Archaeological Investigations on the Grounds of the San Antonio State Hospital, Bexar County, Texas




Wigley, Sarah
Paige, Jonathan

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Center for Archaeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio


In May of 2022, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) staff conducted an archaeological survey with shovel testing and backhoe trenching in response to a request from Chesney Morales Partners, Inc. The survey documented three previously unrecorded sites (41BX2513, 41BX2514, and 41BX2515). In December of 2022, CAR staff conducted testing on two of these sites (41BX2513 and 41BX2515). The archaeological work was conducted in advance of development of a warehouse located on the grounds of the San Antonio State Hospital. As a state-owned property, the project requires review by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) under the Antiquities Code of Texas. CAR obtained Texas Antiquities Permit (TAP) Number 30605, issued to Sarah Wigley, Principal Investigator. Dr. Jonathan Paige served as the Project Archaeologist during the testing portion of the project. The project area encompassed 4.2 acres (1.7 ha.) in south-central San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Thirteen shovel tests, four backhoe trenches, and two test units were excavated. CAR initially recommended avoidance of impact to sites 41BX2513 and 41BX2515 on the basis of survey results. Site 41BX2514 was found to contain mixed historic and precontact deposits in highly disturbed contexts during the initial survey. No further work was recommended at this site, which was found to be ineligible for the inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL). Because construction plans proposed to impact sites 41BX2513 and 41BX2515, additional testing to make an eligibility determination was necessary. During testing, both sites were found to contain mixed precontact and historic deposits, and site 41BX2515 was found to be disturbed by utilities. No temporally diagnostic artifacts or cultural features were documented in either site. Both sites were recommended as not eligible for inclusion in the NRHP or for SAL designation. The THC concurred with the CAR’s recommendations. Following laboratory processing and analysis, selected items that were determined to have no remaining scientific value were discarded with the concurrence of Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) and the THC. All remaining artifacts collected and records generated during the course of this project are curated at the CAR as accession number 2674 in accordance with THC guidelines.



San Antonio State Hospital, archaeology, historical archaeology


Wigley, S. and J. Paige (2023). Archaeological Investigations on the Grounds of the San Antonio State Hospital, Bexar County, Texas. Archaeological Report, No. 501. Center for Archaeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio.