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WNCHA Presents: Dr. David Moore on Native American Resistance to the16th-Century Spanish Invasion of Western North Carolina

09/30/2021 @ 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM


Join the Western North Carolina Historical Association Thursday, September 30 at 6:30PM for this special virtual event. We will explore the history and the modern archaeology behind the travelling exhibit Unearthing Our Forgotten Past: Fort San Juan, now on display at the Smith-McDowell House Museum.

Dr. David Moore will describe excavations of the Berry site, the location of the 16th-century Native American town of Joara and the Spanish occupation of Fort San Juan. The construction of Fort San Juan in 1567 constituted the first European settlement in the interior of the United States. Moore will describe the excavations carried out since 1986 and will discuss the fate of the Spanish fort as well as the impact of the Spanish invasion on the Native peoples of the North Carolina Piedmont.


About the Speaker:

David Moore has worked on archaeological sites in western North Carolina since 1978.  He received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He served as the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology’s Western Office archaeologist in Asheville for 18 years before becoming a full-time faculty member at Warren Wilson College in 2000.

Dr. Moore leads the Berry site excavation project in Morganton, NC, and serves as the Senior Archeologist for the Exploring Joara Foundation in Morganton, NC. He is the author of Catawba Valley Mississippian: Ceramics, Chronology, and Catawba Indians.  He is also co-author of, Fort San Juan and the Limits of Empire, the first book on the Berry site excavations. In December 2019, Moore and his colleagues received one of 12 “Discovery Awards” at the Shanghai Archaeology Forum in Shanghai, China.

As Senior Archaeologist with the Exploring Joara Foundation, David helps to lead one of the largest public archaeology programs in the eastern United States. The Exploring Joara Foundation reaches thousands of participants who learn about local archaeology and history through programs at the Berry site and at the Catawba Meadows Park Living History Village in Morganton.

Dr. David Moore

Tickets: Free for WNCHA members/ $5 for General Admission. We also have no-cost, community-funded tickets available. We want our events to be accessible to as many people as possible. If you are able please consider making a donation along with your ticket purchase. These donations are placed in our Community Fund, which allows us to offer tickets at no cost to those who would not be able to attend otherwise.

This event airs live via Zoom and will be recorded as well. We will hold a Q&A session following Dr. Moore’s presentation. This event is brought to you by the Western North Carolina Historical Association and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville. 

For questions email Trevor Freeman at




6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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Western North Carolina Historical Association (WNCHA)
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