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University of St. Thomas(UST)
3800 Montrose
Houston TX TX 77006-4626
Building 22, Doherty Library
Main No.: (713) 522-7911

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Third Thursday of each month
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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HAS MONTHLY MEETING May 17th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

"Borderland Bannerstones of Texas: Old Finds and New Data from 41HR184 ” – Dr. Gus Costa

Gus Costa

HAS Member and professional archeologist Dr. August Costa will present the program at the Thursday, May 17th meeting of the Houston Archeological Society. Dr. Costa’s talk will focus on some very unique prehistoric artifacts recently recovered at a site in west Harris County. The meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the basement of Doherty Library Room 009 on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. The meeting is free of charge and open to the public.

Five fragmentary groundstone artifacts, interpreted as bannerstones were recently recovered from 41HR184 in western Harris County, Texas. Bannerstones are geometric, groundstone objects, marked by a central, drilled perforation. Bannerstones are found in Archaic contexts throughout the woodlands of the American Southeast. These artifacts are rare and are often fashioned in exotic stone materials. These pecked, ground, and polished stones represent some of the first lapidary art known in America and reflect a significant ethno-geological knowledge of exotic stone sources and their properties. Bannerstones are found in a variety of settings including mortuary contexts where they sometimes appear to have been ceremonially broken. Only a handful of bannerstones are known from well-documented archeological contexts in Texas. The new specimens from 41HR184 significantly increase the overall sample of Archaic bannerstones from controlled excavations in Texas. In this talk, Dr. Costa will describe these new specimens and place them within a broader context of Archaic bannerstone finds from Texas. More detailed studies of bannerstone materials, technology, and temporal contexts are needed to better understand the role these items played in Archaic Period society.

Dr. August “Gus” Costa earned a doctorate focusing on paleoanthropology at Indiana University, where he was a Fulbright and Leakey Foundation fellow conducting expeditions to India supported by the National Science Foundation. His academic work in India focused on the earliest human occupation of South Asia. Gus led a field program that identified the most productive Ice Age fossil locality in western India and discovered a new species of extinct antelope as well as numerous prehistoric artifacts. Gus has more than 18 years’ experience in archeology and has carried out field and lab-based work in Asia, Africa and Europe, as well as numerous projects within the US including Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Dr. Costa served as an adjunct lecturer at Rice University where he has taught courses in geoarchaeology, paleontology, paleotechnology and Asian Prehistory. Gus has also been active in public archeology in Texas and previously served as lab director/advisor for the Houston Archeological Society.

Since 2015 Gus has worked for Moore Archeological Consulting, Inc./Coastal Environments Inc. where he now serves as a Principal Investigator/Project Manager, geoarcheologist, and analyst. Gus has contributed to numerous cultural resource surveys and acted as a consulting geoarchaeologist and analyst for both survey and data recovery projects in southeast Texas. More recently Gus has supervised excavations in northeast Texas, as well as large archeological monitoring projects in the Greater Houston area.

For a campus map of St. Thomas University, go to and look for the For a campus map of St. Thomas University, go to and look for the Interactive Map, Building 22, Doherty Library. Street parking is available as well as paid parking ($5) in Moran Center Garage at the corner of West Alabama and Graustark.  For more information about this program or about the HAS, please contact


HAS Journal No. 138 is now available. This is a Special Issue dedicated to Etruscan and Roman Archeology. 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 #30 (Dalmanutha, Rosslands and Sunny Slopes Farms: Three New Fauresmith Industry Sites in the Eastern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa) NOW AVAILABLE

Report #30 – Dalmanutha, Rosslands and Sunny Slopes Farms: Three New Fauresmith Industry Sites in the Eastern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. This is a special paper on the three Fauresmith Industry sites that Dub Crook has been working on in South Africa. 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.

To learn more about the history behind our archeological society contact Publicity/Outreach: