Monday, November 19, 2007

well... last week was pretty slow and uneventful. Not much to report...



HA! had you going there for a minute, didn't I? On the contrary, there is never a dull moment here at FPAN, and last week was no exception. Along with the weekly field work with the students in the Legacy Program and our Wednesday class with the Pedro Menendez students, we had an additional day in the field out at Princess Place on Thursday. The excavations there are progressing nicely, and the students are learning lots.

A high point of the week for me was travelling down to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge with Sarah to tour some historic and pre-historic sites with a small group (Roger Grange, Dr. W. Taylor, Rachel Wentz, Tim Brock, George Long, Jim Butts, Dot Moore, Vera Zimmerman, John Stiner, and Roz Foster) under the guidance of Dorn Whitmore. We visited the sugar mill ruins on the refuge (which were constructed with local stone, as opposed to bricks shipped in from Georgia) and some other scattered remains of historic structures - all associated with a larger plantation site centered around Ross Hammock. A series of canals is also associated with the site. I was very thankful for all the information that I had retained from the Sugar Mill Symposium that FPAN helped to sponsor last March. We also had the chance to visit a prehistoric midden on the refuge, and two burial very impressive burial mounds. There is a lot of work going into the documentation and preservation of the site, and the plantation is being evaluated for its association with the historic Old Kings Road. The hope is that this site will be accessible to the public in the future.
The title of this post should inicate my current dermal condition. The weather for our field trip was brisk - which kept the mosquitos at bay "for the most part," according to the others. Apparently, a good day for hiking near Mosquito Lagoon is still considered a "blood donation" by definition at most other locations. In spite of this, we had a great time learning about these sites on Merritt Island and look forward to future collaboration to help preserve these sites and make these resources available to the public!
The FPAN staff would also like to wish all of you out there a safe and happy Thanksgiving! In a continuing closing segment of FPAN Holiday Advice, remember: pace yourself. That slice of pecan pie is ALWAYS worth holding off on a second helping of mashed potatoes.
Thats the Dirt for today!

-Matt

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