Hey, Kids!
I'm Dr. Dirt, ready to help you explore Texas Beyond History.

Just like the state of Texas, this website is really BIG! In fact, there are more than 1000 pages in here, and it's easy to get lost.

So I've put together this handy guide for you to use, whether you're doing a research paper for class or just prowling the site for fun. Happy trails!

Great archeology begins with research.
Follow these steps to begin a great research paper using information from Texas Beyond History..

Step 1:
Choose your topic
and do your research

Step 2:
Write your paper

Step 3:
Cite your sources

Step 1: Choose your topic and do your research

Texas Indians
Prehistoric Groups (before about 1500)

Prehistoric "Texans"
Did you know that more than 540 generations of people have lived in Texas? That's a lot of grandmothers, great-granfdathers, great-great-great...well, you get the idea.

Paleoindians (Clovis culture)

Clovis people at Kincaid Shelter, Texas hill country
Be sure to take Dr. Dirt's Time Travel Adventure to learn how Clovis people paved the floor of their muddy shelter.

Clovis people on Buttermilk Creek (Gault site)
This site has been in the news a lot lately. Here we found what may be the oldest art in the Americas: carved pebbles!


Archaic (southwest Texas)
Learn about the Archaic hunter-gatherers who visited Hinds Cave for thousands of years. (Don't miss the Detectives into the Past adventure, to learn about what was on the Archaic menu!)

Archaic (central Texas)
People lived on the banks of the Medina River for more than 10,000 years (we call the area the Richard Beene archeological site). Most people who lived there were Archaic hunters and gatherers. Check out Doorways to the Past to "visit" some of the camps.

Late Prehistoric
Late Prehistoric (north)

There was lots of conflict during the Late Prehistoric time period. Archeologists excavated a cemetery at the Harrell archeological site on the Brazos River and found signs of violence and warfare, probably due to competition over territory, land, and water.

Late Prehistoric (north central)
Here's an example of what we learned about native peoples living along the Little River from about 700 to 1400 years ago at a place called the J. B. White site. Check out Mussel Mania to learn more about a favorite food.

Late Prehistoric (central)
Learn about an encampment on the Llano River in the Texas mineral region.

Late Prehistoric (south)
Late Prehistoric campers at this south Texas site were successful hunters and gatherers, bringing in not just deer, antelope, and buffalo, but also rodents and plants.The people who lived here likely were the ancestors of the south Texas groups we call the Coahuiltecans.

Panhandle Plains Villagers
These Late Prehistoric people were corn farmers and buffalo hunters who lived along the Canadian River and Wolf Creek in the Texas Panhandle. Archeologists have found ruins of some pretty unusual looking houses: they were built of wood posts in pits and covered with straw roofs. Check out the ruins of Hank's House; it was named for Hank the Cowdog because it was found on the author John Erickson's ranch!

Jornada Mogollon

Firecracker Pueblo
Pueblos and pithouses in Texas? Yup, lots of them! Corn farming on the arid desert? No problem. Take a look at what archeologists found in El Paso at a place they called Firecracker Pueblo.

Ceremonial Cave
Or, explore Ceremonial Cave, where Jornada-Mogollon people left incredible offerings, such as turquoise and shell bracelets, weapons, and other items. The evidence tells us a lot about trade, long-distance connections, and the religious beliefs of these people across a wide area stretching into New Mexico and the greater Southwest.


Historic Period Tribes and Groups (after about 1500)



Kiowa People
Learn about the Kiowa people and their rich history through words and pictures.

Kiowa's violent conflicts
Then read about the Kiowa's violent conflicts with U.S. soldiers on the north Texas frontier, as each side battled for territory.


The Die Is Cast
Here you will learn about the famous Comanche chief Quanah Parker and the reasons behind the war on the Texas frontier.

Indian Intruders from the North
More about the Comanche and other Plains Indian groups in Texas.


Meet a Tonkawa Woman
"Captain Dirt," the Frontier reporter, interviews a Tonkawa woman selling moccasins near Fort Griffin on the north Texas frontier.

Tonkawa Scout
Captain Dirt also meets a Tonkawa scout serving the U.S. Army. (These conversations, based on historical accounts, make the Tonkawa appear rather dumb because they talked in half-sentences and used poor grammar. In fact, many Tonkawa and members of other tribes could speak and communicate in several languages, including English, Spanish, and other tribal dialects.)

Indian Intruders from the North
Learn about Tonkawa history and that of other Plains groups in Texas.

Learn about these groups of south Texas hunter-gatherers and what we mean when we use the term "Coahuiltecan."


World of the Caddo
In this fun interactive you will "meet" the Caddo and learn about their village life, step inside a grass house, visit a museum, and learn about how archeologists and others study this ancient culture.

Who Are the Caddo?
Provides more detail about the Caddo today and their rich history.

Last Village of the Kadohadacho in the Caddo Homeland in Texas

Texas was once home to hundreds of small native groups such as the Gueiquesale. Europeans and hostile Plains Indians brought disease and warfare that wiped out most of the small Texas groups. Although there are no known surviving Gueiquesale, we can learn about them through Spanish records from the 1600s.

In Native Peoples in a Spanish World, we can learn about the coastal Texas group called the Aranama and how their life changed in a mission setting.


