The Texas Historical Commission's (THC) Archeology Division works to identify, protect and preserve Texas' irreplaceable archeological heritage. Using a regional approach, archeologists and staff participate in a variety of activities to support this mission. Archeology staff members responsibilities include reviewing public construction projects that may impact significant archeological sites; administering the State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) designation program; serving as support staff for the Texas Antiquities Advisory Board, which evaluates sites for SAL designation and issues state antiquities permits; recording and evaluating archeological sites; advising archeologists, property owners, and other individuals concerning the laws and rules that apply when unmarked cemeteries are discovered; and conducting and reporting on archeological research and investigations.
The state is divided into three regions, each with a devoted staff archeologist to provide assistance to stewards, landowners, and communities when needed. They investigate important endangered sites dating from prehistoric times to the 20th century, record archeological sites, and monitor previously recorded sites to ensure their protection.
Avocational archeologists working as volunteers to preserve and interpret the vast archeological landscape of Texas. Stewards assist regional staff archeologists and the public by recording and monitoring archeological sites, recording artifact collections, giving talks to schools and preservation groups, and helping survey private lands.
Each October, Texas Archeology Month (TAM) celebrates the spirit of discovery. Numerous organizations and institutions around the state host public events during October in observance of TAM. The THC compiles TAM event information and produces the TAM Calendar, which is posted on the THC website.
Protection, preservation, and investigation of historic shipwrecks in all state-owned waters of Texas. The State Marine Archeologist maintains an ever increasing inventory of wrecks, investigates known wrecks and reviews development projects in state waters for possible impact to historic shipwrecks.
For decades, Texas landowners have worked with the THC to preserve important sites throughout the state. The THC recognizes these landowners who protect historic places—from frontier forts to prehistoric hunting camps—with a Historic Texas Lands Plaque.