History says the Spanish came to the Grand Valley sometime in the 1700s. A recent find suggests they may have been here earlier. Much earlier.

The Kannah Creek area in Mesa County had been hiding this piece of history for years and with the discovery comes the fact that history, as reported, was wrong.

The piece found was part of a Spanish wheel-lock pistol known as a "dog," and trigger guard has been dated to around the late 1500s to early 1600s. What makes the find more unusual is artifacts like this are normally found in areas in and around Texas, as it had been thought the Spanish didn't make it this far north until the 1700s.

The Western Investigations team from the Museum of Western Colorado made the find a few years ago, but metallurgic tests had to be done to determine its age.

The wheel-lock pistol predates the flintlock pistol used in the late 1600s and early 1700s, which was why this discovery was so astounding. The fact that it was long believed the Spanish didn't make it this far north until the 1700s is what makes this impressive and thought-provoking.

It also makes you wonder what other history changing artifacts will be found in Western Colorado?