CONCENTRATION in the BA SOCIOLOGY / ANTHROPOLOGY MAJOR
What You’ll Study
As an Archaeology student, you get to participate in many different projects, including working on the Archaeology Crew and curating collections gathered from many sites. As a senior, you’ll design your own research project with the help of an advisor.
You’ll also get the chance to participate in our Archaeology Field School where you’ll excavate a site, analyze artifacts, and get plenty of hands-on experience! Our Archaeology Field School focuses on the Berry site, the 16th century Native American town of Joara where a Spanish fort was built, located in present-day Morganton, North Carolina.
Joara was a major town of the Mississippian Native American culture in the upper Catawba Valley. It was visited by the Spanish expeditions led by Hernando de Soto in 1540 and by Juan Pardo from 1567-68. Pardo built Fort San Juan at Joara, which is the earliest European settlement in the interior of what is now the United States.
In December 1566, Juan Pardo left the Spanish town of Santa Elena on the South Carolina coast and traveled into North Carolina in search of an overland route to Mexico. Scholars have debated about the routes of Pardo and de Soto for years, but our research at the Berry site provides evidence that both of these expeditions passed through the upper Catawba Valley of North Carolina.
Spanish soldiers lived at Fort San Juan for 18 months, from January 1567 until about June 1568. During the spring of 1568, relations between the Spaniards and the Mississippians ended tumultuously, and the fort was burned and destroyed.