Sunday, August 19, 2018

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

LAT:

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.