The remains of three bodies have been unearthed at the Alamo in San Antonio. The remains were discovered during an archaeological dig as the Alamo undergoes a multi-million dollar redevelopment.
The three bodies were found in a burial room and part of the Alamo’s church, according to a statement from the Texas General Land Office. They are believed to be an adult, an infant, and potentially a teenager. The discovery comes a few months after fragments of remains were also found during an excavation.
The $450 million reimagining of the Alamo – known as the Alamo Master Plan – is a blueprint to redesign the Alamo experience for visitors. The plan has been controversial for a number of reasons, including the discovery of human remains.
This excavation was to install moisture monitoring equipment and locate the foundation of two specific buildings: The Monk Burial Room and the Nave of the Alamo Church, which is where the three bodies were found.
It’s unclear when the bodies were buried but human remains have been previously found at the Alamo in 1995 and 1989.
According to the state’s news release: “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. As we move forward, the GLO and Alamo Trust, Inc. will continue to follow all applicable laws and procedures.”
The General Land Office said it would file the necessary paperwork verifying locations in the interior of the Alamo’s church as a cemetery.
In September, The Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation filed a federal lawsuit against the state, the City of San Antonio, and the Alamo Trust, claiming the tribe has been left out of the conversation in protecting any remains found.
“This is a cemetery that deserves protection under the laws of the state of Texas,” said Ramon Vasquez, a spokesman of the tribe.
In a news release of its own, the tribe claimed the state only released information about the discovered bodies after it had filed an open records request last Monday.
“We had already had a suspicion that there were remains found two weeks ago,” Vasquez said adding the tribe had received an anonymous tip about the remains.
The tribe is demanding that construction is stopped until human remains protocols are executed properly and the dead buried at the Alamo are properly honored.