July 24, 2016

Archaeologists Reveal Probable Sites Of Two Missions That Predate The Alamo


My first stop on my first visit to the USA was San Antonio.
So much to see and do there! Knowing a little about the history of the town was an enormous asset. I doubt there are many people who haven't heard of Davey Crockett, Jim Bowie and Col.William Travis.
Archaeologists are revealing the location of the site where they believe San Antonio's first mission once stood, saying the Alamo had two predecessors.
"There were three locations of Mission San Antonio de Valero," said Kay Hindes, city archaeologist.
She says the first site is likely somewhere near the Christopher Columbus Italian Society near I-10 and I-35. It was founded in 1718.
"They were only here about a year, so it was a very short-lived site," she said.
It's unclear why the mission was moved, possibly to the La Villita area. A hurricane hit in 1724, and then came the Alamo.
"Most people don't realize there are three locations," Hindes said. "Mission San Jose also had three locations."
Hindes recovered artifacts, including pottery, beads and nails, not far from the Italian Society. Some of the items were buried, but she saw others that were on the ground, eroding but visible 300 years later.
"I looked down and started seeing the metal and I literally, really, I just had to sit down on the ground," she said, "because I was like 'This is too incredible.'"
Councilman Roberto Treviño was working on an architectural project in the area when he got involved with the effort to unearth the history.
"This is historic for the Italian buildings that are here," he said, "but underneath that is the original San Antonio de Valero. That's an extra layer of history."
Treviño added historians have been searching for the site for a hundred years.
"People traveled thousands of miles from central Mexico up here, by foot, by the way, to find the site, to establish the site," he said.
Hindes said the artifacts date to the correct time period, and written records as well as topography point to the Italian Society as being the location of the Alamo's predecessor.
"We don't know for sure, but we hypothesize that probably they would have put the mission at the highest point," Hindes said.
Treviño said a plaque at the Alamo states the mission was founded in 1718, rather than 1724. "It's actually incorrect, but we're setting the record straight."
By Michael Locklear
With many thanks to News4San Antonio


Archaeologists make 'exciting' discovery in Alamo dig 

Archaeologists digging at the Alamo have discovered an adobe wall that may provide clues to the famous site’s Spanish Colonial history.

The wall, which is about 23 inches below the flagstone surface of San Antonio's Alamo Plaza, was discovered Friday near where historians think the west wall of the complex was built. Experts are working to locate the compound’s original walls.

The location of the famous battle of the Alamo in 1836, the site was first established as a Spanish mission in 1744.

“Last week we very excited to discover we found the remnants of an old adobe brick wall,” explained Nesta Anderson, the dig’s lead investigator and senior archaeologist at Pape-Dawson Engineers, in a press conference Monday. “In the ground, we can see clearly, bricks stacked next to each other, they are made of adobe, so they are very fragile.”

The adobe is a type of material traditionally associated with Spanish Colonial structures in the area, according to experts.

At this stage, however, it is not clear whether the bricks are from the Alamo’s west wall or from another structure on the UNESCO World Heritage site. While the bricks may be from an outer wall of the compound, they may also be from the rooms where Native Americans lived outside the wall, Anderson said.

“We have still got a little bit to determine whether it’s an interior or an exterior wall – because we now have some evidence we really want to focus on chasing that evidence out,” she explained. “We will look to archival research, as well as altering, possibly, our digging – because we have got something from the Spanish Colonial period we know we’re digging in the right place at the right time.”

The three-to-four-week dig, which may encompass three locations in Alamo Plaza, began July 20 as part of ‘Reimagine the Alamo’, a project to develop a new master plan for the site and its surrounding area.

Initially, archaeologists had a tough time identifying the adobe wall, which is located just south of the Crockett building on Alamo St. “We’re not talking about solid bricks, just to be clear, this is almost a soil stain, if you will,” Anderson explained. “It’s a difference in color in the soil – these bricks are made of mud, so they are very sensitive to weather.”

Nonetheless, the bricks could offer vital clues to the Alamo’s history. “Depending on how many courses of brick, they might tell us a bit about the architecture that was used,” Anderson said.

The archaeologist told FoxNews.com that there is plenty left to discover at the Alamo site. 

"We don't know as much as we thought we did from an archaeological perspective," she said. "There have been archaeological digs at the site from the 70s onwards, but they have just been snapshots."

