Charles M. Hudson (author) is the Franklin Professor of Anthropology and History Emeritus at the University of Georgia, and is one of the foremost authorities on the history and culture of the Indians of the U.S. Southeast.
Hudson and his colleagues mapped de Soto's route using written accounts of three men traveling with the explorer and matching them with geographic features and archaeological evidence of Indian settlements they believed the explorer encountered. Hudson said what made his proposed route stand up to scrutiny was that the Indian sites formed a chain across the state.
The problem of writing the social history of the Native peoples of the Southeast is formidable. One has to simultaneously represent both synchronic social and cultural systems and the diachronic change that transforms them. One has to both represent the exotic world of the Southeastern chiefdoms and the European world-system that impinged upon them as "storms brewed in other men's lands" and in time destroyed, dissolved, or enveloped by them. And we must do it with the merest fragments of archaeological and oral evidence. As cultural and social beings, the Native peoples of the Southeast have been fundamentally transformed by history several times over, as have we all. If the Native peoples of the Americas are ever to be more than moral fodder for various ideologies--whether left, right, or postmodern--they must find their proper place in the social history of the modern world. Since 1976 some progress has been made on this front by archaeologists, ethnohistorians, and historians, but much more remains to be done. |20px|20px|- Charles M. Hudson, 2000
Dr. Hudsons work is cited by many other writers, historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists. These authors include but are no limited to the following list.