Your recent article “La Pila Site Buried Again, with Hispanic Museum at Odds with Archaeologist Preparing Report,” dated Oct. 2, highly misrepresented the facts concerning the excavations of the La Pila Fountain Archaeological Project and my involvement with it. The backfilling of the site was the decision of the Texas Historical Commission as that is the standard procedure to protect archaeological sites after investigations end.
Louis Garcia of the Waco Hispanic Museum did not approach me to excavate the historic site; he actually approached the Central Texas Archaeological Society (CTAS), a nonprofit volunteer organization of which I am a member, requesting their assistance to excavate the site. At the request of the CTAS membership, I agreed to lead the organization with the efforts and obtained a Texas Antiquities Permit in my name. This included a substantial and unexpected financial burden. During the project we worked with more than 100 students from Indian Spring Middle School and seven college students, and hosted three community Archaeology Awareness events. Professional archaeologists from across Texas came to Waco to volunteer at the site.
With the pandemic we were no longer able to host volunteer days or work with students. The Texas Historical Commission recommended that I close the permit at this point, analyze the artifacts, write a report of findings and backfill the site to protect it. They further stated that even if we excavated the entire site, it would still have to be backfilled since no preservation plans from Waco Independent School District were submitted to the Texas Historical Commission. Therefore, I had no other option but to backfill the site. If the Waco Hispanic Museum wanted to develop the site into a memorial of some sort, they needed a detailed plan approved by Waco ISD, then approved by the Texas Historical Commission; they had several years to do so. Mr. Garcia is just looking for someone to blame.
Katherine Turner-Pearson, Waco
Creator knows all
With the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, the massive destruction in the American West caused by the forest fires and the tremendous flooding and damage from a series of hurricanes, we are continually advised to study and follow the science behind these happenings.
One of the major laws of science is that you cannot create something from nothing. Thus the earth and the magnificent universe of which it is a part had to have been created by something bigger than it. And science was just one of the entities of this creation.
Another law of science states that a system, like things on the earth, if left isolated, will move to a state of more disorder. Thus, man could not have evolved from some organism coming out of an ancient warm pond into the semi-intelligent beings we now are without some outside intervention.
Is it now time we put our faith and trust in the Creator rather than just one entity of the creation? Science can be helpful; however, many of our needs go beyond science.
Don Hardcastle, Emeritus Professor of Physics,
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!