Manatee’s Old Tabby Wharf and New Historic Preservation Ordinance

Becky and I recently took advantage of a half-day in the field and documented the remains of an old tabby wharf in the Village of Manatee just east of downtown Bradenton in Manatee County. This act of detailing the location and condition of the remains, then following through to report the information to the Florida Master Site File, will create a lasting record documenting the wharf’s connection to Manatee County’s past.

Taking some notes and measurements of the wharf remains.

Taking some notes and measurements of the wharf remains.

Just as recently at a public meeting, the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners discussed a proposed update to the county’s long standing historic preservation ordinance. A second public hearing is scheduled for October 3rd (9am). After the October meeting, county staff will send it off to be approved by state and national agencies. The final county commission vote to enact the updated ordinance is likely just months away.

When speaking with members of the public or to friends, I’m often asked about the most exciting or coolest sites I’ve seen. The old tabby wharf in Manatee ranks pretty high on my list. For me it’s not so much about its unique qualities or river setting, but the local significance it represents. By enacting a more streamlined and inclusive program, county commissioners are welcoming the public to take part in writing their own historic preservation story in Manatee. This story will embody significance at the local level, where protection for historic and archaeological resources, such as the old tabby wharf, is strongest.

Old Tabby Wharf
In 1842, Josiah Gates led his family south from Fort Brook in Tampa to settle along the Manatee River. His original homestead is documented three-quarters of a mile from the river’s edge, south of the remains of the old tabby wharf today. In just a couple years, Gates and other settlers increased their lands and by 1844 Gates’ family acquired the parcel directly to their north, adjacent to the riverfront (Matthews: 137).

Tabby remains with photo board and stick.

Tabby remains with photo board and stick.

Dr. Uzi Baram, professor of anthropology from New College of Florida, alerted me to the wharf remains during a visit I made to his Looking for Angola excavations last spring. Intrigued, I took a short walk eager to a catch a glimpse. I literally stumbled on the tabby looking for it. The remains, partially overgrown by mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant and Brazilian pepper, of a single, low wall stretch south to north across the water’s edge and into the shallow edge of the Manatee River.

From end to end, the foundation runs approximately 48 feet from a paved parking area and hedge row into the water. This is not your everyday tabby wall though. The tabby itself, mostly made from oyster and other marine shell with sand and lime mixture, appears at first glance to be pretty crude. But after closer inspection it’s clear that the persistent effect of weather and waves has taken their toll leaving the surface jagged with exposed pieces of shell. Its height above the ground surface, landward of the shoreline, is an even 20 inches and width is constant at 12 inches across the top. The portions in the water have not fared as well.

The structure’s origin is not exactly known but a local informant believes that it could be the old Manatee Wharf, possibly constructed by another early settler, Henry Clark, sometime in the 1850s. Eventually, ownership of the wharf passed to store owner and businessmen, John Lawrence Wiggins and his son, K.W. Wiggins. A secondary structure, a long dock, made of palm logs and rough-hewn boards may have been built onto the tabby wharf and provided the connection to the all-important river channel. It was there that captains aboard coastal steamboats and other cargo vessels would have landed goods and newcomers into the area and village.

Note the different types of marine shell - Is that unusual to see?

Note the different types of marine shell –  Tabby experts, Is that unusual?

Certified Local Government
With passage of the updated historic preservation ordinance, Manatee County will become Florida’s newest CLG (Certified Local Government). Manatee already has a Historic Preservation Board (HPB) that reviews proposed building alterations and development projects located in any of the three historic overlay districts (Cortez, Terra Ceia, and Whitfield). The new program will designate, with property owner permission, locally significant historic structures and archaeological sites in unincorporated areas of Manatee County outside of the three historic districts. Once designated, alterations or rehabilitation to the structures and/or the surrounding property will be reviewed by the HPB according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

The Certified Local Government program comes with enticements for both individual property owners as well as local governments. Among the more popular are tax incentives and an increase in the opportunities to receive state grant funding for related projects and programs. The ensuing county commission vote in Manatee will create a county-led effort promoting historical and archaeological resource protection and preservation. Once enacted, residents of Manatee will finally have a voice in determining the direction. Locally significant sites, the old tabby wharf for example, will likely become even more important in the eyes of  Manatee County residents and visitors alike.

