Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hernando de Soto's Winter Camp in Tallahassee, Florida

Hernando de Soto's route through the South is one of the most debated mysteries in American history.

Although numerous theories have been presented and it is believed that De Soto and his army visited ten or more states, so far only one site has been found by archaeologists at which he presence can be positively verified. It is the Hernando de Soto Winter Encampment Site in Tallahassee, Florida.

Now a small state park just a few blocks from Florida's Capitol Complex, the De Soto site was uncovered by state archaeologist B. Calvin Jones (now deceased) entirely by accident. He was looking for traces of a known Spanish mission in the vicinity at a construction site when he began to find strange artifacts. They turned out to be items dating from Hernando de Soto's sojourn at the site during the winter of 1539-1540. Included among the artifacts were pieces of chain mail armor, darts from crossbows, coins and even pig bones (De Soto introduced pigs to the Southeast).

To learn more about this unique historic site in Tallahasee, please visit

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