Archaeological Monitoring of the IKE Smart City Digital Kiosk Installations in Downtown San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Center for Archaeological Research (CAR), in response to a request from Orange Barrel Media/IKE Smart City, conducted archaeological monitoring of excavations associated with the installation of five digital kiosks in downtown San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The project areas are located on property owned by the City of San Antonio (COSA) and therefore, subject to regulatory review. At the municipal level, the project falls under the COSA Unified Development Code (Article 6 35-630 to 35-634). The project also required review by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) under the Antiquities Code of Texas, and the archaeological monitoring was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8539. Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux was the original Principal Investigator for the project; however, after his departure from CAR, Leonard Kemp assumed the role of Principal Investigator. JosÃ© E. Zapata served as Project Archaeologist. The principal goal of the project was to monitor for cultural resources in an Area of Potential Effect (APE) that included five sidewalk locations in downtown San Antonio. Four of the five kiosk locations were along East Houston Street between Soledad Street and Losoya Street. The fifth was on East Market Street in front of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. These kiosk locations fell within the Alamo Plaza Historic District, the San Antonio Downtown and River Walk Historic District, and the Hemisfair Park Historic District. There are 18 previously recorded archaeological sites within 200 m (656.2 ft.) of the East Houston Street locations, and 11 previously recorded archaeological sites within 200 m (656.2 ft.) of the East Market Street location (THC 2020). These include evidence of the earliest Spanish Colonial settlements in Central Texas. Therefore, any excavations in the APE that result in ground disturbing impacts need to be monitored to ensure that they do not negatively impact significant cultural deposits. The work was recurrent and completed between September 2018 and September 2019. The installation required the removal of brick pavers and sections of concrete sidewalk. CAR archaeologists monitored the mechanical and hand excavations for the kiosk foundation areas and associated trenches in four of the five areas. CAR did not monitor the installation of Kiosk 4 because the contractor used an existing concrete support. The total area of the four monitored locations was less than 81 m2 (0.02 acres). The results of the monitoring activities were negative. No prehistoric or historic cultural material or features were identified, and the kiosk installations were completed as planned. CAR recommends that no additional action is required. The THC and COSA-OHP concur with CARâ€™s recommendations, and work can continue where no cultural materials are present. However, if buried cultural materials are encountered during construction or disturbance activities, work should cease in the immediate area, and the THC and COSA-OHP should be contacted to consult on further actions that might be necessary to protect the cultural remains. All project related material, including the final report, are permanently stored at the CAR facilities in accession file number 2258.