Ruiz ‘24 Discovers Projectile Point

Congratulations to fourth-grader Tara Ruiz for being the first individual to discover a projectile point at the PARK! She was part of the fourth grade group that was helping to clear a new trail this month when she used her keen observation skills to spot the ancient artifact. “Further analysis is needed, but it appears to be almost complete and pre-Colombian,” says Greg Mele, Director of Outdoor Engagement. Greg contacted UT's Texas Archeological Research Lab (TARL) to help ID the projectile point. He shares their response, “Since it doesn’t exhibit a parallel oblique flake pattern, I would be inclined to rule out early Paleoindian. Odds are pretty good that it’s Archaic.”
Greg concurs, “I'm fairly confident that it is Archaic also. Here’s a very good, quick reference to help explain what Archaic represents in terms of human culture in Central Texas. In the early 90's, I was an excavator with TARL and worked on excavations supervised by Hester, Prewitt, Collins and Black.”

Greg’s academic background includes archaeology and archeology. He has a master’s in classics with a specialization in archaeology. He adds, “I completed a field school in archeology in Lucera, Italy, then spent two seasons on the Palatine East excavations across from the Colosseum through the American Academy in Rome. I eventually worked with TARL on two sites, one in San Antonio and another near Leander.”

There is a “confusing and messy” distinction between archaeology and archeology, according to Greg:

"Archaeology is generally associated with the origins of the discipline which was often connected to Classics departments. Archeology began as a way for anthropology departments to distance themselves from what they saw as a social scientific approach and wanted to bring more strictly scientific theories and practices. My M.A. mentor, Ted Pena, held a joint professorship in classics and anthropology, so I was trained in both archaeology and archeology. This was a big deal back in the day and probably is still. Many lattes have been spilled in anger between classicists and anthropologists over this spelling."

Pictured are Tara Ruiz '24 with teacher Donna Hunt, Head of Upper School Todd Stephenson, and her fellow fourth-graders.

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Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.