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DATE: 26 October 2010
CONTACT: Stephanie Turnham
PHONE: 254.933.5243


Ten partners in Central Texas have created a new travel brochure, "Prehistoric Texas: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Ancient Texans."  The brochure is designed to promote heritage tourism for families and focuses on paleontology and archaeology.

From Glen Rose to Florence [Texas, that is], travelers can "walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs, see the remains of giant marine reptiles, visit the final resting place of dozens of enormous Columbian mammoths, and view artifacts detailing life in Texas from some of the area's earliest inhabitants."

Bernie Dutton, curator at the Bosque Memorial Museum, said, "The prehistoric trail is a hidden jewel in the heart of Texas that is packed full of discoveries of our wondrous past.  This effort is designed for people who want an educational vacation experience."

Prehistoric sites on the tour include the many dinosaur attractions in Glen Rose, the Horn Shelter exhibit at the Bosque Memorial Museum, the numerous prehistoric exhibits at the Mayborn Museum Complex in Waco, the Waco Mammoth Site, the Gault Site exhibit at the Bell County Museum, and the Gaul Site near Florence.  Marion Grayson, mayor pro-tem of Belton, said she really 'digs' the tour.

Project partners are the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Florence, Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau, Glen Rose Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Gault School of Archaeological Research, the Bell County Museum, the Mayborn Museum, the Bosque Museum, the Waco Mammoth Site, and the Texas Brazos Trail Travel Region.

At Glen Rose, known as the "Dinosaur Capital of Texas," travelers can view some of the most well-preserved dinosaur tracks in North America.  Glen Rose also offers numerous other attractions related to our prehistoric predecessors, including "Land of the Dinosaurs," a live action musical, believe it or not.

The Bosque Museum is an outstanding facility that features a unique exhibit on the Horn Shelter, a rare 11,200 year-old Paleo-American archeological site where two skeletons and an array of burial goods were found.  Although the actual site is closed to the public, the Bosque Museum has replicated it beautifully.

The Mayborn Museum Complex, really three museums in one huge, friendly building, allows visitors to travel through millions of years by exploring ancient fossils of Central Texas.  Exciting and interactive exhibits invite visitors to touch a palm tree stump from the Tertiary period and see one of the earliest fossil marine turtles found in the United States.

In 1978, two men stumbled upon a bone near the Bosque River, and a lost world was discovered!  The Waco Mammoth Site features a new, climate-controlled dig shelter and a suspended walkway that provides an overhead view of several specimens, including a bull mammoth and a camel that lived approximately 68,000 years ago.

The award-winning Bell County Museum in Belton features a permanent interactive exhibit on the Gault Site that offers an in-depth look at this important active excavation.  Call ahead to arrange a trip to the actual site, and to find out about opportunities for youth to "excavate" in the museum's simulated archeology pits.

The Gault Site is one of the largest excavated sites of the Clovis culture (13,500 years ago) and is a Texas State Archeological Landmark.  Gault has more than 2 million artifacts, some of the earliest art and the oldest architecture in North America.  Research continues at the site, and tours/speakers can be arranged.

"Our goal is to eventually have a website and a science log book that allows youngsters to learn about paleontology and archeology by completing activities at each site," Stephanie Turnham, director of the Bell County Museum, added.  "Once they've toured all of the sites, they will get a t-shirt.  We also hope to have a larger brochure that lists all of the other numerous and fun activities, eateries, and places to stay in the region."

For more information, log onto any of the websites of the participating partners.



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