Center for Archaeological Research
The following report is the result of two projects completed by the Center for Archaeological Research, of The University of Texas at San Antonio for San Francisco de la Espada/Catholic Diocese of San Antonio and J. T. Michel, Inc., under Texas Historical Commission Permit Number 2076. The investigations were conducted at Mission San Francisco de la Espada, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas (41BX4).
The initial investigation was conducted in November 1998, prior to the planned installation of electrical lines along the southwest corner of the Convento (complex of structures grouped around a patio area), while the additional excavations of July and August 1999, were conducted to coincide with restoration work being conducted on the Chapel and Priest Quarters. Additional investigations were also conducted in July and August 1999, along the southern-most walls of the Priest Quarters prior to the installation of new foundation piers and beams designed to stabilize the existing wall foundations. The excavations affected the exterior walls of the Convento; an area 1 m wide by 1 m deep, and 25.2 m long. The monitoring portion conducted in October and November 1999, focused on unexcavated areas along walls that were exposed during the stabilization work. During the course of the investigations exposed foundations and features were documented, with specific attention to mode of construction and condition. The excavations resulted in the recovery of a variety of Colonial and post-Colonial artifacts including ceramics, lithics, glass, metal, and animal bone. These excavations which supplied the opportunity for the recovery of valuable cultural data, also revealed noticeable differences in wall foundation construction and reconstruction, which strongly suggest at least two distinct construction sequences.
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