Archaeologists in rural Kansas have unearthed a long-lost city that had been hidden for centuries

Archaeologists in Kansas have made an incredible discovery: the long-lost city of Etzanoa, hidden for centuries beneath the Great Plains. Led by anthropologist Donald Blakeslee, researchers unearthed evidence of this ancient settlement in present-day Arkansas City, Kansas.

For years, residents of this small town in south-central Kansas have been discovering arrowheads, pottery, and various other ancient artifacts scattered throughout the fields and rivers of the area. However, the true magnitude of the archaeological treasure trove concealed beneath their town remained undiscovered until now.

Between approximately 1450 and 1700, Etzanoa thrived as a bustling hub, accommodating an estimated populace of 20,000 individuals. Spanning a distance of five miles along the Walnut and Arkansas rivers, the city featured distinctive beehive-shaped dwellings, establishing itself as one of the foremost settlements in the area.

In 1541, the conquistador Francisco Vazquez de Coronado arrived at the town with aspirations of uncovering its legendary gold, only to encounter Native Americans residing in a series of settlements he named Quivira.

In 1601, sixty years after the initial expedition, Juan de Oñate and 70 conquistadors from New Mexico set out for Quivira, hopeful of uncovering its treasures. However, their quest led them to the Escanxaques tribe, who directed them to the nearby city of Etzanoa instead.

Upon reaching the city, Oñate and his expedition were met with a peaceful reception by the residents of Etzanoa. However, the situation quickly escalated as the conquistadors began taking hostages, prompting the inhabitants to flee out of fear.

Exploring the vast expanse encompassing over 2,000 houses, the conquistadors grew wary of potential retaliation from the displaced locals. Fearing an impending attack, they chose to retreat and head back home. However, during their journey, they encountered approximately 1,000 members of the Escanxaque tribe, leading to a significant battle. Ultimately, the conquistadors were defeated and retreated to New Mexico, never to return to the area.

Nearly a century later, French explorers ventured to the same region in south-central Kansas but found no evidence of Etzanoa or its populace. It is believed that the population's downfall was due to disease.

For centuries, the memory of Etzanoa lingered only in local folklore and the artifacts unearthed by residents. But Blakeslee's excavation team uncovered traces of the ancient battle and confirmed the existence of the lost city.

Blakeslee's discovery challenges the notion that the Great Plains were empty expanses populated only by nomadic tribes. Etzanoa suggests that some indigenous communities were more urbanized than previously thought, leaving behind a rich archaeological legacy. Moreover, ongoing research hints at the possibility of similar lost cities waiting to be discovered in nearby areas, shedding new light on early American history.

facebook Share