Archaeological Monitoring for the Construction of the IKE Smart City Kiosk at Mission Concepción, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
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The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) was contracted by IKE Smart City to monitor excavation for an interactive kiosk and infrastructure on the grounds of Mission Concepciόn (41BX12). The work was conducted on September 25, 28, and October 1, 2018. Mission Concepciόn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), is a State Antiquities Landmark, is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, and is located within a National Register District. It is a component of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and is co-administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The mission’s listing on the NRHP required professional archaeological investigation prior to any ground disturbing construction. The project did not require a Permit for Archeological Investigations as mandated by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 because it fell under the national agreement between the NPS and the Texas Historical Commission and complied with the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment process. Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux served as Principal Investigator, and Leonard Kemp served as the Project Archaeologist. The Area of Potential Effect (APE) is located adjacent to and connects to the visitor contact station on the southeast portion of the Mission Concepciόn grounds. The APE is composed of two areas: the first is the concrete foundation for the kiosk encompassing 8.27 m2 (27.1 square ft.), and the second is the approximately 23 m (75.4 ft.) trench for an electric conduit running from the visitor station to the kiosk. While only a few artifacts were recovered from the backfill of the trench, the foundation excavation revealed an intact Spanish Colonial-era sheet midden. The midden encompasses the footprint of the foundation and extends into the wall of it. It is approximately 20 cm (7.8 in.) below the grade of the adjacent sidewalk. Artifacts associated with the midden include ceramic fragments (Goliad ware and Yellow and Glaze II types), faunal bone, mortar, and charcoal. CAR recommends that any future ground-disturbing activities within or near this portion of the APE be archaeologically monitored. However, if the scope of future work is extensive, it may be prudent to scrape the soil overburden and excavate test units to determine the full extent and composition of the sheet midden.
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