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July 23, 2014

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Originally published: 2012-09-17 12:01:42
Last modified: 2012-09-17 12:01:42

Archeologist to speak on early Native American community

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum has announced that David Moore, noted archeologist from nearby Warren Wilson College, has agreed to deliver a talk about the Berry site in nearby Burke County for the museum’s Third Thursday lecture series on Sept. 20.

The program will begin at 4 p.m. on in the museum’s Community Meeting Room.

Moore has been actively involved in the archeology of North Carolina’s mountains for more than 25 years; his work in the upper Catawba Valley began in 1986.

The Berry site is a large Native American community that was occupied from about A.D. 1400-1600. During the mid-16th century, Berry may have been among the largest Native American towns in North America. 

The site has been identified as the town of Joara, which was visited by the Hernando de Soto expedition in 1540 and by the Juan Pardo expedition from 1567-68. Pardo built a fort at Joara — Fort San Juan — the earliest European settlement in the interior of what is now the United States. 

Fort San Juan was founded 40 years before the English colony of Jamestown and 20 years before Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Lost Colony” at Roanoke. 

Moore’s research into the long-forgotten episode of Fort San Juan promises to help re-write the history of European exploration and settlement in eastern North America, according to museum officialsMoore will show slides of the exploration and share stories and artifacts with the audience.  

A reception will follow Moore’s presentation. Third Thursday is free for museum members and $5 for others. Seating is limited. 
For more information, visit or call (828) 295-9099.
For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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