Date:

Obsidian blade linked to Coronado’s expedition to find the fabled city of gold

Archaeologists suggest that a flaked-stone obsidian blade could be linked to the expedition led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado to search for the fabled city of gold.

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was a Spanish explorer and conquistador, who led an expedition from what is now Mexico to present-day Kansas from 1540 to 1542.

- Advertisement -

Coronado was searching for Cibola, also known as the Seven Cities of gold, which according to legend was a fabled province that held vast cities constructed from gold.

The legend may have its roots in a Portuguese myth about seven cities founded on a mythical rectangular island called Antillia in the Atlantic Ocean, as depicted in the 1424 portolan chart of Zuane Pizzigano.

However, most reports about Cibola originate from shipwrecked survivors of the Narváez expedition, a failed colonial enterprise to establish settlements and garrisons in the Florida area in 1527.

The obsidian blade was found in the region of the Texas panhandle, which according to researchers from the Southern Methodist University (SMU) was likely dropped by a member of Coronado’s expedition, that included people indigenous to Mexico.

- Advertisement -

A spectrometer analysis of the blade’s chemical composition reveals that it originates from the Central Mexico’s Sierra de Pachuca mountain range, where indigenous people used obsidian to produce cutting tools until the Spanish conquest.

SMU anthropologist, Matthew Boulanger, said: “This small unassuming artefact fits all of the requirements for convincing evidence of a Coronado presence in the Texas panhandle.”

“It is the correct form of artefact, it is fully consistent with other finds, the correct material, found in the correct location, and there are no indications of an intentional hoax,” added Boulanger.

Further studies have traced the path of the expedition passing through the United States by studying other examples of central Mexican obsidian blades discarded by the expedition members.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : Southern Methodist University – Artefact could be linked to Spanish explorer Coronado’s expedition across Texas Panhandle.

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists reveal hundreds of ancient monuments using LiDAR

A new study published in the journal Antiquity has revealed hundreds of previously unrecorded monuments at Baltinglass in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Archaeologists use revolutionary GPR robot to explore Viking Age site

Archaeologist from NIKU are using a revolutionary new GPR robot to explore a Viking Age site in Norway’s Sandefjord municipality.

Highway construction delayed following Bronze Age discoveries

Excavations in preparation for the S1 Expressway have delayed road construction following the discovery of two Bronze Age settlements.

Archaeologists uncover possible phallus carving at Roman Vindolanda

Excavations at the Roman fort of Vindolanda have uncovered a possible phallus carving near Hadrian’s Wall.

Carbonised Herculaneum papyrus reveals burial place of Plato

An analysis of carbonised papyrus from the Roman town of Herculaneum has revealed the burial place of Plato.

Sealed 18th century glass bottles discovered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

As part of a $40 million Mansion Revitalisation Project, archaeologists have discovered two sealed 18th century glass bottles at George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Study suggests human occupation in Patagonia prior to the Younger Dryas period

Archaeologists have conducted a study of lithic material from the Pilauco and Los Notros sites in north-western Patagonia, revealing evidence of human occupation in the region prior to the Younger Dryas period.

Fort excavation uncovers Roman sculpture

Archaeologists excavating Stuttgart’s Roman fort have uncovered a statue depicting a Roman god.