Friday, February 24, 2012

March is Florida Archaeology Month! During the month of March, groups all over the state will present special programs to commemorate the wonderful archaeological and historical resources in Florida.

Here in St. Augustine several archaeology related organizations are developing events to take place all month long. Archaeologists here are a close and supportive bunch so events presented by one organization will usually be supported by the others.

At its February 27 meeting, the St. Augustine City Commission will kick off the month by reading a Proclamation which proclaims March as Florida Archaeology Month in St. Augustine. The St. Augustine Archaeological Association (SAAA) will be on hand to accept the proclamation and briefly state the importance of practicing archaeology ethically. Ethical archaeology means not digging artifacts for personal gain or personal collecting. Archaeological and historical resources belong to all of us.

The Florida Public Archaeology Network - Northeast Regional Center at Flagler College (FPAN - NE) and SAAA will kick off Florida Archaeology Month at the First Friday Art Walk, March 2nd at 5:00pm.  Look for our table with archaeology month posters, bookmarks and other interesting give aways in front of the statue of Henry Flagler at the main gate of Flagler College on King Street.

At 7:00pm on March 6, SAAA and FPAN - NE will sponsor a lecture in the Flagler Room at Flagler College, by Dr. Charles Ewan of East Carolina University.  Dr. Ewan will discuss Hernando de Soto's 1539 entrada through Florida and the greater Southeast. Chroniclers with De Soto provided us with some of the first observations of Florida's Native American cultures.

In the middle of the month, Saturday, March 17, the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeology Maritime Program (LAMP) and Lighthouse Museum will be holding the Lighthouse Festival on the grounds of the Lighthouse Museum. SAAA and FPAN - NE will participate in the festival with interpretive programming.

SAAA will be installing a series of archaeological/historic markers in the old City. Two of the markers will be unveiled in late March and early April. The location of the 18th century Nuestra Senora de la Soledad Parish Church and first St. Augustine hospital, will be commemorated with a marker in the parking lot of the Sisters of St. Joseph on St. George Street. The unveiling ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, March 31 at 10:00 am.  Another marker for the 16th century parish church of Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios on the corner of Aviles and King Streets will be unveiled at First Friday Art Walk in April. The western wall of this church was uncovered by the City Archaeology Program during the upgrade of Aviles Street in 2010. Read your local newspaper for more information on these unveiling ceremonies.

Other events will be happening at State Parks and Museums around Florida.  Access the official Florida Archaeology Month website  for information on events in your area celebrating Florida Archaeology Month.

Text: Toni Wallace, FPAN staff

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