Artifacts excavated at the Alamo grounds over the last 50 years were publicly displayed for the first time Thursday at Alamo Hall. UTSA’s Center for Archaeological Research curated more than 150 items ranging from the mission’s colonial years up to the 19th century.
Dozens of curious visitors peered into several glass displays, one holding painted pieces of porcelain and musket balls used during the battle of the Alamo. Other display cases showcased ceramic fragments, centuries-old military equipment, personal objects, and more.
“Probably the most interesting [thing] is the shako plate,” said Paul Shawn Marceaux, director of UTSA’s Center for Archaeological Research. “It’s a badge that was worn on the hat of a Mexican military officer. It’s very rare to find something like this.”
The exhibit, a collaborative effort between UTSA and the Office of Historic Preservation, kicked off the City’s recognition of October as Texas Archaeology Month.
City Archaeologist Kay Hindes said more than 20 principal archeologists contributed to the collection on display. Only five of the items were not found at the Alamo site, including a bronze howitzer found near La Villita in the 1980s. Echoing Marceaux, Hindes said the shako plate and the howitzer are some of most unique artifacts in the collection.
In their opening remarks, Council members Roberto Treviño (D1) and Rebecca Viagran (D3) recognized the importance of archaeologists and scientists telling the story of San Antonio’s nearly 300-year-old history through research, excavation, and preservation.
While the items were only on display for one day, Marceaux hopes they provided visitors with a lasting impression of the city’s past.
“This is part of our community and part of our cultural heritage,” Marceaux said. “I think it’s something for everyone to be very proud of.”
For more information on the Center for Archaeological Research, click here.