“We’re really excited to have evidence of military action here at the south wall. We have got very little evidence overall of construction material, so this is really nice to have.” – Nesta Anderson, archaeologist on the Alamo dig.
THE ALAMO, TEXAS – Archaeologists working with the “Re-imagine the Alamo” project stumbled across a pretty significant find – the tip of a Mexican sword – at the south gate of the Alamo.
Two weeks ago, we covered another significant find made by a project launched by the Texan government in hopes of bringing the true story of the Alamo to the general public. It’s called “Re-imagine the Alamo”, and so far, they’ve turned up some pretty neat stuff!
The team of archaeologists, researchers, historians, and volunteers have been busily working away, and it’s paying off. They’ve recovered more than 300 artifacts near the Alamo’s west wall, including European ceramics, an animal bone button, toothbrush fragments, and several square nails. That’s not all they’ve found though. This week, they’ve discovered a sword tip buried in the dusty soil near the south wall gate. It’s the first major find in that particular area of the dig.
Sam Nesmith, former Alamo curator and director of the Texas Institute and Museum of Military History was able to trace the origins of the sword for the researchers. She identified it as a French-made briquet, a sabre with a large hand-guard and a single edge that gained popularity in the Napoleonic Wars.
The southern wall of the Alamo was an important one for the Alamo’s history. Mexican general Martin Perfecto de Cos and Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea had fortified the wall in 1835 against attack by Texan soldiers, but to no avail. The Texans laid siege to the mission and eventually captured it. It was taken back into Mexican hands in 1836.
So far, this is the first evidence of any military conflict on the south wall in the archaeological record. It isn’t the first sword tip of its kind to be found at the Alamo, though. Another, similar sword tip was discovered in the Main Plaza in 2007.
Between the sword tips and the other artifacts, the archaeologists are starting to piece together a very real, physical story of the Alamo – both of its military conflict and of “daily life at its best,” as described by Nesta Anderson.
The sword tip is going to be turned over to the UT-San Antonio Center for Archaeological Research for curation. The Re-Imagine the Alamo team will continue excavating at various sites at the Alamo in future months.
The find was first announced on the project’s Facebook page in a live video.