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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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Book Review: Archaeology, Heritage, and Civic Engagement

Who wants to change the world?  I do, I do! 

Barbara Little and Paul Shackel’s (2014) book tells us, who work in the heritage field, how.  Here are just a few gems of wisdom that resonated for me and the work us archaeologists do at FPAN.  It's not really a book review as much as points of reflection.  If any of these points bring a recent project of yours to mind, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Heritage as Healing

 In the margins of my copy of the book I go wild with ideas after I read the following:

Our work is applied anthropology and our intention for this book is to provoke heritage work that is intentional about building peace and social justice. (151)

A big idea Little and Shackel put forth is that heritage should be reframed as healing.  Where in my work in Florida can I help end social injustice?  The first thing that came to mind was abandoned cemeteries.  It does not take long when visiting cemeteries to notice a pattern, that African and African-American cemeteries are far more neglected than their European descendent cemetery neighbors.  Take for instance St. Josephs and Oak Hill in Palatka.  The two cemeteries are enormous with a hundred years of Palatka residents and visitors interred.  They are right across the street from each other!  They have a lot in common, but Oak Hill is owned and managed by the City of Palatka while St. Josephs has abandoned status.  And this disparity plays out in every county in Florida.  In Volusia County, I’m most impressed by the men and women supporting the Friends of Oaklynn Cemetery organization.  They have managed to dialog across ethic, gender, and age boundaries to come to a common goal of cleaning up that abandoned cemetery for a greater good.  Can Oaklynn be a place of ultimate healing?  Can every forgotten cemetery be a site of consciousness?  I think yes, and Little and Shackel have thrown quite a challenge in my direction to go beyond the Cemetery Resource Protection Training programs we conduct and the site files to move towards better listening, better dialoging with the communities I serve.

Archaeologists as Activists

I’ve never been more aware than now as St. Augustine’s 450th approaches that everything we do as anthropologists is political.  I loved what Little and Shackel have to say about the role of archaeologists: 

We propose that heritage workers from any discipline begin thinking of ourselves primarily as members of the public. (145)  


Expertise is not interference when it is offered ethically and in a spirit of collaboration.  Experts are legitimate stakeholders and expertise is often essential to good decision making (67)

That WE have a seat at the table during public deliberation.  I sometimes feel my job is to provide data for the public to make an informed decision.  Yet the decision I make as a professional has merit and is okay, within our ethical guidelines, to share with the public.  Prior to the last major election, I shared on Facebook a statement in support of Conservation (Amendment 1).  I didn’t endorse a candidate or a party, but if FPAN’s core mission was once to protect the state’s buried past through education and outreach, why not voice support for conservation legislation? 

The Value of Networking

Closer to the beginning of the book Barbara Little introduces herself and offers this statement: 

I see no boundaries to anthropology, and thus no boundaries to its archaeological branch.  I am an anthropologist first, an intellectual identity that prompts me to keep looking for intersections and connections.  (20)  

 I think one of the inadvertent things FPAN can provide is long term partnership building.  As part of my job I network within 15 counties and target heritage organizations, educators, local governments, and volunteers that serve a variety of purposes.  The longer I am at this work, I see the endless connections to be made across these partners, and finding I am too often the last component standing.  We may link teachers with sites and volunteers, or local governments with archaeologists and advocates, but too often those variables change.  By staying in place for nearly 10 years, I become the more constant bridge between some of these partners.  The good goes beyond the benefit of cultural resources, we are helping to build sustained social capital.  

Cultural Resources in Danger

Heritage sites are impacted too often by flooding, hurricanes, sea level rise, tornadoes, mud slides.  A colleague approached me during one of our professional society meetings last year and asked what can be done to bridge the gap between historical ecology and community engagement.  I had no idea, but said I was willing to work with her on this.  The result so far has been a panel to discuss impacts by these natural factors on cultural resources at the Society for Historical Archaeology annual meeting.  We started a Facebook group last year #EnvArch and for one of my first posts I put a quote from this very book: 

Judging by work in the field for the last several decades, it is not uncommon for cultural heritage professionals to feel as if cultural preservation takes a backseat to environmentalism.  The feeling of being less visible, less valued by the larger public, and less potent politically can get in the way of integrating complementary movements.,  Our common aspirations for positive peace and environmental justice remain divided when we cannot integrate our efforts and join forces. (33)

This is very real to me as an archaeologist working in Florida.  We can already see the impacts of not only sea level rise, but impacts made from people getting together and trying to solve the problem.  Not all solutions work.  The things we will attempt to try and stave off loss of habitable land due to sea level rise are nothing small to an archaeologist.  Destruction of sites, considerable impacts due to development inland as settlement patterns change, and speaking up for cultural resources that have been on our coast for hundreds or thousands of years when faced with people losing their homes and public places.  A recent study on Sea Level Rise was conducted in our area.  Despite speaking up for cultural resources at every public opportunity given to me, historic sites were still not included in the overall study.  Please, let’s work together!  As Little and Shackel paraphrase Barbara Johnston (Life and Death Matters: Human Rights, Environment, and Social Justice 2011) in their book: while chaos might be a necessary ingredient in crisis, it is not necessarily the endpoint for human environmental emergencies. (33).

