon, share what we learn, and conserve the Canyon’s archaeological sites for future generations. The Eagle Nest Canyon project is to be a collaborative endeavor led by Dr. Black in partnership with the Skiles family, SHUMLA, and contributing scientists, students, and volunteers, as well as other organizations.

You can follow the progress of the Eagle Nest Canyon Expedition on our blog: