Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

A ROAD TO ZACATECAS: FORT SAN JUAN AND THE DEFENSES OF SPANISH LA FLORIDA

  • Robin A. Beck (a1), David G. Moore (a2), Christopher B. Rodning (a3), Timothy J. Horsley (a4) and Sarah C. Sherwood (a5)...

Abstract

From 1565 to 1570, Spain established no fewer than three networks of presidios (fortified military settlements) across portions of its frontier territories in La Florida and New Spain. Juan Pardo's network of six forts, extending from the Atlantic coast over the Appalachian Mountains, was the least successful of these presidio systems, lasting only from late 1566 to early 1568. The failure of Pardo's defensive network has long been attributed to poor planning and an insufficient investment of resources. Yet recent archaeological discoveries at the Berry site in western North Carolina—the location of both the Native American town of Joara and Pardo's first garrison, Fort San Juan—warrants a reappraisal of this interpretation. While previous archaeological research at Berry concentrated on the domestic compound where Pardo's soldiers resided, the location of the fort itself remained unknown. In 2013, the remains of Fort San Juan were finally identified south of the compound, the first of Pardo's interior forts to be discovered by archaeologists. Data from excavations and geophysical surveys suggest that it was a substantial defensive construction. We attribute the failure of Pardo's network to the social geography of the Native South rather than to an insufficient investment of resources.

Desde 1565 hasta 1570, España estableció no menos de tres redes de presidios (asentamientos militares fortificados) en partes de sus territorios fronterizos en La Florida y Nueva España. La red de seis fuertes de Juan Pardo, que se extendió desde la costa atlántica hasta las Montañas Apalaches, fue la menos exitosa de estos sistemas de presidios, ya que duró solo desde finales de 1566 hasta principios de 1568. El fracaso de la red defensiva de Pardo se ha atribuido a la inversión insuficiente de recursos. Sin embargo, recientes descubrimientos arqueológicos en el sitio Berry en el oeste de Carolina del Norte —la ubicación del poblado indigena de Joara y de la primera guarnición de Pardo, el Fuerte San Juan— justifican una reevaluación de esta interpretación. Mientras que las investigaciones arqueológicas previas en el sitio Berry se concentraron en el complejo doméstico donde residían los soldados de Pardo, la ubicación del fuerte permanecía desconocida. En 2013, los restos del Fuerte San Juan fueron finalmente identificados al sur del complejo doméstico. Este es el primer fuerte interior de Pardo que ha sido descubierto por arqueólogos. Los datos procedentes de excavaciones y estudios geofísicos sugieren que fue una construcción defensiva sustancial. Atribuimos el fracaso de la red de Pardo a la geografía social del los grupos indigenas del Sur en lugar de una inversión insuficiente de recursos.

Copyright

Corresponding author

(rabeck@umich.edu, corresponding author)

