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Saint Augustine, Northeast Florida
Going public with archaeology for outreach, assistance to local governments, and service to the citizens and state of Florida. Visit our website at: http://flpublicarchaeology.org/nerc/
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Welcome UCF Intern George!


Hello, my name is George Oakley. I am starting my internship with FPAN’s East Central region. I am currently in my final year at the University of Central Florida. My Major is History with a minor in archaeology. After this year I plan to continue my studies and gain an M.A. in Public History.
 Previously to working with FPAN, I was enrolled in an archaeology field school through Rollins College. It was an intense month long program that left me sunburned and exhausted, but it is an experience I will never forget. Through that field school is how I heard about FPAN and their volunteering. Volunteering at FPAN not only allows me to earn credits toward my degree, but it also allows me to work hands on and gain experience in a field I want to learn more about. Because I receive credit through UCF for this Internship, I am required to write my first ever blog! Check it out at https://geoakley.home.blog/


Text by George Oakley Photo by Emma Dietrich 

A Moravian Cemetery: Where Death Is the Great Equalizer

God's Acre in historic Old Salem lies the shadow of modern day Winston-Salem
When it's too hot to visit cemeteries in August what can a Floridian taphophile do?  Go to North Carolina and see some of their cemeteries!

While visiting family this summer, I explored the historic Salem Moravian Graveyard, referred to as "God's Acre."  (Who are the Moravians?  Keep reading!)  Gods Acre covers more like 40 acres, but in this case "acre" is from the Old High German word meaning field. This historic cemetery now lies in the shadow of modern day Winston-Salem.


God's Acre Entrance


The many identical rows in God's Acre

What is initially striking about this cemetery is the complete lack of anything striking.  In contrast to most cemeteries, no one is striving to stand out among the rest.  There are no obelisks for the rich, no handmade vernaculars for the poor, no vaults, no crosses, no curbing or fencing.    God's Acre is divided into squares of row upon row of  identical white marble gravestones.  All adult markers are  20" x 24" x 4" (children's markers are slightly smaller).   Each stone contains only the name of the deceased, birth and death dates, and maybe a short scripture verse.

Samuel of Silesia buried among the other married males
 The contrast is especially pronounced being that another historic cemetery, Salem Cemetery, is literally right over the hedge from God's Acre.
adjacent historic Salem Cemetery

Another distinguishing tradition among the Moravians is that there are no individual family plots.  The cemetery is divided into large squares where people are buried chronologically by the "choir system" of Saxony.  This system divided a congregation into groups according to age, sex and marital status.   When a Moravian dies, they are buried with other members of their group (children, married men, married women, widows, etc.).  


"Little Freddie" one of many youngsters in the children's section

As followers of Jan Hus, a Bohemian heretic who was burned at the stake in 1415, the Moravians are acknowledged as the earliest Protestants.  Hus is considered the first church reformer predating Martin Luther by a century.

In 1735, Moravian missionaries left Germany for North America.   In 1753, 15 Moravians walked from Pennsylvanian to North Carolina and founded the settlement of Bethabara, what is today Winston-Salem.  The first person to be buried in God's Acre was John Birkhead in 1771.  Since that time, 7,000 Moravians have been buried in God's Acre and continue to be buried there today.


I have not observed death to be "the great equalizer" in most cemeteries.  However, it does seem to be the case in Salem's God's Acre.  The Moravian burying practices reflect the tenants of their faith: humility, consistency and simplicity.   They believe all people to be equal in God's eyes and want that reflected in their cemetery.  Instead of individual family plots, they are buried in one large family plot.




Text and Photos by FPAN Staff: Robbie Boggs

Conversations about Conferences: Association for Gravestone Studies 2019

In June, I packed up the FPAN car and drove up to Boiling Springs, NC for the 2019 Association for Gravestone Studies conference with Adrienne and Sal, two friends and fellow taphophiles working with the Friends of Bosque Bello Cemetery. We laughed, we cried (only over bad preservation stories, of course), we saw a lot of amazing grave markers, and made a lot of new friends! When I got back, I sat down with Robbie to decompress on the experience.



