Aug 15 2016

Archaeologists Find Spanish Fort from 1577 on South Carolina Coast

You just never know what treasures the South Carolina coast will yield — some days you find a message in a bottle, and others you apparently find the remains of a long-sought Spanish fort at the site of what was believed to be the first capital of Spanish Florida.

Wild, we know.

According to a release from the University of South Carolina, a two-year -long research project by USC archaeologist Chester DePratter and Victor Thompson of the Center for Archeological Sciences at the University of Georgia has culminated in finding the historic site from 1577.

One of five forts built during the 21-year history of the early settlement of Santa Elena — the first capital of Spanish colonial Florida — San Marcos is located on Parris Island near Hilton Head, roughly 83 miles down the coast from Folly Beach.

To find the long-elusive site of the fort, researchers relied on high-tech equipment such as ground-penetrating radar to measure differences in local magnetic fields. Even cooler? This technology enabled them to create a virtual map of where buildings (think taverns and the local church) actually stood when the 15-acre Santa Elena settlement was formed.

“Remote sensing is allowing us to create a town plan that will be important to interpreting what happened here 450 years ago and for planning future research,” DePratter explained in the release.

Be on the lookout for the revelations of this historical find to pop up in The Journal of Archeology Science Reports.

Bob Hart Author

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