A Conversation About Archaeology in the Texas Panhandle
John R. Erickson, Douglas K. Boyd
When John Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog book series, saved up and purchased a tract of Panhandle property near Perryton, it set off a chain of discovery. Who lived in Texas over a thousand years ago? In Porch Talk, John Erickson and his archaeologist friend Doug Boyd investigate this question while explaining the art and science of archaeology for middle readers.
On the Perryton ranch, John and his friends unearthed a ghost town that dated back to around 1300 CE. They found a sprawl of widely spaced pit houses occupying an area of 300 acres in John’s West Pasture. It is unclear how many people lived there, but it was a place where babies were born and the elderly died and were buried. Women nursed children, made cornmeal in stone metates, and stitched clothes of leather while the men hunted bison using arrows tipped with points made from Alibates flint.
Porch Talk features the kind of conversation John and Doug might have on the porch after a day of work in the field. For more than twenty years, they worked together on this and other prehistoric sites, sharing a fascination for the ancient people who occupied the area. How did these people work, play, and survive?
Any person today who picks up Porch Talk, young or old, will learn about archaeology, prehistoric Texas, and the importance of taking care of the land. The conversation will ignite your curiosity and make you aware of the brave and sturdy people who occupied this land long ago.