CRHR: Archaeology

Ground-Truthing Excavations at Los Adaes (16NA16) May, 2010

George Avery, Stephen F Austin State University


In May 2010, Stephen F. Austin State University—funded by the Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL)—conducted excavations at Los Adaes State Historic Site (16NA16) to ground-truth the results of a geophysical survey of the presidio area of the site conducted by ERDC CERL and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) in May 2009. The geophysical investigation was a component of a 5-year study funded by the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP). Los Adaes State Historic Site was that project’s demonstration site. This monograph focuses solely on the results of ground-truthing excavations which included the hand excavation of fifteen square meters (fourteen 1x1 and two 0.5x1.0 m units) targeted on carefully selected geophysical anomalies. The anomalies selected for excavation represent suspected historic archaeological features or other deposits of special interest, including wall trenches and other features of the palisade wall of the presidio and structural elements related to interior buildings. For the most part, anomalies documented by the geophysical survey were verified by the field excavations. The wall trench of portions of the eastern and southern palisade were clearly identified by the excavations, and wall sections and interior features of several interior structures documented by the geophysical survey were also verified by the ground-truthing excavations. All artifacts and associated records will be curated with the Louisiana Division Archaeology.