While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Carrol Hedrick

EL PASO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY. The El Paso Archaeological Society was founded in 1922, largely through the efforts of Elliott C. Prentiss and Maud D. Sullivan. Its purposes throughout the years have been the study and preservation of archeological resources and information. The society was granted nonprofit, tax-exempt status in 1964. It is open to all persons interested in archeology. It derives support from membership dues, contributions, publication sales, and fund-raising projects. Annual membership averages 200 family, individual, and institutional members.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the society's artifacts and archives were housed in the El Paso Public Library. After a short period of inactivity in the late 1930s, they were moved to the El Paso Centennial Museum. In 1976 the society contracted with the city of El Paso to become the support organization of the new Wilderness Park Museum. After completion of the museum, all properties were moved to the society's adjoining laboratory, print shop, and library.

The organization maintains an extensive library, including its own archives and many rare volumes. It also keeps a large study collection of ceramic and lithic samples from the region and a record of sites located in the western counties of Texas and southern counties of New Mexico. Site information is forwarded to the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, the Texas Historical Commission, the El Paso Centennial Museum, and the New Mexico State Museum's Laboratory of Anthropology. The library, study collections, and site records are available for research use. Many of the society's artifacts are on loan to the Wilderness Park Museum.

The society publishes The Artifact, a quarterly journal, and El Paso Archeology, a monthly newsletter, and distributes them to members. Other ongoing projects include an education series, analysis of collections, surveys, salvage, volunteer assistance on professionally directed projects, and support of antiquities laws. Members also serve as docents for the museum. The society regularly hosts the annual meetings of the Texas Archeological Society and the Archaeological Society of New Mexico, symposia of the Southwest Federation of Archaeological Societies, and the Jornada Mogollon Conference. The annual Awards of Distinction Banquet is held in the fall to recognize longtime contributors to archeological studies. The society also participates in Texas Archaeology Awareness Week every November 9–16 and provides a yearly scholarship of $500 to the study of archeology or a related field. In 1994 the El Paso Archaeological Society had a membership of 200.

Nancy Hamilton et al., "Building a Museum: EPAS and the Wilderness Park," The Artifact 19 (Spring 1981). John A. Hedrick, "An Historical Review of the El Paso Archaeological Society, 1922–1972," The Artifact 10 (June 1972).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Carrol Hedrick, "EL PASO ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY," accessed July 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bae01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...