Peace Parks

Through this book I was introduced to the concept of Peace Parks.  Transboundary Protected Areas (TBPAs) are places where biological and cultural diversity are protected.   Sandra Scham and Adel Yahya (2003) received funding from the US Department of State through the 1998 Wye River Accords , their project was intended to examine the common heritage of Israelis and Palestinians. (34)  Back in 2011 Nelson Mandela proclaimed, “In a world beset by conflicts and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future.  Peace parks are a building block in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world.” (35)  What sanctuaries are located near me?  Where else are environmental, cultural, and living resources balanced?  I live near a place called Treaty Park, but it’s become a recreational field and playground station.  Could it too be used for peacemaking?  Maybe not on the level as TBPAs or other reserves, but what between living Seminoles today and inhabitants of Northeast Florida can overlap in this space?  As the 200th anniversary of the start of the Seminole Wars in Florida comes in 2018, I will be thinking of Peace Parks and looking for sites where healing can happen.   

Archaeological Literacy

And finally, this gem: 

Professional working at significant places need to understand how their work can potentially impact local communities, indigenous peoples, and ethnic communities. (42) 

And later

Scientists continually call for greater scientific literacy without recognizing their own responsibility for the lack of mutually intelligible communication. (66)

For years I’ve been working to raise the literacy level of cemetery care and management for the public to protect our sacred landscapes.  Over 500 people have taken part in these workshops to develop a common lexicon so we can deliberate and discuss cemetery matters and make a difference.  What have I learned of their language?  Have I listened enough to pick up on their foreign words?  I think my ears are half open.  I’ve adopted many of the phrases from other cemetery interested folks: cemeterians, hit it with D2, taphophiles.  I’d be a better anthropologist if I’d sit back every other site visit and just observe.  

Here on our blog, in our social media messaging, and at lectures and classroom visits, I’m not sure how much attention we pay to dialog.  We want to communicate our analytical findings to share with the public and hope that by informing the public it will lead to appreciation and preservation.  But Little and Shackel say:

The assumption that people simply need more or more accurate information to make informed and well-reasoned decisions is not supported by research. (65)

This stirs me.  Dialog seems key in changing people’s assumptions and ideas about science.  It’s true my favorite part of a lecture is the Q and A at the end.  It puts their interests first, or the controversial topics I’ve skirted around, or what’s more relevant to the public on a given day.  Maybe instead of scheduling more library programs, festival tables, and workshops we should be scheduling simple open Q and As?  This is something I’ve just never tried.  Which is surprising, as I’m a big fan of social media and one of the many tools heritage organizations take advantage of are live chats via Facebook and Twitter.  I’m afraid if I schedule the time, there will be virtual (or analog) silence.  But what’s more frightening is the silence if someone were to ask a Floridian, “What’s the most important cultural site in Florida, and why?”

There’s so much good stuff on collaboration, engagement, community-service learning, and museums, but that’s all I have space for in this modest Book Review.  Hope my comments inspire those involved in heritage and education to pick up a copy.  My thanks to Project Archaeology for selecting this book for the Reading Circle portion of the recent Heritage Educators Conference at Crow Canyon last month.  

Barbara J. Little and Paul A. Shackel
Archaeology, Heritage, and Civic Engagement: Working toward the Public Good (Left Coast Press 2014).

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

St. Augustine's 450 Birthday

Join us for a 16th Century walking tour of St. Augustine! 
March 13, 5 pm, Downtown St. Augustine. For more information, contact Emily Jane at emurray@flagler.edu or 904-392-7874.

We also hope to see you out there at the Ximenez-Fatio House excavation!

Looking for an event for your classroom, civic group or museum? Here's a few suggestions. Give us a shout to set something up: northeast@flpublicarchaeology.org.

Check back for more events coming soon!

Adventures at the AIA Public Archaeology Educator's Conference

This past weekend, while other FPAN staff were sipping coffee by the Space Needle in Seattle for the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) meetings, Ryan was in the Big Easy (New Orleans) for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) archaeology educator’s conference. This was a lot of fun, and we even got to share hotel space with the “Sons of Silence” African-American biker convention!

