UTSA CENTER FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH DISCOVER ARTIFACTS DATINGBACK TO 10,500 B.P.
April, 2011UTSA Center for Archaeological Research staff members,
assisting with the San Antonio River Improvements Project, have discovered
artifacts that date from 8,000-10,500 B.P. (before present) during a
three-month dig at Brackenridge Park.
CAR archaeologists were contracted by San Antonio architectural firm Ford,
Powell & Carson to conduct an archaeological survey and excavations on
behalf of the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). SARA, as project manager
of the San Antonio River Improvements Project, requested the survey before
the construction of a sidewalk trail system which would include the
installation of 14 pedestrian light fixtures. The sidewalk is a part the
Museum Reach Park Segment of the San Antonio River Improvements Project,
which is going through Brackenridge Park.
³We started digging about two meters down and pulled out archaic tools and
archaic points and below them spear points from the Paleo-Indian period
which date back from 8,000 to 10,500 years B.P.,² said Kristi Ulrich, CAR
project archaeologist. ³We found more than 500 artifacts ranging from tiny
flakes, which are left over from making tools, to larger (woodworking)
carving tools believed to make canoes.²
Discovered artifacts include:
· Angostura projectile point (spear point) from the early portion of
the Early Archaic period (7500-8800 B.P.)
* Saint Mary¹s Hall projectile point (spear point) from the Paleoindian
period (8700-9900 B.P.) These are some of the oldest artifacts recovered
from the banks of the San Antonio River.
* A Dalton projectile point that may date to 10,500 years B.P.
* Guadalupe Adzes that are thought to be woodworking tools from the Early
Archaic Period (5,300 B.P. and earlier) A more definitive age range for the
deposits will be forthcoming once the radiocarbon dating of charcoal and
bone found at the site is completed
Additional CAR staff members working on the project include UTSA staff
archaeologists Jason Perez, Nate Devito, and graduate students Dirk
Sinclair, Kelly Denham and Lynn Wack.
CAR archaeologists worked closely with Mark Denton of the Texas Historical
Commission and Kay Hindes, City Archaeologist with the City of San Antonio
Office of Historic Preservation and Zachry Construction Corporation.
³The public is very excited about the Museum Reach project because it will
enhance the trail system through Brackenridge Park and provide pedestrian
access off of Mulberry, which is a very busy street,² said Hindes. ³The
Museum Reach project, combined with a separate city bond project along
Mulberry, will link everything together so pedestrians have access from
Broadway to St. Mary¹s. We are thrilled with the work the UTSA Center for
Archaeological Research has done to assist with this project.²
The artifacts were returned to the CAR laboratory where they have been
washed, carefully tagged, and labeled to allow researchers to identify them,
and study changes in stone tool making, hunting practices and the activities
that took place on the shores of the San Antonio River some 9,000-10,500
The Mulberry sidewalk portion of the Museum Reach Park Segment of the San
Antonio River Improvements Project is scheduled to be complete May 1.
Funding for this sidewalk is from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County
as a result of the passage of the 2008 Venue Tax referendum. UTSA Center
for Archaelogical Research staff members have also been working on
other local projects as a part of the City¹s $550 million bond project,
which voters approved in 2007.
To date, CAR has administered more than 500 contracts and grants. Research
activities have focused on numerous prehistoric sites and historic
archaeology at Spanish Colonial missions, the Alamo, historic churches and
forts, and early Texas settlements. Staff members also have conducted
archaeological investigations in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Mexico,
Belize, and South America. Results of these investigations are published in
more than 400 volumes in 10 publication series.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest growing higher
education institutions in Texas and one of nine academic universities and
six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution,
UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to
educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global
UTSA serves 30,300 students in more than 130 degree programs in the colleges
of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering,
Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School.
Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a
socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond. More information
online at www.utsa.edu/today <http://www.utsa.edu/today>.
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