Evidence found in Ga. of Spanish explorer's trail

ATLANTA (AP) - An archaeologist says excavations in southern Georgia have turned up artifacts that may pinpoint part of the elusive trail of the 16th-century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.

Dennis Blanton of the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta was scheduled to present his findings Thursday to the Southeastern Archaeological Conference in Mobile, Ala.

Excavations since 2006 in rural Telfair County uncovered remains of an Indian settlement along with nine pea-sized glass beads and six metal objects, including three iron tools and a silver pendant. Blanton says the artifacts are consistent with items Spanish explorers traded with Indians.

Historians have worked for years to pin down and mark the path of De Soto's explorations in the southeastern U.S. from May 1539 until 1543.

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