Saturday, July 01, 2006

Search for Spanish mission yields artifacts, but no location
Donna Beaver and two other members of Oklahoma's Muscogee (Creek) Nation spent a week in a south Georgia pine forest, digging in the sandy soil and sifting dirt in 90-degree heat to learn more about their ancestors and possibly locate a lost Spanish mission.

They were among 22 amateur archaeologists - high school and college students, history buffs and teachers - who paid up to $200 each for a week of tedious work with shovels, trowels, buckets and brushes this month in the search for the mission of Santa Isabel de Utinahica, which is believed to have been built in the 1600s for a lone Spanish friar on the edge of Spain's colonial empire.