Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

France’s Fort Caroline May Be in Georgia

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fort-Caroline_Georgia(Public Domain)TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA—Historian Fletcher Crowe and anthropologist Anita Spring think that Fort Caroline, a French fortified settlement built in 1564, could be located near the mouth of the Altamaha River in southeastern Georgia. Crowe examined sixteenth and seventeenth-century maps of the Southeast at the Bibiliothèque Nationale de France, and compared them to modern maps of the region. The team then used GPS coordinates to locate a triangular structure surrounded by moats, and dozens of Native American villages. Researchers had long been looking for traces of the fort in Jacksonville, Florida, near the St. Johns River, based upon what was known about the languages spoken by Native Americans living near the fort. “We proved that the Native Americans living near the fort spoke a language called Guale. The Guale speakers lived in the Altamaha area. They did not live in Northeast Florida, where Jacksonville is,” Spring explained to Science Daily. “The next step is to do archaeological excavations to confirm this discovery,” Crowe added.