Robbie: What did you expect in attending the 2019 Association for Gravestone Studies Conference?

Emily Jane: I expected a lot of nerding out over cemeteries! Based on my experience at the last conference, I was expecting to hang out with and learn from a lot of taphophiles from very diverse backgrounds: archaeologists, historians, artists, folklorists, conservationists, genealogists, and more.

When we saw the bumper stickers, we knew we'd found out people!

R: What did you hope to get out of it?

Em Jay: I hoped to learn more about cemetery conservation and research. I was especially interested in learning more about other chapters' events to help make our Florida Chapter a little more active. I am also always excited to hear about how people engage communities in cemeteries.


R: What did you actually learn?

Em Jay: I learned that I have a lot more to learn. Just about every one I spoke with at the conference had so much to share about their own experiences, work and research on historic cemeteries! I realized I've really only started to scratch the surface with some of the work we do. One of the big things I was blown away by was the detailed research on specific stone carvers and workshops.

I also learned a lot about the subtle art of bouncing light with a mirror to get that perfect photograph of inscriptions.

R: What was the hardest part of attending the conference?

Em Jay: This is by far one of the most intensely scheduled conferences I've been to. Breakfast starts by 7:30am every day and late night sessions sometimes didn't end until after 11pm. Half of the days are spent walking through cemeteries and the other in rooms listening to fascinating sessions and papers. It's a lot of information to take in - and a lot of long, but very enjoyable days.


R: What will you bring back to share with the public?

Em Jay: I came back with a list of ideas for public programs, working through my connections not only with FPAN but also the Florida Chapter of AGS and the Friends of Bosque Bello group in Fernandina Beach. Ideas in the hopper may include, but are not limited to: a cemetery book club, a Florida cemetery bingo game, more Florida AGS meetings in new and exciting locations, and more cleaning and conservation events. Stay tuned for all the fun!


R: What sessions and activities did you take part in?

Em Jay: We toured a good number of local cemeteries: Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville, Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, Steele Creek and Elmwood Cemeteries in Charlotte, Sunset Cemetery in Shelby, and Boiling Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Boiling Springs.

The records from Riverside Cemetery in Asheville live in a safe in the small caretaker's cottage on property. The cottage burned in the early 1900s, but luckily the safe kept the records -- well, safe!

I co-hosted a session on creating cemetery master plans (along with Adrienne and Sal) as well as attended the annual conservation workshop and lots of evening lectures on a variety of cemetery topics.

Pre-Cemetery Master Plans session selfie!

R: Do you have plans for next year's conference?

Em Jay: I hope to share some of our work with recording cemeteries using traditional (paper mapping, assessment and recording forms, etc) and digital technologies (GIS mapping, laser scanning, etc). The conference will be in Austin, TX, so I'm also excited to take in the local flavor of burial practices and monuments.

Texas cemeteries - I'm coming at ya!

Words and images by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN Staff.

Archaeologists Take Over Kennedy Space Center!

Entrance to KAS

Far too long ago, two archaeologists made a pit stop to the Kennedy Space Center. Most archaeologists enjoy museums more than the average Joe, so when more than one makes the visit, there is always a great discussion.


Archaeologists are nerds for history. 
The Kennedy Space Center is unlike most traditional museums. Honestly, it is like an amusement park of learning! Almost everything is interactive, from kinetic energy walkways to flight simulators, you are actively engaged in all things Space and technology.



But, for two archaeologists, one of the main things we were hoping to see were the material culture from space travel! I might have had some preconceived ideas about what a Space museum would be like, moon rocks, parts of shuttles, early flight suits, memorabilia from the 1969 moon landing, but what I didn't expect was all of the games, screens, and well, rides.




We spent most of our time in the Heros and Legends exhibit, because to be honest, it was what we were looking for. We were also on a time crunch! This exhibit provided us with the history of space travel, and some material culture to tease us with.


