In early May 1981, the Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio conducted test excavations at Mission de la Espada. In an area north of the church, planned for future parking, three test units were excavated to determine the soil stratification and whether construction would impact architectural or cultural features. No indications of such features was found. In an area outside the east wall, where apparent wall foundations appear in aerial photographs, testing revealed that all but a few traces of a structure built in the early 1900s have since been removed.
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