This is really good news for preservationists (http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180706/court-gives-france-rights-to-ancient-shipwreck-linked-to-fort-caroline-colony). But I can’t get past the comment about how the National Park Service’s Fort Caroline National Memorial has never recovered a single artifact connecting that property to the French colony presumed to be nearby. I was quite disappointed to find out that the same was true in Bradenton near Tampa Bay with the Desoto National Memorial and Spanish artifacts when I visited there. It seems that the US Govt. and the NPS have had quite the history of creating parks in Florida with absolutely no artifactual evidence present to support their ruling theories. But archaeologists definitively proved that the 1566 Spanish settlement of Santa Elena was located on Parris Island near Beaufort, South Carolina and that the 1607 English settlement at James Fort & James Town was actually located on James Island, Virginia by recovering solid evidence in the form of artifacts, burials, and features.
Perhaps Fort Caroline was near Jacksonville, as the popular view holds, and perhaps De Soto did land somewhere near Bradenton, but there are alternative hypotheses that must be carefully evaluated and not dismissed out of hand for no other reason than that they do not fit 75- or 100-year-old popular narratives that have never produced a single artifact. Facts are facts, and artifacts are the facts of archaeology.