Registration for excursions must occur during Advance Registration. If a guest is accompanying a registered attendee on an excursion, the guest must be registered (as a guest) and must also purchase an excursion ticket. Attendees may be accompanied only by adult guests on the excursions.
In order for an excursion to go forward, the bus must be filled during the advance registration process. Please sign up soon!
All participants in SAA excursions will be required to sign a release of claims prior to boarding the bus. No participant will be able to board without a completed release of claims form. The forms will be in your registration packet as well as available from staff at the time you board. A sample form is included here for your information.
Workshops and excursion fees are non-refundable. In the event SAA cancels a workshop or excursion from undersubscription, the SAA office will not charge a processing fee and will refund the money in the same form of payment received (such as a credit card payment will be refunded with a credit back to the account.)
I agree and acknowledge that I am participating in the [name of tour] (“Tour”) on my own accord. I give this acknowledgement freely and knowingly and I represent and warrant to you that I am physically and mentally fit and that, as a result, able to participate, and I do hereby assume responsibility for my own well-being.
I am fully aware that possible physical injury might occur to me as a result of my participation, and I agree to assume the full risk, including risk which is not specifically foreseeable, of any injuries, including death, damages, or loss regardless of severity, which I may sustain as a result of participating in any and all activities connected with or associated with the Tour.
In consideration of the right to participate in the Tour, I hereby waive any and all rights or claims I may have as a result of participation in the Tour against the Society for American Archaeology and their respective directors, officers, employees, members, staff, and all individuals assisting in instructing and conducting these activities, and I hereby fully release and discharge them from any and all claims resulting from injuries, including death, damages, or loss, which may accrue to me or my heirs arising out of or in any way connected with my participation in the Tour.
I further agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Society for American Archaeology, and their respective directors, officers, employees, members, staff, and all individuals assisting in instructing and conducting these activities, from any and all claims resulting from injuries, including death, damages, or loss, which may accrue to me or my heirs arising out of or in any way connected with my participation in the Tour.
Wednesday, April 22
Geoarchaeology and Paleoecology of the Deeply Stratified Richard Beene Site
Sponsored by the Geoarchaeology Interest Group
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; maximum 52 persons; $88.00; lunch will be provided
Dr. Rolfe D. Mandel and Dr. Alston V. Thoms will lead a field trip to the Richard Beene archaeological site next to the Medina River on the south side of San Antonio. Extensive excavations have been conducted at the site, sampling well-stratified hunter-gatherer components ranging from Angostura to Late Prehistoric. Also, there are remains of historic-era structures and occupations dating from the Spanish colonial to the early Anglo-American and African American eras. In all, 20 distinct prehistoric archeological horizons were excavated at the site. This makes Richard Beene one of only a handful of sites in the United States to have a nearly complete record of human occupation spanning the last 10,000 years. Field-trip participants will take a short, easy walking tour to view multiple stratigraphic sections exposed in and adjacent to the excavation area. The Presnall-Watson house, built in the 1850s by slave labor, also will be on the tour. A BBQ lunch will be provided to you during this excursion.
Thursday, April 23
The Archaeological Origins of Texas
8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.; maximum 40 persons; $27.00; lunch will be available for purchase
Excursion participants will be transported to the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin (TARL), which houses the largest collection of artifacts in the state and is also home to the Prehistory Research Project and the Gault School of Archaeological Research (GSAR). Participants will have unique opportunity to view and discuss artifacts from GSAR staff excavations at the Gault Site, one of the premier Clovis and pre-Clovis period sites in the nation, as well as learn about the many new projects being undertaken by the Prehistory Research Project. TARL staff will provide a guided tour of their world-class collections that contain over 100 years of research and contain some of Texas most magnificent archaeological artifacts. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase lunch from on-site food trailers and interact with TARL and GSAR before returning to the Austin Convention Center.
Collections Tour: Fiber/Perishables at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory
Sponsored by the Fiber Perishables Interest Group
8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.; maximum 12 persons; $27.00; lunch will be available for purchase
This year’s Fiber/Perishables Interest Group Tour at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory (TARL) aims to bring a focus to the museum’s underutilized fiber/perishable collections from dry cave sites around the Texas region. Much like sites in the Great Basin and Southwest, the dry cave sites in Texas have produced amazingly well-preserved perishables. A well-exhibited example will be examined by the tour group, with a general tour of the TARL collections including a sampling of their extensive fiber/perishables collections. A discussion on the dynamic between hidden collections and fiber/perishable artifact studies will take place during lunch after the tour. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase lunch from on-site food trailers.
