Archaeological investigations at Mission Concepción and Mission Parkway
In September 1980, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) entered into a contract (No. CX702900023) with the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct archaeological studies at Mission Concepcion (41BX12). The studies would be designed to replot the original outline of the mission pueblo, to find the location of the mission granary, and to make an assessment of the state of preservation of the Indian quarters along the walls of the pueblo, all with minimum possible disturbance. Preliminary research began in October 1980. During this phase, CAR located deed records and surveyor's notes dating from the 1820s through the 1880s in the Bexar County Courthouse which gave what appeared to be a reasonably accurate outline of the mission pueblo and the location of the granary. Subsequent fieldwork began in December 1980. Over a period of 85 working days, fieldwork confirmed the results of the preliminary research. Excavations showed that the foundations of the east wall of the pueblo were well preserved, with the associated living surfaces of the Indian quarters still relatively undisturbed for much of its length. Portions of the north wall and its Indian quarters were equally well preserved. Occasional traces of the west and south walls were also found in a field which had been scraped smooth by a bulldozer some years ago. The granary foundations and those of several adjoining rooms, located in the process of positive identification of the granary, were in good condition in the ground, but most of their associated floor surfaces had been disturbed. In several areas beneath the stone foundations of the final form of Mission Concepcion, adobe walls of the first permanent mission buildings on the site were found. One of these structures appeared to be the first mission church of Concepcion. Test excavations within the outlines of the building revealed seven burials beneath its floors. As a result of the documents research, the original line of Mission Road was determined. This information is valuable in re-routing Mission Road around the remains of Mission Concepcion. An amendment to the above contract necessitated archaeological survey of a number of specific areas within the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Four proposed development areas in the immediate vicinity of the missions were surveyed. Twenty-two remote-sensing anomalies were examined and, where possible, were identified and/or explained. In addition, three large park areas were surveyed. Seven recorded historic and prehistoric sites and buildings were re-examined and their importance assessed. Four new archaeological sites were recorded.