Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 1 February 2012 
Cultural find in San Antonio, remains of apparent prehistoric hut located
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San Antonio, Texas mapTexas: Signs of ancient human settlements are scattered across Texas. Some are more than 10,000 years old. A new find now offers evidence that about 1500 B.C. before the Spanish Conquest natives were building structures along the San Antonio River.

Recently, workers preparing Mission County Park for construction uncovered remains of a prehistoric hut that burned down. The structure dates from the Late Archaic Period: 3000 - 1000 B.C.E.

"It adds to the cultural importance of this park, and it's determined to be the third-oldest-known structure in the state of Texas, so it's in its own category in prehistory," said Betty Bueche, a Bexar County official.

Evidence is being analyzed by archeologists and scientists. In the meantime, the site has been reburied. Bueche did not cite the location for fear of tampering.

Grass Houses"It's all underground. There's nothing to see. We've covered it back up," she said. "There were some chips of flint that obviously had come from dart points, but very little."

Officials are waiting on further carbon dating. A report is being prepared for Texas state officials to review.

It's not known yet what the structure was used for, and its dimensions aren't certain. Few artifacts were at the location.

Similar structures have never been found in the San Antonio area.  Until now, the area's oldest known buildings were from the colonial period.

"In that timeframe, the structures that have been found previously are with bent poles, so they formed sort of a domed hut," Beuche said.  "These were done with upright posts, so this was a method of Slabhousesconstruction that, until this find and the carbon dating that's been done, we didn't know dated that far back.

Bueche added that charred remnants could tell tales. "We want to illustrate that the occupation of this area extended far earlier than when the Spaniards arrived, and that there is a cultural continuum from the occupation of the Native American groups, to the arrival of the Spaniards, to modern day."

In the meantime, officials hope to preserve the site and avoid damage from construction and curiosity seekers.

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Native Village Gina Boltz
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