For more than 500 years before the arrival of Menéndez, the Timucua people of the St. Augustine area had been living in much the same way as they were in 1565.

They were organized as chiefdoms (societies comprised of several allied communities with a hereditary central political authority), and were matrilineal (they traced their descent and inheritance through the female line).

They fished, hunted, and cultivated corn, beans and squash.

The principal chief of the St. Augustine region in 1565 was Seloy, and his town has been located archaeologically on the grounds of what is today the Fountain of Youth Park, about 1 mile north of the Castillo de San Marcos.

It was quite large, covering an area of more than 12 acres. Timucuan houses were usually circular and were made of palm thatching, and Timucuan artisans made and used a wide variety of implements and ornaments in pottery, bone, shell, stone and wood.




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