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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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Take a Walk on FPAN


Take this opportunity to walk all over FPAN! Or all over our inscribed brick paver that is, located at the Southeastern corner of the Visitor Information Center in St. Augustine, FL.


Our inscribed brick joins many others wanting to leave their mark during the historic city's 450th anniversary. 

They help to compose the red brick patio surrounding the Coquina Ball.  This unique ball marked the eastern end of the Old Spanish Trail, the first transcontinental road from St. Augustine to San Diego, CA.  The marker was placed in 1928, soon after the road's completion.

The profits from the sale of the bricks help to pay for historic preservation projects in St. Augustine.  More information can be found at the Colonial St. Augustine Foundation website.

Text and Images by Robbie Boggs, FPAN Staff

A Site is Born

"How Do You Know Where To Dig?"

Mmmm, stratigraphy (http://proteus.brown.edu/greekpast/4782)


This is one of the questions that we frequently get asked when interacting with the public. Given the wide expanses of Florida's wilds it's no wonder that the public thinks there is more than touch of luck at play concerning the discovery of an archaeological site. To be fair, luck does play a  role in the discovery of many sites. Sites discovered during construction projects, artifacts discovered on a beach after a storm, and evidence of past human occupation eroding from the sides of a river bank are all examples of serendipity at play in discovering archaeological information. But we are scientists and don't deal in the currency of luck for our day to day work; we take what luck gives us and learn from it. While sites can be discovered by happenstance, more often it is through a careful examination of the landscape coupled with research covering past populations in a given area.

Archaeologists often know where to look for an archaeological site based on their knowledge of how sites are formed. This isn't rocket science. Humans, all humans, need food, water, and shelter. Find spots on the landscape that provide the intersection of those three necessities and the chances are quite good that past peoples used that area at some point. Of course this doesn't hold for all archaeological sites: Humans are weird and have a habit of exploring and trying to live in seemingly inhospitable environments. Deserts, mountain tops, outer space, even NYC, are all places that humans have somehow found a way to survive in. For the most part, however, the model of looking for good intersections of food, water, and shelter seem to work for most humans at most times.

Example of inhospitable environments that human survive in (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/69313281735341663/).


Recently we took some of our Timucuan Tehnology curriculum to the Oxbow Eco Center to talk about archaeological site formation with a group of young students. By understanding how a site is formed the students learned how archaeologists work backward through time in their excavations of a site. Students got a chance to actually make a "site" using "artifacts." Students first learned about the Law of Superpostion and why intact stratigraphy is so important for archaeologists. The students were broken up into two groups. The first group had a certain set of "artifacts" to choose from that would represent a Florida site from the Paleo Period to roughly the Early Archaic. These were represented by some charcoal for firepits, animal bones, stone for tools and some shell. The next group of students came to the site and furnished it with stratigraphic layers representing the Middle Archaic to about the time of Contact. These layers incorporated the previous types of artifacts, but also included much more shell, bits of pottery, and glass beads and metal goods closer to the top. After we were done we had all students come out and investigate the site and make inferences about cultures represented in the stratigraphic layers: What was changing? What had stayed the same? What can we say about these past peoples just by looking at how this site was formed?





The group walked away with a better understanding of how archaeologists work and why site preservation is so important. Cultural resource preservation is contingent on environmental resource preservation and we couldn't have asked for a better host to get that point across than the Oxbow Eco Center.

Text by Kevin Gidusko
Pics, except where url given, by Kevin Gidusko

Archaeology Halloween Costumes

It's Halloween time and I know the hot costume this year will be archaeologist! But instead of leather fedoras and bull whips, let's take a look at the most important archaeological accessories you should be sporting!

Your average archaeologist on a day in the field!
1. Hat
 There's nothing more important than keeping cool and looking cool. A hat is a must, especially for Florida archaeologists. The options are endless: a simple baseball cap, a bold straw hat, a sensible bucket hat or even a classic pith helmet!

Great hat: keeps the sun off your face and out of your eyes.
2. Boots
Proper foot attire can make or break a day in the field. Sometimes you need some steel toes, sometimes some with light treads and sometimes some with excellent ankle support. Either way, strap 'em on and get ready for a great Halloween!

Brown is always a very fashionable boot color choice.
3. Digging tool
You can't excavate without the proper implement! Are you going for some light phase one surveying? Grab a shovel! Although it might be a little easier to haul around a pointed trowel for your evening festivities.

