An Archeological Adventure Along the Big Bend

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Texas Archeological Society’s Field School 2000: From the Chihuahua Trail    

Experience the legends, history, and prehistory of Big Bend by joining the Texas Archeological Society’s Field School this year from June 10 - 19. Field School 2000 will take place in the Alamito Creek Basin, a few miles south of Marfa and north of La Junta de los Rios.

The Alamito, once a major north-south travel route, has been important in both historic and prehistoric times. Pithouse village sites dating to AD 1200-1400 are located on the Alamito. Spanish entradas following Cabeza de Vaca’s 16th century entry into Big Bend explored the Rio Grande tributary, and later the region became the stomping grounds of Jumano, Mescalero Apache, and Buffalo Soldiers.

The 200,000 acre area, not well known archeologically, promises to be rich for study. You will encounter rock shelters, rock art, open prehistoric campsites, toolstone quarries, cairns, and historic ruins including an historic irrigation system and a railroad camp. There is even a

mammoth locale.    The Alamito Basin is full of natural beauty and lore. It is walled by a bluff-rimmed mesa to the east and high ridges to the west. Legend tells that in the mid-19th century Mexican soldiers en route to Tinaja San Esteven were ambushed by Apaches on the Chihuahua Trail. Legend goes on to say that on the anniversary of the battle you can hear the voices of the dying soldiers echoing through the Alamito canyon.

Field School 2000 will be camped at a well maintained ranch complex less than a quarter of a mile from the Chihuahua Trail where ruts, made by heavily loaded wagons bound for Chihuahua City, are still visible in the bedrock. Water and utilities are available on site, and motels are located in nearby Marfa. As a member of the Texas Archeological Society you can join the adventure of Field School 2000 this June and experience the beauty and mystery of Big Bend while preserving its rich and varied past.    

To become a TAS member and learn more about Field School 2000 visit our Website at or contactRobert Mallouf ( or Andy Cloud ( at (915) 837-8179. To receive a video news release, contact Charles Locke (

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Charles Locke
Texas Archeological Society
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