College of Liberal Arts

The Texas Archeological Research Lab (TARL)

A Tour Inside the Collections
Business, Culture and Education
Age group: All Ages

Discover the world of archeology with this introduction to the Texas Archeological Research Lab (TARL).  Marybeth Tomka, Head of TARL Collections, shares an inside look at collections from two archeological sites that are great examples of cave and rock shelter materials protected by the hot and dry climate in the southwestern part of Texas, and only preserved by the unique environmental conditions. The unique find from another site documents the belongings of an individual, including sandals, woven baskets and tools made from deer bone, thought to be on a hunting trip and how his toolkit reflects a possible vision quest to locate the animals. These materials were found stacked in a cave with no sign of the owner and are wonderful clues for archeologists in piecing together an important puzzle and learning from the past.