The old tabby wharf most likely dates to the 1850s. It provided a critical link to the main channel of the Manatee River,

The old tabby wharf most likely dates to the 1850s. It provided a critical link to the main channel of the Manatee River,

- Jeff Moates Sept. 2013

 

References:

Matthews, Janet Snyder. Edge of Wilderness: A Settlement History of Manatee River and Sarasota Bay, 1528-1885, Okla: Caprine Press, c1983

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Recognize your Temper Before It’s too Late!

By: Kassie Kemp

 

As archaeologists, we learn about past peoples through the artifacts they left behind. Just as the dishes in your kitchen say something about you, the prehistoric pottery archaeologists find says something about the early Floridians who made it.  Pottery as an artifact can tell us about the everyday lives of past peoples, not only what it was used for, but also if people were trading pots back and forth, or how the pot itself was made. At the most basic level, understanding how prehistoric pottery was made can give us important information about the people who created it.

Some future archaeologist is going to have a field day with this one!

So how did Native Americans make their pottery? Was it machine-made like the dishes in our kitchens most likely are? Was it made of glass, metal, and plastic? Native Americans used the materials found naturally in their environment to create hand-made pottery, ruling out most of the techniques and materials used to make our dishes today. In order to make their own pots they first had to gather clay and process it, then mix in temper, form it into a vessel, add a decoration or surface treatment and finally, fire the vessel. This process sounds simple enough but can be very tedious and time consuming. The first two steps alone are enough to make one wish for paper plates from a dollar store! In order for a pot to survive the harsh firing process over an open flame, the clay that is used must be free of all impurities. This means you have to work out air bubbles, grass, bugs, gravel, and anything else that might be in the clay that could cause a problem in the firing process. Adding temper to that processed clay is the other secret weapon that makes pottery like this possible.

But what is temper? I’m not talking about the angry state I’m in when someone steals the last brownie. Temper in the potter’s world is a material that is added to clay to make the pot stronger and more resilient. Temper helps a pot survive the firing process, resist cracking, and helps prevent breakage throughout the life of the pot. There are many different types of temper including sand, charcoal, and even that pesky Spanish Moss hanging down from all those Florida oak trees. In Florida, four of the most common prehistoric temper types are sand, limestone, shell, and sponge spicule.  Each temper creates a pot with certain characteristics. Recognizing these characteristics can help us to identify the temper of sherds (the technical name for broken pieces of pottery) found at archaeological sites, making it much easier to figure out what pottery type each sherd represents.

 

SAND

Sand tempered pottery

Prehistoric sand tempered pottery is most recognizable by the gritty, sandpaper texture experienced when you rub your fingers across the surface of a sherd. Depending on the amount of sand in the sherd, the size of the sand granules, and the clay used, pottery with this temper can crumble to the touch and be quite heavy compared to other temper types. The top right image shows a cross section of a fine sand tempered sherd. Though the granules may not be visible to the naked eye, you can sometimes rotate the sherd in the light and see how the light shines off of the tiny pieces of sand. The left and center right images show a sherd with large sand granules that are clearly visible in the cross section and even on the outer surface. Native Americans probably processed the sand before adding it into the clay to get consistency in grain size and remove any unwanted organic material.

