Archaeologists have found incredible evidence of a huge Wichita Indian town in Kansas that was once home to 20,000 people.
Donald Blakeslee, a professor of archaeology at Wichita State University, told Fox News that experts harnessed 400-year-old Spanish documents and modern technology to locate the long-lost town of Etzanoa near Arkansas City, Kansas.
“A single community of 20,000 people was not something that any of us expected,” he said over the phone. “It’s a completely different view of everything.”
Etzanoa, which existed from the early 15th century to just after 1700, was visited by Spanish soldiers in 1601. The soldiers were interviewed about the town in Mexico City the following year and their eyewitness accounts were recorded in documents, which are now in Seville, Spain. A new translation of the documents provided the catalyst for the latest discovery.
The Cibola Project at the University of California, Berkeley, made photocopies of the documents, re-transcribed them from the Old Spanish and retranslated them. This showed that earlier historians and archaeologists had been dealing with errors in transcription and translation, leading to the misinterpretation of previous archaeological finds in the area.
“The new translations are just wonderful, they are much cleaner than all the previous attempts,” said Blakeslee, adding that earlier historians thought the Spanish were exaggerating the size of Etzanoa. “The Spanish who were there in 1601 counted 2,000 houses and estimated 10 people per house,” he said.
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