Skip to main content

Steelman, Edmund - Fossil and Artifact Collection

Identifier: MSS-0023


  • no date

Biographical / Historical

Professor E. Steelman Collection of Central Texas Fossils and Native American Artifacts and Native American Collection of Unknown Provenance.

Edmund Steelman was a Southwestern University professor of religion and Biblical archaeology from 1946 to 1978. His collection includes various Native American artifacts and a few fossils. The collection’s content is from assorted locations in the central Texas area. Some of the artifacts were excavated by Dr. Steelman in the mid to late 1970s. He undertook excavations mainly along the North Fork of the San Gabriel River, though there were a few on the farm of Dr. Edward M. Lansford near Leander. This excavation yielded points, large blades, grindstones, and a few shell and bone remains. The fossils were given to the university by Mr. Sam Goldenley, Jr. The fossils are all from the Georgetown area and are various sea creatures.

A second large collection does not have a known provenance; the majority of these objects are Native American points and stone tools, though there are also some bone, antler, and shell remains, and a pottery shard. These artifacts, unlike the Steelman artifacts, have no identifying marks so it is impossible to tell with certainty where in the central Texas area they are from or who excavated them. Since they were grouped with the Steelman artifacts it is possible that these objects are also from his excavation but without anything to identify them there is no way to know which is the case.

Part of the collection is made up of assorted Native American points. The variation in size and shape of these points is quite extensive, and there are many different types. There are also some large stone blades that would have been used for scraping and cutting. The collection also contains quite a few different grinding stones and grinding slabs. These would have been used for grinding grains, seeds, and nuts. The stones and slabs have smooth areas where they were worn away with use. The rest of the collection is an amalgamation of other artifacts that have not been fully identified. The types of fossils are known but the types of bone are not, nor are the types of shell. The antlers type is also not known but they appear to be deer. The pottery shard is the only one of its kind in this collection and there is nothing known about it.

There are some written records on file that pertain to the Steelman artifacts. These are mainly excavation notes about the Dr. Edward M. Lansford dig and information about Native American life/remains. There are also records of students who worked on the dig. Along with these there is a layout of the dig site and a topographical map of the area surrounding the North Fork dig. Lastly there are some recent additions to the file that are about conservation of the artifacts.


unkown items

Language of Materials


Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the SU Special Collections & Archives Repository

1001 East University Avenue
Georgetown TX 78626 United States