Posted: Jul 14, 2014 11:10 AM
Updated: Jul 14, 2014 11:10 AM
FLORESVILLE, Texas (AP) A South Texas archaeological site has turned up what experts believe is the foundation of a ranch chapel likely built in the 1700s, a project organizer said Monday.
David Nickels of Tierras Antiguas Archaeological Investigations has been working to uncover what he believes was part of Rancho Flores along the San Antonio River. The area is between Floresville and San Antonio.
Family histories from the landowners and Spanish archives helped confirm the colonial site established by cattle rancher Francisco Flores, Nickels said. The current property owners, Brian and Melissa Seiler, are committed to restoring the house and grounds, he said.
Nickels, 63, and retired from the military, and other volunteers excavated the site in May and June, unveiling more details of the apparent layout of the chapel and nearby structures. The next step will be analyzing recovered artifacts and planning for additional excavation work, he said.
"We simply do it for the history of it to tell the story," Nickels said. "The whole San Antonio River Valley is just full of historic sites like that."
Nickels, who after serving in the military earned bachelor's and master's degrees in anthropology, would like to recruit more volunteers for excavations next year. He hopes to attract interest from a university or an archaeological society to put together a field school, possibly next summer, he said.