Archeological investigations at Mission Espíritu Santo (41GD1), Goliad County, Texas




Ulrich, Kristi M.
Figueroa, Antonia L.
Thompson, Jennifer L.
Fox, Anne A.
Hunziker, Johanna M.
Tomka, Steve A.
Munoz, Cynthia M.

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Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio


Excavations were carried out at Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zuñiga (41GD1) in November of 2004 and February of 2005 by the Center for Archaeological Research of The University of Texas at San Antonio under contract with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The work was conducted in advance of the planned construction of a French drain system. Shovel tests, 1-x-1-meter test units, and controlled backhoe trenches were used to explore areas that would be impacted by the proposed drainage system along the northern walls of the chapel and museum (granary) and across the center of the courtyard. Based on the findings of the shovel tests, test units, and trenching, three areas with significant deposits were identified. The first area is associated with a probable midden deposit located in the northwest section of the mission, the second is located along the northern wall of the granary (museum), adjacent to the priest’s quarters, while the third consists of two colonial-period features located west of the present-day workshop. Although at the start of the fieldwork it was assumed that no intact cultural deposits survived within the courtyard of the mission, the excavations revealed that selected areas do retain intact colonial-age deposits with significant research potential. These areas should be more fully delimited and explored as future opportunities for their investigations arise. The fieldwork was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 3593 with Antonia Figueroa and Jennifer Thompson serving as co-Principal Investigators. All artifacts collected were processed in the Center for Archaeological Researchlaboratory and transferred to Texas Parks and Wildlife for permanent curation.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, archaeological surveying, excavations, Espíritu Santo de Zuñiga Site, Goliad County, drainage system, shovel tests, backhoe trenches