The Santa Isabel de Utinahica Project
Research and Public Archaeology Program
Fernbank launched a new research and public education program in
2006 aimed at discovering traces of the 17th-century Spanish
mission known as Santa Isabel de Utinahica. Scientific colleagues,
students, teachers, and other archaeology enthusiasts have been a
crucial part of the ongoing investigation.
Important-and often surprising-new findings have been generated
by the project that has examined four different sites. Most
significantly, one site has produced far earlier evidence of
Spanish contact than was expected. Distinctive artifacts of glass
and metal establish that the area was visited by exploring Spanish
before 1550 and very likely by the conquistador Hernando de Soto.
Other findings reveal a great deal about Native American Indian
communities along the lower Ocmulgee River.
Learn more about this unique
program as well as highlights of the findings.
Fernbank Expedition Journal
Between May and August 2009, Fernbank Museum archaeologist
Dennis Blanton blogged about this work in the field. Read more by
Expedition Journal: Archaeologist's Report.