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For decades the exact location of Catechna, an 18th-century Tuscarora settlement, eluded historians and scholars who relied on historical documents to find the site. Conflicting information and differing interpretations of historical maps had led them to conclude the site could be in entirely different locations.

In the mid 1990s John E. Byrd and Charles L. Heath of East Carolina University conducted a survey of the Tuscarora homeland in the Contentnea Creek drainage of North Carolina’s Inner Coastal Plain. As part of this project they excavated a site called Koon’s Landing, which yielded a variety of cultural material including a Guilford projectile point and other lithic items, fire-cracked rock, and charcoal. Byrd and Heath also found Cashie-phase pottery sherds. Archaeologists define the Cashie phase as the Tuscaroran occupation of the Inner Coastal Plain of North Carolina during the Late Woodland and Contact periods. These discoveries led them to surmise Koon’s Landing could be part of Catechna.