 

LIMESTONE

Limestone tempered pottery

Limestone temper is made by crushing up bits of limestone rock into manageable pieces that can then be added into the clay. Limestone tempered sherds are usually easily identified as such because of the white chunks visible in cross section and on the surface. The sherds can also become quite heavy depending on the amount of limestone that is mixed with the clay and can also be rough to the touch. Sometimes after being buried in the ground for a long time, the limestone leaches out of the clay leaving empty holes in the pot sherd (just like prehistoric swiss cheese!) Other rocks can also be used as temper, so in order to make sure that what you believe is a limestone tempered sherd really contains limestone, you can drop a very small amount of special hydrochloric acid solution on a chunk of what you think is limestone. If the acid fizzes like soda pop when it touches the rock, it is limestone or some other carbonate rock!

 

SHELL

Shell tempered pottery

Shell tempered pottery is characterized by white bits in the cross section of a sherd and can sometimes be visible on the surface as well. Shell temper differs from limestone temper in that the small, crushed up bits of shell are usually thin and platy with sharper edges than is seen with the more rounded limestone chunks. The hydrochloric acid fizz test also works on shell if you aren’t sure what you are looking at. Various types of shell were used to make shell tempered pottery. At inland sites, Native Americans would have used freshwater shells such as mussels, while those living at coastal sites would have had many shell types to choose from but probably stuck with types such as clam which would be easier to break down into small pieces. Wouldn’t you think that coastal sites had lots of shell tempered pottery? I know I would, but interestingly that is not always the case. At the Crystal River site, a large shell mound complex on the Central Gulf Coast, only a handful of shell tempered pottery has been found!

 

SPONGE SPICULE

Sponge spicule tempered pottery

Sponge spicules are microscopic pieces of sponge that when mixed with clay, create a very soft, light vessel. One dead give away for this type is that sherds with this temper are also chalky to the touch. When looking in the cross section of a sponge spicule sherd, no granules or temper material are visible; the cross section is uniform and dense. When looking in a microscope however, the spicules look like long thin tubes. Sponge Spicule tempered vessels also tend to break along coil lines (in vessels that are made by coiling clay) creating long thin sherds that also look worn down and rounded on the broken edges.

Understanding the differences between these temper types can help so much with identifying prehistoric pottery. Recognizing these different tempers at archaeological sites also helps us to see the diversity in pottery made by prehistoric Native Americans. The choice of one temper over another probably depended on the potter’s preference, the availability of resources, the ability to process those resources, and the function of the vessel being created. If you were making your own pottery vessel which temper type would you choose?

 

Kassie is an archaeology masters student at the University of South Florida in Tampa and also works as an Outreach Assistant at the West Central office of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. If you have questions about prehistoric pottery in Florida, contact Kassie at kkemp@mail.usf.edu

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Spanishtown Creek Still Flows Beneath Hyde Park

By: Becky O’Sullivan

1883 Coastal Survey Map showing the area of “Spanishtown” before the development of the Hyde Park neighborhood.

 

Archaeologists don’t always rely on a shovel and trowel to learn about past people, sometimes we use old maps and a keen eye to pick out clues to the past on modern landscapes. Before Tampa was Tampa, an early historic settlement called Spanishtown was located along the bay just to the southwest of the mouth of the Hillsborough River. An early coastal survey map of the area shows a collection of structures and farmland along a small creek, aptly named Spanishtown Creek. Today, the historic Hyde Park neighborhood and Bayshore Boulevard can be found where Cuban fisherman and farmers once lived in Spanishtown. As we would expect, the early structures of Spanishtown are long gone, but what happened to Spanishtown Creek? Spanishtown Creek, and the historic fishing rancho known as Spanishtown, might not be an obvious part of the Tampa landscape today, but traces of them still remain on the landscape.

 

1892 Plat map showing the location of Spanishtown Creek, as well as the new street layout and neighborhood that would eventually overtake it.

