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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 2012

Trick-or-Treat, FPAN Style: The Cemetery Challenge

You know by now that we at FPAN Northeast are suckers for a good cemetery.  We love them as outdoor museums, as archaeological sites worth preserving, and simply as places of remembrance.  We've posted plenty about cemeteries over the last few years.

Grave marker of a man who was born into slavery but died free.  From Sister Spring Cemetery in Interlachen.
Now it's your turn!  Our Halloween challenge to you, dear readers, is to visit your favorite cemetery and take a few pictures.  Find your favorite grave marker, or the oldest one, or just the oddest one, and send us a photo, and we'll send you a treat!

Three lucky winners will be chosen at random to receive a book on historic cemeteries (from those shown) and a snazzy little bag, pictured below.

Get out and explore, then submit your photos to northeast@flpublicarchaeology.org, along with your name, mailing address, name and location of the cemetery, and anything else you'd like to share about your visit.  The drawing will take place on November 5th, so get out and get those pictures to us!  And if you come up with any spooky stories or creepy encounters along the way, please pass them along.

"What Is It???" Wednesday: Open Book Majolica Quiz

You know how archaeologists are always saying that artifacts are not worth money, they're worth information?  This weeks challenge highlights one of our favorite artifact types: ceramics.  This semester I'm sitting in on Dr. Kathleen Deagan's Historic Artifact Analysis class at Flagler College to hone my ceramic skills.  The ceramics in this picture represent Medieval and Renaissance craft traditions from Europe plus the first European craft tradition found in the New World.  In class we are looking at paste and surface treatment, but try your hand at identification based on decoration alone.

Did I mention it's an open book test?  Check out the Florida Museum of Natural History's digital historic type collection.  All types and variants can be looked up for comparison. 

Usual Suspects (from Deagan 1987):

  1. Yayal Blue on White 1490-1625
  2. Santo Domingo Blue on White 1550-1630
  3. Santa Elena  Blue on White 1500-1600
  4. Fig Springs/San Juan Polychrome 1580-1650
  5. Ligurian Blue on White 1550-1600
  6. San Luis Blue on White 1580-1650
  7. Ichtucknee Blue on White 1600-1650
  8. Huejotzingo Blue on White 1700-1850
  9. Puebla Blue on White 1700-1850
  10. San Agustin Blue on White 1700-1730
Bonus question: if these were all found in the same pit, what would be the TPQ (or date after which the feature could date).

Responder with the most correct will get a copy of the Division of Historical Resources Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail publication and a Rite in the Rain field book!

Photo: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff taken at Flagler College library with materials on loan from Florida Museum of Natural History at University of Florida

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

References Cited
Deagan, Kathleen.  Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, 1500-1800.  Volume 2: Portable Personal Possessions.   Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1987.

Public Archaeology Adventures with FPAN

Meet Jen!  Photo courtesy Brad Biglow.
   After four years of volunteering, my moment has finally come.... I’m Jen, the new intern at FPAN! And now it’s my turn to contribute to my favorite blog. I am in my senior year at the University of North Florida, and began volunteer work with FPAN while a student at Florida State College Jacksonville. I joined the St. Augustine Archaeology Society first, and they pointed me towards Amber Grafft-Weiss and Sarah Miller. Never has a student been so fortunate to have guidance from professionals in their field who are also so generous with their time. Amber is a University of North Florida Alumni, and her knowledge of the Anthropology major is a great resource. It is truly invigorating to work and learn from people in your chosen profession. I've had my share of archaeological adventure firsts because of FPAN, including my first dig. Never mind those yellow jacket stings, Robin Moore! I also have had the pleasure of volunteering with several previous interns who continue to inspire me: Rosalie Cocci, Sarah Bennett, and David Underwood. I never expected that my turn to intern would come so soon, but here I am. I want to share some of the memorable past events in which I've volunteered. For fun, I've sprinkled about some terms in bold that you can search in the blog archive that will link you to all the related posts. For more about the survey of  Spengler Island, and my first dig, by St. John's County Archaeologist, Robin Moore, please visit the The St. Augustine Record article: "Mrs. Lincoln Stayed Here, Overlooked Island Once Hosted Visit by Mary Todd Lincoln."

     One of the most memorable projects I participated in was the Summer Archaeology Camp for youths in St. Augustine. We conducted a dig  across the street from the Castillo San Marco in the Colonial Spanish Quarter, finding remnants of a livestock enclosure. The children learned many archaeological processes, including how to set up a unit, weigh, sort, and bag unit materials. My favorite activity, and I am sure theirs, was water screening artifacts. We had a lot of fun with the hose. It was a fun way to learn, and keep cool on a hot summer afternoon in St. Augustine. The picture above is of one of my now absolutely favorite fieldwork t-shirts. 

     I’ve helped for the past two years in December with a small public dig on Black Creek in Middleburg.  I adore working with high school students, and seeing the possibility of a future in archaeology cross their minds is a treat. Middleburg High School students showed up ready to work, and had many questions. For me the dig is always the weekend after finals, and it reminds me of why I study so hard. 

    Archaeology Road Show
at MOSH with Sarah Miller is a huge event. Seeing the public excited about archaeology keeps my passion alive. There is always a large crowd willing to spend a Saturday morning with us. Trying to identify a wide range in artifact ages, from all over the world, is very challenging. Of course, unlike Antiques Road Show, we can’t give an artifact value, because they are all priceless. It is also a wonderful opportunity to explain how it’s not the artifact that tells us the most about a past people, but the context of where it was found. Please note: I have a new clean white FPAN t-shirt after my blue summer camp one is designated fieldwork only. Also, I spilled coffee on the new white one the very first time I wore it and at the first Archaeology Road Show. In this picture, the 2nd show, I wore another shirt to the museum, then changed into the white one, and avoided catastrophe.

      As part of Fernandina Bicentennial Celebration last year, I participated in two roles in a public excavation. I filled one role as a UNF Archaeology student, and the other as an FPAN volunteer. It was wonderful sharing my FPAN experience with my fellow Anthropology majors. The UNF students were able to convey their interest of Archaeology with the public, a common FPAN and UNF mission. Fellow students and I from UNF are from left, me, Lisa MacIntyre, and P.J. Chua. Note: It really is my favorite fieldwork t-shirt. 
      With so many amazing experiences already under my belt as a volunteer, I am so fortunate that there are many more that await me as an intern. Sometimes I pinch myself in disbelief that my internship at FPAN is actually happening. I am looking forward to many more adventures and hope to share the next one with you! 

Text: Jennifer Knutson
Images: All but first photo by FPAN staff

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