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Who discovered the Great Salt Lake?
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by NaturalResources: [QB] [b]TIMELINE:[/b] ~1120 AD: The Mexicas, or Aztecs, leave Aztlan and wander south, in search of a new home. Aztlan is thought to have been a city built on an island in a large inland lake. Aztlan in native Nahuatl means "Place of Whiteness" or "Place of Egrets". ~1132 AD: Radiocarbon date for the last log cut and used at the famous Anasazi Pueblo, Chaco Canyon. ~1325 AD: The Mexicas arrive in Teonochitlan (Mexico City). Being the last of the clan to leave Aztlan, they are forced to build their homes along the shores of ancient salt Lake Texocco, for much of the valley the lake lies in is already occupied. They found the city of Teonochitlan on a small island in the center of the lake, and spend the next 200 years conquering and subjugating their neighbours. 1521 AD: Hernan Cortez conquers the Aztecs and captures the city of Teonochitlan. Before his death, Montezumma tells Cortez of Aztlan and it's supposed wealth. Montezumma suggests that Aztlan is "far to the north". Finding this legendary city will become the "MO" of almost every expedition undertaken by other Conquistadors of the period, who strive to gain the same fame and wealth that Cortez achieved through his conquests of the Aztec. 1536 AD: Cabezza de Vaca and a black slave named "Estevan" arrive in Mexico City. Their ship, part of a 1528 Spanish expedition to colonize Florida, was sunk during a squall. They spent a total of six years wandering the "New World". Both Cabezza de Vaca and "Estevan" tell of a large city named Cibola, and of it's fabulous wealth. Cibola in Spanish means "Buffalo" and is generally assumed to be located near the modern city of Zuni, NM. 1540 AD: Intrigued by De Vaca's stories, Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza authorizes a small expedition headed by the Franciscan friar Marcos de Nizza to confirm De Vaca's stories. De Nizza almost makes it to Cibola, but turns back and returns to Mexico City when Estevan, who had accompanied De Nizza as a guide, is killed by "citizens" of Cibola. 1542 AD: Coronado explores the American Southwest during his famous expedition. He arrives at Cibola, and finding no wealth, brands Cabezza de Vaca as a liar. A side expedition of Coronado's army, headed by Don Pedro de Tovar moves northwest, almost to the Utah border only to be stopped by the Grand Canyon. Tovar rejoins Coronado in Cibola and they proceed to the east. It is generally thought that they made it as far as modern day Missouri, a region subsequently named "Quivera". 1553 AD: The "Codex Mendoza" falls into the hands French Royal Cosmographer, Andre Thevet. 1565 AD: Francisco de Ibarra is granted authority by King Phillip II of Spain to conquer and administrate the region known as "Quivera". He is also searching of a city named Copala which lies on the shores of a large inland lake, surrounded by "Copal Trees", which he states is the "origin of the Aztecs". Don Pedro de Tovar, (of the Coronado expedition), hears of Ibarra's expedition and rushes out to join him. They are unsuccessful in finding the city of Copala or Lake Copala, but they do discover several silver mines in the Sierra Madres Mountains of Mexico, and Ibarra is generally credited with establishing the Mexican Provence of Durango, along with several of it's major cities. "Copal" in native Nahuatl means "Resin". 1575 AD: Francisco de Ibarra dies. 1575 AD: Andre Thevet publishes his book "La Cosmographie universelle" along with a world map. This map features a large lake at precisely the same latitude and longitude of the Great Salt Lake. This lake is featured in several other maps over the next 150 years before it disappears altogether until after the official discovery of the Great Salt Lake during the expedition of Dominguez and Escalante in 1776. Thevet claims his source of knowledge of the new world is mostly based on two books that he received as a gift from Elizabeth of Valois, third wife of King Philip II of Spain. 1581 AD: Inspired by stories of large Indian settlements waiting to be "converted" and authorized by the Spanish Viceroy, Fray Agustin Rodriguez, a Franciscan priest, lead a missionary expedition to the "Nueva Mexico" region. Rodriguez is ccompanied by Fray Juan de Santa Maria, Fray Francisco Lopez, nine soldiers, and nineteen Indian servants. They explore upper Texas and western New Mexico, but are forced to return when Fray Santa Maria is killed by natives, shortly after arriving at the city of Cibola. Despite the hostile environment, Fray Agustin Rodriguez and Fray Francisco Lopez remain behind, while the rest of the party returns to Mexico City. 1582: Antonio de Espejo sets out on an "unauthorized" rescue mission for the two friars left behind during the Rodriguez expedition. When Espejo arrives in Cibola, he learns that both friars have been killed. While there, he also learns from three natives that claimed to have accompanied Coronado's 1542 expedition that precious metals and more settlements could be found to the northwest, near the shores of a large lake. Espejo asserts in his official accounts of his expedition that this is the same lake that "Don Pedro de Tovar" set out in search for, although he does not specify if this was during the expedition with Coronado or the expedition with Ibarra. Espejo suggests that his rescue party should look into this further, but is "outvoted" and they eventually return to Mexico. ------------------------------------------------- This is just a rough outline with the major events up to 1600 AD that I have identified as relevant to my research. Obviously much work is needed such as a post 1600 timeline up until the "offical" discovery of the Great Salt Lake, and minor events need added as well, but I'll leave that for another day. My current focus is on "Copala" and "Lake Copala", which I believe is the lake featured on Thevet's 1575 map. Currently, I am trying to get access to an article that was in the October 1952 issue of "Utah Historical Quarterly" titled "The Myth of Lake Copala and the lands of Gran Teyago" by Lyman S. Tyler. I am also interested in discovering why there are three different names for the "birthplace" of the Aztecs. The exact reason for the transition from Aztlan to Cibola to Copala is a bit of a mystery, however, I do have a few ideas on this subject, of which I will divulge after further research. Finally, I feel I need to find a more concrete "informational" connection between 16th century Spanish explorers, (particularly Francisco de Ibarra), and the Frenchman Andre Thevet. Any connection between Thevet and King Phillip II of Spain is of particular interest as well. Hope you enjoy my timeline, cause I enjoyed making it... :D NR. [/QB][/QUOTE]
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