Sponsored by: The Florida Public Archaeology Network
Presented by Dr. Roger Smith
The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park has been a favorite site for tourists in St. Augustine, Florida, since April 1868 – the earliest-known documented dating of a patron visiting the park for a sip of water from the famous fountain. But it is also arguably the most historic 15 acres in the nation’s oldest city. It is the archaeologically-proven location where Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine in 1565; the location of one of the oldest Native American village in northeast Florida; the location of the first Spanish Catholic mission in the United States (1587); the cornerstone mission-site for the Spanish chain of missions that dwarf in number the missions of California and the Southwest. And yes, arguments continue to support the presence of Ponce de Leon in 1513. But this is only the beginning! The history of this property since these ancient times is as rich and deep as any other in the United States. This may well be the most under-appreciated historical site in the world.