Center for Archaeological Research
Archaeological investigations were conducted at Old Ursuline Academy (41 BX 235), presently the Southwest Craft Center, during the month of October, 1975. This work was necessitated by planned renovations to the dormitory building, one of the complex of nineteenth century buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Figs. 1, 2).
The nature of the renovation would consist of excavating below the present floor of the dormitory basement so that air conditioning ducts and blower units might be installed; transformation of this basement from a storage place into a series of functional rooms and galleries; construction of a new entryway into the basement from the south (Figs. 2, 3); and the construction of a French drain along the south side of the dormitory to prevent flooding of the basement area (Fig. 2).
Archaeological excavation units were located in those areas to be most severely disturbed by construction activities: two units in the dormitory basement and three units in the courtyard close to the south wall of the dormitory (Fig. 2). Preliminary analysis of the excavation data showed significant parallels with the 1974 Texas Historical Commission investigations (Clark 1974), permitting a clearance letter to be written almost immediately. Subsequent detailed analyses led to the postulation of a number of activity patterns and foci, with the conclusion that the dormitory courtyard portion of the site can provide a degree of scientific and historic data far in excess of the space that it occupies relative to the rest of the site.
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