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Alamo archaeology team discovers adobe brick wall

Special to the Courier

On Friday, July 22, an archaeological team conducting a study of the Alamo complex grounds discovered remains of an adobe brick wall approximately 23 inches below the flagstone surface, near the location where historians presume the west wall of the Alamo complex was built.
The adobe is very fragile and is a type of material frequently associated with Spanish Colonial structures in the area. At this time, the archaeology team is analyzing the feature to determine its origin, date, and relationship to previous historic structures. They also hope to determine how this discovery impacts current understanding of the Alamo grounds and development of the new Alamo master plan.
“This is an exciting discovery, especially for a former school teacher and Texas history fan like myself,” said Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. “This archeological exploration of the area surrounding the Alamo will be a tremendous benefit as we develop a master plan for reimagining the Alamo. I am proud of the team of leading experts we have assembled to guide us through this historical process.”
San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor offered, “It’s thrilling to see our past literally emerging from the ground. As we continue to learn more about the Alamo and prepare for our Tricentennial, it is so important that we build connections between our people and our past.”
Check out the Reimagine the Alamo Facebook page for archive videos of the daily briefings and tune in live weekday mornings at 10:30 am for the latest news.
Archaeologists are conducting a systematic archaeological study of the Alamo complex grounds – the first such study of its kind to be completed on the site. The work will be used to determine the location of the structural limits of the compound’s walls and how the landscape of the site has shifted over time.
In particular, archaeologists hope to identify the exact location of the south and west walls of the Alamo. The archaeological team is led by Nesta Anderson, PhD, with Pape-Dawson Engineers. Anderson will work with City of San Antonio Archeologist Kay Hindes; Jake Ivey; Steve Tomka, PhD, Raba Kistner; Shawn Marceaux, PhD, Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas – San Antonio; and Mary Jo Galindo, PhD, Pape-Dawson Engineers.
The work is part of a larger effort to design a new master plan for the Alamo Complex and surrounding area, known as Reimagine the Alamo, that is led by the Texas General Land Office, the City of San Antonio and the Alamo Endowment. The archaeology work began July 20 and is expected to take approximately three to four weeks. It will involve periodic lane closures on Alamo Street and Houston Street.
The Alamo master plan also has a new website, ReimagineTheAlamo.org, as well as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages to help the public stay informed as discoveries are made and the master planning work progresses.