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Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire : Colonialism and Household Practice at the Berry Site

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“An insightful analysis of the excavations of the most exciting Spanish colonial site to be found in recent years.”—Marvin T. Smith, author ofCoosa: The Rise and Fall of a Southeastern Mississippian Chiefdom“A rich chronicle of the rise and fall of Spanish imperial ambitions in the North American interior.”—Charles R. Ewen, coauthor ofHernando de Soto Among the ApalacheeBuilt in 1566 by Spanish conquistador Juan Pardo, Fort San Juan is the earliest known European settlement in the interior United States. Located at the Berry site in western North Carolina, the fort and its associated domestic compound stood near the Native American town of Joara, whose residents sacked the fort and burned the compound after only eighteen months.Drawing on archaeological evidence from architectural, floral, and faunal remains, as well as newly discovered accounts of Pardo’s expeditions, this volume explores the deterioration in Native American–Spanish relations that sparked Joara’s revolt and offers critical insight into the nature of early colonial interactions.

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