We of the GCAS tip our hats to geologist/archaeologist Andrew R Gomolak! He kindly submitted to us an article and links to a series of short YouTube videos presenting Deni Seymour's findings from her archaeological excavations of the first sites in Arizona that can be attributed to the Coronado Expedition of 1539-1542. Andrew advises that the following materials are public information, with no restrictions on distribution; having enjoyed them ourselves we present them here for all our readers. Deni Seymour's work appears to be a monumental step forward in determining the Coronado Expedition's exact route through southern Arizona.
Andrew forwarded to us Deni's own description of her research:
We have been working on a set of new Vazquez de Coronado sites. They are the first sites from this expedition discovered in Arizona. The evidence of this earliest European expedition into southern Arizona is robust and unquestionable. This discovery is supported by an abundance of evidence. This evidence has been confirmed by other professional archaeologists and historians who specialize in this time period and Coronado expedition sites specifically.
Of course, the Coronado expedition brought the first Europeans to southern Arizona during the 1539 to 1542 period. This route is perhaps the most sought-after trail in the American Southwest, the most intriguing expedition through the region, largely because of its mystery. The route had been lost to history. People have been looking for centuries for the route of Vasquez de Coronado. These recent archaeological discoveries have uncovered evidence of a sizable Coronado presence in southern Arizona, the first such site to be discovered between Culiacan, Sinaloa (Mexico) and Zuni, New Mexico (USA). This is one reason the site is so important, because the largest site is the first site related to this expedition found in Arizona. Sites have been found in neighboring New Mexico and in Texas, but nothing had been found between the start point in Sinaloa and the original destination of Zuni New Mexico. This 1500-mile stretch has been relatively unknown with respect to this expedition. The abundance of evidence is astonishing. For one, the site is huge, much larger than expected, it is 1 km long, with multiple clutters of activity, including six lookout stations. There's evidence of a battle. We can see these early Europeans being chased across the landscape. We see this in the distribution of items, such as crossbow bolt heads, lead shot, pieces of weapons, and other artifacts...as well as in the distribution of native stone arrow points. We now have a total of three locations...which only confirms the mystery is beginning to unfold and southern Arizona is central to this story.
Andrew further reports that he himself was:
...recently in Tubac to visit the excavation site of a 1539-40 CE Vasquez de Coronado settlement, that filled in one of the blank spaces of where Coronado first entered and established a "villa" in what is now Arizona on his way to Zuni, Albuquerque and Texas; and to be there for the public announcement of the site. Our friend Deni Seymour had let a few long time archaeologists in on the excitement over a year ago, so I reserved space for [her January 29, 2022] presentation at the Tubac Presidio Museum.
I attended both Saturday sessions (see the video links below for a sample of the presentations) as well as getting an in person tour of the site (with Peter Pilles, Karl & Toni Laumbach). We saw the "wall gun" (a 42 inch bronze mini-cannon that was recovered in situ on the site!) [see that photo up there on the right - ed.] and held/rotated it around for the follow-up video that is being made about the site. It is one of the six 'wall guns' on Coronado's expedition equipment inventory, five remain to be found. The site is a very big deal to say the least.
Andrew sent us a PDF copy of reporter Henry Brean's February 6, 2022, newspaper article of Seymour's discoveries (well worth a look for the photos alone): Download Brean-2022-Seymour-Coronado-SiteAZ.pdf (854.8K), and the links to 5 short descriptive videos to be viewed in sequence:
CBS News has also reported on Deni Seymour's discoveries, here. We are certain that her investigations will stimulate further analysis among the historians and archaeologists who have spent decades studying the Coronado Expedition's possible routes, and we look forward to hearing more from Deni herself as her research moves forward.
Thank you again for keeping us informed, Andrew!