 

Today, Hyde Park is one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Tampa’s four original historic wards. Besides what was once Fort Brooke in downtown Tampa, it was also home to one of the Tampa Bay area’s earliest historic settlements. The history of the area gives only fleeting mentions of Spanishtown, a small fishing village or rancho located just to the southwest of the mouth of the Hillsborough River, and near a small creek, that was established in the early 1800s (Acosta 2012:7). A few Anglo settlers also moved into the area around this time, but the Cuban men and women who would have occupied the fishing rancho at Spanishtown are the most elusive in terms of historical evidence. Works Progress Administration notes from the 1930s record some tantalizing clues about the residents of Spanishtown:

An interesting bit of history handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation is that of the small Spanish colony existing at the mouth of Spanishtown Creek (on Hillsborough Bay, approximately one-half mile west of the Hillsborough River.) These people were there when Levi Collar (or Collier). the first American settler, arrived to establish his home. There is considerable variance in accounts of the size of this colony and no information as to what pursuits they followed or who were their antecedents. Some were old and decrepit, and these said that they had lived many years in the neighborhood… They are Juan Gomez, Pedro Cathelina and August Sautharout. Juan Gomez spoke good English and vouched for the antiquity of the colony… The more plausible explanation is that they were fishermen from Cuba – a colony replenished from time to time from the island. (WPA Records, USF Special Collections)

An individual named Juan Gomez appears on both the 1850 and 1860 census for the Tampa area; his occupation is listed as a “Pilot” and his place of birth is recorded as “Spain”. Who were these Spanish speaking fishermen and why were they in the Tampa area? The plentiful fisheries of the area were ideal for fishermen looking to catch mullet and other fish for the Havana markets. Beginning sometime around the late 1700s Cuban fishermen began to transition from seasonal fishing trips to Florida’s west coast to more permanent camps or ranchos located in coastal areas between Tampa Bay and Estero Bay (Worth 2012:145). One such rancho started by the American William Bunce near the mouth of Tampa Bay in 1834 employed both Cubans and Indians in the catching and preservation of fish for Cuban markets (Dodd 1947).

 

1931 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps showing the gradual change from marshy creek to urban neighborhood.

 

Undated photograph from a September 1989 article by Leland Hawes in “Baylife” titled “Photograph of Tampa’s old Spanishtown Creek” (USF Special Collections)

 

Starting in the 1880s, Hyde Park developed as a residential neighborhood just to the south of Henry Plant’s magnificent Plant Hotel (now the University of Tampa). With this change from sleepy fishing village and farmland to grand homes and urban living the landscape of the area also changed. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps and Plats from throughout the early 20th Century show that as the years went by and new houses were built in Hyde Park, Spanish Town Creek slowly disappeared from the visible landscape. The final blow came in 1938 with the death of a small child who had been playing near one of the still-exposed stretches of the creek. Public outcry over what was perceived as a threat to the safety of local residents caused the city to start on a project to enclose the last visible portions of Spanishtown Creek.

 

A newspaper clipping from April 1, 1938 explains the project to enclose Spanishtown Creek.

 

Photo from June, 1935 titled “Spanishtown Creek Bridge at South Boulevard where Guy Jacobs was Drowned”. This area is just to the south of the intersection of West Azeele and South Boulevard. (Hampton Dunn Collection, USF Special Collections)

 

But as any archaeologist or storm water engineer can tell you, just because it isn’t visible above ground doesn’t mean it no longer exists in some form. By overlaying old maps with modern aerials and incorporating data from the City of Tampa on the area storm water drainage system it soon became clear that Spanish Town Creek is still very much a part of the Hyde Park landscape. Click on the map image below to see the path the creek would take through the area today, as well as more historic and current images showing the mark Spanishtown Creek has made on the landscape.

 

Follow this link http://goo.gl/maps/OeZLY to see an interactive map of Spanishtown Creek through time. Images and maps from the past and today show how much the area has changed.

 

The once visible creek now snakes through concrete culverts located beneath the streets and sidewalks of the area, discernible only as some dips in the road and by a few storm water drains. As a new resident of Hyde Park I knew I was moving into a historic structure, but I had no idea that a remnant of this earlier settlement, the creek itself, was literally in (or under) my own backyard!

 

View looking south across Horatio Ave. showing what it might look like if Spanishtown Creek still flowed above ground on the modern Hyde Park landscape.

