This took place in 1535, a relatively recent date for a record of indigenous populations, particularly considering that the earliest evidence we have on hand so far of an occupied Texas rolls us back about another 20,000 or more years. The European settlers and pioneers already residing in Texas during its transformation to statehood may have considered themselves the first true Texans in name but the territory surrounding them had already been populated for millennia. Archeologists continue to search for and study material clues of these first Texans such as discarded stone tools, cookfire remnants, traces of long-gone houses, plant and animal food remains, and artwork painted or incised on rock shelter walls. In the absence of written records, these material clues are all that remain to shed light on the prehistory of the peoples occupying Texas territory before the 16th century. More recent history, however, is more thorough thanks to the descendants of Native tribes like the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Alabama-Coushatta, Caddo, and Tigua, who can recall their heritage in oral histories and traditions. Traditions that are enriched by the journals of de Vaca and other explorers, as well as ethnographers and anthropologists. Emerging archeological evidence, in fact, places the earliest known human inhabitants in North America right here in Texas. Depending on how we look at it, the term "Native Texan" takes on a whole new meaning.