Center for Archaeological Research




Excavations were carried out at Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zuñiga (41GD1) in November of 2004 and February of 2005 by the Center for Archaeological Research of The University of Texas at San Antonio under contract with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The work was conducted in advance of the planned construction of a French drain system. Shovel tests, 1-x-1-meter test units, and controlled backhoe trenches were used to explore areas that would be impacted by the proposed drainage system along the northern walls of the chapel and museum (granary) and across the center of the courtyard. Based on the findings of the shovel tests, test units, and trenching, three areas with significant deposits were identified. The first area is associated with a probable midden deposit located in the northwest section of the mission, the second is located along the northern wall of the granary (museum), adjacent to the priest’s quarters, while the third consists of two colonial-period features located west of the presentday workshop. Although at the start of the fieldwork it was assumed that no intact cultural deposits survived within the courtyard of the mission, the excavations revealed that selected areas do retain intact colonial-age deposits with significant research potential. These areas should be more fully delimited and explored as future opportunities for their investigations arise.

The fieldwork was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 3593 with Antonia Figueroa and Jennifer Thompson serving as co-Principal Investigators. All artifacts collected were processed in the Center for Archaeological Research laboratory and transferred to Texas Parks and Wildlife for permanent curation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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