Saturday, March 25 at 7:00 pm in the Visitors Center at Sycamore Shoals
Collapse, Coalescence, and Spanish Incursions into
16th Century Native Upper East Tennessee –
Presented by Dr. Jay Franklin, Professor of Archaeology, Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology, East Tennessee State University
In Search of the People Who Lived Here Before: from Historic to Prehistoric Significance at the Carter Mansion Site –
Presented by Cayla Cannon, Graduate Student, Dept. of Geosciences, East Tennessee State University
Dr. Jay Franklin digging a medieval house site in the mountains of southcentral France
A 1958 TVA report held that the upper reaches of the Tennessee Valley along the Holston, Watauga and Nolichucky rivers were not suitable for permanent Native American villages. However, archaeological research conducted by East Tennessee State University from 2006 to the present indicates that our region contained dozens of large, vibrant Native American towns from at least AD 1350 to 1650. Jay will discuss his recent work at several of these sites. His research suggests that the upper reaches of the Tennessee Valley were not marginal hinterlands but rather newly discovered and well-connected cultural centers. It appears that at least some of these communities came into direct contact with early Spanish explorers.
Cayla will present her findings from her work at the Carter Mansion. Based on surface artifacts and decades-old excavations, we know the site also holds a prehistoric component, which may be vital for understanding Native American settlement and coalescence within the region. Our research in the broader region suggests that there may be a significant piece of Cherokee history here. The use of geophysics and targeted test excavations yielded many intriguing results at the Carter Mansion which Cayla will share during her presentation.
Please join us this evening for this unique opportunity to get a first- hand look at the most current research on these topics! This lecture is free and open to the public.