Sunday, November 15, 2009

In the News: Influential local: Juan Ponce de Leon

Influential local: Juan Ponce de Leon
The News-Press - Fort Myers,FL,USA

"November 14, 2009 1:10 AM — Everything changed after Juan Ponce de Leon sailed along the southwest coast of a place he thought was an island and dubbed "La Florida," or land of flowers..."

OK, its not really "News' as such, more of a local interest background story. It's unusual for two things, first that it even mentions Ponce's 1521 colonization attempt, and secondly that it does not mention the "Fountain of Youth " story at all. I've got a couple of minor quibbles with the piece. In particular the 'shot in the butt' line at the end, whist mildly amusing in an otherwise pretty dry account. The historical record, limited though it is might be twisted to imply such an injury occurred, but its a pretty weak basis to make such a statement.


"and he [PdL] escaped wounded grievously by an arrow;"

Herrera -c. 1601: (Probably echoing and embellishing Oviedo without any additional source)

"and he [PdL] wounded in the thigh..."

From "History of Juan Ponce de Leon's Voyages to Florida Source Records " by T. Fredrick Davis 1935

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In the News: Excavation finds in Telfair could rewrite history on DeSoto

More news of the recent excavations in Georgia, in particular some of the arguments for and against the evidence of its being a De Soto contact site.

Excavation finds in Telfair could rewrite history on DeSoto
Macon Telegraph - Macon,GA,USA

A Telfair County archaeological site has yielded the largest number of early Spanish artifacts ever found outside Florida, prompting its lead archaeologist to conclude that it – and not Macon – was a location visited by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto....We think DeSoto would have headed to the Fall Line where villages were,” said Marvin Smith, an archaeologist at Valdosta State University. ..."

Of particular note the last line of the story:

"Blanton said Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta plans to open an exhibit in April or May featuring items found at the excavation."

Old Florida Festival Report Part 1

I spent last weekend at the Collier County Museum's Old Florida Festival. I had a good if exhausting time. In the "yes, I am somebody" category, I managed along with our new recruit Carlos and a Cub Scout to get our picture in the paper on Sunday, page 3 no less! I doesn't appear to have made to the Naples News on-line edition so here are photos of the article.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In the News: Soto Archaeology

A couple of news stories on a possible De Soto expedition contact site in Georgia.

Archaeologist: Beads, metal tools suggest 16th-century explorer de Soto passed through Ga.
WTKR Your NewsChannel 3 - Norfolk,VA,USA
... have turned up beads, metal tools and other artifacts that may pinpoint part of the elusive trail of the 16th-century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. ...

Though I should think the headline is a bit misleading as there is no doubt that Soto's entrada passed through what is now the State of Georgia, rather the exact route is the matter of scholarly debate. Beads and iron objects are transportable, but a large number found in one aea suggests a direct contact site.

This story contains a photo of the aforementioned beads:

Archaeologists Track Infamous Conquistador Through Southeast
Nov 5, 2009 ... Archaeologists have discovered evidence of Hernando de Soto's ... " Archaeologists have a pretty good handle now on what a De Soto site would look like. ... and De Soto scholar at the Parkin Archaeological State Park in ...