Lecture Title: Excavations at San Felipe de Austin 2015-2015
Speaker: Jeff Durst, Archeologist, Texas Historical Commission, Austin
Location: Riverside Nature Center – 150 Francisco Lemos, Kerrville, Texas 78028
Mr. Durst presentation will be, “Excavations at San Felipe de Austin 2014-2015”. Excavations at the site of San Felipe de Austin began in June of 2014 as part of the annual Texas Archeological Society (TAS) Field School and continued on in June of 2015. The excavations which took place at the Texas Historical Commission’s San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site, focused on the historic “town lot” 566, where the Farmer’s Hotel was reportedly constructed between 1829 and 1830. While under construction, the building served as the town hall as described by resident Noah Smithwick in his memoirs. The structure was described as being 32 feet square with a brick cellar 6 feet deep. The first season focused on attempting to locate the four corners of the brick cellar and getting an idea of the construction method of brick outer wall of the cellar. The second season continued the attempt to define the four corners of the cellar and also included a centrally located unit aimed at identifying the floor of the cellar. The two seasons produced an interesting array of artifacts and features which will be discussed during this presentation. San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site is a Texas Historical Commission property, that honors the 1836 founding of Texas. Located on the Brazos River, the site is near the heart of the original township of San Felipe, the first capital of the provisional government of Texas. It was here Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas,” managed the affairs of his colony, which would initially bring 297 families to Texas under a contract with the Mexican government. Click to read more about the history of San Felipe de Austin.
Jeff Durst is the Director and Project Reviewer of the Region Four of the Texas Historical Commission. His region covers a large area of southwest Texas. Prior to his current position, Durst served as the project director of THC’s Fort St. Louis Archeological Project. He has experience in both historic and prehistoric archeology and has worked in Texas, New Mexico and Belize, Central America. He was previously employed by the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio and acted as a Project Archeologist conducting archival research, archeological surveys, site excavations, artifact analysis, and report preparations. Durst has authored and coauthored numerous publications and papers on the archeology of Texas, New Mexico and Belize. Durst has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has been actively employed in archeology for the past 21 years. His educational research was focused on the prehistoric Maya civilization with a concentration on the archeology of the Maya Lowlands.