Other Indian Cultures

Southeastern U.S. Chiefdoms and Moundbuilders

Plains Indians in Texas (Comanche, Apache, Tonkawa).


Cultural Periods

Paleoindian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric


Frontier Timeline

Civil War Timeline for Texas


Indian Lifestyles


Hunting without guns

Deer hunting


Hunting and Gathering Life

Plant gathering
Click on this interactive picture to see actual tools and items used by ancient hunter-gatherers


What's for Dinner?
Explore many kinds of prehistoric foods and cooking techniques in this fun interactive.

What Did Ancient Texans Eat?
Get the scoop by looking at prehistoric poop!


Camp Bowie
At Camp Bowie, learn about archeological sites known as burned rock middens and how prehistoric "chefs" baked onion bulbs and other plants in the ground!

Honey Creek
Learn more about prehistoric plant cookery using hot rocks at Honey Creek.

Hot Rock Cooking
Confused?? Dr. Dirt explains Hot Rock Cooking.

Houses and Shelters

Prehistoric Houses
Takes you on a tour of ancient houses across the state, from tipis to rockshelters.

Life in a Rockshelter
Learn about Life in a Rockshelter by exploring this interactive scene.

Hinds Cave
Then read more about the evidence from Hinds Cave.

Plains Villager house slabhouse
Read about how to build a Plains Villager house slabhouse.

Burial of the Dead

The Loma Sandia cemetery
Explore a prehistoric burial scene to see actual artifacts found at the Loma Sandia cemetery in south Texas and other cemetery sites.

Leanne's Burial
One of the oldest burials in North America and it's right here in Texas, near Leander. Learn more about this young woman, how she was buried nearly 11,000 years ago, and and how she was discovered.

A Prehistoric Cemetery: Mass Burials and Mutilations
Tells of Late Prehistoric cemetery in north Texas, where archeologists found evidence of violent conflict.

Mounds of Mystery
Learn about the burial mounds where ancient Caddo buried their leaders.


Tools and Weapons

Everday, Extraordinary Things
Shows examples of objects made by native peoples in southwest Texas, including what may be a child's backpack!

Hinds Cave Artifacts
Full of pictures of amazing bits and pieces of sandals, basketry, floor mats, and tools used by Archaic people. Learn how archeologists use microscopes to examine "dirty tools" to learn what they how they were used.

What the Artifacts Tell Us
Covers a wide variety of tools made of stone, bone, and shell.

Prehistoric Stone Quarrying


Indian Art and Ritual

Artistic Expression of the Plateaus and Canyonlands

Huge, haunting, and weird paintings on canyon walls.

Artistic Expression of the South Texas Plains

Beautiful carved shell jewelry and even tatoos!

Native Pottery

Created in Clay
Learn about the amazing pottery made by the ancient Caddo Indians of East Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Pottery Galleries
Be sure to go to the Pottery Galleries where you can see 3-D photos, zoom in and rotate the pots with your mouse.

Making Cordmarked Pottery
Examines how pottery was made by the Plains Villagers of the Texas Panhandle from about 500 to 100 years ago.

Trading (with French)


Life for Indians Changed Forever

Red River Wars

Passing of the Indian Era.


European Settlers and Traders

Spanish Ranches on Rio Grande

French Trade with Indians

La Salle and Fort St. Louis

La Salle and the Wreck of La Belle

German Settlers in the Hill Country

African American: Freed Slaves in Texas

Mexican American Sharecroppers


Spanish Explorers

Don Juan de Oñate

Cabeza de Vaca


Spanish Missions and Presidios

Mission San Saba

El Paso Missions

Mission Espiritu Santo

Gateway Missions

Los Adaes : 18th-Century Capital of Spanish Texas

Presidio San Saba

San Antonio Missions

Mission San Lorenzo


US Soldiers

U.S. Army on Western Frontier

Buffalo Soldiers

Meet a Buffalo Soldier at Fort Griffin, Texas

Cultural Collisions in the Hill Country

Seminole Indian Scouts


Frontier, Western Movement, and Indian Wars (1850-1885)

Texas Forts and the Frontier

Texas and the Western Frontier

Fort Griffin and the Prairie Plains Frontier

Fort Davis and the Trans Pecos Trails

Fort Clark and the Rio Grande Frontier

Fort McKavett and the Hill Country Frontier

Most Dangerous Prairie in Texas


Civil War in Texas

Camp Ford :


Industry (19th- and 20th-Century)

First Ranchers

Cotton Farming and Sharecropping

Logging and Lumber Industry

Wax Making

Sugar Making

Salt Mining

Silver Mining



Digging through Layers of Time

Ask Dr. Dirt

Meet an Archeologist


Texas Geography

Natural Resources: Picture Galleries of Plants, Animals, Rocks and Minerals

South Texas

Central and Southwest (Edwards Plateau and Canyonlands)

Environmental Regions of Texas


South Texas Plains (explore a regional map)

Edwards Plateau and Southwest Canyonlands (explore a regional map)

Rivers and Streams: Impact on Landscape

Stratification in Action: watch a Texas river build up deposits and cover

Indian campsites

Frio River: Changing Course through Time


Climate Change over Time

Lower Pecos Region


Texas Beyond History
TBH WebTeam
2 May 2007

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