Researchers have discovered evidence in Georgia of the route Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto took during his 1539-1542 expedition.
It was all a bit of a surprise, says Dennis Blanton, the museum’s curator of Native American Archaeology. He and South Georgia College’s Frankie Snow had originally set out to locate the lost Spanish mission of Santa Isabel de Utinahica in south-central Georgia, which was supposed to be there between 1610 and 1640, says Blanton.
They didn’t find the Mission, but were startled to find an Indian village that appears to have been at least 100 years older. It included a large public building that the archeologists believe was a council house.
In the process of looking for that, we found tantalizing evidence that we believe to be calling cards of de Soto,” Blanton says.