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Alamo Excavators Find Portions Of Spanish Colonial Adobe Walls

An archeologist at the Alamo brushes off dirt from adobe bricks believed to be from the 1700s
Texas General Land Office
An archeologist at the Alamo brushes off dirt from adobe bricks believed to be from the 1700s

Archeological excavators have discovered the remnants of adobe bricks as they dig in hopes of finding the lost west and south walls of the Alamo complex.  Investigators are unsure, however, what structure the wall was a part of.




To archeologists, it’s like striking gold. The adobe bricks that were found are believed to date back to the Spanish colonial period of the 1700s. They were discovered on Friday and the investigators of the Alamo’s dig site spent the weekend analyzing them. It’s a find that came quickly.


 “We didn’t think that we’d find something in the first week of digging.”


Principal lead investigator Nesta Anderson says the wall could be part of the west wall or an entirely different structure.


“When the walls were here there was an outer compound wall, there were enclosures where Native Americans were living … that were walled in as well. They had interior walls in those, so we’re just not sure where it falls into the complex.”


The bricks were found eight inches below the surface. They’re a different color than the ground around them separated by a mortar like material. The discovery site is across the street from the Alamo at the entrance to the River Walk. Anderson says this shows they’re in the right area.

“This is a really important step for us to know we’re in the right place and we’ve got information. We can just keep looking, we can build on that.”

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Other portions of a wall were found in the same area during a 1979 dig by the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Less than 30 feet away, another dig site has gone live this week with hopes of finding the south wall. Digging on both areas will last about three weeks. The excavation is the first step of the Alamo Master Plan to redevelop the historic site.


"It's thrilling to see our past literally emerging from the ground,” San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor said. “As we continue to learn more about the Alamo and prepare for our Tricentennial, it is so important that we build connections between our people and our past."

Copyright 2020 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Joey Palacios can be reached and on Twitter at @Joeycules