Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The month we have all been waiting for is right around the corner - Florida Archaeology Month!  And to kick it off this year, we are inviting the public to participate in a dig at Sunny Point Park, located next to the Bronson-Mulholland House (100 Madison St., Palatka, FL).  We will dig with school groups on Friday, March 1st, 9am-3pm and give the public a chance on Saturday, March 2nd, 10am-2pm.  (If you would like to reserve a spot for your class on March 1st, contact Amber Weiss).

The area is rich in history and prehistory, starting with evidence of the Timucua and other Native Indians who settled along the St. Johns River about 6,000 years ago.   As early as 1655 the Spanish were developing Palatka as one of its principal ranching areas to feed the settlers in St. Augustine.    The City of Palatka was chartered by the State of Florida in 1853 and soon became a major center for transportation, freight, lumber, citrus and tourism.  From 1865-1895, Palatka rivaled Jacksonville as a major port on The St. Johns River.

Bronson-Mulholland House - photo courtesy of Putnam County Historical Society

The Bronson-Mulholland House was built in 1854 by Judge Isaac Bronson.   It has served as a residential home, an encampment in turn for confederate and union troops, a school for freed slaves, and a boarding house.  With such a diverse history, who knows what kind of deposits we will come across during our Public Day survey!

A pre-survey was done on January 24, which consisted of digging three shovel tests.  The shovel tests gave us an idea as to where we want to open the ground up further on Public Day.  Although we did not encounter any major finds, we had no negative test pits!

Breaking Ground

What scientific method was used in order to select the first shovel test location?  One of our wonderful volunteers from the Putnam County Historical Society selected it at random.  The other two test pits were then measured from where the first one was located.

Screening in Sunny Point

It will most likely be a lot warmer during our March survey than it was in our January pre-survey!

Sarah Miller really gets into her work!

If the pre-survey is any indication, we should find some interesting deposits and have a great time on March 1st and 2nd!

Text By: Robbie Boggs Moore, FPAN Staff
Uncredited Photos By:  FPAN Staff

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