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Location: Florida        Length: 14 min

Aided by a hurricane, a project in Florida finds an ancient Native American town where Hernando de Soto and his army encamped in 1539 and which in 1580 became one of the earliest Spanish missions established in what is now the United States. The search had begun with a review of a Spanish document published in 1617 describing a visit to the mission. The ancient town of Potano was the key to the mystery, but where was it? An encrusted coin discovered among the debris and sand spoil left from the flooding guided the research team to the spot.

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Produced in 2012 by Florida Archaeological Survey

Copyright 2012 by Florida Archaeological Survey

Dr. F. Ashley White (

Florida Archaeological Survey

Florida Public Archaeology Network

Fred White (The Digital Archaeological Record)

Hernando de Soto (Wikipedia)