On September 8, the Museum of the Big Bend in partnership with the Center for Big Bend Studies and Humanities Texas, opened the highly anticipated exhibit, “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 some of the “First Texans.” Our oldest archaeological sites have been traced back more than 10,000 years; they tell us about people with complex cultures that adapted to centuries of changing environments, climates, and resources in a diverse and rugged landscape. 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, remnants of their daily lives and artwork.

Based on work at La Junta de los Rios and at sites from across the region, the centerpiece of the exhibit features a life-size, three-dimensional hypothetical model of an excavation at a site dating to between 4500 B.C. and A.D. 1500. In addition, the exhibit explores Native American rock art in the Big Bend and other intriguing pieces of the region’s archaeological record. The exhibit ran from September 8, 2012, through the end of January 2013. Much of the exhibit will be housed (for viewing) at the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library on the Sul Ross campus.