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Gault Site (Texas, US)

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Gault Site Excavations in Progress

Gault Site Excavations in Progress

D. Clark Wernecke (c) 2006
Definition: Gault in central Texas is a stratified multicomponent site with a meter thick Late Prehistoric and Archaic midden overlying a hard packed Paleoindian component. The site is particularly well known for the large quantities of Clovis materials--more than 600,000 Clovis age artifacts have been recovered from less than 3% of the site. This probably constitutes about 60% of all known Clovis artifacts recovered in North America which makes it an unprecedented research collection. The site is in a small valley with abundant food resources, multiple springs and large quantities of Edwards chert.

Gault has been known professionally since 1929 when UT Anthropology professor J.E. Pearce excavated part of a burnt rock midden there. This was followed by almost seventy years of excavations by commercial collectors and a pay-to-dig operation before the 1991 excavations by UT archaeologists Thomas Hester and Michael Collins. Between 1999-2002 more than 4,000 volunteers worked on the site under the direction of Dr. Collins. Currently (2006) the Gault artifacts are undergoing analysis with a monograph planned for the near future.

The collection includes projectile points, performs, bifaces, adzes, blades, tools on blades, blade cores and, of course, huge quantities of manufacturing debris. More than 103 incised stones, among the first art in the Americas, have been recovered. There are also Clovis-age features such as a well and stone pavement.

See also:

TARL and Texas Beyond History.

Clovis at the Gault Site: A photo essay

More on Gault

Goebel T, Waters MR, and O’Rourke DH. 2008. The Late Pleistocene Dispersal of Modern Humans in the Americas. Science 319:1497-1502.

Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM, Driver JL, and Waters MR. 2007. Rapid seismic reflection imaging at the Clovis period Gault site in central Texas. Archaeological Prospection 14(4):245-260.

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