References

Hide All
Anderson, David G. 1994 The Savannah River Chiefdoms: Political Change in the Late Prehistoric Southeast. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
Bakewell, Peter 1971 Silver Mining and Society in Colonial Mexico, Zacatecas 1546–1700. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Bandera, Juan de la 1990 Proceedings for the Account which Captain Juan Pardo Gave of the Entrance which He Made into the Land of the Floridas. Translated by Paul Hoffman. In The Juan Pardo Expeditions: Explorations of the Carolinas and Tennessee, 1566–1568, by Hudson, Charles, pp. 255296. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Beck, Robin A. 1997 From Joara to Chiaha: Spanish Exploration of the Appalachian Summit Area, 1540–1568. Southeastern Archaeology 16(2):162169.
Beck, Robin A. 2013 Chiefdoms, Collapse, and Coalescence in the Early American South. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Beck, Robin A., and Moore, David G. 2002 The Burke Phase: A Mississippian Frontier in the North Carolina Foothills. Southeastern Archaeology 21(2):192205.
Beck, Robin A., Moore, David G., and Rodning, Christopher B. 2006 Identifying Fort San Juan: A Sixteenth-Century Spanish Occupation at the Berry Site, North Carolina. Southeastern Archaeology 25(1):6577.
Beck, Robin A., Moore, David G., and Rodning, Christopher B. 2016a Introduction. In Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site, edited by Beck, Robin A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G., pp. 526. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Beck, Robin A., Moore, David G., and Rodning, Christopher B. 2016b Joara in Time and Space. In Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site, edited by Beck, Robin A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G., pp. 3157. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Beck, Robin A., Moore, David G., Rodning, Christopher B., Sherwood, Sarah, and Horton, Elizabeth T. 2016a The Built Environment of the Berry Site Spanish Compound. In Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site, edited by Beck, Robin A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G., pp. 85149. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Beck, Robin A., Newsom, Lee A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G. 2017 Spaces of Entanglement: Labor and Construction Practice at Fort San Juan de Joara. Historical Archaeology 51(2):167193.
Beck, Robin A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G. (editors) 2016 Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Behar, Ruth 1987 The Visions of a Guachichil Witch in 1599: A Window on the Subjugation of Mexico's Hunter-Gatherers. Ethnohistory 34(2):115138.
Bennett, Charles 2001 Laudonniere and Fort Caroline: History and Documents. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
Carter, William B. 2009 Indian Alliances and the Spanish in the Southwest, 750–1750. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Childers, Ronald W. 2004 The Presidio System in Spanish Florida 1565–1763. Historical Archaeology 38(3):2432.
Deagan, Kathleen A. 2009 Historical Archaeology at the Fountain of Youth Park Site (8SJ31) St. Augustine, Florida 1934–2007. Report submitted to the Florida Bureau of Historical Resources, Special Category Grant #SC 616. Copies available from the Florida Bureau of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.
DePratter, Chester B., Hudson, Charles M., and Smith, Marvin T. 1983 Juan Pardo's Explorations in the Interior Southeast, 1566–1568. Florida Historical Quarterly 62:125158.
Hann, John H. 1986 Translation of the Ecija Voyages of 1605 and 1609 and the González Derrotero of 1609. Florida Archaeology 2:180.
Hoffman, Paul E. 1990 A New Andalucia and a Way to the Orient: The American Southeast during the Sixteenth Century. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge.
Hudson, Charles M. 1990 The Juan Pardo Expeditions: Explorations of the Carolinas and Tennessee, 1566–1568. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.
Lewis, Laura A. 2003 Hall of Mirrors: Power, Witchcraft, and Caste in Colonial Mexico. Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina.
Lyon, Eugene 1976 The Enterprise of Florida: Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and the Spanish Conquest of 1565–1568. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Lyon, Eugene 1984 Santa Elena: A Brief History of the Colony, 1566–1567. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Research Manuscript Series 193. University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Moore, David G. 2002 Catawba Valley Mississippian: Ceramics, Chronology, and Catawba Indians. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
Moorhead, Max 1975 The Presidio: Bastion of the Spanish Borderlands. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Powell, Philip Wayne 1952 Soldiers, Indians and Silver: North America's First Frontier War, 1559–1600. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Quinn, David Beers 1985 Set Fair for Roanoke: Voyages and Colonies, 1584–1606. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.
Rodning, Christopher B., Beck, Robin A., Moore, David G., and Legg, James 2016 Spanish Material Culture from the Berry Site. In Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site, edited by Beck, Robin A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G., pp. 303340. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Sampeck, Kathryn E., Thayn, Jonathan, and Earnest, Howard Jr. 2015 Geographic Information System Modeling of De Soto's Route from Joara to Chiaha: Archaeology and Anthropology of Southeastern Road Networks in the Sixteenth Century. American Antiquity 80:4666.
Sherwood, Sarah C., and Kidder, Tristram R. 2011 The DaVincis of Dirt: Geoarchaeological Perspectives on Native American Mound Building in the Mississippi River Basin. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 30(1):6987.
South, Stanley 1984 Testing Archeological Sampling Methods at Fort San Felipe 1983. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Research Manuscript 182. University of South Carolina, Columbia.
South, Stanley 1985 Excavation of the Casa Fuerte and Wells at Ft. San Felipe 1984. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Research Manuscript 196. University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Thomas, Cyrus 1891 Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains. Bulletin No. 12. Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Thompson, Victor D., DePratter, Chester B., Lulewicz, Jacob, Lulewicz, Isabelle H., Roberts Thompson, Amanda D., Cramb, Justin, Ritchison, Brandon T., and Colvin, Matthew H. 2018 The Archaeology and Remote Sensing of Santa Elena's Four Millennia of Occupation. Remote Sensing 10(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020248, accessed March 15, 2018.
Thompson, Victor D., DePratter, Chester B., and Roberts Thompson, Amanda D. 2016 Defining Santa Elena's Colonial Landscape through Shallow Geophysics. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 9:178190.
Williams, Jack S. 2004 The Evolution of the Presidio in Northern New Spain. Historical Archaeology 38(3):623.
Worth, John E. 2016 Recollections of the Juan Pardo Expeditions: The Domingo De León Account. In Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire: Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site, edited by Beck, Robin A., Rodning, Christopher B., and Moore, David G., pp. 5880. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

A ROAD TO ZACATECAS: FORT SAN JUAN AND THE DEFENSES OF SPANISH LA FLORIDA

  • Robin A. Beck (a1), David G. Moore (a2), Christopher B. Rodning (a3), Timothy J. Horsley (a4) and Sarah C. Sherwood (a5)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed