SAN ANTONIO – On July 22, 2016, the archaeological team that is conducting a study of the Alamo complex grounds discovered remains of an adobe brick wall approximately 58 cm (23 inches) below the flagstone surface, near the location where historians presume the west wall of the Alamo complex was built. The adobe is very fragile and is a type of material frequently associated with Spanish Colonial structures in the area. At this time, the archaeology team is analyzing the feature to determine its origin, date, and relationship to previous historic structures and to determine how this discovery impacts our understanding of the Alamo grounds and the development of the new Alamo master plan.
“This is an exciting discovery especially for a former school teacher and Texas history fan like myself,” said Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. “This archeological exploration of the area surrounding the Alamo will be a tremendous benefit as we develop a master plan for reimagining the Alamo. I am proud of the team of leading experts we have assembled to guide us through this historical process.”
“It’s thrilling to see our past literally emerging from the ground,” San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor said. “As we continue to learn more about the Alamo and prepare for our Tricentennial, it is so important that we build connections between our people and our past.”
Archaeologists are conducting a systematic archaeological study of the Alamo complex grounds, the first such study of its kind to be completed on the site. The purpose of the work is to determine the location of the structural limits of the compound’s walls and how the landscape of the site has shifted over time. In particular, the archaeologists hope to identify the exact location of the south and west walls of the Alamo. The archaeological team is led by Nesta Anderson, PhD, with Pape-Dawson Engineers. Dr. Anderson will work with City of San Antonio Archeologist Kay Hindes; Jake Ivey; Steve Tomka, PhD, Raba Kistner; Shawn Marceaux, PhD, Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas – San Antonio; and Mary Jo Galindo, PhD, Pape-Dawson Engineers.
The work is part of a larger effort to design a new master plan for the Alamo Complex and surrounding area, known as Reimagine the Alamo, that is led by the Texas General Land Office, the City of San Antonio and the Alamo Endowment. The archaeology work began July 20 and is expected to take approximately three to four weeks. It will involve periodic lane closures on Alamo Street and Houston Street. The archaeologists brief the public at 10:30 a.m. each day to explain what they are doing and answer questions from visitors. These briefings are broadcast live on the Reimagine the Alamo Facebook page.
The Alamo master plan also has a new website, ReimagineTheAlamo.org, as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages to help the public stay informed as discoveries are made and the master planning work progresses. There will also be a series of public engagement sessions, beginning with the first on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Stars at Night Ballroom.
Kelli Epp – 210-710-8048