06 Jun Mission: Archaeology in San Antonio
Examining a juvenile pig mandible excavated from Mission San Juan.
Hello, I’m Sebastián Salgado-Flores, and this is my first year in LHIP. I am extremely grateful for the chance to work with the National Parks Service and for the Hispanic Access Foundation’s role in setting up this opportunity. This summer I will be working at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a unique site where the foundations of Tejano culture were laid by Coahuilteca natives and Franciscan friars in the 1700’s. My first task will be to inventory the artifacts on display at the park’s museums, and then think about how to get the objects to ‘tell their story’ as the park updates its exhibits. I have been enjoying the National Parks my whole life and am thrilled to be working for them. While I love the outdoors and the ‘wilder’ parks that some of the other interns will be going to, I’m very happy to have an opportunity to do important work here at home—not only will this summer bring amazing experiences in the National Park Service, but my wife and I are expecting our first child to be born this month as well! I’ve been living and studying in San Antonio since 2009 as a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and teaching Introduction to Archaeology at Northwest Vista College since 2015. In my studies I have focused on the interactions between human cultures in the past with the ecological landscapes around them, and I have come to realize that the two goals of historic and natural conservation are inseparably linked. The past has vital lessons for environmental policy today–but in order to understand those lessons we need to preserve the material and historical records of what transpired under other social/political/economic systems. The landscape of San Antonio has experienced and influenced several different human systems since people first got here over 10,000 years ago. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park preserves a vital part of that history, during which the relationship of the people to the land fundamentally changed. Over the next 10 weeks, I’ll be using this blog to record the work I’ll be doing for the park as well as some of the things I’ve learned about historical-ecology of San Antonio.