by Alamo Archaeologist Kristi Nichols
Archaeological excavations associated with the preservation work for the Church and the Long Barrack continued in two units this week. The excavation units were located inside and just outside of the Long Barrack.
After meeting with the historic architects and preservation team, it was decided that a small section of an excavation unit located inside the southern room of the Long Barrack should be re-opened. This was done to better understand the base of the foundation that had been previously encountered. In addition, there were certain questions concerning the features encountered in the unit placed on the exterior of the southern portion of the Long Barrack arcade wall that prompted further excavations.
Inside the Long Barrack, the archaeologists were asked to excavate the southern portion of the unit that had been previously left in place. The purpose was to reveal a larger section of the base of the south wall foundation, and to determine if the bedrock encountered in the southwest corner covered the entire space.
Very few artifacts were recovered during the additional excavation. Those that were recovered consisted primarily of snail shell, and a fragment of chipped stone. By the end of the week, one more level was needed to be excavated in order to reveal the base of the foundation.
Outside the Long Barrack, at the southwest corner of the Convento Courtyard, the archaeologists continued to expose a portion of the arcade foundation, as well as a foundation that runs east-west, towards the Church. Artifacts encountered consisted of metal fragments, nails, ceramic sherds, and glass fragments. No unique items or features were encountered during the continued excavations.
Other activities around the grounds included continued work on sloping the curb in front of the Church. Fences went up on the eastern curb to allow for the work to occur. By the end of the week, much of the eastern curb was sloped and the flagging stone was beginning to be reset. No excavations occurred in conjunction with the sloping of the curbs, as all activity stayed within the concrete layer just below the flagstone.