Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Archaeologists Discover Texas Plantation Site

Archaeologists have discovered a site in Texas that was once home to early settlers, and a major strategic point in Texas’s fight for independence.

Located on private property in what was once Bernardo Plantation, the site was discovered by Gregg Dimmick, a member of the Houston Archaeological Society, and is currently being archaeology excavated.

“During Texas’s fight for independence, anybody of any importance came through the Bernardo Plantation,” said Jim Bruseth, director of the Texas Historical Commission(THC)’s Archeology Division, in a news release. “And it’s vital that we continue to research and learn from this important site for future generations, to carry on the work that needs to be done here.”

The site is being excavated by THC in cooperation with the Community Archaeology Research Institute of Houston, and the Houston Archeological Society.

The project has received a $45,000 grant from the Houston Endowment Inc. a private philanthropic organization.

Bernardo Plantation was built in 1822 by Jared Ellison Groce II, and was believed to be the largest plantation in the Republic of Texas, and the westernmost cotton plantation in the southern states.

The plantation is currently owned by Greg Brown, the founder of Cowboys and Indians magazine.

The plantation was once home to over 100 people, and in 1836 served as a staging area for Gen. Sam Houston during Texas’s fight for independence from Mexico.

According to THC, Bernardo provided the facilities and strategic location for Sam Houston before facing the Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto.

Artifacts recovered from the site include a 170-year-old hoe blade, and hand blown glass, and wagon fragments.

Remote magnetometer sensing of the area also revealed what appeared to be remnants of a big house with two chimneys. Nearby structures include gravestones, metal artifacts, and the location of the original ferry that crossed the Brazos River.

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