Archaeologist Mike Collins risked it all to save 30 acres deep in the heart of Texas.

What he found here changed history.

The Gault Film tells the amazing story of how a long-looted piece of land in Texas turned out to be one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere.

Archaeologist Mike Collins and his team discovered evidence of people living in Central Texas 20,000 years ago – thousands of years before many scientists thought humans first ventured into the New World.

That makes this place, now known as The Gault Archaeological Site, located 45 miles northwest of Austin, a game changer in the long and fierce debate about when and how people lived in the Americas during the last ice age. It challenges a theory that the first people, dubbed the Clovis culture, arrived only 13,500 years ago.

Collins and his team found stone tools that were Older than Clovis by thousands of years, the largest collection of Clovis artifacts ever found in one location, and an array of intriguing, incised stones that may be some of the earliest Art in the Americas.

For decades, Gault had a notorious reputation as a dark place where looters and collectors dug up precious artifacts.

Other archaeologists wrote it off as a lost cause, but Collins saw clues others missed.

With the help of an army of volunteers, he risked his career and his personal wealth to wage a daunting 30-year quest to rescue this land. Ultimately, he purchased it with his own money and donated it to The Archaeological Conservancy to preserve it for research and public education.

Without Collins’ vision, leadership and passion, this site would have been lost to history.

Please DONATE NOW. We face an urgent need to capture the many voices of Gault before their stories are lost.

Your contribution will help us complete a feature-length documentary about a special place in Texas that enriches our understanding of our shared human history.

Interactive Timeline

Scroll horizontally to watch videos and learn more of the story.

1904 Henry C. Gault

buys land now known as the
Gault Archaeological Site.

 

Looting continues despite landowner’s efforts.

1944 Nealy Lindsey

buys land from Henry Gault. More artifacts are removed from the property.

1990-1991 David Olmstead

a weekend, amateur digger, finds unusual, incised stones with a Clovis point.

“It looked like a WWI Battlefield.”

1998

Seven years later, Collins is called back to the site by the new owners, Elmer Lindsey’s nephew and his family.

1999-2002

Collins earns the family’s trust and secures a research lease.

“It was a hive of activity and very intense.”

May 2002

In Collins’ skilled hands, the team sees tantalizing clues of an unknown culture thousands of years Older Than Clovis. Collins gears up to go the distance, but once again, he’s stopped short.

2002-2007

The Lindseys have a change of heart and decide the property is too important for them to keep.

2007

Collins dug deep into his pockets to purchase the Gault site. He then donated it to The Archaeological Conservancy, a national non-profit that preserves America’s most important cultural sites.

2007-2018

More challenges lie ahead.

With the land in his full control, Collins makes the final push, launching the deepest and most painstaking excavations at Gault.

2018

The site makes international news again with the publication of evidence of an Older-Than-Clovis culture at Gault.

2020

GSAR Board President Tim Brown and Florence stone sculptor Bob Ragan create stone monument for entrance to Gault.

2022

Gault Film completed with donor help.

1904
1929
1930
1944-1988
1990-1991
1997-1998
1999-2002
May 2002
2002-2007
2007-2018
2018
2020
2022

University of Texas
Professor J.E. Pearce

University of Texas Professor J.E. Pearce finds “an abundance of beautiful flint artifacts,” but says the site is being “destroyed” by people who “dig the specimens for sale.”

“An abundance of beautiful flint artifacts.”

The site becomes a pay-to-dig eventually run by Nealy’s oldest son, Elmer.

Dr. Tom Hester and Dr. Michael Collins from the Texas Archaeological Research Lab (TARL) at the University of Texas (UT) meet Olmstead and verify his “unprecedented” discovery.

Over the next three years, Collins and his army of professionals and volunteers overcome enormous obstacles to find archaeological gold left behind by prehistoric hunters and gatherers.

He forms the non-profit Gault School of Archaeological Research and swings open the doors for public tours until field work concludes in 2016 and moves into the lab.

1930’s
Field Work
Incised Stones
Found
Three Year
Research Lease
DONATE NOW!

Please contribute to help us finish the film.

Our goal is to raise $600,000 to complete production of this feature-length documentary.

GREAT NEWS! As of October 1, we have secured $200,000 toward our $600,000 funding goal, thanks to generous donations from more than 160 individual donors (listed below) and these major funders:

  • Still Water Foundation of Austin
  • LaNoe and Paul Scherer Family Foundation (offered by Jane and James Flieller, of Austin)
  • Texas Historical Foundation

The Still Water Foundation has generously offered a 1:3 challenge grant in the amount of $100,000, to be paid once new contributions total $300,000.

Please DONATE NOW to be part of making a film to tell the world about this important place in Texas that continues to rewrite the story of the peopling of The Americas.

Thank you for your continued support!

How to Contribute to the film

Directly through the Museum’s website:

The Williamson Museum

Please click on Olive Talley’s name as the fundraiser in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the form.

Or, through the Museum’s PayPal account:

Paypal

Or, mail a check directly to the Museum:

Please make the check payable to The Williamson Museum and SPECIFY it is for the Gault Documentary.

