Uncategorized Florida Anthropological Society, Florida Archaeological Council, Florida Archaeology, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Division of Historical Resources, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Juan Ponce de Leon, VIVA Florida 500
The front of the 2013 Florida Archaeology Month poster.
2013 marks the 500 year anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s arrival on Florida shores and first interactions with Florida’s indigenous people. From that point on, Florida has seen the arrival of many people of different nationalities and cultures. The archaeology of Florida’s diverse legacy begins at these distant points and continues into the present day. Archaeologists seek to learn about the more recent past, like the beginnings of tourism and the development of urban centers, because it can also shed light on how our diverse heritage continues to impact and enrich our lives.
Florida’s diverse history and prehistory stretches back over 12,000 years. Every March, statewide programs and events celebrating Florida Archaeology Month are designed to encourage Floridians and visitors to learn more about the archaeology and history of the state, and to preserve these important parts of Florida’s rich cultural heritage. Plan to attend some of the many events throughout Florida during March 2013. You can find events in your area taking place during Florida Archaeology Month by visiting the Florida Archaeology Month website. A full listing of events taking place throughout the year can also be found on the events webpages of the regional centers of the Florida Public Archaeology Network or the Viva Florida 500 website.
Florida Archaeology Month is coordinated by the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS), the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), the Florida Archaeological Council, Inc., and the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Additional sponsors include state and local museums, historical commissions, libraries, and public and private school systems. The 2013 Florida Archaeology Month poster is available through your local FAS Chapter, your regional FPAN office or can be acquired at various events sponsored by the participating organizations. You can find out more about Florida Archaeology Month by contacting your local FPAN regional center or your local FAS chapter.
Uncategorized Artifacts, Excavation, Florida Archaeology, Florida History, Florida Public Archaeology Network, FPAN, Ft. Walton Culture, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Goodwood Plantation, Leon County, Leon County School District, Riley House Museum, Tallahassee
Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a program called “Blended Lives”. It took place at Goodwood Museum and Gardens and the Riley House Museum, both located in Tallahassee. Last week all the forth grade
Prehistoric artifacts recovered from the Goodwood property. From left to right, an Archaic stemmed projectile point (arrowhead) and a Ft. Walton period decorated ceramic sherd.
students in Leon County had the opportunity to visit both historic sites and learn about all the different people of various backgrounds who lived at those sites and contributed to the history of these two historic homes in Tallahassee. This year the organizers brought FPAN into the mix to teach the students about an archaeological site that was excavated at Goodwood. When you see an old house or another type of existing structure from long ago it is easy to forget that there were most likely people that were living on that piece of land before that structure existed. The Goodwood plantation house was constructed in the 1830s, but some artifacts from the excavation date as far back as the Ft. Walton period (A.D. 1200 to A.D. 1500). While the archaeologists were excavating at this site they found both historic and prehistoric artifacts. In other words, they found artifacts that came from the people living in the 1830s plantation house and other
Historic artifacts, probably associated with the Goodwood house, recovered at the Goodwood site. Bottom Left: etched glass fragment, Top Left: Whieldon ware ceramic sherd, Right: small clay marble.
artifacts from the people living there during the Ft. Walton culture period all at the same site. Archaeologists sometimes refer to these types of sites as multi-component sites. This, as you can probably imagine, is a fairly common occurrence at archaeological sites. The students learned briefly about Florida’s prehistory – from the Paleoindian time period to when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s. Then I had the opportunity to share with them actual artifacts that were recovered from the Goodwood property during the excavation. All in all, I had a wonderful time, and I think the students, teachers and parent chaperones did as well! My hope is that now when the students look at a site they will think about all the different groups of people that were there before them and will have a new found appreciation for Florida’s rich and diverse cultural history.
To learn more about Goodwood Museum and Gardens please visit their website at GoodwoodMuseum.org. To learn more about the Riley House Museum you can visit their website at rileymuseum.org.
Uncategorized Archaeology Lesson Plans, Beyond Artifacts, Community Cassroom Consortium, Florida Archaeology, Florida Department of Education, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Geology, History, Language Arts, Math, Museum of Florida History, Science, Sunshine State Standards, Teachers
Are you a teacher that is looking to enhance your classroom curriculum? Well you are in luck! On August 30th at the Museum of Florida History many of the local outreach and educational programs in our region will be in one spot! The Museum of Florida History is hosting a Welcome Back, Teachers! event from 4 to 6pm. It will feature educational materials, information about onsite and outreach programs, local field trip options and refreshments. Exhibitors will include the Museum of Florida History, State Archives of Florida, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Florida Department of Education and various members of the Community Classroom Consortium. These organizations cater to a variety of subjects, so no matter what you teach there will be something there for you!
