Based on the archaeological record, the discussion of the earliest inhabitants includes a reclassification of all known Paleoindian projectile point types and establishes a chronology for the various occupations. The archaeological data from across the state of Texas also allow authors to trace technological changes over time, the development of intensive fishing and shellfish collecting, funerary customs and the belief systems they represented, long-term changes in settlement mobility and character, landscape use, and the eventual development of agricultural societies. The studies bring the prehistory of Texas Indians all the way up through the Late Prehistoric period (ca. a.d. 700–1600).
The extensively illustrated chapters are broadly cultural-historical in nature but stay strongly focused on important current research problems. Taken together, they present careful and exhaustive considerations of the full archaeological (and paleoenvironmental) record of Texas.