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Archaeology at the Alamodome: Investigations of a San Antonio Neighborhood in Transition, Volume III: Artifact and Special Studies
Center for Archaeological Research
On March 15, 1990, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) of The University of Texas at San Antonio entered into a contract with the City of San Antonio's Multipurpose Domed Stadium Development Advisory Committee and Via Metropolitan Transit Authority to undertake cultural resource investigations of a 17-square-block (65 acre) area in downtown San Antonio, Texas (Figure F-l).
From mid-March to early July 1990, and periodically thereafter, intensive archival and historical research on the entire project area was carried out by CAR staff members. Architectural recording and assessment of all standing buildings was done by Andrew Perez and Associates. Thirteen oral history interviews with residents, former residents, and officers and employees of business establishments in the general area were recorded and transcribed by E. L. Fly and Associates. This was the first phase of a multiple-phase Figure F-l. Alamodome Project area. Vlll project that also included archaeological test excavations during 1991 and 1992 to verify or identify the locations of sites and features within the project area, and detailed investigations of a selected sample of those sites and features. The project was conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee permit numbers 900, 932, and 982. The artifacts recovered from the investigations were processed, cataloged, and sorted into categories for identification and analysis. Then followed over a year of intensive study of the products of the research and excavations.
Because of the tremendous scope of the archaeological work and the associated analysis and write-up, the results of the Alamodome Project are presented in three volumes. Volume I contains the background research results, including chapters on the historical setting, the architecture present before demolition was begun, the oral history, a study of the African-American community, and a summary of the structural evolution of the area. Volume n contains a complete description of the archaeological excavations and a distributional analysis of the results, written by the archaeologist who was in charge of the field work on the project. Included are numerous maps, drawings, and photographs of the work in progress. Also included in Volume n are a study of the site formation processes, undertaken by Kevin Gross, and a geomorphic description of the project area, by Michael Collins.
This volume, the last of the series, is comprised of individual reports on the description and analysis of various types of arifactual materials recovered during the project, including ceramics, glass, kitchen and tablewares, dolls and toys, marbles, clothing and personal items, and building materials. Also included in this volume are descriptions and discussions of excavated wells, cisterns, acequias, and privies, and an analysis of the faunal materials.
The temporal scope of these studies is the l00-year period from 1850 to 1950. This time frame encompasses the period directly after the end of SpanishlMexican control and the gradual rise of Anglo/German control of the local economy and sociopolitical structure. It is also the time during which the first wave of the Industrial Revolution arrived in Texas, seriously impacting the history of San Antonio. One goal of the project was to study this impact on the economic and cultural life of one small sector of the city.
Scope of Volume III
This volume presents the results of research by CAR staff members into the developmental history of the numerous types of artifacts used to analyze and date deposits on the archaeological sites investigated during the Alamodome Project. Comparatively little research has been done on artifacts of the post-1900 period in Texas. Authors have spent hours of patient research in sometimes obscure publications and long distance phone calls to chase down and interview manufacturers wherever possible. We hope this volume will be a resource to others doing the same sort of research. As the years pass and 1900 recedes farther into the past, more and more archaeologists and historians will be looking for this sort of information.
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