By James Rogers
With many thanks to FoxNews


Texas Rising

More related posts:

Stonehenge: A Breakthrough In An Age-old Mystery?

Chauvet Cave Paintings: Cave Women Left Their Artistic Mark

Colossal Pharaoh Statues of Amenhotep III Found in Egypt’s Temple City Luxor

Lost City of Heracleion Gives Up Its Secrets

Shilling Discovery 'Could' Rewrite Canadian History

Fake Pharaoh: Tutankhamun Replica To Safeguard Original Tomb

10,000-year-old House Uncovered Outside Of Jerusalem

Great Zimbabwe

Rock-hewn Tombs From Ancient Egypt Discovered In Aswan

Europe's Oldest Human Footprints Found: 900,000 Year-old Norfolk Footprints 'Definitely Human”

First Pharaoh Ruled Ancient Egypt Earlier Than First Thought  

The Antikythera Mechanism - The World's Oldest Known Computer

Archaeologists Digging Up Cecile B DeMille's Movie Treasures

The Lost Technology of Ancient Egyptians

The Elgin Marbles - A Continuing Controversy

Zeugma: 2,000-Year-Old Mosaics Uncovered In Turkey
Five Lost Cities

China's Lost Civilization: The Mystery Of Sanxingdui
Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh

Ancient Tomb in Amphipolis Revealed
Easter Island: Scientists Are Closer To Understanding What Wiped Out Its Society

The World’s Priceless Treasures

Relief of Queen Nefertiti

Gold Treasures Discovered in Ming Dynasty Tomb

Unique Mosaic Images Uncovered in Fifth-Century Synagogue 

 Philip of Macedonia, Greece’s Ancient King, Found 

Queen Nefertiti: Was She Hidden In King Tutankhamun’s Tomb?

The Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain

The Antikythera Mechanism: Second Expedition Seeks More Mechanism Remains 

 Discovery Of Ancient Cave Paintings In Petra

Scientists Find ‘Superhenge’ That Could Be Five Times The Area Of Stonehenge

New Clues to Ancient Roman Art Discovered in Egyptian Mummy Portraits

Babylonians Tracked Jupiter with Fancy Math, Tablet Reveals

Rome Reborn – An Amazing Digital Model of Ancient Rome

A Day in Pompeii

The Holigost: 600 Year Old Pride of Henry V’s Fleet May Have Been Found

Ippolito Rosellini: The Monuments of Egypt And Nubia

Gem-Filled Warrior's Tomb Discovered in Ancient Greek City  

Amenhotep’s Fragmented Book Of The Dead Found 

Acra: Ancient Citadel Unearthed In Jerusalem 

Glastonbury Legends, King Arthur’s ‘Grave’, Made Up For Cash By Monks

Is Queen Nefertiti Buried In King Tutankhaman’s Tomb? - Latest News

King Hezekiah's Seal Impression Found

Spanish Galleon San Jose Discovered Laden With Treasure Off Colombia 

Has The Lost Island Of Kane Been Found?

Britain's Pompeii' Found at Bronze Age Settlement

New Clues to Ancient Roman Art Discovered in Egyptian Mummy Portraits

Hidden Rooms In King Tut’s Tomb May Contain Organic Material

Shipwreck Discovered From Explorer Vasco da Gama's Fleet

Ancestral Puebloans Were Hit By Boom and Bust

Bible Breakthrough Found In Israel

Queen Hatshepsut's Building Blocks Discovered

What’s REALLY Inside A Pyramid:1st 3D Images Created Using Cosmic Particles

The World's 20 Most Impressive Ancient Builds

Rare Ancient Greek Gold Crown Discovered Under A Bed. 

Dagger in King Tut's Tomb Was Made With Iron From A Meteorite 

Team Testing New Scanner on Egypt's Great Pyramid

Ancient Mayan Observatory Was Used To Track Venus And Mars

Has The Gateway to Ancient Greek God's Compound Been Uncovered?

Archaeologists Find 22 Ancient Greek Shipwrecks

Palace Found At Tintagel, Fabled Birthplace Of King Arthur

 Marble Statues of Aphrodite Unearthed At Petra

Did the Greeks Help Sculpt China's Terra Cotta Warriors?