Finally! We hope to be back in the lab fulltime starting in June as UT lifts restrictions on research. It has been a VERY long year but everyone in the GSAR family weathered it OK and got a lot of uninterrupted writing time in.
Speaking of weather, you might have heard a little bit about the storm we had here in Texas in February. Wind chill reached -6F at my house and we all went without power etc. for days. Our lab came through with no problems and the Gault Site itself is no worse for wear. We had a lot of broken juniper branches but we try to cut a lot of them every year anyway!
Lots of things happening at the Gault Site to prepare it for the return of visitors. There was a fundraiser at the site in April for a documentary film about the Gault Site (gaultfilm.com) that is being made with PBS in mind. We got to see lots of old friends and meet some new ones. Some, Like Dr. Mike Johnson who drove from Virginia, came from quite a distance. At the gathering we also celebrated the news that Dr. Michael Collins had won the Society for American Archaeology Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis. Mike has spent a good portion of his life on better defining how we analyze lithic artifacts and the award was well-deserved!
Bruce Bradley (right), Mike Collins (centre), and Mike Johnson (left). Photo by Ken Garrett
We also dedicated a new plaque out at the site that celebrates the listing of the Gault Archaeological Site on the National Register of Historic Places and as a Texas State Antiquities Landmark. Besides Dr. Collins and the GSAR Board we also had the chair of the Florence Chamber of Commerce, Peggy Morse, and the Mayor of Florence, Mary Condon.
National Register of Historic Places Plaque at the Gault Site
In addition to the new entrance sign we also got a new gate and perimeter fence for what will become the roadside exhibit and parking lot and one of our board members, Tim Brown, is working on a decorative stone post and rail fence along the highway. Our 2021 Volunteer Day, where GSAR volunteers help us with annual maintenance got delayed because of rain but will now take place on June 26th (see events calendar for details).
We began to offer tours again in the fall of 2020, albeit with smaller numbers and masks, but now have reopened fully and have seen the number of tours gradually increase with 11 this month alone!