 

For more information about Spanishtown, or Spanishtown Creek, check out this great blog: http://tampaniatampa.blogspot.com/2010/04/burying-our-past-spanishtown-creek.html

 

Becky is an archaeologist working at the West Central Regional Center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, located at the University of South Florida in Tampa (as well as a new resident of Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood). If you would like more information about Spanishtown or Spanishtown Creek, or have some old pictures or information of your own to share, please contact her at rosulliv@usf.edu .

 

References:

Acosta, Delphin

2012     Tampa’s Hyde Park. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC.

Dodd, Dorothy

1947     Captain Bunce’s Tampa Bay Fisheries. Florida Historical Quarterly 25(3):247-257.

Worth, John E.

2012     Creolization in Southwest Florida: Cuban Fishermen and “Spanish Indians,” ca. 1766-1841.  Historical Archaeology 46(1):142-160.

 

 

 

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Dig into Summer in the latest edition of the FPAN West Central newsletter!

Our summer newsletter is here! Follow the link below to learn more about how you can shape historic preservation in Florida, archaeology events out at the Weedon Island Preserve in St. Pete, recent USF grad Marty Menz’s take on shell tools, and much more….

http://flpublicarchaeology.org/uploads/wcrc/July_2013_newsletter.pdf

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Spring Newsletter is here!

Spring Newsletter is Hot off the Presses!

Follow the link below to check out the latest edition of FPAN West Central’s newsletter. We have a lot of exciting things to tell you about that we have been working on, and that are upcoming for this summer, so make sure to check it out!

http://flpublicarchaeology.org/uploads/wcrc/April_2013_newsletter.pdf

In this edition:

  • Learn about our new partnership and upcoming programs at the Weedon Island Preserve in St. Pete.
  • Set sail with us and learn about our adventure on a replica 15th century Caravel called Pinta.
  • Check out a cool archaeo-bike trail that is in the works for Bradenton.
  • Learn about some new research on one of the earliest historic homesteads on the Pinellas peninsula.

And much more!

…and if you haven’t already, make sure to check out our facebook page to learn more about archaeology in your area, as well as different events and activities you can participate in. Your “Likes” are appreciated! https://www.facebook.com/FPANwestcentral

Thanks from your friends at FPAN!

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Request for Proposal: Lesson Plans for Jr. Archaeologist Program

Tommy the Tortoise, Junior Archaeologist: General Archaeology Lesson Plans

University of South Florida, Department of Anthropology, Hillsborough County, Florida

Request for Proposal

University of South Florida, Department of Anthropology is seeking proposals from qualified firms or individuals to prepare lesson plans focusing on the scientific methods of archaeology that will accompany the Florida Public Archaeology Network’s Tommy the Tortoise, Junior Archaeologist educational program. The lessons will be completed by July 31, 2013 to be published as a teacher resource guide and student activity book, provided online and through workshops by the Florida Public Archaeology Network’s West Central and Central Regional Centers during the Fall of 2013.

The criteria for selection of interviews and the final selection include:

  1. A minimum of three years experience as a curriculum consultant, with at least one year experience writing for Sunshine State Standard content and/or Core Curriculum standards;
  2. A minimum of five years experience in science, social studies, or environmental education;
  3. A minimum of one year experience in teacher training;
  4. A minimum of one year experience with grant funded projects preferred; and
  5. Demonstrated ability of the firm or individual to complete projects meeting the owner’s schedule and budget

Students will explore the process of archaeology and learn how to think like an archaeologist:

  • perform basic archaeological mapping and documentation methods;
  • understand the chronological sequence of Florida’s cultural time periods;
  • understand relative and absolute dating methods;
  • draw parallels between recovered artifacts and human behaviors, such as how humans interact with the environment and changes made over time by the people in the past to meet their basic needs through biological or man-made products.

