In October 1996, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of The University of Texas at San Antonio completed archaeological investigations of the eastern portion of the interior compound of Mission San Francisco de la Espada. The archaeological testing was undertaken in advance of the construction of a movie set in the New Plaza of the mission. The staging involved setting up approximately 100 tents, using eight-inch stakes driven about six inches into the ground. Twenty-six shovel tests were excavated across the plaza to locate any culturally sensitive areas which might be affected by the movie set.
Pre-1780 material from the investigated portion of the New Plaza may be earlier trash deposits placed outside of what was then the interior of the compound. A concentration of post-Colonial ceramics in the southern portion of the mission may reflect habitation sites along the south wall throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The results of the shovel testing suggest that the northern portion of the New Plaza may contain intact Spanish colonial deposits. However, 6 to 12 inches of fIll are currently being added to this portion of the plaza as part of a separate drainage improvement project at the mission. We recommend, therefore, that the northern area be avoided, either entirely or until land modification has been completed. The proposed disturbances will have no effect on Colonial deposits elsewhere in the plaza, and work should be allowed to continue in those areas.
Gross, Kevin J.
"Archaeological Testing of the New Plaza at Mission San Francisco de la Espada (41BX4), San Antonio, Texas,"
Index of Texas Archaeology: Open Access Gray Literature from the Lone Star State: Vol. 1997
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/ita/vol1997/iss1/4
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