Glass beads found off Georgia shed light on Spanish empire





Roughly 70,000 beads said to provide clues to the social structure and wealth of people from the 17th century Spanish empire have been excavated by a team of scientists, an archaeologist said Tuesday.

Since 1974, scientists at the American Museum of Natural History have been digging beneath the Santa Catalina de Guale Mission, a remote outpost of the Spanish empire on St. Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia and "the largest repository ever from Spanish Florida," museum spokeswoman Kristin Phillips said.

"The mission was a major source of grain for Spanish Florida and a provincial capital until 1680, when the mission was abandoned after a British attack," Phillips added.


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