Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)

First Advisor

Russell Skowronek

Second Advisor

Juan Gonzalez

Third Advisor

Frank Dirrigl


The archaeological record of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and northern Mexico is poorly understood. There are few excavated sites at which Paleoindian cultural materials have been found, and in these cases the context is uncertain. In order to better understand the Paleoindian period, projectile points that reside in private collections are documented, and the time period they are assigned to, based on absolute dating from surrounding regions, is used to cross-date local materials. This is limited by the lack of named typology for Upper Paleolithic materials in the Americas. Clovis is well represented in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, indicating human presence by 13,000 BP. Additionally, analysis of floral and faunal remains from sites in the Lower Pecos, Gulf Coastal Plains, and Edwards plateau/Balcones Escarpment are used to infer climate, flora, and fauna. The resulting data is mapped, using QGIS and ArcGIS. This overview of what is known of the Paleoindian period in the Lower Rio Grande Valley provides a basic framework for future research, as it helps to locate the probable locations of Paleoindian sites.


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