UNC Asheville Campus
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804
Dr. David Moore, Warren Wilson College and Director of Excavation at the Berry Site
Site and talk description:
The Berry Site is an active archaeological site dating back to the 16th Century. Archaeologists have identified the site as the location of the Native American town of Joara, which was visited by the Spanish explorers Hernan de Soto (1540) and Juan Pardo (1567). In 2013, archaeologists confirmed that this site is also the site of the Spanish Fort San Juan, established by Juan Pardo in 1567. Fort San Juan was the first European settlement established in the interior of what is now the United States, predating Roanoke by nearly 20 years and Jamestown by 40 years.
In 1566, Captain Juan Pardo and his army departed Santa Elena (on modern-day Parris Island, South Carolina) to claim the interior of southeastern North America for Spain. Spanish soldiers lived at Fort San Juan from January 1567, until the Spring of 1568. In June, relations between the Spaniards and the native peoples of Joara ended tumultuously, and the fort was burned and destroyed.