Lesson plans will:

  • be developed for 4th and 5th grades;
  • align with Core Curriculum Standards;
  • be integrated into FPAN’s Tommy the Tortoise, Junior Archaeologist program;
  • incorporate ideas for science and history fair projects to enhance learning; and
  • include information on (but not limited to): archaeology, anthropology, history, ecology, geology, technology, biotechnology, climate change, and scientific ethics.

Proposals should provide a clear and concise outline for satisfying the objectives of this RFP. The proposals should outline the respondent’s qualifications to conduct the analyses. Proposals may include background, unique qualifications and other information that may support the proposal. Respondents are required to submit the following information: Qualifications; Outline of Proposed Content; two-page Description of Activities; Project Schedule; and sample lesson plan from prior work.

Proposals will be received at 4202 East Fowler Ave NEC116 until 2:00 PM EDT by Friday, April 12th, 2013. Please submit your proposal to Mr. Jeff Moates, 4202 E Fowler Ave NEC116, Tampa, Florida 33620. Electronic submittals will be accepted; however you must call to confirm receipt of your electronic submission. If you should have any questions on this request, please contact Mr. Moates at 813.396.2327 or jmoates@usf.edu.

University of South Florida reserves the right to waive informalities, to reject any or all bids/proposals and accept all or any part of any bid/proposal as deemed to be in the best interest of the University of South Florida.

Visit Tommy’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TommyJRarchaeologist 

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Re-Photography Exhibit in the Works for Crystal River Archaeological State Park

By: Rebecca O’Sullivan

Archaeologists rarely leave any traces of their work above the ground, but re-photography can bring their work to life on the modern landscape.

As an archaeologist I love to learn about the past through the clues people have left behind. As a public archaeologist I also love to go out of my way to share that experience of discovery and wonder with people who otherwise might not learn about the remnants of the past which sometimes lie beneath their feet. When people think of archaeology their mind often jumps to visions of archaeologists carefully digging in the ground, gingerly brushing ancient dust off artifacts that haven’t been touched in thousands of years. But broken pieces of pottery and stone tools aren’t the only kinds of evidence archaeologists can investigate, sometimes much more recent types of artifacts can reveal something about the past (as well as today.)

 

Click to view larger

Archaeologist Ripley Bullen stands next to the Crystal River stele today in this re-photo

 

I’ve dabbled in a bit of re-photography previously, with our Ybor City archaeology project for example, but a recent photography book inspired me to try something a bit bigger. The Crystal River archaeological site in Citrus County is perfect for this kind of re-photo project for several reasons: the distinctive landscape features and museum building, the number of archaeological projects that have been done there over time, and the importance of the site in general. Most archaeological sites wouldn’t lend themselves well to re-photography simply because they are invisible to the naked eye from above the ground, but the mounds and stelae at Crystal River make it the perfect spot to line up some old photos on the current landscape.

 

When the sea wall slumped in at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park boat slip archaeologists and park staff were on the scene to shore it up. The material recovered from the slip was then used as part of the Sifting for Technology activity that park visitors and students can take part in today at the park.

 

You can be a part of this project to document and celebrate the Crystal River site. All you have to do is find your old pictures of the site, or just come out and enjoy the exhibit. Join us at the Crystal River Archaeological State Park on Friday March 22, from 6 to 8pm for the opening of a new re-photography exhibit “Then and Now: The Crystal River Site in Photographs” and bring your pictures of the Crystal River site through time. Archaeologists from the Florida Public Archaeology Network will be on hand to scan your images and add them to a database that documents the history of the site. Every picture is important to telling the story of this important site. Do you have a 1950s picture of the mound before it was partially destroyed? Pictures from the mobile home park that used to cover the site? A picture from last week of a bike ride through the park? All of these memories are wanted and welcome. Hope to see you there!

