eNews: Archeological Experts Complete Survey of The Quadrangle

March 17, 2023

In May 2022, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved a four-phase framework to address the strategic priorities identified by the Commission on Historic Campus Representations. Phase 1 is complete, with renowned architecture design firm Sasaki being selected for the new Campus Experience Project. Phase 2 is just beginning with plans to reconceptualize the area around the Judge Baylor statue while creating a “Memorial to the Enslaved” on Founders Mall.

Future phases of the Campus Experience Project include some areas involving The Quadrangle and Speight Avenue. To begin preparing for any future projects in these areas, Baylor is working with Walker Partners Engineers & Surveyors to conduct surveys and other infrastructure work. Walker Partners has surveyed much of the east side of The Quadrangle, including the area previously attributed as having been the burial location of a mid-19th century “Native American Princess.” After discovering a potential geophysical anomaly during its survey earlier this year, Walker Partners contracted with Integrated Environmental Solutions, LLC to conduct a more specific archeological assessment of the area.

As stated in the complete IES report, archeological experts concluded the area on The Quadrangle does not pertain to a grave, and no definitive human remains, burial pit, or other grave-related artifacts exist there. IES did uncover a small number of other artifacts, which are consistent with being a place where stone tool production, resource processing, and general habitation occurred. IES subsequently radiocarbon dated the artifacts to 1166-1268 AD.

The IES investigation and subsequent report are comprehensive and completed by a well-regarded external firm. However, given the findings that The Quadrangle might hold some archeological potential, the University will take extra precautions and seek counsel from Walker Partners, IES and other resources before any new work or development in the area. There is no timeline for this work to begin, but it is currently expected to follow the completion of Founders Mall over the next year.

Questions regarding the work of the Campus Experience Project team may be submitted HERE.