Archaeology is generally associated with social studies…but think about this for a second! Archaeologists need to have an understanding of geology, math, science, history, language arts and many other subject areas. We need to be able to communicate our interpretations and observations of a site so that they can be easily understood by not only other archaeologists, but the public as well. We need to be able to understand what resources were available to the people that were living in a specific area at a given time period. We need to be able to successfully and efficiently navigate through various environments (think of all the additional skills needed by Underwater Archaeologists!). We need to have a working knowledge of social constructs among various cultures during various times in history. Archaeologists need to have a very good understanding of the scientific method and many scientific theories in order to accurately record their findings. We also need to be able to read maps, create maps and accurately take measurements. Today archaeologists use many technological instruments to help record sites, and thus need to be pretty tech and computer savvy these days as well. We even need to be good photographers and have the ability to draw legible maps and illustrations. So, as you can see, archaeology can be an appropriate addition to a variety of subjects that are taught in school at any grade level (and I didn’t even list all the various skills needed to be a good archaeologist!). If you visit www.flpublicarchaeology.org/resources teachers can download a free copy of our lesson plan guide, Beyond Artifacts. There are also many other resources, including virtual field trips, that are available on that site. Beyond Artifacts is aligned with the Sunshine State Standards, updated regularly and includes lessons appropriate for all grade levels and subject areas.
I hope that you will be able to join us on August 30th to see what other organizations there are in this area that are available to teachers and educators in this area! FPAN will be there, along with many other organizations to show you all of the different hands on programs and educational opportunities we have available for your students.
Uncategorized canoe, Florida Archaeology, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida Coastal Management Program, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Division of Historical Resources, florida public archaeology netowrk, FPAN, FPAN North Central Region, Gulf Coast Archaeology, Kayak, Northwest Florida, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, TCC Wakulla Center, Wacissa River, Wacissa River Prehistoric Trail for Canoes and Kayaks
All winter I have been cooped up unable to go kayaking. As an avid river rat I am so glad that it is starting to warm up a bit and the sun is poking out from behind all the rain clouds! You may recall an earlier post when I went out
The front of the trail guide brochure.
with a group of boy scouts to a site only accessible by boat. It was a wonderful project, but perhaps a little on the chilly side for paddling. Well, just in time for the warmer weather the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources has has created at Prehistoric Paddling Trail along the Wacissa River, which is located in Jefferson County, Florida. I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about this! I love it when two of my favorite things – kayaking and archaeology – can be combined into a day long outing!
You can pick up your very own copy of the trail guide brochure at the Bureau of Archaeological Research or at the FPAN North Central Office. They are also available at the TCC Wakulla Center, located in Crawfordville. The brochure was funded in part, through a grant agreement from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Coastal Management Program, and by a grant provided by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. This brochure is awesome, it is even printed on water resistant paper, so you can taking it along with you on your paddling trip! It is a 15 mile trail, beginning at the springhead of the Wacissa River. There is also the possibility of making it a 10 mile trip and exiting the river at a place called Goose Pasture. Otherwise, you can take the whole trail to the end at Nutall Rise Landing. To get all the details you will need to pick up a copy of the trail guide.
Barbara Hines, FPAN Outreach Coordinator and Shovel Bytes author, on the Wacissa.
The Wacissa is a beautiful meandering river that will take you through some of the most significant arcdhaeological zones in North Florida. Beginning in about 500 BC, the Wacissa and the Aucilla Rivers mark the boundary between the Northwest Florida and North Peninsular Gulf Coast archaeological culture areas. People have been inhabiting this area for over 12,00 years! That is amazing when you think about it! This area provided them with an abundance of resources that can be found around the river and along the shallow coastal waters and shoreline. Need I say more? Really, if you like to paddle and want to learn more about the archaeology and history of this area, well, you need to pick up your Wacissa River Prehistoric Trail for Canoes and Kayaks brochure today! Then load up your kayak or canoe, grab some friends and get paddling!
Uncategorized Archaeology, Blountstown, Florida Archaeology, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Living History Museum, Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Public Archaeology Day
One of the many historic buildings on display for visitors at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement.
