North American researchers have discovered an ancient indigenous people belonging to the Native Americans. It is a place on the banks of the Catawba River, in what is now Morganton (United States), which was inhabited 500 years ago. The research is being carried out by archaeologists Sam Avery, Emma Richardson, Abra Johgart and David Moore.
According to Richardson, the settlement was surrounded by a wooden palisade and the buildings stood in what is now a flourishing meadow. They were a working civilization that would see its life changed with the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.
The authorities intend to reflect this clash of cultures creating a project of "living history"In the place that the village occupied and that today is the"Morganton Catawba Prairie Park”. This will be the first phase of the so-called “Catawba Grasslands Archaeological Interpretive Center”, Which aims to show the first Native Americans and Spanish explorers who lived at the time, years before the English settled in North Carolina.
The exhibition center will also have objects found in an indigenous town called Joara and in a fortress built by the Spanish explorer Juan Pardo in 1567. Experts believe that the fortress was the first European settlement in the interior of the United States. Since 1986, archaeologists have worked there and have found thousands of valuables.
Richardson spearheaded the investigation of the Joara settlement and defends the importance of the construction of the new center: “This is not only the history of North Carolina, but it is also the history of the United States. The new center will give people an idea of how this area used to be 500 years ago. It will make the story a little more real”.
The area of living history It will have replicas of two Native American buildings that will be accessible to the public. The wooden palisade will also be erected again and the garden will be planted, since they want to make it look as real as possible. For this reason, the kiosks will include interpretive information for visitors to the center. It is estimated that, in total, these buildings will cost $ 150,000 and will take two years to build.
For its part, The exhibit will also be used for public workshops on archeology and Native American culture.. Visitors will also be able to see live the area where the archaeological research is being carried out at that time. The foundation's president, Sam Avery, comments: “This will be very good for our community. We are learning how to take advantage of these heritage assets and it is something that we have to improve, since tourism heritage is a force that people really enjoy.”.
It also highlights the importance of the project in economic terms: “It is a perfect match for us. We believe this project will help our economy. We have lost a lot in the last ten years: jobs and population. This is not going to refloat all ships, but it's a good start”.
Experts hope that the discoveries they have made in the countycan shed light on the European colonization of North America, including trips of Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto, discoverer of the Mississippi River. Specifically, it is expected to help resolve the dispute that arose several years ago about the conqueror's travels, since there are documents by Juan Pardo that mention “lost villages of Indians,” such as Joara, and also name the place where Pardo built the Fort of San Juan.
In 1997, using a device that shows the magnetic characteristics of the earth, experts found four burned buildings buried two to three feet in the ground at the Berry site. As more artifacts showed up, they were convinced that they had found the remains of Fort San Juan.
Assistant professor of anthropology at Warren Wilson University and co-director of the Berry site project, David Moore, began investigating the Catawba Grasslands in 2004. The researcher began excavating, as it was a place that had never been seen before. carried out any kind of prospecting. He found the remains of a charred building and other evidence that it was “an important town”. On the interpretation center he thinks: “Such an important archaeological site is the perfect place to build the center".
Although you are also aware that it will be a very laborious job that will last for many years, you know that it will be worth the effort: “Visitors can learn about the arrival of Europeans, the beginning of colonial expansion, and how the way of life that Native Americans had led for centuries was altered. It's a way of getting your hands on history”. For the archaeologist, the importance of this new center It is based on the fact that it not only exhibits objects, but also shows you constructions, so that everything is tangible and “real”.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.