HONORING THE DISCOVERY OF HERNANDO DE SOTO'S 1539 ENCAMPMENT AND THE LOST NATIVE AMERICAN TOWN OF POTANO; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 193
(Extensions of Remarks - November 28, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1601]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]





 HONORING THE DISCOVERY OF HERNANDO DE SOTO'S 1539 ENCAMPMENT AND THE 
                  LOST NATIVE AMERICAN TOWN OF POTANO

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. TED S. YOHO

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, November 28, 2017

  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the discovery of 
Hernando de Soto's 1539 Encampment and the lost Native American town of 
Potano, by the University of Florida professors, Dr. Fred White and Dr. 
Michele White, and University of Florida Anderson Scholar Ethan White. 
This newly discovered archaeological site is the oldest confirmed New 
World contact site in the United States.
   In one of the most important events in U.S. history, de Soto was the 
first European to discover the Mississippi River and explore an area 
that today would hold 10 States. Until this incredible archaeological 
discovery, there was no physical evidence of de Soto's 4,000-mile 
journey. The collection of artifacts recovered near Orange Lake, 
Florida, includes very rare King Ferdinand Queen Isabella coins, and a 
King Enrique IV of Castile coin that is the oldest dated European 
artifact ever unearthed in the United States.
   Other rare items include Murano glass beads and Spanish weapons and 
armor dated from the early 1500s. The artifacts were excavated in the 
lost ancient Native American town of Potano. Also discovered in the 
town of Potano were the remains of the first location of the San 
Buenaventura Franciscan mission built there in the 1580s. Within the 
floors of the 16th century mission, the team discovered the largest 
cache of medieval coins found in the American mainland so far.
   Acknowledgment for confirmation and identification of the artifacts 
goes to a large and diverse group of scholars throughout the country, 
including these distinguished University of Florida researchers: Dr. 
Jerald T. Milanich, Curator Emeritus in Archaeology of the Florida 
Museum of Natural History, Dr. Gifford Waters, Historical Archaeology 
Collections Manager of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Dr. 
Kathleen Deagan, Distinguished Research Curator of Archaeology for the 
University of Florida and Dr. Michael Gannon, Distinguished Service 
Professor Emeritus of History, University of Florida.
   The recent scientific findings were published in the peer-reviewed 
International Journal of Archaeology and with the Florida Department of 
State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological 
Research in Tallahassee, Florida. The collection of artifacts is at the 
Florida Museum of Natural History on the campus of my alma mater, the 
University of Florida.

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