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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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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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