Luna Settlement

Courtesy of Dr. John Worth

 

 

           During the evening of Tuesday, September 19, 1559, some 458 years ago, strong winds from the north heralded the arrival of a great hurricane in Pensacola Bay.  The storm was not the first to assail the bay, nor would it be the last, but the 1559 hurricane did manage to change the course of human history by destroying a fleet of Spanish colonial ships riding at anchor off the newly-founded settlement called Santa María de Ochuse.

John Worth / UWF Archaeology Institute

University of West Florida archaeologists spent the summer uncovering more details about Tristan de Luna’s 1559 Settlement in Pensacola. Much of the story of the ill-fated Spanish colony is being told through the artifacts that have been discovered.

John Worth / UWF Archaeology Institute

University of West Florida archaeology students and researchers have spent the summer uncovering more details about the 1559 Luna Settlement.

The Tristan de Luna Settlement overlooking Pensacola Bay existed for just two years until 1561.

UWF Archaeology

There is a rich history surrounding the voyage of Tristan de Luna to what’s now Pensacola. And it’s getting richer with a new discovery by the University of West Florida’s Archaeology program.

Outgoing UWF President Judy Bense making the announcement, at the T.T. Wentworth museum in downtown Pensacola.

“I am absolutely thrilled to tell you that we have discovered a third Luna shipwreck in Pensacola Bay,” said Bense to a round of applause.

University of West Florida

It was nearly a year ago that the location of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 Settlement was discovered. Since then, University of West Florida archaeologists have ramped up their research of the Spanish colony that was doomed by a hurricane that struck on this day, September 19, 457 years ago.

During the past year, there’s been a lot of activity at the site, including the 2016 UWF Archaeology Summer Field School.  

IHMC

  Over the summer I was lucky enough to volunteer with University of West Florida archeologists to assist with the ongoing effort to uncover the settlement of Don Tristan de Luna.

Luna attempted to establish a permanent Spanish colony in Pensacola in 1559, which if it had succeeded would have been the first permanent European settlement in what is now known as North America. The effort failed by 1561, mainly from the bad luck of being hit by a hurricane before the ships in the expedition had been fully unloaded.

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is wrapping up its 2016 Summer Archaeology Field School.

In addition to their work exploring the Luna shipwrecks at Emanuel Point, UWF staff and students have spent the past 10 weeks looking for more clues about the recently discovered 1559 Luna Settlement site. Earlier this month, WUWF checked in to see how the project was progressing.

University of West Florida

It’s been about six months since University of West Florida archaeologists revealed the discovery of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 settlement on Pensacola Bay.

Earlier this week, property owners in the settlement area were updated on their findings and briefed on the next phase of their research.

Work at the site of the Luna settlement, also known as Santa Maria de Ochuse, is continuing as part of a 10-week terrestrial field school that began May 23 and will continue through July 29.