Sunday, October 04, 2015


UTSA archaeologists discover artifacts dating back 10,500 years

CAR Staff

CAR staff member Nate Devito takes notes as Jason Perez (below) and graduate student Dirk Sinclair measure an excavation.

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(April 19, 2011)--UTSA Center for Archaeological Research staff members, assisting with CAR archaeologists were contracted by San Antonio architectural firm Ford, Powell and 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.

"We 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.," said Kristi Ulrich, CAR project archaeologist. "We 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."

Discovered artifacts include:

  • Angostura projectile point (spear point) from the early portion of the Early Archaic period (7,500-8,800 B.P.)
  • Saint Mary's Hall projectile point (spear point) from the Paleoindian period (8,700-9,900 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 Jason Perez and 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, archaeologist with the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation and Zachry Construction Corp.

"The 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," said Hindes. "The Museum Reach project, combined with a separate city bond project along Mulberry, will link everything together so pedestrians have access from Broadway to St. Mary's. We are thrilled with the work the UTSA Center for Archaeological Research has done to assist with this project."

The artifacts were returned to the CAR laboratory where they were 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 years ago.

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 the 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 also have been working on other local projects as a part of the city's $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 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.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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