What is the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement you ask? Well, it is a great place to experience Florida history first hand! It is located in Blountstown, Florida in Sam Atkins Park.
Vendors were at the event selling replica artifacts.
The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement was established in 1989. It is a living history museum that brings to life the time period between 1840 to the beginning of World War II. Their mission is to acquire, document, research and restore buildings, tools and other artifacts that were used throughout Florida’s history. This awesome place was developed by a small group of citizens that donated time and energy to soliciting memberships, and writing grants to acquire funds for the historical preservation and reconstruction of the over 20 structures now located on this 42 acre piece of property. Each building provides a unique experience and is a testament to the great history of the area. The buildings are situated in a way that is reminiscent of an old agricultural community in rural North Florida. For a virtual tour or for more information about the living history museum you can visit their website.
Throughout the year the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement is host to a wide variety of events that will take you back in time. For example, in February there is a Sacred Harp
FPAN Intern, Tristan, takes time to interact with guests at the Public Archaeology Day.
Singing and in November there is a Sugar Cane Syrup-Making Day! In September you can enjoy a free Peanut Boil. This past September the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement added another event to their calendar as well. They partnered up with the Northwest
There were also flint knapping deomonstrations!
and North Central FPAN regional offices to offer a Public Archaeology Day. Visitors could bring their artifacts to have them identified by professional archaeologists. They could also enjoy the many historical and archaeological exhibits that were set up around the living history museum. And of course, while there they were encouraged to walk about and learn what life in Florida used to be like by interacting with living history interpreters that were in period dress! I think it is safe to say that the event was a huge success and fun was had by all! In fact, it was such a success that we have already set the date for next year’s Public Archaeology Day at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement. So get out your 2012 calendars and be sure to mark September 8, 2012 so you don’t miss next year’s Public Archaeology Day! However, don’t wait until next year to visit the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement! They are open on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Tours and other hours are available by appointment as well, so give them a call at 850-674-2777.
Uncategorized Archaeological Context, Archaeological Site, Archaeology, Artifacts, Florida, Florida Archaeology, Interpretation, Photographs
Context is a very, very important concept in archaeology. Unfortunately, it is also one that most people are not very familiar with. Context is the place where an artifact is found, Not just the place but the type of soil, the site type, and what the artifact was found with or in relation to. I always emphasize this concept when speaking with adults and children about archaeology. The example I always use is a person’s bedroom. If you were to step into a stranger’s bedroom what would you be able to learn about them? By looking at the items in the room, within their context, you might be able to figure out the gender, age, interests and other unique aspects of that individual. However, if you were to take those objects out of that room, one by one, and look at them separately you may come up with very different answer regarding who that person is.
This is one primary reason that it is considered a bad thing, and in many cases illegal, to take artifacts from an archaeological site. The object itself can give us some information, but most of the information that archaeologists gather from a site comes from the context of those objects. If everybody were to visit a site and take one artifact each, soon there would be nothing left for us to study. Additionally, because archaeology is a destructive science, and we can never put things back the same after they have been excavated or taken, the context is destroyed and vast amounts of information have potentially been lost. This is the main reason that archaeologists are so tedious in their efforts to record everything. We take photographs, notes, drawings and various other records to ensure that we can learn everything there is to learn about that site.
Archaeology studies the physical evidence from past cultures that has survived a long time buried in the ground. This physical evidence provides us a direct-although fragmentary- link with the past. The objects, or artifacts, that we recover can’t “speak for themselves”, but instead they must be interpreted by archaeologists. The process of interpreting these objects must be done carefully and can be a painstaking process. As part of that process archaeologists try to make associations between various artifacts in order to better understand a site. An archaeological site is similar to a puzzle. We put the objects and features of the site together to tell the story of the archaeological site. Have you ever gotten to the end of a puzzle only to find that you are missing one or more pieces leaving you with an incomplete picture? When visiting an archaeological site, do your part to leave archaeologists with all the puzzle pieces necessary to gain a complete understanding of that site. Enjoy the site, and remember the old motto, “leave only footprints and take only pictures”, and in doing so you will provide archaeologists with the context needed to understand the past!
