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  • Originally published 07/25/2013

    European fort discovered in Appalachian Mountains

    A team of archaeologists, led by the University of Michigan, has discovered the remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of what is now the United States. This find will provide new insight into the beginning of the US colonial era, and the all-too-human reasons spoiling Spanish dreams of gold and glory.In 1567, nearly 20 years before Sir Walter Raleigh’s colony at Roanoke was lost and 40 years before the Jamestown settlement was established, Spanish Captain Juan Pardo and his men built Fort San Juan in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.“Fort San Juan and six others that together stretched from coastal South Carolina into eastern Tennessee were occupied for less than 18 months before the Native Americans destroyed them, killing all but one of the Spanish soldiers who manned the garrisons,” said University of Michigan archaeologist Robin Beck, assistant professor in the U-M Department of Anthropology and assistant curator at the U-M Museum of Anthropology....