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Archaeological Site of Fort San Juan Is Topic of Oct. 21 Lecture

FortSanJuan_flier_800Fort San Juan and the Town of Joara in Sixteenth-Century North Carolina
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015
Wilson Special Collections Library
5 p.m.: Reception and exhibition viewing, Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room
5:30 p.m.: Program, Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, Dr. David Moore (UNC Ph.D. 1999), professor of anthropology and archaeology at Warren Wilson College, will give a lecture about the excavation of the first European settlement in the interior of what is now the United States.

Fort San Juan was built at the site of the Native American town of Joara, near present-day Morganton, North Carolina. It was one of six sixteenth-century Spanish forts that pre-date English colonies in the area that is now North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Joara may have been one of the largest Native American towns in the sixteenth-century Piedmont region of North Carolina. In January 1567, Spanish soldiers led by Juan Pardo reached the community as they marched toward Mexico from coastal South Carolina. The settlement they built would end violently eighteen months later, when the people of Joara burned and destroyed the fort.

David Moore is the senior archaeologist for the Exploring Joara Foundation and supervisor of the excavations at the Berry archaeological site, where Fort San Juan and Joara are being excavated. Moore has worked at the Berry site for more than twenty-five years, and is the author of Catawba Valley Mississippians: Ceramics, Chronology, and Catawba Indians (2002).

The lecture is sponsored by Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection and the Rare Book Collection in conjunction with the Institute for the Study of the Americas commemoration “One Hundred Years of Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1915-2015.” The Rare Book Collection’s related fall exhibition Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas will be on view before the lecture.

WATCH a video of Moore’s lecture:

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