Archaeologists discovered the remains of three people beneath the Alamo during an archaeological exploration ahead of planned renovations at the site of one of the most famous battles in American history.
The remains of an infant, a teenager or young adult, and an adult were found during archaeological work in Alamo church’s monks burial room and nave, the Texas General Land Office said in a news release.
Excavation of the site in San Antonio, Texas, was halted and an on-site tribal monitor was notified. The $450 million makeover is scheduled to be completed by 2024.
The announcement comes months after the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the renovation of the shrine, The Associated Press reported. The group wants a say in what happens to unearthed human remains because many of its members are descendants of people who lived near the site.
Remains were also found at the site in 1995 and 1989.
During the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, nearly 200 defenders died following a 13-day battle with Mexican forces led by General Santa Anna. The dead included legendary American frontiersmen David Crockett and Jim Bowie. Historians believe most of the bodies of the vanquished were burned.
An online rumor that Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush — the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush — planned to erect a statue of Santa Anna and a memorial honoring the Mexican Army caused a kerfluffle earlier in the week. Bush, who’s mother was born in Mexico, charged that the rumor was an “outright lie” and “flat-out racist,” according to The Rivard Report, a San Antonio news outlet.
Saturday, a march opposing some of the plans to renovate and “re-imagine” the Alamo drew a crowd in San Antonio. At issue in part is a plan to move the Alamo Cenotaph, a monument commissioned for the centennial anniversary of the battle that serves as a tombstone for the men killed there, 500 feet south of where it now stands.
The Alamo is one of the top destinations for Americans taking road trips, according to a recent survey.
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