Heritage, Volume 15, Number 1, Winter 1997 Page: 7
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
EXCAVATIONS IN ALAMO PLAZA IN fRONT Of THE CHURCH
HAVE fOUND AND REORDED fORTIlCATION TRENCHES fROM
THE BATTLE, AS WELL AS ONFIRMED THE LOCATION OF THE
MAIN GATE Of THE HISTORIC MISSION.
only a tourist attraction but a big preservation
problem. Archaeology has been an
important aspect of the ongoing work of
stabilization and preservation at all of the
missions. Since the WPA restorations in
the 1930s and 1940s did not have the
advantage of archaeological investigations,
archaeologists are much in demand for
consultation on any alterations necessary
on the grounds today. Archaeologists need
help in finding walls long buried from early
phases of mission building. In addition,
help is needed for doing accurate repairs
and conservation of standing buildings.
Mission San Antonio de Valero, in addition
to being a historic mission site, was
also the location of the battle of the Alamo.
Although the reputation forbeing the battle
site tends to overshadow the mission his
tory, the same problems
exist there as at
the other missions as
a result of intensive
visitation by tourists.
worked with restoration
architects to protect
buildings from further
well as to reconstruct
portions of the entire
history of the site that
had never been recorded.
Alamo Plaza in front
of the church have
fortification trenches from the
battle, as well as confirming
the location of the main gate
of the mission. The details of
construction of a palisade wall
in this area have also been
revealed by archaeology. In
1995 archaeologists aided in
a project to test a method of
fighting rising dampness in
the walls. Trenches were excavated
by the archaeologists
on either side of one section
of the wall to a point just
below the top of the foundation,
in order to allow the
insertion of horizontal stainless
steel sheets at the base of
the wall as a moisture barrier.
If this method proves successful,
consideration will be
given to continuing the same
process around the entire
building. In addition to the
trenching, mortar samples were taken to
aid in determination of which wall sections
were colonial and which were added later
by the U.S. Army, and the location and
description were recorded of a police substation
that once stood outside the church
The original San Antonio settlement
consisted of two plazas separated by a
church. One plaza was occupied by the
military, the other by the civilian population.
For many years, the people of San
Antonio firmly believed that this entire
area had been totally disturbed by later
construction. When archaeologists argued
against this idea and began investigations
here and there where new construction was
to be initiated, it became apparent that a
great deal of information was still present
below the surface of the ground. Wherever
later builders did not construct basements,
it was discovered that old foundations,
trash pits, wells, and privy pits were still
there. Information recovered from these
Photographs on this page: At left, archaeologists at work on the exterior of the Alamo. Top:
Archaeologists excavating within the Alamo in 1995. Photographs by Barbara Meissner,
Center for Archaeological Research, UTSA.
HERITAGE * WINTER 1997 7
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 15, Number 1, Winter 1997, periodical, Winter 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45400/m1/7/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.