On September 8, the Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine, in partnership with the Center for Big Bend Studies, opened the exhibition Removing the Shroud of Mystery: Archaeology in the Big Bend.

Found across the vast Big Bend region of Texas are clues left behind that help tell the story of the first Texans. Some of these sites can be traced back more than ten thousand years, and they tell us about complex cultures that successfully adapted to changing environments, climates, and food sources over centuries. Since they left no written record for us to decipher and study, our understanding of this past relies on the scientific study of what these early peoples left behind—tools, shelters, clothing, bones, food, and artwork. Based on work at La Junta de Los Rios and at sites from across the region, the centerpiece of the exhibition features a life-size, three-dimensional hypothetical model of an excavation at a site dating to between 4500 BC and 1500 AD. The exhibition is open until February 3, 2013.

The exhibition is made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas. For more information about our grants program, visit our website.

Big Bend National Park. National Park Service photo.