WHAT: Re-Photography Exhibit Opening “Then and Now: The Crystal River Site in Photographs”

WHEN: March 22 from 6-8pm

WHERE: Crystal River Archaeological State Park, 3400 N. Museum Point Crystal River, Florida 34428

 

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The Enterprise of Archaeology

 

Yesterday I attended the press release and conference in Tallahassee where the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) announced the details of a 2 year undercover operation and subsequent arrests of 14 individuals in Florida and Georgia. The individuals targeted in the sting had been involved in the illegal taking of prehistoric and historic artifacts from protected areas on land and underwater and in the extensive dealing of that stolen property. FWC and arresting officers levied over 400 criminal charges; both felony and misdemeanor counts. Florida Secretary of State, Ken Detzner, spoke first and introduced the Community Relations representative for FWC who then introduced the FWC’s lead officer on the case. Video of the press conference is linked below.

 

http://thefloridachannel.org/video/22713-press-conference-on-investigation-about-illegal-acquisition-and-sale-of-historic-artifacts/

 

Division of Historical Resources Director and State Historic Preservation Officer, Robert Bendus, spoke as well. In a few words, Mr. Bendus boiled down the impact of the criminal activity and its effect today but also for future generations of Floridians. A combination of words stuck with me long after he finished speaking, “…we need to teach about the enterprise of archaeology and how great it is to participate in it professionally and pass that information along.” The arrested few have stolen a part of that enterprise from Florida and from Floridians. Unfortunately, many will continue the criminal pursuit but this undercover operation and the arrests will have a lasting impact on those that choose to perpetuate these illegal activities.

Evidence collected during the FWC investigation was on display during the press conference.

It’s not a coincidence that the individuals arrested yesterday may also be proponents of an idea that has made its way back into the forefront of the issue of collecting artifacts from State property. The idea is one that has already been a policy of the State, the Isolated Finds Policy (IFP). Under IFP, individuals were allowed to recover isolated finds from Florida rivers and submerged bottomlands as long as they then complied with IFP and reported their finds to the State. Created in 1994, IFP sought to facilitate communication between professional and amateur archaeologists but ended up instead serving as a way for individuals to game a legitimate system of reporting and to, in all likelihood, loot and destroy archaeological sites on State property. IFP’s inherent communication drawbacks and enforcement issues caused it to be discontinued as a policy of the State in 2005.

 

The idea is back. This time it’s titled Citizen Archaeology Permit program or CAP. Where officials did not codify IFP into State law, proponents of CAP wish to amend Chapter 267, the Florida Historical Resources Act, and ensure that CAP will become law and thus more difficult to discontinue. In light of the recent investigation and the uncovering of such an extensive network of illegal taking and illicit dealing, CAP poses some serious issues that must be taken into account by our elected officials, especially those who have been approached by its proponents and may support a proposed amendment. A consequence of CAP may only ensure more access to those individuals who already choose to access Florida’s past through illegal and disastrous means, and do nothing to preserve these resources and facilitate a dialogue between archaeologists and interested members of the public.

 

FPAN has put together a list of key talking points and issues regarding CAP. I’ll submit those in a follow-up as well as a list of the ways Floridians can participate in the Enterprise of Archaeology and encourage others to do so as well.

 

Jeff Moates, FPAN Regional Director

West Central and Central Regional Centers

University of South Florida, Department of Anthropology

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Winter 2013 Newsletter is Here!

Check out the newest edition of the FPAN West Central newsletter and you might learn: what the Weedon Island canoe and modern paddle boarders have in common, why Becky has been wandering around her neighborhood looking at storm drains, Ryan’s favorite gastropod, all about our new interns in the West Central, what to look forward to this March for Archaeology Month, and much more!

Click the link below….

http://flpublicarchaeology.org/uploads/wcrc/january_2013_newsletter.pdf

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Fall Newsletter is hot off the presses!

Click the link below to check out the latest installment of the FPAN West Central newsletter. We’ve been busy the last few months, but there are also a lot of cool events and opportunities coming up so make sure to check it out!

http://flpublicarchaeology.org/uploads/wcrc/october_2012_newsletter.pdf

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