Monday, February 1, 2010

Nearing the end of the 2010 conference for the Society of Historic Archaeologists was a day set aside for one of Duval County's best historical sites, Kingsley Plantation. This public day brought together several organizations, scholars, interest groups, and hobbyists alike. During the day, guests were invited to take guided tours of the plantation with Dr. James Davidson, the archaeologist who brought field schools and has conducted research for several years. Other activities, such as Dining Out 2000 Years Ago, the Cabin Fever activity tarp, and boat building. Talks were also given by Davidson's graduate students about various subjects focusing on archaeology and the plantation site.

I was fortunate enough to be able to man the Cabin Fever activity tarp. After welcoming Adam Cripps, former FPAN member, back we began to educate the public about the topic of context through the use of a tarp with a representation of a slave cabin on it. There were pictures of actual artifacts that had been found during the previous excavations placed in the location they were found in. Participants "uncovered" the artifacts and then attempted to interpret just what in the world they may be. After taking a moment to either "excavate" the artifact or use prior knowledge about the artifact, the participant took a stab at using context clues that the location of the artifact and the actual artifact provide, we helped them map their findings on a map of the cabin. Similarly, archaeologists use this process while they are conducting archaological field work.

Kinglsey Public Days are always fun and educational events, so look out for your next chance to visit and participate this fascinating site.
p.s. I would like to again thank all of our guests, participants, volunteers, and sponsors for being a part of SHA 2010 Kingsley Public Day, even though it was one of the coldest days of the year!

--Rosalie Cocci

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