RICHMOND, Va. — Land along the York River that is believed to be the former center of a vast Indian empire before the first Europeans settled in Virginia is garnering White House attention.

President Barack Obama has set aside $6 million to make 250 acres in Gloucester part of the National Park System. Congress must approve the funding in the president’s 2015 budget proposal.

Archaeologists and Indians believe the land called Werowocomoco was the seat of powerful chief Powhatan.

Powhatan oversaw an empire that included 30 political divisions and 15,000 to 20,000 Indians at the time Capt. John Smith and his fellow settlers established the first permanent English settlement in North America in 1607.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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