Conquistadors, excavators, or rodents: What damaged the King site skeletons?

George R. Milner, Clark Spencer Larsen, Dale L. Hutchinson, Matthew A. Williamson, Dorothy A. Humpf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


It has been claimed that many Native American skeletons from the King site in Georgia show evidence of wounds from sharpedged metal weapons that were wielded by members of the sixteenth-century de Soto expedition (Blakely and Mathews 1990). The supposed massacre of these villagers has caught the attention of the public and scholars alike. But we failed to find any evidence of damage caused by sixteenth-century Spanish weapons in our examination of the King site skeletons. Our finding - there is no evidence for a massacre - eliminates a major discrepancy between historical and archaeological information used in reconstructions of the de Soto route.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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