A small stone artifact opens a new chapter in the story of Texas

The Bullock Museum will tell that story in new exhibition coming this fall

JULY 18, 2018 (AUSTIN, TX) — A portion of the first floor Texas History Galleries at the Bullock Texas State History Museum is closed and undergoing construction for a new permanent exhibition that will explore the earliest stories of Texas before it acquired its famous borders. The exhibition, Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here, covers more than 16,000 years of history, starting with the small stone weapon with a broken tip, a projectile point discovered just north of Austin in 2011.

"It may look insignificant, but the discovery and dating of the projectile point and artifacts found with it fundamentally changed our understanding of when humans were living in what we now call Texas," said the exhibition's curator Franck Cordes. "It is among the earliest known artifacts made by humans in the Americas."

The exhibition will explore the cultures of the American Indian nations and tribes that lived in the regions of Texas, with immersive audiovisual environments, hands-on interactives and stunning artifacts, such as a turquoise armband believed to be about a thousand years old, and pottery made in the traditional Caddo style. Visitors will experience the immense diversity of the cultures found throughout Texas, exploring daily lives, trade, craft, and languages found across the many different Texas landscapes.

"Visitors have so many questions about our earliest history, and this exhibition takes them from the first human inhabitants through the Spanish and the French arrivals. The richness of artifacts assembled from around the nation, new multi-media experiences, and contemporary research tell this story in a new and exciting way that lays the groundwork for how we became who we are," said Margaret Koch, Bullock Museum Interim Director.

Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here also looks at the arrival of Europeans from Spain and France, their attempts at colonization and relationships with the tribes and nations they encountered. Rarely seen artifacts such as a St. Francis santo demonstrates attempts at religious conversion, while heavy mission gates built for protection speak to the conflicts that arose over control of the land. The cargo and hull remains of the 300-year-old La Belle will also be on display - the largest French Colonial cache known to exist.

"Visitors will understand not just what happened in Texas, but the global ramifications resulting from those events," said Cordes. "As they explore the exhibition, they will see how the cultures which were established so long ago are the deep roots of the culture of Texas that continues to exist today."

Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here, will open in November 2018.  For more information and updates, visit TheStoryofTexas.com and follow the Bullock Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Support for Becoming Texas provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation and the State of Texas through the State Preservation Board.

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The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is owned and operated by the State of Texas through the State Preservation Board. Additional support of exhibitions and programs is provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Becoming Texas exhibition

This press release is part of the Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here Media Kit

In December 2018, the Bullock Texas State History Museum will unveil the state's most comprehensive look at more than 16,000 years of Texas History with the permanent exhibition Becoming Texas: Our Story Begins Here. View Media Kit