Uncategorized Anhaica, Apalache, Archaeological Resource Management Training and Underwater Archaeology, B. Calvin Jones, B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology, Calvin Jones, Cross Bow, Florida Archaeology, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida Department of State, Florida Division of Historical Resources, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Florida Public Lands Archaeology, FPAN, Governor Martin House, Hernando de Soto, Lafayette Street, Myers Park, National Register of Historic Places, Public Exhibit, Spanish Florida, Tallahassee
In 1987 B. Calvin Jones, an archaeologist working for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research was driving along Lafayette Street in Tallahassee. He noticed that land clearing
Calvin Jones excavating at the DeSoto Site (photo courtesy of the Florida Memory Project)
had begun near the entrance of the Governor Martin House property in preparation for construction activities. He asked permission to inspect the area and dig a few shovel tests. He had done extensive work on Spanish Missions in the Tallahassee area, and he knew that one mission site was known to exist near this neighborhood, Myers Park, but had yet to be found. Because of his past work relating to Spanish-era sites in the area, he was uniquely qualified to recognize the de Soto winter camp when he found it.
During the initial shovel testing he found artifacts relating both to the Apalache and the Spanish. Some of these artifacts included Apalache Fort Walton ceramics, Chattahoochee Brushed Seminole ceramics, a rusted cross bow dart and early style olive jar fragments. The cross bow was no longer in use during the Spanish Mission period in Florida and later style olive jars were used during the Spanish Mission period. Based on the artifacts it was confirmed that this site dated to an earlier time period than the Spanish Missions. This site dated to the early 1500s, during the period of Spanish exploration in Florida. The only two expeditions known to have been in the northwestern Florida area were the Narvaez expedition of 1527-1528 and the de Soto expedition in 1539-1540.
Calvin Jones met with the project contractor for the construction project to discuss the possibility of further study of this site. At this time, there were no Federal or State laws or local ordinances that required any change of plans, and the construction company had already obtained all of the required permits. The construction company was within their rights to deny Calvin Jones access to the property. Fortunately, the construction company was interested in learning more about the site, and granted Calvin Jones access to the property and adjusted project construction activities as needed to accommodate the archaeological investigation.
During the excavation it became evident that this site was likely that of Anhaica Apalache, where it is documented that the de Soto expedition spent the winter of 1539-1540. It just so happened that this site was discovered near the 450th anniversary of that exact event. The site took on a statewide, national and international importance as the only confirmed site of the de Soto expedition. Shovel testing was able to further confirm the presence of Apalache and Spanish artifacts. It was demonstrated by shovel testing and auger testing that the site was large enough to contain 250 Apalache structures, which was the same amount of structures chronicled by Spanish Explorers at Anhaica Apalache. These Apalache structures were circular or oval shaped with thatched roofs and clay plastered walls, commonly referred to as daub. The Spanish, when they arrived, constructed square or rectangular buildings using metal fastenings. These buildings were only meant as temporary structures. Evidence of both types of structures was found at this site. Also found at this site were early sixteenth century native and Spanish artifacts. In fact, over a thousand artifacts were recovered from this site!
It was proposed that the property should be acquired by the state. The construction company agreed to sell the property for use as a State Park. It is believed that the area acquired
Volunteers assisting with excavation of DeSoto Site (photo courtesy of the Florida Memory Project)
by the State of Florida represents the most advantageous part of the village area-the area where the chief’s house and where de Soto and his primary lieutenants were likely house during their stay.
In 2005 the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research moved into the Governor Martin House, located on the de Soto property, and the Governor Martin House was co-named the B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology in recognition of his many outstanding contribution to Florida archaeology, including the discovery of the de Soto winter encampment site. Today three Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research programs are headquartered at the B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology- Florida Public Lands Archaeology, Archaeological Resource Management Training and Underwater Archaeology. The property is home to the North Central Regional office of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. An exhibit, featuring artifacts from the de Soto excavation, is open to the public at the Governor Martin House, B. Calvin Jones Center for Archaeology. So next time you are in the area, stop by and give us a visit!
Uncategorized Deciduous, FAM, Florida, Florida Archaeology, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Archaeology Month 2011, Florida History, Florida Plants, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Hamamelis viginiana, Native People, Native Plants, Witch Hazel
Well, tomorrow marks the last day of Florida Archaeology Month 2011. I hope you took this opportunity to explore the unique and wonderful past of our amazing state. If you did attend a Florida Archaeology Month event (which I hope you did, of course!) and you would like to fill out a survey but did not receive one, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to send a survey your way! We are always looking for ways to improve Florida Archaeology Month, and this survey is your opportunity to let us know what you are thinking. Now, let us move on and get to the reason you are really reading this post, our last Plant of the Week! I hope you have been enjoying this series to celebrate this years theme, “Native People, Native Plants”!
