Tom led the archaeological investigations on behalf of the owner, the City of Houston, to contract for a Phase 1 records search and reporting to the Texas Historical Commission for three special projects. In all cases the Commission directed a Phase 2 on-site investigation that included trenching. He also represented the City during the on-site work in the oldest areas of the City. See pages at this site about services provided for Discovery Green and the BBVA Stadium.
Typical of this work the archeologist’s records research identified locations from Sanborne Maps where residents likely had privies. Hoping that something interesting fell into the privy (and not likely to be retrieved) the trench was dug across the suspect location looking for disturbed earth and when found dug down carefully to undisturbed dirt. At one site the archaeologist suspected he found while trenching an “undisturbed living surface”; a.k.a. someone’s front yard. The contractor was soon to arrive and delays would be unacceptable. A quick application was made to the THC for concurrence with excavating the wider area. Approval came quickly, the 40’x40’ area was slowly peeled back but nothing was found.
At the Bethel Church site during the initial weeks of the contractor’s work to convert it to a city park, Tom negotiated with the CM staff ad contractor times when the Community Archeological Research Institute could excavate the areas where they believed walls from earlier sanctuaries would be found. They did find most of the wall lines but most significant was the discovery of an early baptismal font. All locations were documented and recovered so that when funds are found and there is a desire to create a display those locations can be re-excavated and be available. Tom organized a film documentary of the work with interviews of the primary participants. The documentary won the National Tilly Award.