Sunday, January 2, 2011

In the spirit of the New Year, FPAN Northeast would like to present the moments, memories, and discoveries that defined the year in archaeology.

Carl Halbirt, St. Augustine's City Archaeologist, continued to explore the city's past. In his usual Superman-like manner, Carl conducted three major excavations this year. Why, you may wonder, is he so excited about them?

Aviles Street: The Rehabilitation Project enabled Carl to dig on one of, if not the, oldest roads in St. Augustine. Work on the road lead Carl to believe that the sequence of unique road deposits dated to the late 1500s/early 1600s. Features (a very exciting word to archaeologists) indicated the location of the west wall of Los Remedios, a 16th century parish church.

Fountain of Youth (F.O.Y.): Although the Fountain of Youth is more myth than fact, excavation at the archaeological park in St. Augustine revealed a bit of the area's true history. Features (the wonderful word!) uncovered in the park lead Carl to this debate: do they indicate a mission era granary? or a sentry post associated with Pedro Menendez's 1565 encampment? Carl leans toward the mission era granary, but only continued excavation can help shape the answer.

Plaza de la ConstituciĆ³n: After locating features (!) in the Fall of 2009, Carl returned to define the shape and size of the structures. The sequence of structures date to the early 1600s.

2010 provided the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) many treasures. Unlike the gold and other pirate booty many people imagine maritime archaeologists would find, these archaeological treasures are infinitely more interesting:

A colonial shipwreck off St. Augustine's coast yielded a cauldron, thousands of lead shot, ballasts stones, wood planks, among other artifacts. Watch footage of the cauldron raising and see if you can spot the crab the LAMP team brought up.

X-ray technology revealed an 18th century flintlock pistol embedded in concretion from the same colonial shipwreck. The decorated gentleman's pistol, along with other artifacts recovered from the wreckage may indicate 18th century cargo coming to St. Augustine.

Photo compliments of LAMP
Have no fear! FPAN Northeast stayed busy in order to bring archaeology to the public this year!
Packed with workshops, 2010 expanded our impact beyond Florida. With a great turnout, FPAN hosted a Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter workshop on Cumberland Island, Georgia. On the beautiful island where horses roam free, teachers learned how to incorporate archaeology into their lesson plans through hands on activities.

FPAN also hosted Public Day at Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville. Intended to allow the public to see real archaeologists working at a real site, Public Day 2010 was a great success! Additionally, FPAN revealed our Virtual Florida Fieldtrips videos, now posted on YouTube, at Public Day.

Keep digging our feature(!) updates in 2011!

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