Because of our time constraints we were on the look out for a way to look at the material culture, but not have to sit through IMAX videos, or simulations. We were informed that we would sneak in through the exit of the Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other. This allowed us to see what we came to see; the stuff.






Behind all the bells and whistles of the Kennedy Space Center (which are amazing, just not my cup of tea!) I was just so impressed to by how impressive these shuttles are. I seriously still cannot believe the size, and technology it takes to travel to space. It is something that I might not ever grasp. Through our quick tour, all I realized is that this is an all day affair. We weren't able to go on the bus tour of the grounds, and I think that would have provided me with more of the tangible experiences I wanted.



There has to be something special about someone who chooses to literally shoot for the moon. The astronauts, the engineers, the mathematicians, and the fabricators, all have to believe that their project can make it to space. A place where maybe two or three people in the room have actually been, it just amazes me.

The Kennedy Space Center did have what we archaeologists like! Tucked away in the Nature and Technology exhibit building, was a small history of Cape Canaveral covering everything from the Native American settlements, to the orange industry. Although, I failed at this point in taking photos of artifacts that I see quite frequently, I was impressed by some of the material culture they had to represent the development of Cape Canaveral, specifically this dress!

I have read on some tourism blogs that the Nature and Technology section can be skipped, but if you are looking for that old school museum experience, just artifacts speaking for themselves, rather than the IMAX experiences and simulators, this is it. Plus, it took maybe 15 minutes and is in the AC!

Overall, KAS is something that every Floridian should do. It really shows us how amazing our one section of coast is, and with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 only a few short weeks away, it seems even more significant!

Books and Brews: A Tale of Experimental Archaeology

For this year's Summer Archaeology Book Club, we'll be reading and discussing Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages by Dr. Patrick McGovern. The book discusses much of McGovern's career-long search for ancient alcoholic beverages from around the world. McGovern, the Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health, specializes in reconstructing ancient food and beverages based on residues left on ceramics.

As part of his work, McGovern has also ventured into experimental archaeology - specifically working to create ancient beverages with a little help from brewers from around the world. He's worked extensively with Dogfish Head Brewery to develop and market a series of brews, the Ancient Ales Series, that bring ancient recipes to life. A second book by McGovern, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-Created, details this part of his work through stories on each of the beers and includes recipes for creating home-brewed versions.

Inspired by all of this, I decided to conduct a little experimental archaeology myself! With the help of my trusted brewing associates, Lilli (also an archaeologist) and Gertie (a cat who makes everything her business), we turned my kitchen into an ancient brewery. Well, one with all the modern conveniences.

We decided to make a batch of Midas Touch, a beer-wine-mead hybrid based on vessels found at the tomb of King Midas. Yes, that King Midas. The brew's ingredients include malt extract (fermentable sugars in beer), grape juice concentrate (fermentable sugars in wine) and honey (fermentable sugars used in mead). Hops weren't around historically so the original Midas Touch from Dogfish Head uses saffron as a bittering agent. Our brew uses saffron and a small amount of hops.

Ingredients: Muscat grape juice concentrate, malt extract, clover honey, brewer's yeast, hops and saffron. 
Brewing supervisor, carefully reviewing the ingredients list.
Boiling - an important part of any beer to get the proteins and enzymes right - and to bring out hop flavors.
Moving the brew to a secondary fermentor helps condition the brew - and can wake up the yeast to do a little more fermenting.
The brew goes into bottles to carbonate and condition some more. Our brewing supervisor made sure we filled the bottles to the correct level. 

Join us on June 4 at 5pm at the FPAN Office to discuss McGovern's work - and taste the fruits of our experiment!

Words and images by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN Staff.

KHAW: Heritage At Risk Trolley Tour, St. Augustine

Thanks for joining us on our Heritage at Risk tour of St. Augustine. We'll discuss some of the most vulnerable sites, impacts from the past storm seasons, and current efforts to mitigate and plan for future issues.

1: Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios
Excavations at Los Remedios after floor was removed from storefront due to flooding from Hurricane Irma.
Excavations at Los Remedios under Charlotte Street.

