Human Remains Discovered at the Alamo During Archaeological Dig
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
December 14, 2019
Three sets of human remains were discovered at the Alamo during an archaeological exploration that's part of a major renovation, state officials said on Friday.
"The remains encountered appear to be indicative of a teenage or young adult, infant, and large adult," a press release from the state's General Land Office said. "Upon discovery of the remains, the long-established human remains protocol was activated, the on-site tribal monitor was notified, and excavation of the particular site was halted."
Two of the remains were discovered while work was being done in the Monks Burial Room and nave of the Alamo Church during the week of Thanksgiving. An examination by archaeologists found the remains of the infant and adult were purposely buried there. Workers discovered the remains of the young adult a few days later in the Monks Burial Room. It's not clear whether this person was formally buried.
"The Committee was promptly notified following the discovery of the remains and has been fully briefed by Alamo Archaeologist Kristi Nichols. It is important for all applicable laws to be followed and the Alamo project team is doing just that," a statement from the Alamo Mission Archaeological Advisory Committee said.
Officials say none of the remains have been removed from the revered Texas Shrine.
A previous archaeological dig at the site in 1996 revealed human remains in the main portion of the Church, along the south transept. Before that, another exploration revealed remains inside the Monks Burial room in 2989.
The GLO said it plans to move forward and file paperwork to verify the locations inside the church as a cemetery.
The Alamo is undergoing renovations with archaeologists working to install "moisture monitoring equipment as well as locate and document the foundations of the 300-year-old structure."
"Monitoring equipment will allow experts to understand what elements are impacting the sole remaining structures from the Battle of the Alamo and to develop a restoration plan that ensures these buildings remain for future generations of Texans to learn from enjoy."
Photo: Getty Images