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    Burke County,

    North Carolina

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    Burke County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 90,912. Its county seat is Morganton.Burke County is part of the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area. The first European settlement in the interior of present-day North Carolina (and what would become the United States) was made by the Spanish Juan Pardo expedition in 1567, when they built Fort San Juan at Joara, a large chiefdom of the Mississippian culture. His forces built another five forts to the west along the mountains, in Cherokee and Coosa territory. In 1568 the Native Americans killed all but one of the Spanish soldiers stationed at these six forts and burned the structures down. The Joara site was abandoned and lost for centuries. The other fort sites have not been located. No other Europeans settled here for about 200 years. After excavations in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, archeologists in 2013 announced having found remains of Fort San Juan at Joara. The evidence changed the record of European colonization attempts, as the Spanish had a sustained, though brief, settlement in North America 40 years before that of the English at Jamestown, Virginia.
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