Dr. Kathleen Deagen's trowel, as featured in Archaeology Magazine.

4. Notebook or Clipboard
The most important tools for any archaeologist are a pencil and some paper. Does your important field supervisor look require a clipboard? Or maybe just an introspective site surveyor with a small notepad? You can use it to take notes for future costume ideas.

Folding clipboards allow you to stash a pencil as well as other important documents.
5. Glass
Archaeologists need to hydrate morning, noon and night: coffee, water and beer! Cheers!

Mugs - the all purpose drinking vessel, especially when archaeologically themed!
Happy Halloween from FPAN!!
Some of our costumes from last year - Abo Polychrome, St. Johns Check-Stamped, a site and a skeleton!

International Archaeology Day Pub Crawl

Happy Friday to all of our FPAN blog followers and social media fan-kids! Today's post will be brief, so I hope you have time to take it all in. Last evening, FPAN Northeast celebrated the AIA's International Archaeology Day  (October 23) with its 2nd annual downtown St. Augustine PUB (Sarah Miller insisted we not call it "bar") crawl.

AIA created the day for archaeologists and historians around the world to promote their events, and communicate why archaeology is interesting and important. Although the day falls on October 23, the month of October is considered to be international archaeology month, with events spanning all 31 days.

This event was inspired by the City Archaeologist, Carl Halbirt, saying, "You can get a good sense of the archaeology and history of St. Augustine depending on which pub you're sitting at." We at FPAN are not folks to disagree with that sort of comment, so last year we designed a 2-hour, 4-pub tour that spoke about a relevant archaeological site to the pub in question. Unsurprisingly, the event was a major success, and we were eager for round two. Both years we traveled to 4 different pubs, and thus, 4 different archaeological or historic sites.

Rendezvouz was the second stop, right across from a city archaeology dig! 



SAAA club members were out in full force and full dress! 

Group photo in front of the site of Flagler College's previous archaeology field school! 

FPAN Interns and Search Archaeologists enjoying some archaeology lectures

Group photo on Aviles, the oldest street in the country, which we know because of archaeology!!




If all of this sounds like fun to you, please watch our FB page when next October is approaching, or contact Emily Jane (pub director) at EMurray@Flagler. edu and you can come join in on the fun!  We hope to see you next year!! 

Txt and Images, Ryan Harke, FPAN Staff. Quotations and photos belong to Carl Halbirt and FPAN Northeast. 




More Majolica Manicures: Isabela Polychrome



When the Florida Anthropological Society came into town for the annual conference in 2013 I knew I had to do something special.  Inspired by Isabela Polychrome, I set out to do a blue, white, and purple manicure with bands and geometric designs. 

You may remember my previous post on majolica Morisco wares:


Isabela is one of my absolutely favorite types.  I love it so much, I made a manicure inspired by the color and design elements.  Isabela has the same base paste as Columbia and features the twin blue bands on rim and base like Yayal, but the addition of purple glaze is a dead giveaway.  It's the only polychrome Morisco ware and the only historic majolica to feature the color purple.  The designs can be floral, abstract, and geometric.  I sometimes confuse it with Yayal or Santo Domingo when I don't recognize the blackish schmear on the rim is not tar, but actually think purple glaze.  But generally it's easy to pick out.
Another reason to love Isabela?  Vessels often feature Alafias, common Arabic sayings, on the rims.  According to the FLMNH page the Alafias commonly translate to mercy, pardon, pity, or well-being.   A great cultural connection to 16th century Muslim traditions and changes in Spain from a single sherd.
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/ceramics-101-majolica-morisco-tradition.html#sthash.f55YLxBR.dpuf

Isabela is one of my absolutely favorite types.  I love it so much, I made a manicure inspired by the color and design elements.  Isabela has the same base paste as Columbia and features the twin blue bands on rim and base like Yayal, but the addition of purple glaze is a dead giveaway.  It's the only polychrome Morisco ware and the only historic majolica to feature the color purple.  The designs can be floral, abstract, and geometric.  I sometimes confuse it with Yayal or Santo Domingo when I don't recognize the blackish schmear on the rim is not tar, but actually think purple glaze.  But generally it's easy to pick out.

Another reason to love Isabela?  Vessels often feature Alafias, common Arabic sayings, on the rims.  According to the FLMNH page the Alafias commonly translate to mercy, pardon, pity, or well-being.   A great cultural connection to 16th century Muslim traditions and changes in Spain from a single sherd.

