’41BX171: A Late Nineteenth Century City Dump in San Antonio, Texas’ by Clive Luke


One trench was excavated to a length of thirty-five feet. It was oriented approximately north-south and designated Trench One. To eliminate unnecessary man hours, a backhoe initially removed the disturbed and late fill from the upper levels of the trench. Beneath the levels removed by backhoe, the trench was staked in units of five feet by five feet. Each unit was excavated by hand in arbitrary one foot levels, but the ashy soil was not screened. The elevation of a point on a concrete slab in the middle of the trench was established, using a Texas Highway Department Bench Mark as reference. Having so established a point of known elevation, corresponding levels of every unit could be kept at a constant elevation.

In addition to testing this dump, a test was made of a second area where core samples demonstrated the presence of garbage. A backhoe trench was used to expose that deposit which was determined to be from the 1940’s. No further effort was expended in that area.

A detailed analysis and study of the artifacts at this time seems inadvisable because the sample is so small in terms of the entire dump. Any attempt to utilize the data recovered in September and October 1974 would probably result in biased conclusions. Consequently, further excavation is necessary to provide a larger sample. However, in order to indicate what sort of artifact return was generated, a catalogue of artifacts prepared by Marshall Eiserer, of the Texas Highway Department Archaeology Sections, is appended.

Source: ’41BX171: A Late Nineteenth Century City Dump in San Antonio, Texas’ by Clive Luke


Written by zselden

I am a research associate in the Center for Regional Heritage Research at Stephen F. Austin State University, where my work is focused at the confluence of archaeology, art, engineering, computer science, and the humanities. I am particularly interested in the application of 3D technologies to archaeological problems, geometric morphometrics, network analyses, archaeological theory, and archaeological science.