The Williamson Museum
Attn: Nancy Hill, Executive Director
716 South Austin Avenue
Georgetown, TX 78626
Phone: 512-943-1670
Fax: 512-943-1672

Donor List

  • Anita Savage and Paul Baker
  • Carol Considine
  • Kay Hatterman
  • Joannie Danielides
  • Andrea Robisheaux
  • Rita Vallet
  • Heidi Evans and Josh Getlin
  • Phillip Terry and Mary Gilliland
  • Katherine Lawrence
  • Diane Jennings
  • Joanna and John Hampton
  • Loren Steffy
  • Christy Cummings Andres
  • Linda Linam
  • Linda Sikes
  • Lauren Silverman
  • Gary Pinkerton
  • Hedrich Michaelsen
  • John Bartlett
  • Calvin Smith
  • Yvonne Donaldson
  • Teresa Crawford
  • Karen Roberts
  • Georgie Zaidi
  • John Kiernan
  • Robin Matthews
  • Marilyn Fowler
  • Joana Moths-O’Neil
  • Kenneth Kosidio
  • Sandy Peck
  • Bill Zook and Debbie Bozeman-Zook
  • Marni and Jeff Francell
  • John Garrett
  • Joe and Laura Klein Plunkett
  • Claudia and Bruce Newman
  • Grace Glover
  • Gary Eubank
  • Monica Reeves and Gordon Hunter
  • Larry and Glenn Offutt
  • Linda Rennie and Germaine Kropilak
  • Jane Wallace
  • Dr. Gerald Hass
  • Anne Humes
  • Shellee Smith and Jim Dowling
  • Marty Holtman
  • Randall and Amy Hill
  • Lynn Boswell
  • Patricia Jones
  • Elizabeth Foy
  • Glass and Buttons Media
  • Trish Lopacki and Bob Waring
  • Harry Miller
  • B.A. and J.G. Cox
  • Michael Adler and Jeanne Athos Adler
  • Philip and Jean Houck
  • Mary Condon and Bob Ragan
  • Michael Hall and Eva Kush
  • James and Jennifer Moreland
  • Carrie Keith
  • Donald and Jill Wood
  • Chris and Sara McCaffrey
  • Nancy Hill
  • Sally Hamilton
  • Joyce Pearsall
  • Frederick and Peggy Morse
  • Jill Patton
  • Mark and Carol Schnatzmeyer
  • Sandy Bull
  • Jerry and Brenda Copeland
  • Robert and Debra McMillan
  • Sandy and Dudley Youman
  • Erin Powers
  • Ron Weiss
  • Andrea Fleischer
  • Ben Daniel
  • Trish and Ric Burnett
  • Ralph Russell
  • Bill Russell
  • F. Ferrell Davis
  • Mary L. Williamson
  • Karen Meyers
  • Molly Davidson
  • Mike Bentley
  • Jim Wieck
  • Kristin Terk Belt and Wheat Belt
  • Kay Parker
  • Tom Nuckols
  • Victoria Bowles
  • John Magers
  • John C. DePrez Jr.
  • Mary Leyendecker
  • Sylvia Gambardella
  • Patricia Remick
  • Caroline Humphries
  • Wes Ferguson
  • Lori Maloy
  • Richard Denney
  • Ann P Wood
  • Juan Palomo
  • Karla Henson
  • Debby and Kevin Rogers
  • Janice Reed
  • Cyndy and Bob Perkins
  • Dennis T. Fenwick
  • Rich Robertson
  • Christy Bednar
  • Bruce Nichols
  • Mary Jo Galindo
  • Heather Dykstra
  • Marvin H Gohlke Jr. and Dilana Gohlke
  • Carol Macaulay-Jameson
  • M.E. Walker
  • Marika Schoolar
  • George Leduc
  • Deborah Boisvert
  • Jay Roussel
  • Dr. Scott E. LePor
  • James Everett
  • Norma Minnis and Gary Gray
  • Tim Brown
  • Joyce Anthony
  • Shirlee J and Taylor Gandy
  • V. Joan Campbell
  • Doug Boyd
  • Karen Palmer
  • Celia Isbrecht
  • Barbara Canetti and Carlos Rios
  • Lisa and Neil Kieran
  • John C. Robinson, Jr.
  • Stoney Knoll Archaeological Supplies
  • Freda Heald
  • Laura Noe
  • Dennis Kearns
Photos of production team activities

The Gault Documentary Team

We are a team of seasoned professionals who enjoy collaborating on stories that matter. We pride ourselves on high production values and ethical storytelling. And we share a passion for this film.

