SEGUIN — Local archeologist Robert “Bob” Everett paid a visit Thursday morning to an excavation site where hundreds of arrowheads, spear points and other Native American artifacts were recently uncovered along the banks of the Guadalupe River.
“This is the richest archeological site I’ve seen on the Guadalupe River in 35 years,” said Everett, a steward with the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Archeological Stewardship Network.
Craig Childs writes “with lyrical grace” about searching for relics. Finders Keepers is a Great Read.
From Child’s book:
“It is a job. Workers go out and dig. They pull up every artifact they find. Perfectly legal and not entirely academic, it is a workingman’s science. Plats and blueprints tell where to excavate. Practitioners are known as “salvage” or “rescue” archaeologists. In information circles, they call themselves “shovel bums,” toiling through cities and along pipelines, where they remove all pertinent archaeology in the way of development.
“There is a growing demand for this particular brand of archaeologist. Backhoes are digging up slave cemeteries and ancient pagodas, forcing cities to cough up their dead, and somebody has to deal with it. Roman burials are cropping up in London while archaeologists in downtown Miami ponder a circle of postholes that were cut into bedrock a couple of thousand years ago, doing so on behalf of a frustrated developer who has been planning luxury condominiums for this spot. After thousands of years of traffic, a marketplace in Cairo recently revealed a temple containing a four-ton statue of Ramses II that had been right under people’s feet. Even in the slums of Mexico City, pieces of the fallen Aztec Empire keep showing up. In 2006, construction work exposed a thirteen ton stone carving of an earth goddess, and when salvage archaeologists went in they discovered it was topping the tomb of an Aztec emperor. This could be the biggest discovery in Mexican history, as they dig through the city’s wet,mucky foundations to find it.”
“. . . In his essay on whether we can actually harm the dead, Geoffrey Scarre of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Durham, England, wrote, ‘Whilst a bone may be no more animate than a stone, it is the relic of a man or woman who once thought and felt, was happy and sad, loved and feared as we do. To disinter or disturb it, or to subject it to chemical or physical analysis, is to take a liberty–not with the thing itself but with the person to whom it once belonged.’ “