Wichita State University professor Don Blakeslee says a recent archaeological dig in south-central Kansas has yielded evidence of a Native American settlement dating back more than 400 years.
Blakeslee is an archaeologist and anthropology professor at Wichita State who recently led a five-day dig in Arkansas City.
He says researchers found iron and lead balls that are the same type of ammunition shot from cannons and muskets by Spanish conquistadors who explored the Great Plains in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Blakeslee says the evidence supports his theory that Arkansas City is the site of the 5-mile-long town of Etzanoa, which was inhabited by about 20,000 ancestors of the Wichita Indians about 400 years ago.
Former Wichita tribe president Gary McAdams, and current president Terri Parton, attended a public presentation Blakeslee gave recently and said they support the Arkansas City studies.
They said they also toured the lower Walnut River areas with Blakeslee last summer.
"It was a feeling kind of thing, to imagine 20,000 of our people living here," Parton said.
Link to Ark City Traveler story: http://bit.ly/1HZP3RP