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A release from the University of South Carolina says the site of San Marcos, one of five forts built during the 21-year history of the early settlement of Santa Elena, has finally been located on Parris Island near Hilton Head Island.
University of South Carolina archaeologist Chester DePratter and Victor Thompson of the Center for Archaeological Sciences at the University of Georgia, have conducted research for the past two years to find the site of the 1577 fort.
Using ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech equipment last month, they found the site and are publishing the details of their work this week in The Journal of Archaeology Science Reports.
“I have been looking for San Marcos since 1993, and new techniques and technologies allowed for a fresh search,” DePratter said in a press release Monday. “Pedro Menendez didn’t leave us with a map of Santa Elena, so 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.”
The archaeologists say the discovery, which currently sits beneath a former military golf course, will allow them to better understand the land’s history, and the European powers’ competitive expansion that helped shape it.