Monday, October 15, 2007

Archaeologists fear the worst for historic site
Michael Collins, an archaeological researcher at the University of Texas, has spent the past 16 years studying artifacts from a patch of Williamson County to uncover a prehistoric society that camped there nearly 11,000 years ago.

"I put seven years of mind-numbing and back-breaking effort into this," Collins said as he thumbed through a five-volume, 1,400-page report that he and 30 other experts wrote. "This was not easy."

A major road now covers the site, but Collins thinks land nearby has similar finds. He may never get to find out.

This month, a judge reaffirmed the right of the original owners to reclaim the 21/2-acre tract between RM 1431 and Parmer Lane in Cedar Park from an archaeological conservation group. The disputed land was never excavated, but it's next to an extraordinary piece of Texas history that attracted Collins and other researchers.

It doesn't seem as bad as that makes it appear. The landowner gave the land with the understanding -- legitimate or not -- that it would be excavated. When that didn't happen, he sued to get it back. Nothing is mentioned about what the Archy Conservancy promised to do with it, so we don't know if it was a simple misunderstanding or something else. Be nice if it went to the state or something.