Mission Gate and Lunette Archaeology - February 21

February 21, 2023

Archaeological investigations for the Main Gate and Lunette and Plaza de Valero have shifted to solely monitoring activities. Grading of the southern portion of the Project Area occurred throughout the week (Figures 1 and 2). Due to the uneven elevation of the plaza, soil removal ranged between approximately 6-12 inches below surface. This resulted in surface grade approximately matching the same level as Alamo Street.

Tree with fencing around it in dirt area with a construction truck
Figure 1. Grading in the southern portion of Project Area, facing south.
Construction trucks in dirt area
Figure 2. Grading in the southern portion of Project Area, facing northeast.

The relocation of trees (COSA permitted) also took place throughout the week. Many of the trees were located in above-grade planters, but the relocation was still monitored as the depth of roots was unknown. Removal of tree stumps was accomplished by backhoe pulling at the stump with the bucket and then pulling roots and associated soils out until desired grade was reached. This activity was monitored and after stumps were removed the archaeologist inspected the area for any signs of cultural deposits (Figure 3).

At the end of the week, construction removed a section of the northern planter to street level. This planter was immediately north of our initial excavation units and BHT 7. This above-surface planter was installed as a part of the 1976 landscaping project.

There were very few artifacts observed during the construction activities. Observed artifacts included small glass fragments, white earthenware, and a horseshoe, as well as modern refuse, such as Styrofoam and aluminum foil (Figure 4).

Construction truck in dirt area
Figure 3. Soils after tree stump removed, facing north.
Marker and small rocks on dirt plot
Figure 4. Observed artifacts in Project Area.