Archaeological Investigations and Construction Monitoring at the Bexar County Justice Center Expansion Project, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
In March and April of 2008, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), conducted archaeological investigations for the Bexar County Justice Center Expansion Project located in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The expansion project involved the construction of a large building to the south of the current Bexar County Justice Center. The goal of the archaeological investigations was to document the San Pedro Acequia (41BX337) and any other historical properties that might be present in the project area. To achieve this goal, nineteen shovel tests and eight backhoe trenches were excavated. In the western portion of the Bexar Justice Center parking lot, the CAR crew uncovered nine architectural features that were designated as site 41BX1775, along with a portion of the San Pedro Acequia (41BX337). The portion of the acequia that was revealed during the current investigation has been disturbed by subsequent construction. The eastern portion of the project area had been previously investigated by Fox et al., (1989). During those investigations, a portion of the San Pedro Acequia was documented as well as three archaeological sites. Of these three archaeological sites, 41BX334 and 41BX336 were designated as State Archaeological Landmarks (SAL). The current investigation on the eastern fringes of the parking lot concluded that the kitchen structure associated with State Archaeological Landmark (SAL) 41BX334 has been disturbed. CAR recommended that further archaeological investigations are not warranted for the western portion of the APE, or for the northern portion of the eastern section, to the north of SAL's 41BX334 and 41BX335. However, the THC recommended archaeological monitoring during the phases of the construction to assure that SAL's 41BX334 and 41BX335 were not impacted. Moreover, monitoring was also recommended to ensure that no unique portions of the acequia were demolished without proper documentation. Subsequently, the monitoring of various construction activities was carried out between the fall of 2008 and November 2010. The archaeological investigations and construction monitoring were conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee Permit No. 4853 with Raymond P. Mauldin serving as the Principal Investigator. All collected artifacts and project associated documentation are permanently curated at the Center for Archaeological Research.