As per usual I began by looking at the Florida Museum of Natural History's digital type collection to view all examples on Isabela Polychrome.  I also pulled up photos from Kathy Deagan's class of sherds we looked at in class.  From there I applied a thin white base coat to mimic the Colombia Plain glaze and background over what would be a thick, white, coarse earthenware paste.   


https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/histarch/gallery_types/type_index_display.asp?type_name=ISABELA%20POLYCHROME   

Examples from FLMNH Digital Type Collection (left), examples from class (right).

From there I tried my best to match the cobalt blue and deep purple.  Sometimes in the field I mistake Isabela because the purple looks more like a black schmear of something that shouldn't be there.  But on other examples that beautiful manganese derived purple comes through.  Isabela is the only colonial Spanish sherd that has purple featured on the handpainted decoration.  Later French and British sherds have manganese sponging or much later transfer printed purple designs.   I was surprised to find so many geometric examples, and of course the Arabic Alafia's had to be incorporated.  Here was the result:



The photo at the top of the page was taken during a reception at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park where they had Queen Isabel's portrait.  Quite appropriate as they have found Isabela during the digs of Menendez's 1565 landing site out at the Fountain of Youth.  It also popped up last week in Carl's dig at the St. Augustine Art Association (check out the news coverage!). 


For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:

*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-majolica-manicures-aucilla.html#sthash.4yKbqcsx.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:

*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-majolica-manicures-aucilla.html#sthash.4yKbqcsx.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:

*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-majolica-manicures-aucilla.html#sthash.4yKbqcsx.dpuf

Text and Photos: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff. - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/09/majolica-manicures-pensacola-striped.html#sthash.4Guz8DeO.dpuf


Carl in his natural environment, Isabela found in the wild!
 

For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
*Initial Feb 2013 posting MajolicaManies.

Text and Photos: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff.

References cited: Isabela Polychrome, Historical Archaeology Digital Type Collection, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Treaty Park: Remembering the creating and the breaking of The Treaty of Moultrie Creek




It's very easy to run past the historic marker located in the center of St. Augustine's Treaty Park.  I'm guilty of it myself, along with the many joggers, soccer players, kids and dogs that frequent the spot.  The dogs are especially guilty of not stopping to read the sign commemorating the very historic event that occurred on these lands.
 
Sign explaining the treaty of Treaty Park

 The Treaty of Moultrie Creek was signed in 1823 between the U.S Government and 17 very diverse groups of Seminole Indians.  A treaty that was meant to provide peace for the Government and the Indians was instead  broken by both sides.  Clashes continued between the two groups,  escalating into The Second Seminole War in 1835.  The war lasted seven years and was the largest, longest, and costliest Indian Conflict in U.S History.

Seminole War image: shamm.tripod.com

The exact location of the treaty signing is unknown, but it's believed to have been under a large oak tree ("Treaty Oak") just North of the current day park.   In the 1930'a a  marker was placed where the treaty signing location was believed to have occurred.  But there was little access to the location and the coquina concrete marker was eventually moved to the park.


Original marker in its original location. Image by State Archives of Florida


1930'a historical marker accompanies the present day one

















  
Treaty Park is a St. Johns County Public Recreation facility located at 1595 Wildwood Drive, St. Augustine, FL. It's open from dawn til dusk.



Text and Images (except where noted) by Robbie Boggs, FPAN Staff

Old Oakland African American Cemetery Eagle Scout Project: Part 2

One of many "temporary" markers at the site that are all that remains to show some of the burial locations.


Old Oakland African-American Cemetery Eagle Scout Project: Part 2

  A few weeks ago we posted about the work of Nick, a Life Scout who was preparing to work towards completing an Eagle Scout Service Project that involved efforts at a nearly forgotten cemetery in the small town of Oakland, Florida. The small cemetery that served the local and itinerant African-American community, situated around a small sinkhole pond just off of what is now Highway 50, had its last interment around 1950 and thereafter was left to the gradual encroachment of the Florida landscape.  When the Turnpike Authority sought to create new ramps in the area they conducted surveys of the land to make sure that they were not impacting any cultural or environmental resources.  The cemetery property, when it was "rediscovered," was eventually deeded to a descendant of the community and is now, in turn, being managed by the town of Oakland.  Years of neglect had left the cemetery barely visible to the casual passer-by as invasive plants, oaks, pines, and ferns covered the graves. The markers, many of them temporary metal markers that were never replaced with stone, wore away, broke from falling trees, or slouched forward towards the pond as rains washed sandy soil down to the old sink. Finally, the tide is turning for the tiny the cemetery.