The Witch Hazel plant, found in Florida woods.
Description: Deciduous shrub or small tree to 15 ft. Leaves obovate, scalloped margins, with uneven, wedge shaped bases. Flowers yellow in axillary clusters, flowers bloom after leaves drop.
Long regarded as a cure-all, witch hazel has been used in a wide variety of applications, both internally and externally. Teas from the plant have been used to treat cold, cough, sore throat, and dysentery to name only a few. A wash made from witch hazel was a common treatment for sore muscles and bruising. It has also long been used to tone and clean the skin.
Witch hazel is also widely used today (in distilled extracts, ointments, and eyewashes) as an astringent for piles, toning skin and eye ailments. It is used commercially in preparations to treat hemorrhoid symptoms, irritations, minor pain, and itching. Products are FDA approved and available in every pharmacy. Witch hazel is approved in Germany for the treatment of burns, dermatitis, piles, local inflammation of mucous membranes, varicose veins and veinous conditions among others. Tannins in the leaves and bark are thought to be responsible for astringent and hemostatic properties, antioxidant activity.
Uncategorized Chewing Gum, Civil War, Cornus florida, Dogwood, Dogwood Tree, Florida, Florida Archaeology, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Archaeology Month 2011, Florida Plants, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Flowering Dogwood, Gum, Liquidambar styraciflua, Native People, Native Plants, Sweet Gum, Sweet Gum Tree, Verbenalin
That’s right folks, this week we have two plants of the week!
The leaves of the Sweet Gum tree.
Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua):
Description: Tree to 125 ft. Outer limbs often corky winged. Leaves shiny, star shaped with 5-7 pointed, finely toothed lobes. Fruits spherical to 1 ½ inches, with projecting points.
The resin or “gum” formed when sweet gum bark is damaged, as well as many other parts of the tree exhibit strong anti-microbial activity. Sweet gum is used commercially as an ingredient in “compound tincture of benzoin”. The essential oil of the leaf contains compounds similar to those found in Australian tee tree, known for it’s anti-microbial properties.The gum was historically used by rural children as a chewing gum substitute. The twig, when chewed, becomes a good “survival” toothbrush.
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida):
Description: Deciduous tree 10-30 ft. Leaves ovate. Flowers in clusters, 4 showy, white bracts surround true flower.Fruits bright red to ¼ inch across.
Dogwood was widely used by American Indians as a medicine plant. It contains verbenalin, which reportedly has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing qualities, as well as being a cough suppressant and mild laxative. The red berries from the Flowering Dogwood tree are dry, very bitter and
The leaves and berries of the Dogwood in autumn.
considered inedible. Dogwood root bark tea was widely used in the south as a quinine substitute, especially during the Civil War. An 1830 herbal study from Virginia commented that the teeth of Indians and captive Africans in the area were extremely white, and attributed this to dogwood chewing sticks. Like sweet gum, dogwood twigs form a soft pliable “brush” when chewed.
Uncategorized Adams Needle, American Indians, Archaeology, Cord, Fish Weirs, Florida, Florida Archaeology, Florida Archaeology Month, Florida Archaeology Month 2011, Florida History, Florida Public Archaeology Network, Native People, Native Plants, Natural Fibers, Nets, Rope, Saponins, Soap, Textiles, Yucca, Yucca filamentosa
Description: Perennial to 9 ft. in flower. Leaves in a rosette, stiff, spine tipped, oblong to lance shaped, with twisting, fraying
Historic ad for Yucca Tonic, used as medicinal remedy.
fibers along margins. Flowers whitish green bells on smooth, branched stalks.
American Indians used roots in a compress for sprains, sores, and skin diseases. A root wash may also have been used for its soaping action. The roots of most yucca species, including filamentosa contain saponins. These compounds produce long lasting soaping action and have been used in the manufacture of soaps and shampoos, both commercially and traditionally. Today you can purchase soap that is made from yucca in stores or online.
The saponins contained in Yucca filamentosa are toxic to lower life forms. Pounded roots may have been applied to fish weirs to stupefy fish allowing for easy harvest.
The leaf of Adams needle has been valued by American Indians as a source of strong fibers for centuries. This fiber is yielded through a process of boiling the leaf until reduced to a pulpy consistency. Excess matter can then be scraped away yielding abundant strong fibers. These fibers can be used to craft textiles, cord, rope, nets, and so on.
Fibers and cordage made from Yucca filamentosa.