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Reworked battlefield finds in Mississippi

Manwon Lender

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Archaeologists working in north-eastern Mississippi have uncovered a range of Spanish artefacts reworked and repurposed by Chickasaw people living in the area. These finds possibly pinpoint the elusive site of their first contact with the Spanish in a 1541 battle with Hernando de Soto. Military items – like a cannonball, lead shot, apparent pieces of a sword, and a ramrod tip, which were rarely traded – were found at the site complex of Stark Farms, along with bits of horseshoes and other iron stock that had been refashioned into tools, and axe-heads that had been adapted into celts – used for cutting – of Chickasaw design. Other recovered items include an ornate medallion that probably adorned a horse’s bridle, and bits of copper and copper-alloy that may have been sewn on to clothing.


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