Archaeologists are revising their ideas about relations between Native Americans and Spanish Catholics at St. Catherines Island
One historian thinks the paradigm shift could not come at a better time.
"So far, the collective consciousness of Georgians has not extended to include the influence of the Spanish, but this discovery most definitely will change that," said Edward Cashin, professor emeritus of history at Augusta State University and director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History. "You know, some people are making an issue of the influx of Hispanics into this area, but they could well respond by saying, 'We were here first.' "
Blanton believes archaeology can challenge commonly held beliefs about times long ago and histories, which he says are generally written by the victors.
"Predictably, the English cast the Spanish in such a way that they were dismissed as bad guys, not worth knowing about," he said. But the artifacts reveal "a true day in the life of Catholic missionaries and how they related to the Indians they sought to convert."
It is now known that Catholic mission life was far more prolific on the eastern coast of what is now the United States than it was in the west, a fact concealed, in part, by the climate of the south. Unlike the dry heat of the west, the moist air and rain dissolved --- rather than baked --- the biodegradable remains of what was once a long chain of Spanish mission sites. On St. Catherines, shifting sands and natural vegetation shrouded remaining clues as to what lay beneath the ground.
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- History Camp "unconference" returns for the second year in Boston
- History Department at Connecticut College deplores Facebook post on Palestinians
- Historians join other scholars in protesting Georgia's anti-gay legislation
- Homeland Security historian builds winning case against Salvadoran leader who oversaw crimes
- What Howard Zinn taught the students of Spelman College