Part 4: Conquistadors and Explorers: S.C. Under the Spanish Flag | Mary Long's Yesteryear
It was previously thought that DeSoto arrived on the banks of the Savannah River, but Dr. Chester DePratter states that archaeology done near the Savannah shows that there was no occupation on the Savannah when DeSoto came through, and that there is more evidence in the Wateree valley of occupation at the time that DeSoto came through. Although the artifacts date from the right period, there is no way to know if DeSoto handled them. A woman chief met DeSoto and, in very flattering terms, welcomed him. She gave him a string of pearls from around her neck. The chieftainess showed DeSoto a temple containing European artifacts, and DeSoto realized they were from an earlier expedition and had been traded northward. The chieftainess also told DeSoto that there was gold in an Indian village to the north. DeSoto kidnapped the niece of the kind chieftainess and took her along as a guide.