Canal and Bourbon street out front of the conference hotel

The purpose of our session was to discuss state and regional approaches to outreach and education in archaeology. What a perfect setting for FPAN right?

Teachers discuss different archaeology activities 

The session began with an introduction to everyone—what state they work in, what type of work they do, and how their job is connected to public archaeology. There were many different levels of experience in the room. Some folks were directors and coordinators in public archaeology offices, and others were simply sitting in to learn more about the field.  After that, we broke into groups and played “public archaeology trivia” to assess everyone’s knowledge on public programming throughout the country. For example, a sample question might have been,

“Established in 2004 through state legislation and in cooperation with the University of West Florida, this state-funded public outreach program operates regional centers throughout the state. Its goals are to promote public outreach and education, support the state division of historic resources, and assist local governments. Name that organization.”
See 4D-- Ryan attempted to sneak in but was thwarted 

The answer is, of course, FPAN. But other questions were more difficult because programming from Canada and the western US was far less familiar.

Following trivia, we took a short break and then again broke into groups, led by Ryan and three other public archaeology coordinators from various states. The point of this group discussion was to pose “challenge questions” regarding major issues faced by public archaeologists. For example,
“How does the term “archaeology” (and how we present it) hold us back? Under this umbrella concept, we asked how we might contribute to the public’s MIS-understandings of what archaeology does.
Local architecture

We pondered a few other questions similar to this before disbanding for the evening. The following morning, Ryan briefly joined a session that featured teachers who use archaeology in their classroom. It was interesting to hear the varying ideas and see the different activities used by educators around the country.
18th-century St. Louis Cathedral

A bit before the end of this session, Ryan played hooky and decided to check out some historic sites in the French Quarter.
The culture of Bourbon street
Plaques placed throughout Bourbon street

Text and Images by Ryan Harke, FPAN Staff

Holiday Photo Outakes (plus shell-edged manicure tutorial!)

Our holiday photo began with a manicure crisis- I was headed to the St. Augustine Archaeology Association's annual holiday party where us FPANers had offered to present our 6 minute Pecha Kucha's we performed for Florida Archaeology Month.  Mine was the ever popular "Majolica Manicures" that features several of the nerdy but authentic manicures based on some of the 215 historic ceramics found in Florida.  True, I could do the talk with naked nails, but with only 6 minutes to explain its easiest when my nails can be a contributing visual aid to the presentation.  So minutes to go before heading out the door, I begin to panic: red!  What ceramic is decorated in red?

Photo credit: Chipstone Foundation.
I don't know of any Florida majolica the features red decoration, but I do know that English shell-edged pearleware featured red and green rims.  Shell edging is found worldwide after it begins production in 1775.  For us in Florida red shell-edged would date to the very late end of the British Period, throughout the Second Spanish period, and blue and green shell edged would continue to be popular up through Territorial.  Red and green overglaze enamels were applied to Rococo-inspired edges popular from 1775-1810.

Previous attempt at blue shell-edged pearlware.
 Step 1: Apply historically appropriate, ceramic inspired manicure to hand.

Started with naked nails I applied a China Glaze white.  Trickiest part is getting the white to even out.

Add alternating red and green tips.


With a thin white brush I cheat and paint over the color to achieve the fine edged lines.  And voila!

Step 2: Take photo at archaeologically appropriate site.

Most the time I wear a ceramics inspired manicure the unsuspecting public is not aware of what I'm doing.  For the holiday photo I wanted to be sure people understood from the picture alone that it was a ceramic or at least from the world of an archaeologist.  I have no active site of my own, so I headed over to the diggin'est man I know, Carl Halbirt - St. Augustine City Archaeologist.  He has several sites open currently, including at the St. Augustine Art Association.  Carl was not on site yet, but SAAA president and faithful volunteer Nick McAuliff joined in the reindeer games.

Was going for a nice stratigraphy shot.

Realized I was holding the Marshalltown wrong, proper position is with thumb on the blade.

Found a nice dirt pile under the screen and went for the buried effect.

Just as I was leaving I noticed a nice pile of SHELL!  Get it?  Shell edged?  Plus Nick thought if it didn't work out for the holiday photo I could reuse it for Halloween.  Creepy, no?
Then, just as I was really truly leaving the site what should appear before my wandering eyes?  An actual green shell-edged rim sherd, in the shape of a tree!

And add a little photoshop magic (thanks EmJ!).  Tah Dah!

