The rusty, diamond-shaped iron blade, its sharp point jutting from the dirt where it was discovered, could be a centuries old clue that sheds surprising new light on the obscure path taken by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.
For archaeologist Dennis Blanton it has erased most doubts that the patch of ground in southeast Georgia was visited more than 460 years ago by some group of Spanish explorers — if not de Soto himself.
"It's pretty much case-closed," says Blanton, standing in a clearing among planted pines where his archaeologists have dug about 18 inches into the dirt in an area the size of a small house. "If you had to deduce the most plausible source, it would be de Soto."
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Researcher: Georgia artifacts may point to de Soto's trail