New Workshop Series: "Archaeology Works"




Happy Friday everyone! I'll keep this week's post brief; I just wanted to share a new workshop series that got underway yesterday morning. The programming was developed by our friends at FPAN West-Central in Tampa. Because it has been so successful, we're bringing some of their topics here to Northeast Florida, and we're working on some of our own!



Here's how it works (no pun intended!):

Each workshop is centered on a particular artifact type or archaeological process. Then, depending on what it is, we teach all of the information that archaeologists can learn from that artifact. The programs feature an interactive lecture/powerpoint presentation that lays out the basics, and then participants are encouraged to participate in related activities that follow.


For example, lets pick stone tools. What do lithic artifacts teach archaeologists about the past? Well, they can show how hunting technologies changed through time (e.g., spears, atlatls, bows), aid in determining what animals were being hunted, provide clues to how stone tools were crafted and what they were used for, and of course, much more! The first part of the presentation describes everything outlined above, demonstrating what archaeologists now know because of their work with stone tools. The latter half of the workshop might include flint-knapping demonstrations, atlatl dart throwing, and/or any other activities related to stone tools.

Flier for FPAN West-Central's Lithics workshop


This recipe works for any artifact type or process. Here are a few other examples:


What can archaeologists learn from food remains? 

Example of an archaeology "tool" or process-- flotation teaches how archaeologists learn from tiny plant remains! 

The first "Archaeology Works" workshop by FPAN Northeast was "Shells" 

Next week Sarah will be doing "Historic Ceramics" at Amelia Island Museum of History. Shortly thereafter, Emily Jane will be presenting "Prehistoric Pottery" at the GTMNERR.  Stay current by watching our facebook page  and website for more Archaeology Works information and upcoming workshops. We're planning several more in the fall, and they'll definitely be featured during Florida Archaeology Month (March).  I've heard rumors of  topics such as "Historic Nails" and "Archaeology Dating Methods"!

Text by Ryan Harke, FPAN Northeast staff. Full Credit to FPAN West-Central staff for Archaeology Works and fliers used in this blog.


Majolica Manicures: Pensacola Striped



I was asked to give a talk in Pensacola to the Florida Anthropological Society's local chapter Pensacola Archaeological Society last year.  In preparation for the talk I came across a reference to Pensacola Striped Polychrome, a majolica type found so far only in Pensacola.  In honor our our rival city, seemed the perfect fit for my next #MajolicaMani. 


Majolica Feature.  Photo credit: UWF.
The striped majolica was first discovered in a bean-shaped feature in the warehouse area of the Spanish Presidio Santa Maria de Galve (1698-1719) during the 1998 UWF field school excavation.  The pit was full of a variety of majolica as well as charred peas, beans,and lentils.  The other ceramics were types commonly made in Mexico during the early eighteenth-century.  For more on excavation of site site, including maps, excavation images, and other artifacts and features, check out the UWF Department of Anthropology and Archaeology webpage dedicated to the Fort.  


The manicure itself was relatively easy to do.  The hardest part was matching the blue (mix of three), an ongoing problem I've had with nailing down the majolica color palette.  It's interesting to note which bands are black lined and which ones are not.  From the above right picture, the top sherd lacks the black line boarder on the outer rims, yet on the lower sherd the black fine lines are present.  All the interior bands are black lined.  The white tin-enameled glaze is fairly opaque according to the photo, suggesting it's an earlier Mexico City based majolica and not a later Puebla-based ceramic.  To render this for the manicure I used a more opaque base coat of white.  I did outline all the bands with black to make it cleaner.  From my own hypothesis then, I guess all my nails are center body sherds and no rims present.





For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:

*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-majolica-manicures-aucilla.html#sthash.4yKbqcsx.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:

*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-majolica-manicures-aucilla.html#sthash.4yKbqcsx.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:

*Initial Feb 2013 posting Majolica Manies - See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-majolica-manicures-aucilla.html#sthash.4yKbqcsx.dpuf

Text and Photos: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff.  Manicure images by Sarah, artifacts photo top right and majolica feature in the field are from Presidio Santa Maria de Galve, UWF Division of Anthropology and Archaeology.

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