For more ceramic-inspired manicures check out these previous posts:

For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
*Initial Feb 2013 posting MajolicaManies.
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-majolica-manicures-isabela.html#sthash.9ryTzi2u.dpuf

For more information on FPAN, check out our website and Facebook.  For more on shell-edged ceramics a great place to start is the Diagnostic Artifacts page of the Maryland Archaeology Conservation Lab website.  Or check out their reference list below.

For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
*Initial Feb 2013 posting MajolicaManies.
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-majolica-manicures-isabela.html#sthash.9ryTzi2u.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-majolica-manicures-isabela.html#sthash.9ryTzi2u.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-majolica-manicures-isabela.html#sthash.9ryTzi2u.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-majolica-manicures-isabela.html#sthash.9ryTzi2u.dpuf
For more #MajolicaMani posts check out:
- See more at: http://fpangoingpublic.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-majolica-manicures-isabela.html#sthash.9ryTzi2u.dpuf
Hunter, Robert R., Jr. and George L. Miller
1994   English Shell-Edged Earthenwares. Antiques, March 1994: 432-443.

Majewski Teresita and Michael J. O’Brien
1987   The Use and Misuse of Nineteenth-Century English and American Ceramics in Archaeological Analysis. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 11. Edited by Michael Schiffer, Academic Press, New York, pp. 98-209.

McAllister, Lisa S.
2001   Collector’s Guide to Feather Edge Ware; Identification and Values. Collector Books, Paducah, KY.

Miller, George L.
1980   Classification and Economic Scaling of 19th Century Ceramics. Historical Archaeology 14:1-40.

1991   A Revised Set of CC Index Values for Classification and Economic Scaling of English Ceramics from 1787 to 1880. Historical Archaeology 25:1-25.

Miller, George L. and Amy C. Earls
2008   War and Pots: The Impact of Economics and Politics on Ceramic Consumption Patterns. In Ceramics in America, edited by Robert R. Hunter. Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee, pp. 67-108.

Miller, George L. and Robert R. Hunter Jr.
2001   How Creamware Got the Blues. In Ceramics in America, edited by Robert R. Hunter. Chipstone
           Foundation, Milwaukee, pp. 135-161.

Text and Images: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff except where noted in photo caption.

El Tió de Nadal is Com'in to Town!

Watch out Santa Clause, El Tió de Nadal is giving you some competition!  Sure, Santa Clause is a great Christmas tradition, a magical way for children to receive presents.  But El Tió de Nadal delivers presents as well - and produces them himself!  So, children now have a choice.....

Which experience would you rather have?

SANTA - (photo: turner.com)
EL TIO DE NADAL - (Photo: parabebes.com)     

El Tió de Nadal (or roughly translated as "Christmas log") is a character in Catalan mythology and a widespread Christmas tradition in Spanish and Menorcan homes.  He is also affectionately known as Caga Tió (or "poop log") for reasons that will soon become apparent.... (cliff hanger).....
(photo: bing.com)

Tió de Nadal (menorca-live.com)

Originally, Tió de Nadal was a simple hollow log, a dead piece of wood, 30 cm long.  This is a Christmas decoration that even the poorest of Menorcan homes could afford!  In more recent years, Tió has come to stand on two or four stick legs with a broadly smiling face painted on the higher end and sporting a red hat (representing the traditional Catalan barretina).  He also now can appear in a variety of sizes.

(photo: slate.com)
 The fun all starts on the Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.  Families bring out the happy log and children are tasked with "feeding" it every night until Christmas Eve.  They offer him nuts, dried fruit, and water.  Tió de Nadal must also be covered with a blanket to ensure that he is warm and comfortable.

Feeding -   (photo: awesomoff.com)
But El Tió de Nadal's days of comfort end on December 24th when he is beaten with sticks!

Beating -   (photo: welcome-to-barcelona.com)
  As the log is beaten with sticks, he is ordered to defecate while classical songs of Tió de Nadal are sung.

Beating and Singing -   (photo: bing.com)
Upon being fed, ordered, sung to, and then beaten, Tió's backside delivers small gifts and candy (larger presents come from the Three Wise Men).  Everyone is delighted as they reach below Tió's blanket and retrieve their gifts which were magically "deposited" by the log.

Looking and Retrieving (photo: bing.com)

While everyone is enjoying their gifts from El Tió de Nadal, he is then burned for warmth!

El Tió do Nadal is no longer just popular in Spain and Menorca.  He has now made his way to the FPAN Northeast Office! Excitement abounds as we anticipate the arrival of our gifts.....

Office Feeding (photo: by R. Boggs)

Practice Beating for the Big Day (Photo: R. Boggs)
 Text by Robbie Boggs, FPAN Staff

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