Long Barrack Archaeology Update - February 16

February 16, 2024

This week five excavation units were active- EUs 2B, 4, 6, 10, and 12. Final documentation was recorded for EU-4 early in the week and the unit was closed by Wednesday. Archaeologists opened a new unit, EU-12, along the Long Barrack wall also on Wednesday. Excavations continued in EUs 2B, 6, and 10.

In EU-2B archaeologists reached an approximate depth of 50 cm below surface. Excavations revealed the limestone alignment was previously impacted by the installation of a utility conduit. However, approximately 50 cm south of the utility there are intact limestone cobbles that may be the continuation the original alignment. Preliminary thoughts are that the alignment was disturbed by the installation of the utility and then the stones were pushed to the side, as opposed to removed from the site. This could explain the disarticulated stones to the east of the more intact and level limestones that match up with the alignment. Further investigation is required to better elucidate the nature of the stones.

Archaeologists finished documentation of EU-4 this week. Final documentation includes photos, mapping, soil descriptions, and a written synthesis of what was encountered in the unit.

Inside excavation unit with pipe and limestone feature
EU-2B with limestone feature, photo facing north.
Excavation unit showing tower of fill and shorter rocky surface
East profile in EU-4, photo facing east.

EU-6 excavated to an approximate depth of 90 cm below surface. The artifact density has decreased as the archaeologists are approaching the pre-occupation levels. Further exposure of a feature in the southwest corner of the unit suggests a Mission era step or foundation. The structural feature abuts the Long Barrack wall and is comprised of very large limestone blocks. Archaeologists have not reached the base of this feature.

In EU-10, excavations continued in level 3, approximately 30 cm below surface. The soils indicate modern landscaping fill. Artifacts recovered include glass and metal fragments.

Archaeologists opened a new unit late this week- EU-12. This unit is located along the Long Barrack wall and is south of EU-10. Archaeologists have begun excavation and reached an approximate depth of 20 cm below surface. The first two levels are in modern landscaping soils.

Excavation unit with limestone blocks
EU-6 at approximately 90 cm below surface, photo facing north. The possible Mission period feature in southwest corner.
Inside of an excavation unit showing modern landscaping fill
Ongoing excavation in EU-10, photo facing north.
Inside an excavation unit with modern landscaping soil
Top levels in EU-12, photo facing south.

Team Member Spotlight

Woman examining artifact over a paper notebook
Kat analyzing ceramic sherds at the Alamo lab.

This week ATI Archaeology would like to highlight an important member of the team, Project Archaeologist and Lab Supervisor, Kat Jenkins. Kat is an archaeologist with Raba Kistner, where she has worked for 7 years. She earned an MA from the University of Texas at San Antonio after conducting a site structure analysis at the Sanchez site in Safford, Arizona.

This isn’t the first project at the Alamo for Kat; she also participated in the 2019-2021 Church and Long Barrack Restoration Project and the 2023 Mission Gate Archaeology Project. Her expertise in ceramic identification and material culture has become a true asset to the team. With a background in art, Kat has also proven valuable in artifact illustrations for the various projects. Her meticulous organization skills and attention to detail help keep the lab running smoothly- not an easy feat! Thank you, Kat, for helping to preserve the Alamo!