A sword tip found at the Alamo in August 2016 with a picture of a similar sword. REIMAGINE THE ALAMO.
Texas revolutionaries and Mexican soldiers may not have buried the hatchet after the Battle of the Alamo, but somehow, they buried a sword.

Archaeologists in San Antonio announced Thursday that last week, they recovered the tip of a Mexican sword, likely used either in the famous 1836 battle or in the construction of the Alamo’s southern wall fortifications in 1835.

Closeup of the sword tip uncovered at the archeological dig at the Alamo in San Antonio.  Photo courtesy of REIMAGINE THE ALAMO.

“We’re really excited to have evidence of military action here at the south wall,” archaeologist Nesta Anderson said at a news conference. “We didn’t expect it.”

Anderson said the French-manufactured briquet sword, discovered near the south wall, could have been used by noncommissioned Mexican infantrymen during the 1836 battle for the Alamo.

The artifact is thought to be from this type of sword, known as a briquet, used by Mexican soldiers in the early 1800s.  Photo courtesy of REIMAGINE THE ALAMO.

Sam Nesmith, the director of The Texas Museum of Military History, originally identified the sword’s Mexican origin, Anderson said.

The sword also could have been used as a construction tool. In 1835, Mexican Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos looked to shore up defenses of the Alamo mission’s southern wall. His efforts to secure the building were ultimately unsuccessful; Texas forces led by Stephen F. Austin captured the mission in December of that year after a lengthy siege.

Mexican forces eventually retook the Alamo in the 1836 battle.

The archaeological dig is part of the “Reimagine the Alamo” effort, a comprehensive renovation project commissioned by state officials, including Land Commissioner George P. Bush, the City of San Antonio and the Alamo Endowment.

(Read more: Believe It or Not, Upgrade Planned for Alamo)


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans – and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.


Top image: A sword tip found at the Alamo in August 2016 with a picture of a similar sword. Photo courtesy of REIMAGINE THE ALAMO.

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Kirby Wilson

Kirby Wilson

Kirby Wilson is an investigative fellow for the Texas Tribune. Previously, Kirby worked as a politics reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, his hometown paper, and as a staff writer for the Duke Chronicle....