Monday, January 11, 2010

de Soto Encampment

 
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The 1539 Spanish expedition led by explorer Hernando de Soto spent its first winter in the tiny village of Anhaica, which for many years was thought to be located near Tallahassee. In 1987, it was confirmed by state archaeologist Calvin Jones’ chance discovery of 16th century Spanish artifacts at this site. He led a team of amateurs and professionals in an excavation which recovered more than 40,000 artifacts. The evidence included links of chain mail armor, copper coins, the iron tip of a crossbow bolt, Spanish olive jar shards, and glass trade beads. They also found the jaw bone of a pig. Pigs were not native to the New World and historical documents confirm that the expedition brought swine. These finds provided physical evidence of the 1539-40 winter encampment, the first confirmed de Soto site in North America. From this location, the de Soto expedition traveled northward and westward making the first European contact with many native societies. To read more about de Soto's history in Tallahassee go here.

12 comments:

Halcyon said...

Very interesting. Do you know how they confirmed that this was the site?

Small City Scenes said...

A name fom my 5th grade history book. I was fascinated with all the goings on in the Florida area away back when. I remember thinking--'that was a loo-oong time ago'. lol MB

Clytie said...

I wonder what life would have been like back then. Pretty harsh I would imagine ...

Lois said...

Halcyon--I edited my post to include more information, which I realized I should have done in the first place. Sorry!

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Not discovered until 1987, amazing that it would have taken so long to find. Is there a museum to show off the artifacts?
The last line on the historical marker is rather sad.
Three Rivers Daily Photo

Frank said...

I can't pass a historic marker without reading it. They provide such fascinating history...and always concise!

Beth Niquette said...

I love history, I am fascinated with the mystery of the past and the digs people do to find artifacts describing the lives of people who lived long ago.

Thank you for sharing this, my dear--it was a fascinating read!

Cezar and Léia said...

Thanks dear Lois, it's really informative!
I like to read about historical events and so on and this one is a very interesting !
Léia

Jacob said...

DeSoto was kind of a sad character. But his car was nice. My dad bought a new DeSoto in 1949 (I think) - white with maroon trim. Great car.

Don and Krise said...

No kidding. This is interesting. I'll check out that link and educate myself a little further. :-)

Louis la Vache said...

Very interesting, Lois. A post like this appeals to the history buff in «Louis»!

VP said...

Interesting story, love the Jacob's comment!