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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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Archive for October 2007

Scuba Diving=Fun+Danger

Sarah Miller, Eric Giles, Christy Pritchard, and I have been training underwater for about two months now. We began in late August at the Dive Shop off of 16 with Chuck Meide as our instructor. We've been learning with the NAUI program, going in-depth on numerous dive practices. Chuck has a way of getting us to do things underwater over and over and over again.

For instance, I missed out on a couple of pool sessions, so he had to catch me up last week. So, we get in the water; I'm feeling good, but as we go under, I'm feeling apprehensive about the tricks I have to do. Let me just get it out there in the open, I very much dislike clearing my mask fifteen feet underwater. I can only imagine how I'm going to feel when we're at our check-out dive in December. Let me explain to you exactly what clearing my mask entails. First, I close my eyes (because I wear contacts), then I take a deep breath through my regulator to steady my pounding heart. I quickly rip off my mask along with any hair that is attatched to it, all the while breathing through my regulator and hoping I won't take a breath out of my nose and inhale water instead of air. I fumble around in the dark for awhile getting my mask back on my head. Then I lift the bottom of the mask off of my face and blow out all the water that is trapped in my mask, pausing for a moment to remember to breathe, then blowing the rest of the water out, then I blink uncontrollably for a minute to make sure my contacts haven't moved around during the process.

Overall, though, I feel like we've learned a lot during the times we meet--that is, whenever everyone's schedules don't collide. We've spent time reading the NAUI textbook and answering the supplamental questions, then when we have "classroom time" we watch the instructional DVD. It's been fun trying to get all of our minds wrapped around the concept of dive tables and the amounts of time we can stay underwater at certain depths.

I think it's safe to say that we all are having fun and are excited about volunteering with LAMP in the future. We meet again in a couple of weeks....I'll let you know the new stuff we're learning! :)

-Hannah Locke (intern)
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The Busy Week

This has been (another) busy week. With so much on the way, I feel that if I don't give an update now that I will run the risk of rambling (more than usual) if I wait and try and say it all at once (especially when the festival season really kicks in) . . . (aren't parenthesis neat?)

Last week, Meghan Daly finished up the much anticipated Stratigraphy Quilt - a fabric-crafted, quilt style representation of the profiles of the units that we had excavated at DeBary Hall this past summer. They were even used last week in the Pedro Menendez High School class in an activity where students learned and practiced mappping and recording stratigraphy - right in the classroom! Amazing job, Meghan!
Last Friday we visited De Leon Springs State Park, north of Deland, to tour the sugar mill ruins there. This ended up being the most delicious outreach excursion to date -- the The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant is also located on the premises (The mill ruins actually only date to the Territorial Period - but we were willing to let this slide) where you sit at a table with a griddle in the middle and you get to cook your own pancakes. Go there - your stomach will be forever in your debt.
FPANcakes

Tuesday night the Archaeology Club went before the Flagler College SGA, gave a presentation, and successfully obtained official club status. Adam Cripps gave a great presentation, in spite of technical difficulties and the inability to access our powerpoint presentation, and everyone involved did an outstanding job. More to come on this...
Yesterday, Sarah and I drove up to Jacksonville to attend a meeting of the Abandoned and Neglected Cemeteries Commission, hosted by Jerry Spinks. Sarah presented as a resource speaker to the group, informing how a public outreach group like FPAN can assist in the restoration and preservations efforts of the Commission. Margo Stringfield also presented a case study of St. Michael's Cemetery in Pensacola - managed by the University of West Florida Archaeology Institute, this site is a true success story in historic cemetery preservation.
Hannah and I will be finishing up work on constructing atlatl spears this week, and hopefully we will be able to bring those to the Pedro Menendez class next week.
Thats the Dirt for today!
[(Much) more to come!]

-Matt Armstrong

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