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Intensive Pedestrian Archaeological Survey of the Lower Segment of San Pedro Creek, South Alamo Street to the Apache-Alazán Creek Confluence, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc. was contracted by Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc., on behalf of the San Antonio River Authority, to perform an intensive archaeological pedestrian survey of the Lower Segment of San Pedro Creek. The northern boundary of the project area is the South Alamo Street Bridge, and the southern boundary is the confluence with Apache-Alazán Creek. The project area consisted of a 70- ft wide corridor along the center-line of San Pedro Creek. The field investigations were conducted over the course of three days in June of 2014. These days were preceded by several days of archival investigations to assess the types and degree of historic impacts within the project area. The fieldwork was followed by additional historic investigations and the analysis of the materials recovered and the consideration of recommendations associated with the planned project. The pedestrian survey was conducted under Texas Antiquities Committee permit number 6913, issued to Dr. Steve A. Tomka, who served as the Principal Investigator. Currently the project does not fall under the jurisdiction of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, although, proposed improvements may cause it to come under the regulations in the future. Kristi Miller Nichols served as Project Archaeologist. The field crew consisted of Chris Murray and Mark Luzmoor.
As part of the project, a 100 percent intensive pedestrian survey of the Area of Potential Effect (APE) was conducted by Raba Kistner archaeologists. A total of fourteen shovel tests were excavated along the creek banks. The shovel tests encountered modern materials mixed with some potentially historic artifacts. Common items encountered included glass, plastic, and metal fragments. A total of three backhoe trenches were excavated in selected areas to search for deeply buried deposits along the bank, and to confirm the extensive disturbances within the APE.
No significant cultural deposits were encountered during the course of the project. The shovel testing and backhoe trenching reveal extensive disturbances along the creek bank due to channelization and industrial activities that bordered San Pedro Creek spatially during the first half of the 20th century. Given the extent of disturbances within the APE and the lack of intact prehistoric or historic cultural deposits noted during the survey, RKEI suggests that the planned project will not impact significant buried cultural deposits within its APE. However, because the actual extent of impacts, their specific locations, their depth and their spatial extent is not known at this time, it is recommended that if extensive below ground excavations are needed to accomplish the goals of the project, archaeological monitors be available during construction. Monitoring should take place any time subsurface disturbances exceed 3-feet below the modern surface. San Pedro Springs and the creek which it forms have played a significant role in the region both prehistorically and historically and it is likely that pockets of significant undisturbed deposits may be present in the APE, even if they were not encountered during this survey.
All curated materials, as well as all project related documents, will be temporarily housed at the RKEI Laboratory until permanently transferred to the curation facility at the University of Texas at San Antonio-Center for Archaeological Research, upon the acceptance of this draft final technical report.
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