My research interests in archaeology concentrate on native peoples of the southern Appalachians during the period just before and after European contact in southeastern North America. I am collaborating with David Moore and Robin Beck on an archaeological study of early encounters and interactions between Spanish colonists and native groups of the upper Catawba Valley in western North Carolina, and currently we are concentrating on excavations at the Berry site, which was a large and powerful native town during the 1400s and 1500s, and which was the location of a permanent (but short-lived) Spanish fort, known as Fort San Juan, from 1567 to 1568. I am also continuing my long-term interests in the architecture and built environment of Cherokee towns in southwestern North Carolina, with particular emphasis on the late prehistoric and protohistoric Coweeta Creek site, in the upper Little Tennessee Valley. In both of these projects, of course, I am interested in the cultural landscape of the Southeast, and, specifically, the southern Appalachians, during the period just before and after European contact. The major episodes of direct and indirect European contact in the southern Appalachians include Spanish expeditions during the sixteenth century, and the slave trade and deerskin trade between native groups and English colonists during the 1600s and 1700s.
   Exploring Joara   
   Native American Towns and Early European Contact   
   in the Western North Carolina Piedmont   

      David G. Moore, Ph.D., Warren Wilson College   
      Robin A. Beck, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma   
      Christopher B. Rodning, Ph.D., Tulane University   
   Cherokee Towns   
   The Cultural Landscape of Southwestern North Carolina   
   and the Appalachian Summit

      Christopher B. Rodning, Ph.D., Tulane University   

Chris Rodning 13 November 2009 Tulane University