One steamy July day, while screening shell-midden debris at a site on the Texas Gulf Coast, I plucked a small triangular arrow point chipped from green bottle glass off the screen. The year was 1948, and I was a graduate student at the University of Texas in Austin. I was visiting the dig of one of my archaeology professors, Thomas N. Campbell. The first evidence of European contact found at the site after several weeks of digging, the arrow point provoked a spirited discussion about the site’s age. Did the presence of the point prove that the site dated after first European contact with the Karankawa Indians in the early sixteenth century? Or was it possible that the point was made from a bottle which floated all the way across the Atlantic to be cast upon the Texas beach in pre-Columbian times?
KeywordsHistorical Archaeology Historic Site English Colonial European Contact Indian Village
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