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Fountain Of Youth Burial Grounds

When workers planting an orange field in St. Augustine on April 13, 1934 uncovered human bones, they did not realize that the bones were of an ancient Indian burial ground. The grounds were said to be constructed during the early military period of the Spanish occupation of Don Juan Ponce de Leon, shortly after St. Augustine was established in 1565. The graves are considered North America’s first Christian Indian burial ground.

The skeletons, when excavated, were left in the exact positions they were found, and a building similar to an early Indian settlement was constructed over them. Totaling over 100, the remains were on exhibit in The Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park until 1991, when the Timucua Indian Nation asked for the bones to be reburied.

Archeologists have excavated Fountain Of Youth Park and have found many Indian artifacts in the area. Some pre-date Ponce De Leon’s arrival by more than a thousand years. The park is the site where Spanish conquistadors first came ashore in what is now the continental United States. The Ponce de Leon expedition sighted land in the present locality of St. Augustine and named it La Florida.

 

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