The Houston Archeological Society, a nonprofit organization, was formed in 1959 by a small group of amateur archeologists from the Houston area with a specific interest in the archeology of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and a general interest in all early inhabitants of Texas and adjoining states. Membership includes both amateur and professional archeologists. The vocations of the nonprofessionals vary widely. Initially the society met at the University of Houston but later moved to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It uses facilities at Rice University for some functions. The society maintains an archeological library for members and publishes Journal of the Houston Archeological Society three times yearly; the journal contains reports on area archeological work, HAS activities, and other subjects of archeological interest. Special reports are published occasionally on some of the society's important field and research work.
The HAS has organized, directed, and participated in a number of surveys associated with salvage efforts in areas where archeological sites have been destroyed through subsidence, dam construction, erosion, and land development. Areas surveyed include Wallisville, Lake Livingston, Lake Conroe, Clear Lake, and San Jacinto Bay. HAS members also have assisted in excavation of important historic and prehistoric sites in Harris, Galveston, Wharton, Austin, and nearby counties. Public education is an important part of the society business. The society provides a speakers' bureau to address local groups who request information on Texas archeology. Traveling exhibits also can be provided. The Houston Archeological Society and the city of Houston have set up a coordinating group designed to aid in the conservation of local prehistoric and historic archeological sites in Houston. This goal is to be accomplished by promoting public conservation awareness and providing expertise in defining and protecting the sites.
The Houston Archeological Society is associated with the statewide Texas Archeological Society, and many members attend the annual society field school, both as instructors and students. Frequently, HAS members serve as officers of the state organization. The HAS seeks to foster an active interest in the discovery and conservation of archeological sites and in recording and preserving archeological remains and data in harmony with scientific procedures. Another of its purposes is to bring together persons with similar interests in the subject of archeology in an atmosphere conducive to the exchange of information and ideas. The society sponsors projects and investigations in the study of archeology, in the collection of materials and data, and in the publication of archeological information, intended to promote a wider public understanding and appreciation of archeology and related fields of science.