Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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CHRONOLOGY BY PERIOD

15,000 BC
Human beings inhabit the land later called Virginia.
Evidence from the Cactus Hill archaeological site on the Nottoway River confirms that human habitation of what became Virginia dates at least as far back as the pre-Clovis period.
1526
A Spanish map marked the Chesapeake Bay for the first time.
A map by Juan Vespucci, nephew of Amerigo Vespucci, for the first time marked the Bahía de Santa María, later named the Chesapeake Bay. This and other period Spanish maps recorded the region named Tierra de Allyón, including what would become Virginia, based in part on the discoveries of Lucas Vázquez de Allyón's short-lived settlement on the present-day Carolina coast.
1540
Two of Hernando de Soto's exploration party entered what is now Lee County.
Two members of Hernando de Soto's Spanish exploration party entered what is now Lee County.
1567
A Spanish party attacked a Holstonia town at the site of Saltville.
A Spanish party under the command of Hernando Moyano attacked a Holstonia town at the site of Saltville in Washington County.
1570
Spanish Jesuits establish a mission.
In September, Spanish Jesuits led by Father Juan Baptista de Segura established a colony on what became the York River within the region then known as Ajacán and later as Virginia. After the Indians killed all but one member of the mission early in February 1571, the Spanish abandoned their settlement attempt.