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Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road
Houston, TX 77055

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Third Thursday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

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Email: Phone: 713-557-1496

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HAS MONTHLY MEETING March 21st, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

"Comments on Painted Pebbles from Southwest Texas” - Elton Prewitt

Elton Prewitt

The March meeting of the Houston Archeological Society will feature a presentation by well-known Texas archeologist, Elton Prewitt, on a class of unique prehistoric artifacts called painted pebbles. The meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21, 7:00 p.m. at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center located at 1414 Wirt Road in the Spring Branch area. A social hour will begin at 6:30 with our monthly “show and tell”, snacks and conversation. Please join us!!

“Small painted stones found in dry rock shelters throughout the Lower Pecos Canyonlands have intrigued avocational and professional archeologists for nearly a century,” said Prewitt. “Traditionally interpreted as ritual objects, they often are attributed to women's roles in increase rituals involving fertility and water abundance, with specific motifs linked to natural phenomena relating to life cycles. Post-painting breakage of painted pebbles is common. Once they were used for their intended purposes, they apparently no longer were sacred and were returned to secular use as mundane tools. Many pebbles, whether whole or broken, display pitting and scratching suggestive of knapping tools."

In his talk Prewitt will discuss the history of pebble investigations, the previously defined styles of painted pebbles and their variability through time. He will also explore the differences in painting techniques, the colors used, and the kinds of stones selected in the sample of over 700 specimens currently under analysis. Some of the problems encountered during analysis of painted pebbles are reviewed, including preservation and post-excavation/collection treatment. Some of the component elements observed and their variation in placement are described. While interpretations of the meaning of the painted images are far from being identified, he and his collaborators on the project, Dr. Jean Clottes of Foix, France, and Dr. Carolyn Boyd of Galveston who holds the Shumla Endowed Professorship at Texas State University in San Marcos, have come up with a few suggestions for avenues of research which he will share.

Painted pebble Painted pebble Painted pebble

A native of Kirbyville, Texas, Elton Prewitt received his BA and MA degrees in anthropology and geography from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Prewitt is currently a Research Fellow at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin. A Registered Professional Archeologist, the retired co-founder of Prewitt and Associates Inc., also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Shumla Archeological Research and Education Center, and the Gault School of Archeological Research. His area of interest is Texas archeology, and over the past 55-plus years has worked in every part of the state. He has authored or co-authored numerous monographs, articles and book chapters, and has delivered over 90 papers, lectures and talks. His areas of specialty include southern plains prehistory, projectile point morphology, regional Texas chronologies and portable art.

Parking at the Trini Mendenhall Center is free of charge. Overflow parking is in the grocery store parking lot across Wirt Road from the Community Center or along the residential street adjoining the Community Center. For more information about this program or about the HAS, please contact Linda Gorski, at


HAS Journal No. 139 is now available. Complimentary copies may be obtained by HAS members at the monthly meetings. Non-HAS members may purchase copies through Go to the HAS Journals Section for a link to the publication on the website. Alternatively, copies may be purchased at the HAS Monthly Meetings.

HAS REPORT #32 (Historic Munitions in Texas: A Reference Guide) NOW AVAILABLE

Report #32 – Historic Munitions in Texas: A Reference Guide. This Report consists of several articles on munitions that have been written by Tom Nuckols for the Houston Archeological Society newsletter over approximately the past four years. The articles reflect the analysis and interpretation of artifacts found during excavations and survey projects while Tom Nuckols was working as a member of HAS, THC and as a contractor working for a Cultural Resource Management company. This publication is available free to members of the Society. Members should make sure that they collect their copy of this report at the next monthly meeting. If you wish to purchase additional copies then you can find them on You can find the appropriate links in our List section.

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