Not many have heard of Etzanoa. Not yet that is. Researchers believe they have discovered the “great settlement,” described by the explorer Don Juan de Oñate. Etzanoa was said to stretch for 5 miles and house 20,000 ancestors of the Wichita tribe near the confluence of two rivers. In a study led by our guest today, Dr. Don Blakeslee, they confirmed that Etzanoa once straddled the banks of the Walnut River in modern Arkansas City, Kan. Findings suggest that the size of this settlement rivals that of Cahokia, a site considered to be the largest Native American settlements in the U.S. Get cozy and settle in while we hear about the details of this monumental discovery.
Dr. Blakeslee is Professor of Anthropology at Wichita State University, where he has taught since 1976. He earned an MA from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A specialist in the archaeology of the Great Plains, his research interests range from the time of the earliest settlement of the Americas to the historic period and his work has carried him from Montana to Texas. He has worked on the archaeology and route of the Coronado expedition since the early 1990s.
His research has received recognition from the Sigma Xi Honorary Society for Scientific Research, from the Kansas Academy of Sciences, the Texas Historical Foundation and Wichita State University. He is the author of six books and numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals. He has served as president of the Professional Archaeologists of Kansas and of AASCK, a society for amateur archaeologists. His most recent publication is Holy Ground, Healing Water: Cultural Landscapes at Waconda Lake (Texas A&M Press).