Sunday, August 19, 2018

"Archaeologists explore a rural field in Kansas, and a lost city emerges"

Locals have long scoured fields and river banks for arrowheads and bits of pottery, amassing huge collections. Then there were those murky tales of a sprawling city on the Great Plains and a chief who drank from a goblet of gold.

A few years ago, Donald Blakeslee, an anthropologist and archaeology professor at Wichita State University, began piecing things together. And what he’s found has spurred a rethinking of traditional views on the early settlement of the Midwest, while potentially filling a major gap in American history.

Using freshly translated documents written by the Spanish conquistadors more than 400 years ago and an array of high-tech equipment, Blakeslee located what he believes to be the lost city of Etzanoa, home to perhaps 20,000 people between 1450 and 1700.


Conquistadors are often associated with Mexico, but a thirst for gold drove them into the Midwest as well.

Francisco Vazquez de Coronado came to central Kansas in 1541 chasing stories of a fabulously wealthy nobleman who napped beneath trees festooned with tinkling gold bells.