Photos of production team activities

Director/ Producer/ Writer

Olive Talley is an award-winning producer, writer and journalist with a career that spans documentary filmmaking, network television and news reporting for newspapers, an international wire service and radio stations in Texas. Her first feature-length film, ALL RISE For the Good of the Children, premiered at the 2019 USA Film Festival in Dallas and was nominated for a Lone Star Emmy. Olive’s work in New York as a producer at Dateline NBC and ABC’s Prime Time Live! news magazine shows won two Emmy nominations, a National Headliner Award for Outstanding Network Documentary, a Du-Pont Columbia Award for Hurricane Katrina team coverage, and a CINE Golden Eagle Award. Her investigative reporting in radio and newspapers earned dozens of state and national awards, most notably a citation as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, a George Polk Award, and two Texas Headliner Awards. Her clients include various commercial and non-profit groups, including the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Olive also attended Harvard University on a Nieman Fellowship. She lives in Dallas.

olivetalley.com

Editor

J Hutton is an award-winning creative collaborator with a passion for telling stories that touch the heart and motivate the mind. He elevates storytelling by working closely with producers and directors to conceptualize visuals and storylines. He edited a series of mini documentaries for the Associated Press (What Can Be Saved: Living with Lions, Ghosts of the Past and Fight for Survival) that won a Webby Award in the documentary category. He was nominated for a Lone Star Emmy for ALL Rise For the Good of the Children, and he worked closely on a nationally syndicated documentary, Lube Job: How Louisiana Got Screwed with Emmy-winning photographer, Guy Hernandez. J has also edited music videos; marketing videos for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking; and educational videos for the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University. Corporate and commercial clients include Ford Motor Co., AT&T, Frito Lay, the Dallas Cowboys, Mazda, HP, NTT Data, Genoa Healthcare, Six Flags, and 7-Eleven, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. For four years, he edited the nationally syndicated news segment, An American Moment, hosted by James Earl Jones and Charles Kuralt, and various episodes for the television series, Small Business Today and Walker, Texas Ranger. J works with independent producers and agencies. He lives in Dallas.

Photos of production team activities

Directors of Photography/ Cinematographers

Matt Franklin has worked on every continent except Antarctica, primarily as a sports and documentary photographer. His coverage of the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Camera Work in Sports and two other Emmy nominations. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero for NBC sports, and more recently shot sports features throughout the US for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). His 25-year career includes cinematography featured on National Geographic programs and national newsmagazine shows, such as Dateline NBC, and reality-based programs. Matt is an athlete himself, once ranked as the third best amateur in the world in slalom skateboarding. He lives in Austin, TX.

Chris McCaffrey is an Emmy-Award-winning Director of Photography who has lived life behind and through the lens for 28 years. Chris has crisscrossed the globe filming everything from mounds of pasta in Bologna to mountaintop Cholitas in Bolivia, and just about everything in-between. Chris has a true love of documenting the world and the unique people and stories in it. His clients include: National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, History Channel, TLC, HGTV and national news organizations. He is based in San Antonio, TX.

Charlie Pearce is a freelance Cinematographer and Director of Photography based in Austin, TX. With over 10 years’ experience with many different types of photography and production roles, he specializes in long and short form narrative, documentary, and commercial cinematography centered around evocative imagery and a 'story first' mentality. Charlie has hung from cables and speeding cars to get compelling, dynamic shots. His clients include Yeti, Hilton, The Innocence Project, and various production companies.

charliepearcedp.com

Director of Still Photography

Kenneth Garrett is a renowned independent photographer specializing in Archaeology, Paleontology and ancient cultures worldwide. His editorial work has graced 14 covers of National Geographic Magazine and 60 articles, including a 1999 story that involved the Gault site; 15 books; and other magazines including Smithsonian, Air and Space, Archaeology, Fortune, Forbes, Time, Life, Audubon, National Wildlife and Natural History. Corporate clients include IBM, Marriott Corp., UNC Aviation and Starbucks Coffee. His imagery emphasizes sites of major discoveries worldwide. With an education and keen interest in the origins of civilization, Ken has formed long-standing relationships with the foremost authorities in the field of Egyptian, Mayan and Pre-Columbian archaeology, and Human Evolution. His work is currently featured in the National Geographic Tutankhamun and Cleopatra traveling exhibits and previously in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum in NY, the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, among others. Ken lives in Virginia.

KennethGarrett.com

Sound

Chris Montefiore — Plano-based freelance sound mixer with more than 25 years of extensive studio and field experience. Clients include: Dateline NBC, Fox News, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship, the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU, and numerous network, cable and reality shows.

Scott Snyder — Austin-based freelance sound mixer who has worked on many reality shows and feature films, including Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.

Scott Snyder on IMDB

Pablo Veliz — Founder of CineVeliz Media Group, a San Antonio-based production company. Pablo is an award-winning filmmaker himself, whose first feature premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

cineveliz.com/

First Assistant Camera/ Grip

Ryan Goodrich
Heather Grothues

Drone footage

Sean Zook
Chris McCaffrey

Website Design and Creation

Randall Hill
Frank Miller

hillcreativegroup.com

Website Hosting

Jim Wieck
Tim Roberts
Bobby Warren

wieck.com

Production Assistant/Researcher

Kate Costanza

Contact Info:

Olive Talley
otalley@att.net
214-435-0745

olivetalley.com