Several Texas State Parks are closed due to Tropical Storm Harvey. See state park alerts.


Living Off the Land

Definitions and Context

Archeology: The study of ancient human life and cultures through excavations and artifacts (items made by humans). People who study archeology are called archeologists.
Context: Archeology experts are learning about ancient peoples through excavations in Texas.

Anthropology: The study of humans, physical and cultural. People who study anthropology are called anthropologists.
Context: How tribes interacted with each other is studied in anthropology.

Culture: The way of life for a particular group of people including shared beliefs, values and traditions.
Context: Although different Native American tribes have different cultures, there are some aspects that are shared among many of them.

Custom: An established practice or behavior that is common to a culture
Context: It is our custom to greet one another by shaking hands.

Geology: The study of the earth, its structure, processes and materials. People who study geology are called geologists.
Context: Many geologists study rocks and how they were formed to learn more about the history of a place.

Native: Originating in a certain region (often it refers to plants and animals that were here before Europeans came to Texas)
Context: American bison are native to North America.

Paleontology: The study of past geological periods and comparison to modern plants and animals through the analysis of fossils. People who study paleontology are called paleontologists.
Context: Paleontologists who find dinosaur bones must try to recreate skeletons, much like putting together a puzzle with pieces missing.

Pemmican: A food made from dried meat, fat, and berries; ground up and formed into a cake
Context: Some Native American people made pemmican from the dried buffalo meat so that they could store and eat it long after the hunt.

Petroglyph: Carving or inscription on rock
Context: We made rubbings from the petroglyphs so that we could take the symbols back to the classroom and analyze them.

Pictograph: Prehistoric painting or artwork on rock
Context: Suzy found pictographs of bison beside the cave entrance.

Sinew: Tendon, the tough, white, fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone
Context: Sinew from the buffalo can be twisted into strong rope.

Sustainable: Able to be used in a way that can renew or replenish itself for use over a long period of time.
Context: Plains Indians depended on bison in a way that was sustainable.

Tribe: An Indian Tribe is a body of people bound together by blood ties who are socially, politically, and religiously organized; who live together in a defined territory, and who speak a common language or dialect.
Context: Some regions of Texas were occupied by different tribes at different times in history.