San Antonio is one of the oldest establishments in Texas and its a city steeped with history. On Friday, city and state officials gathered at the Plaza de Armas building, which is the site of the 1722 Presidio de Bexar, to celebrate Texas Archaeology Month and unveil artifacts from two major excavations.
City Archaeologist Kay Hindes led the excavations, one at Presidio de Bexar and the other at the probable site of the original Mission San Antonio de Valero. San Antonio is one of the few cities in the nation with a city archaeologist, which Hindes said stems from the city’s “long history about caring about preservation.”
“The city has always put great value on its history,” she said.
When the city works on major development projects at historic sites, Hindes is engaged to do an archaeological survey.
“We work very hard to ensure that we are always diligent about our resources because we understand that these resources don’t belong to me or to you, but they belong to all of the citizens of the state,” Hindes said.
The Texas Historical Commission started Texas Archaeology Month in an effort to heighten awareness about the state’s heritage.
“It is a statewide month, but it has special meaning here in San Antonio,” said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-San Antonio), referring to the City’s long history and famous historical sites such as the Missions.
San Antonio’s 300th anniversary is May 5, 2018. The City has established a Tricentennial Commission, with co-chairs Fr. David Garcia of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, San Antonio Museum of Art Kelso Director Katie Luber and Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel General Manager Robert Thrailkill, to plan for the City’s anniversary.
“Our remarkable journey here tells the story not just of the people and places, but of the larger forces that shape the world that we live in today,” Mayor Ivy Taylor said. “Our tricentennial year will be an opportunity to discover those roots, to commemorate our storied history and to recognize our progress and collaborate on our bright future.”
The tricentennial anniversary also is the scheduled date of completion for the first phase of the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project. Although it is often overshadowed the San Antonio River, the San Pedro Creek is home to San Antonio’s first settlements in 1718, one of which was the Presidio de Bexar.
“As we go along with the San Pedro Creek we want to be sensitive in working with the City and the Conservation Society, that anything that is uncovered there is preserved and done in the right way,” Judge Wolff said.
UNESCO designated the San Antonio Missions and Alamo as a World Heritage in July, the only site in Texas, and the first west of the Mississippi River for buildings constructed by European settlers
“History is the most important asset we have in San Antonio,” Councilmember Roberto Treviño (D1) said.
*Top image: City Archaeologist Kay Hindes. Photo by Joan Vinson.