Study of the archeology of the Wilson-Leonard site has opened broad new vistas for the reexamination and improved interpretation of regional prehistory. Beyond that, it is of national importance in terms of both data and interpretation (for example, on the Paleoindian era) and the concepts used in its excavation and analysis. It is unique in other ways. In most cases, deep, stratified, multicomponent sites of this integrity are rarely excavated (in Texas, at least) more than once and the potential for long-term research is not fully met. As the reader will learn, Wilson-Leonard was first excavated on a large scale by archeologists of the Texas Department of Trans-portation (TxDOT) from 1982-1984 but was not formally published. Much attention went, deservedly, to the discovery of a Paleoindian burial at the site. Beginning in 1991, the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory was contracted by TxDOT to evaluate the records from the excavations and to make recommendations on the preparation of a comprehensive report. Given the many changes that had occurred in the technology of archeological excavation and the rise of new theoretical and analytical approaches, the TxDOT data appeared to be insufficient for more than a descriptive study. Yet, it was clear that the rich body of information from Wilson-Leonard warranted more than that. Thus, Michael B. Collins and his staff recommended that a second major excavation be undertaken in order to provide a better context for the TxDOT materials. Further, the findings from both excavations would then be fully integrated into a final report. Thanks to the foresight of Kenneth Bohuslav and Ann Irwin at TxDOT, this proposal was accepted and excavations directed by Collins were carried out in 1992-1993.
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