Texas Historical Commission


In the summer and fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted monitoring and testing at Mission San Francisco de la Espada. Archaeological investigations were conducted in the parking lot north of the chapel (Area 1) and west of the Priests’ Quarters/Convento (Area 2). Two other areas were investigated directly in front of the church (Area 3) and north of the parking lot in the mission plaza (Area 4). Archaeological work was associated with the installation of 39 bollards and improvements in the parking lot. Additional work included replacing plumbing utilities west of the Priests’ Quarters/Convento and a minimal amount of work performed north of the parking lot in the mission plaza.

In the parking lot area, Spanish Colonial period materials were recovered, and the highest density of artifacts was in the southern portion of the parking lot. Subsequent scraping of the parking lot revealed Feature 1, associated with the Spanish Colonial period. During work west of the Priests’ Quarters/Convento, six features were encountered. Features 2 and 3 may define an exterior room. Feature 6 appears to be the remnants of a Spanish Colonial midden. Further work was not recommended for the current project, but Areas 1 and 2 should be investigated further if future work is conducted. The archaeological work was performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 6928, with Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux serving as the Principal Investigator and Antonia L. Figueroa functioning as the Project Archaeologist.

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