Expedition of Hernando de Soto West of the Mississippi, 15411543
Back by popular demand and new in paperback, this spirited collection of nearly twenty papers celebrates the 450th anniversary of Hernando de Soto's epic expedition across the Southeast and West.
Originally presented at two symposia conducted by the University Museum at the University of Arkansas, the collection offers an array of viewpoints and diverse approaches to de Soto scholarship. Archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, museum curators, and folklorists all contribute to this lively debate on the Spanish explorer and his travels.
The book focuses on research that challenges traditional interpretation of de Soto's entrada and travel route, particularly after the expedition crossed the Mississippi River. David H. Dye hypothesizes a route across the river and the alluvial plain by linking the narrative accounts with geography and archaeological knowledge. Phyllis A. Morse asserts that the Parkin site is the location of the capital of Casqui, one of the polities visited by de Soto. Charles M. Hudson repostulates his version of the expedition route, which in 1988 severely challenged the De Soto Commission theory of 1939. Ann M. Early redraws the trail in the uplands of the Ouachita Mountains And Frank E. Schambach tests the possibility that the expedition wandered through Caddoan territory in east Texas after de Soto's death.
Several chapters examine the Native Americans whom de Soto and his expedition encountered in their journey; other contributions provide a fresh look at the chronicles of the expedition that have survived. What emerges is a redrawn map of de Soto's explorationand a deeper understanding of the impact of European contact on the New World.
Gloria A. Young is an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology and the education coordinator at the University Museum of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She has published papers in many professional journals, and several of her contributions will appear in the Handbook of North American Indians: Plains Volume, forthcoming from the Smithsonian Institution Press.
Michael P. Hoffman is a professor of anthropology and curator of anthropology at the University Museum of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He has published several monographs, including The Ozark Reservoir Papers (Arkansas Archeological Survey, 1970), and over fifty papers, chapters, and articles in various professional publications.