- Associated Press - Sunday, June 14, 2015

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - An archaeological dig in south-central Kansas has turned up evidence of a Native American settlement that dates back more than 400 years ago, according to a Wichita State University professor who led the excavation work.

Don Blakeslee, archaeologist and Wichita State professor of anthropology who led a recent five-day dig in Arkansas City, said researchers found iron and lead balls that are the same type of ammunition shot from cannons and muskets by Spanish conquistadors who explored the Great Plains in the 16th and 17th centuries.

He said the evidence supports his theory that Arkansas City is the site of the 5-mile-long town of Etzanoa, which was inhabited by about 20,000 ancestors of the Wichita Indians about 400 years ago, The Arkansas City Traveler reported (https://bit.ly/1HZP3RP ).

The dig included five archaeologists, half a dozen Wichita State archaeology students and volunteers in field work at five main locations along the bluffs of the Walnut River.

Gary McAdams, former president of the Wichita tribe, and Terri Parton, current president, attended a public presentation Blakeslee gave recently and said they support the Arkansas City studies.

They said they also toured the lower Walnut River areas with Blakeslee last summer.

“It was a feeling kind of thing, to imagine 20,000 of our people living here,” Parton said.


Information from: The Arkansas City (Kan.) Traveler, https://www.arkcity.net

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