Texas Archeological Research Laboratory

Site Records

TARL houses records from over 81,000 individual sites organized by county and trinomial. In order to safeguard site location, the site records at TARL are accessible only to archeological researchers. Basic site data are available to qualified researchers via the Texas Archeological Sites Atlas (link). The site records at TARL include the primary documents (usually called "site forms") upon which the Atlas data is based. The data from site investigations including field notes, photographic logs, drawings, analysis notes, radiocarbon data forms, and artifact inventories, among many others are considered the project archives and discussed elsewhere.

The Smithsonian Trinomial system allows each officially recorded archeological site to be referenced with a single three-part (state-county-site) alpha-numeric designation. For example, 41BX228; Texas being the 41st state at the time the system was devised, BX for Bexar County, Texas, and 228th as the next archeological site officially recorded in the county numerically. Many sites are also given names (e.g., the Panther Springs Creek site is 41BX228). Several cross-referenced files are maintained to keep track of site names and link older numbering systems and other designations to the trinomial designations.