Victor Thompson Excavates a Calusa civilization shell midden in Florida

For many years, UGA archaeologist Victor Thompson and Chester DePratter of the University of South Carolina have worked to excavate and interpret findings from the S.C. Parris island coastal area known to be the first  Spanish colonial capital in what became the United States. This summer they made an exciting discovery of the exact location of the 16th-century Fort San Marcos. The revelation has garnered extensive international media coverage.

In Spanish history, Menéndez is a significant figure. Such world interest befits work that, says Thompson, "will allow us to tell the story of the land that would eventually become the United States. Santa Elena is an important part of this history that lends insight into how colonial powers in Europe vied for control over this corner of the New World.” You may read a detailed and illustrated discovery in a paper by Thompson here and watch a video interview about the find here.