2: Avenida Menendez
Damaged concrete wall from hurricane along Avenida Menendez.
For visual reference, the man is pointing to a pink line which is the base flood elevation relative to the adjacent historic structure
Elevating 154 Avenida Menendez.
After elevating at 154 Avenida Menendez. 
Original coquina foundations at 154 Avenida Menendez.
House elevation in progress along Avenida Menendez.
Colonial walls revealed during flood-clean up after hurricane.
Colonial walls revealed during flood-clean up after hurricane.
Crew from University of Florida Preservation assisting with FEMA assessments after Hurricane Matthew.

3: St. Augustine Seawall
St. Augustine seawall before rennovation.
Construction of new seawall.
Flooding along old seawall.

4: Tovar and Llambias Houses
Clean up efforts after Hurricane Irma at the Llambias House.
Moisture rising up exterior of Llambias house after flooding from hurricane.
Excavations inside the Tovar House.
High water mark - halfway up wall - along St. Francis St. 

5: St. Francis Barracks, National Cemetery and the Rosario Line


6: Nuestra Senora de la Punta
Archaeological marker at Nuestra Senora de la Punta.
Area of la Punta.
La Punta after hurricane.

7: Lake Maria Sanchez
Nuisance flooding along Granada Street, which will be reduced with the installation of the Lake Maria Sanchez Mitigation project.
Nuisance flooding at Cordova and Bridge Streets, which will be reduced with the installation of the Lake Maria Sanchez Mitigation project.

8: Washington Street
House at 125 Washington Street before elevation.
House at 125 Washington Street after elevation.
Elevated house on Washington Street.
Lake Maria Sanchez as seen from house on Washington Street.
Hollow-tile construction revealed at house on Washington Street during flood mitigation.

9: Nuestra Senora de la Soledad
Archaeological marker for Nuestra Senora de le Soledad cemetery.
Uprooted tree and damaged sidewalk/wall at le Soledad from hurricane.

10: 63 Cordova Street
Elevations for new admissions building at Flagler College on Cordova Street.

11: 47 Cordova Street
Structure at 47 Cordova Street before elevation.

12: 31 Cordova Street
Elevations for new classroom building for Flagler College on Cordova Street.

13: Tolomato Cemetery
Storm damage from Hurricane Irma, 2017.
Storm damage from Hurricane Irma, 2017. 

14: Huguenot Cemetery

Storm damage from a tornado during Hurricane Irma, 2017.
Storm damage from a tornado during Hurricane Irma, 2017.
Storm damage from Hurricane Irma, 2017.
Storm damage from Hurricane Irma, 2017.

15: Castillo de San Marcos
Nuisance flooding from a Nor'Easter and high tide at the Castillo de San Marcos.
The Castillo serving as the cover for the Union of Concerned Scientists study on National Landmarks.


16: Hilton Bayfront - Old Monson Motorlodge
Signage marking high water line from Hurricane Matthew at the Hilton Bayfront.
17: Davis Shores
Pile of debris from flood clean up after hurricane.
Flood damage at home in Davis Shores.
Flood damage clean up reveals hollow tile construction.
Elevating masonry ranch building construction on slab at grade house on Arricola Ave.
Elevated ranch-style home in Davis Shores.
Elevated ranch-style home in Davis Shores.
Demolished house due to flood damage in Davis Shores.
New construction in Davis Shores.
Proposed mitigation at structure: remove roof and fill in concrete on top of the slab to elevate the house internally, then build up a new roof.
UF Historic Preservation students conducting assessments post-hurricane.
UF Historic Preservation students conducting assessments post-hurricane.

18: Plaza de la Constiticion and well

Excavations of a well near the old boat basin east of the Plaza give insights into past tidal fluctuations.
Excavations at the old boat basin reveal bulkheads from 1800s.
Flooding and damage from 1944 hurricane. (State Archives of Florida)

All images courtesy of the City of St. Augustine or the Florida Public Archaeology Network, unless otherwise noted.


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