The 2006 UTSA Field School at Mission San Antonio de Valero (41BX6), the Alamo, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
The Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the Texas General Land Office (GLO), and the Alamo Complex Management collaborated to finalize this study of Mission San Antonio de Valero (41BX6), also known as the Alamo. The study was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4194, with Dr. Raymond Mauldin serving as Principal Investigator. Dr. Steve Tomka was the original principal investigator on the project. In February 2006, the UTSA-Department of Anthropology’s Center for Archaeological Research approached several agencies regarding the possibility of hosting the 2006 Archaeology Summer Field School. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), at that time custodians of the Alamo for the State of Texas, expressed immediate interest. Following the initial contacts, the CAR’s representatives met with David Stewart of the Alamo and Carolyn Peterson of Ford, Powell and Carson, Architects. Ford, Powell and Carson had been hired by the DRT to develop a Master Plan that would outline the direction of future developments within the Alamo Compound. The goal of the meeting was to identify areas of the compound that were to be impacted by short- and long-term improvements within the boundaries of the compound. Since archaeological testing would be required in advance of such disturbances and given the availability of UTSA-Department of Anthropology students and staff during the summer, it was agreed that areas be selected based on Areas of Potential Effect (APE). Area 1 was located along the east end of the north wall. Area 2 was located at an interior corner along the south edge of the Long Barrack. Area 3 was located along the east wall of the Convento Courtyard. In summary, the areas investigated reflect portions of the compound that had been slated for impacts during future improvements to the compound, as identified within the Alamo Master Plan Report (Ford, Powell and Carson 2011). The five-week field school was carried out from July 12 through August 7, 2006. A total of 10 units were excavated, and only 3 of these had intact Spanish Colonial deposits. Two features were located and recorded at the north wall, with no other features noted in the other two areas. The two features were likely trash pits or middens and were found in association with Spanish Colonial deposits. The investigations at Mission San Antonio de Valero (41BX6) accomplished two principal goals: 1) the collection of additional information concerning the construction and use of the structures and grounds at Mission San Antonio de Valero; and 2) it served as a training ground for the development of aspiring archaeologists under the supervision of professional staff.