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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 February 2012

"What Is It???" Wednesday: FAM Battle Stations!

Folks, we're nearly there.  ONE MORE DAY till archaeology month 2012 begins.  If you are in town for Friday Night Art Walk, we'll be stationed at the base of Henry's statue at the gates of Flagler College (75 King Street), poised and ready to put a poster in your hand!

In keeping with the Civil War theme, here's a favorite object I had the opportunity to see in person on a visit to the State's curation facility in Tallahassee.  First to guess correctly gets a Florida Civil War Heritage Guide in the mail!


Last WIIW: It's a friction bar from a Confederate battery at Hammock Landing (Torreya State Park).  Brian Mabelitini excavated the site as part of his thesis and found this friction bar stumped the experts.  The bar is of British design (see manual figure below) and could have only gotten to the landing by blockade runners or if the Confederates made a copy of the British design.  Larry Babits (professor at my alma mater ECU) helped Brian to identify the artifact which has been found at only a handful (n=5 for the scientists in the crowd).

British Ordnance Manual.

Brian adds:
It was part of a friction primer. Instead of using a roughened wire like the American primers, the British primers used a friction bar that acted like a pull-tab to detonate the charge. Also, they all date to late in the war. According to Babits, they only show up on Confederate sites that date from ca. 1864 - 1865.

Thanks to Brian for helping us!  And thanks to Master of Mocha William Pier, Gary & Sheila, Debby, Xcalipoppychildx, and Mike for being the first five to take a stab!  Email Robbie your mailing address, she'll be sure to send your 2012 FAM poster for playing (rmoore1@flagler.edu).

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

Advocacy Beyond Indiana Jones

What:     Advocacy Beyond Indiana Jones Workshop: responses to local community archaeological issues

When:   Wednesday, March 7 10 am to 12 pm

Where:   Alcazar Room, City Hall (74 King Street, St. Augustine, 32086)

Who:      Presenters include staff from the Florida Public Archaeology Network, St. Augustine Lighthouse and LAMP, St. Augustine City Archaeology Program, St. Johns County Environmental Division, St. Augustine Archaeology Association, in close partnership with members of Florida Anthropological Society, Florida Archaeological Council, and Society for Historical Archaeology.

Why:      In response to recent events impacting local heritage sites, we invite the public to join us as we discuss archaeology beyond artifacts, legal issues to consider when people dig, ethical considerations of residents and professionals, and the emotional attachments that exist between a community and the place they live.  We will brainstorm short-term and long-term solutions to current events, evaluating the affordances and constraints of various actions.  

The goal of the offering is to provide resources for residents considering taking on a more active role in archaeological current events and inform an advocate's decision making processes.

Advocacy Beyond Indiana Jones: Local Responses to Community Archaeological Issues
Wednesday, March 7th 10 am to noon
Alcazar Room, St. Augustine City Hall
75 King Street
St. Augustine, FL 32085

Preliminary Agenda Topics:
Why archaeology matters
Archaeology and Preservation Laws
Ethics of Archaeology
Group activities to promote discussion
Resources for Advocacy
In the meantime, links and ways to weigh in (will update as responses are posted):

SHA Blog on Archaeology Ethics by Paul Mullins with letter to Viacom attached

Article on National Geographic show called “Diggers” airing on Feb 28

“American Diggers” hosted by former wrestler Ric Savage, which airs beginning next month

Our Sunday paper (American Diggers ALREADY filmed in St. Augustine)


Sign change.org petition to Spike and Viacom

Sign change.org petition to NatGeo Channel

blog post with Kathy’s response, legal issues outlined, and ACUA press kit

Peeps to tweet: @NatGeoChannel, @Spike_TV, @SHA_org, @SAAorg, @archaeology_aia with #NoDiggers

Join Facebook group

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

Florida Archaeology Month: St. Augustine Edition

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 http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/FAM  for information on events in your area celebrating Florida Archaeology Month.

Text: Toni Wallace, FPAN staff

"What Is It?" Wednesday: Archaeology Month Poster Teaser

The countdown to Florida Archaeology Month (FAM) has officially started in the office--15 days to go!  In the spirit of all things FAM I wanted to post this artifact that stumped the experts.  Artifact was found by UWF student Brian Mabelitini during fieldwork for his thesis.

Go on, give it a go...


Artifact will be featured on this year's Florida Archaeology Month poster!  First five to guess will receive Florida Archaeology Month posters in the mail, and if you guess correctly we'll mail you the DHR Civil War Heritage Guide along with your poster.  Good luck!

