More than 70,000 beads have been excavated on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, site of the northernmost outpost of the Spanish empire in the U.S. Consisting of French and Chinese blue glass, Dutch layered glass, and Baltic amber, the beads are enlightening archaeologists about past trade routes and comprise the largest repository ever discovered in Spanish Florida. Most of the beads were found in the cemetery under the church and were intentionally deposited with individuals as grave goods, indicating that it was a relatively wealthy outpost.
"This is the northernmost outpost of the Spanish empire, but we see evidence of ancient trade routes from China via Manila's galleons to Mexico and Spain," says Lorann Pendleton, Director of the Archaeology Laboratory at the Museum. "We also have found perhaps the first evidence of Spanish beadmaking, along with beads from the main centers of Italy, France, and the Netherlands."
Link - via holeinthedonut
From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by baweibel.
It's true China had a very impressive fleet and trading operation, but at that time they weren’t very big on settling on other continents. They preferred to expand from the homeland and radiate outwards. Anyways, there is still allot of speculation on the whole idea of "who was there first", but my vote is on the natives.
The article has nothing to do with the Chinese and never claims that the Chinese were in America first, it has to do with Chinese beads being found in Florida. This article does NOT speak of ancient Chinese trade routes but of European trade routes that used Chinese beads in trade.
It would be neat to find evidence of the Chinese discovering America, but no such evidence exists, yet, and wishful thinking like this only confuses the issue.