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Unearthing the Past

Making valuable discoveries in Eagle Nest Canyon

The Lower Pecos Canyonlands, on the northeast edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, holds the key to the region’s early history. Here, ancient cave paintings, still vivid, depict the worldview of the hunter-gatherers who lived here for millennia. Beneath the dusty land, artifacts wait to reveal their stories.

At the site of this Texas treasure, Dr. Stephen L. Black, assistant professor of anthropology at Texas State University, is training the next generation of archaeologists, far from the university’s San Marcos campus. Black and his crew of undergraduate and graduate students are meticulously uncovering centuries-old information about the conditions that shaped this region.

Using the latest methodologies and technologies, these researchers are expanding upon data that has been gathered at this site since it was first excavated in 1932. With Black’s mentorship, Texas State students are making discoveries not only about the past, but also about their own futures.

At Texas State, we believe students of all disciplines need to discover the world around them. Across campus and beyond, we provide students with real-world research opportunities that expand their minds and their options for exciting careers.


eagle cave

Dr. Stephen L. Black

Dr. Stephen Black

Dr. Stephen Black is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. Among the research topics that fascinate him are hunter-gatherer lifeways, cultural ecology, technology, social interaction, and experimental archaeology. He is the founding editor of Texas Beyond History - a virtual museum of Texas’ cultural heritage. View his Texas State bio.