Last WIIW: Master of Mocha William Pier guessed correctly, artifact is a rug made of 3,000 year old cat hair that hangs in the Villa Zorayda in St. Augustine.  A mummy foot was also found with the carpet and is similarly on display in the Egypt Room on the second floor. 

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff
Images: WIIW artifact by Brian Mabelitini, Cat Rug found at Discovery Kids Images website

Origins of an Intern

Courtesy of the St. Augustine Record
Florida Public Archaeology Network. My first couple of semesters at Flagler College were spent in complete ignorance of  the FPAN acronym, let alone what it stood for. Nestled behind Markland, the small cottage that houses FPAN is quite easily overlooked. It was during my second and third semesters at Flagler that I finally decided that in addition to my history major, I wanted to minor in anthropology. Consequently, I started to hear the faint whispers of an organization simply called FPAN. Here and there one of my professors would mention FPAN and yet I never once initiated a search party for them. It was almost mysterious in a way when the archaeology club would acquire atl-atls from some clandestine organization somewhere on campus or when someone would mention the infamous leader Sarah Miller. With such mysterious confusion, mistakes were made. At one time, I was pretty sure that FPAN was located between Lewis and Wiley. At another, I thought that Sarah Bennett was Sarah Miller simply because she showed up to the archaeology club meetings, was named Sarah and talked about FPAN. So after spending five semesters at Flagler, I finally was set straight after a series of fortunate events led me to their discovery.

Courtesy of Flagler College Magazine
It all started in the summer of 2011. At this time, I was in the spirit of trying to graduate early and was taking summer courses in order to do so. Deciding to pursue my anthropology minor even further, one of the classes I was taking was an archaeological field school with Dr. Grant and the city archaeologist Carl Halbirt. Towards the end of that wonderful experience, FPAN gave a presentation at the city lab which essentially gave myself and the other students a rundown of who FPAN is and what it does to promote archaeology in the community. Both Sarah and Amber gave the presentation, and It was at that moment that I realized that Sarah Bennett was not Sarah Miller.
Courtesy of the St. Augustine Record
The location of FPAN eluded me until my independent study instructor, Professor Locasscio, finally walked me over to the Markland cottage. It was here that I discovered the FPAN staff in their secret lair. A modest office with desks, chairs, bookshelves and computers, FPAN looks like any other workplace that can be found in St. Augustine. Upon closer inspection, a few details can help the chance passer-by discern what FPAN is. Giant poster-size pictures adorn the walls that show children conducting their first archaeological digs. Another similarly sized picture shows Carl Halbirt giving one of his famous mid-dig public archaeology talks to an onlooking crowd of teachers. And if the pictures weren’t tell-tale enough, there is an entire bookshelf devoted to anthropological magazines and texts as well. As soon as I set foot in the office, I could tell that it was all that people said it was. 

Having finally found FPAN, it lost a bit of its mystery but gained a sort of reverence. When working with Carl Halbirt, I came to understand that archaeology is not only field work and lab work, but outreach as well. Whether talking to tourists who stop by at a city dig or schoolchildren who visit a site, archaeologists who take time to educate the public are rewarded tenfold. They are rewarded in that future generations may appreciate archaeology and current voters will support archaeological ordinances that protect their community’s cultural heritage. Outreach-like archaeology in general is a time consuming endeavor, which is why there are organizations like FPAN and SAAA. Archaeologists dig in the field while Public Archaeologists bring the field to the public. I suppose education in general is always something to be proud of because it really does help the community. Public Archaeologists, like public historians and public teachers, help educate the communities around them and therefore deserve some sort of reverence.

After having my epiphany, the following semester I explored the rabbit hole that is FPAN even further.  I applied for an internship and found myself in the thick of public archaeology. Now I write to you as an intern on the FPAN blog exploring certain themes that may pertain to public archaeology in hopes that you too will have some sort of epiphany. 

Text: David Underwood, FPAN intern

"What Is It???" Wednesday: sacred textile?

Test your knowledge of St. Augustine oddities this week and answer:

a)  What is this ancient artifact below?
b)  What is it made out of?
c)  What is its connection to St. Augustine?


Last week's WIIW:  Master of Mocha (aka William Pier), you are on a roll!  I too determined it to be early cut based on the pinching at the proximal end and irregular shape of the head.  We found it in one of the layers excavated from Ft. Heilman a few weeks back (read the post!), a Seminole War era fort.  The dates of 1815-1830 for early cut nails are a nice fit for the chronology of the site.

Text and nail image: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff (borrowed mystery image, will post image credit next week)

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