April 18, 2023

The meeting commenced at 7:02 PM

The online attendance was 3, plus a class watching from UTA. There were 30 people present in-person. 

Caitlyn gave the treasurer’s report and a motion to accept the report was accepted by all. Heather was unable to read the March minutes due to technical difficulties, but they will be read next month.

Chris told us there is a tour this weekend of Bauerle Ranch  at 10 AM on Saturday, which is a part of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. Dr. Bush will be present to give information about the plants.

Last month a group gathered at Robin and Anne’s house and processed artifacts from the Joyful Horse Site. All from the late period of Joyful Horse have been inventories. The next step is the Archaic component processing. There will be another work day on May 27th at 10 AM. 

Steve Davis informed us that this Thursday there will be another meeting of the Thirsty Third Thursday Archeology Society gathering at Austin Beerworks at 4 PM. This is a networking event for everyone. Alan Slade spoke last month about funding for the JTH. There will be work on Folsom survey work and a comparative analysis done with the previous Clovis survey.

The May speaker has not been set yet. 

This month’s speaker was Jen Anderso, an archeologist with the Texas Department of Transportation. Her presentation was called “Canine Archeologists: Using Cadaver Sniffing Dogs to Locate Archeological Burials.” At the request of the tribes with whom we consult under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, TxDOT has been working to incorporate more non-invasive survey methods for identifying human remains within our right-of-way. One such method that we are currently testing is the use of search and rescue dogs that have been trained to identify post-mortem chemicals associated with clandestine graves. These so-called “cadaver sniffing” dogs have been used to successfully identify 8th century burials in Europe and mid- to late-nineteenth century burials in the western US. TxDOT is working closely with Dr. Ben Alexander, Visiting Professor at Texas State & K9 training coordinator at the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS), to develop a protocol for training and utilizing the dogs for archeological survey. Although the research and development of this non-invasive survey method remains in the nascent stage, early results show that search and rescue dogs are capable of recognizing older scent profiles and they can assist with locating archeological burials.

The meeting concluded at 8:22 PM.