Friday, April 24
Texas Prehistory Underwater: The Meadows Center and Center for Archeological Research
8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.; maximum 40 persons; $44.00
Archaeology is only beginning to explore the potential of submerged paleo-landscapes as resources for understanding the prehistoric past. This excursion foregrounds research on submerged prehistoric sites beginning at Texas State University’s Meadows Center for the Water and Environment, where participants will enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour of beautiful Spring Lake in San Marcos and a tour of the Meadows Center. Once famous for a diving pig, this natural spring has been the site of human occupation for at least 10,000 years and the subject of early underwater excavations by archaeologist Joel Shiner. Participants will be guided by archaeologists, who will discuss the larger panorama of current studies of underwater sites in Texas and the technology that is making it possible. Participants will then travel to the nearby Center for Archeological Studies at Texas State University, where Shiner’s recently rehabilitated collections from the Spring Lake site are curated and will be hosted by the center staff who will make these and other artifacts available for view during a behind-the-scenes tour of the curatorial facility and lab.
Saturday, April 25
Austin Underground: A Mostly Walking Tour of Austin’s Archaeological Roots
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.; maximum 28 persons; $38.00
This tour provides participants with a local view of Austin with a walking and riding tour guided by local archaeologists. Beginning just outside the conference hotel at the City of Austin’s Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig House Museum and the O’Henry Museum, excursionists get a tour of the site and introduction to the local history and archaeology. From there the tour will travel to Republic Square during the Saturday SFC Farmers’ Market to talk about the Segovia tortilla factory and Walker’s Austex Chili—places important to the growing Mexican American community that profoundly influenced the way Austinites ate in the early twentieth century. At Republic Square participants will have an opportunity to explore local vendors and sample fresh produce and artisanal products. From there the tour will continue toward the city hall area, where archaeology has been key in telling the story of Austin in the nineteenth century and particularly Guy Town. Once the red-light district of nineteenth-century Austin, it was also a focus of commerce, where general stores like Schneider’s and Cuneo’s shaped the downtown community. Participants will have a chance to sample barbecue at Lambert’s and have a beer in the historic nineteenth-century Schneider beer vaults. Traveling through the location of the new city library and Seaholm redevelopment site, the tour will cross Lady Bird Lake on the Lamar Street pedestrian bridge, giving one the best views of the city. From there we will stop by the historic Paggi House before completing a walk along the lake and Barton Creek to Austin’s iconic Barton Springs Pool at Zilker Park. At the springs, archaeologists will discuss the excavations and public outreach while exploring the pool and historic structures that surround it. Participants will be returned to hotel via bus, but they will have time to enjoy the park or the pool if they so wish.
Presenting Texas’s Earliest Histories: The Rock Art of the Lower Pecos and the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center/Becoming Texas
1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.; maximum 40 persons; $30.00Perhaps Texas’s most underappreciated archaeological heritage is the long and rich tradition of rock art that is found throughout the Lower Pecos region of the state. In the past decade, researchers with Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center have been developing new methods of rock art recording and interpretation that have led to breakthroughs in the study and interpretation of these irreplaceable works of art. Though nothing can replace the experience of enjoying these places first-hand, with this excursion we have tried to bring the rock art of the Lower Pecos closer to you. Participants will travel to the Bullock Texas State History Museum—a mere 10 minutes in Austin traffic instead of the 4 hours to Comstock—for a special event hosted by the museum and the staff of the Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center. Shumla staff will present their research and groundbreaking analysis of the rock art of the Lower Pecos, and they will discuss their current effort—the Alexandria Project—that is undertaking a comprehensive digital survey of the Lower Pecos to create a permanent record of this endangered resource. In addition to visual presentation and discussion of the art, participants will have an opportunity to look “behind the scenes” at the technological tools and methods being used to record the rock art with demonstrations by staff. Participants will then be provided ample time to enjoy a “guided” tour of the museum’s new first-floor Becoming Texas exhibit, featuring artifacts spanning from the earliest evidence of human occupation of the state until Mexican independence in 1821. Highlights include a 16,000-year-old projectile point from the Gault Site, unique archeological artifacts from the collections of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, the conserved hull and artifacts from the seventeenth-century French shipwreck La Belle, and historic and modern collections representing the diverse cultural heritage of the people of the state. During the tour, archaeologists and curators associated with the exhibits will be on hand to provide personal insights on the collections and challenges of developing such an exhibit.