Greetings, Atascosa County! I hope this writing finds you well. Last week I spoke about the upcoming Halloween festivities and the blended celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I personally find this time of year to be fun, especially if you have small children. Even older children continue to celebrate and learn of the sacred holiday that leaks into November.
Besides Halloween, Harvest and Dia de los Muertos, October is also Polish Heritage Month, Czech Heritage Month and partially Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15). October is also known as Archaeology Month to promote archaeological awareness throughout the state.
Archaeology is the topic, so I’ll discuss an incident that occurred in Atascosa County in July 2004. A resident called the Sheriff’s Office to report possible human bones embedded in the roadway on County Road 313 in the Kyote area. David Soward (then Chief Deputy) arrived at the scene. Sheriff Soward contacted Dr. Jennifer Rice for assistance in excavating the remains once he realized that these remains were rather aged. Dr. Jennifer Rice is an Anthropologist from San Antonio. Sheriff Soward explained that many of the bones were fragile and Dr. Rice estimated them to be very old. Sheriff Soward released the remains to Dr. Rice for further examination in 2006. The bones were sent to a lab in Miami, Florida for radiocarbon testing. The lab reported to Dr. Rice that the remains were from a period between 425 -595 A.D. It is textbook to assume that the remains were of a Native American. It is difficult to determine what tribe inhabited Atascosa County at that time. We will never know the details of the person’s life or what caused his or her demise.
I’ve previously written brief narratives of Dead Man’s Tank in the Christine area. Several professionals have determined that those remains were prehistoric and not what the original residents of the property believed them to be. As with everything else, stories will pick up a life of their own and grow as the years go by, it’s just human nature. The original belief was that they were remains of a Spanish colony that were mining silver in the 1600s.
Keep up with us on Facebook, as we continue Archaeology month!
Y’all be safe and healthy, and keep our history alive!
Until next time.
MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.