Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Display on the true First Thanksgiving.
The Government House in downtown St. Augustine has a new exhibit that focuses on the first colony in La Florida, how archaeologists study it and its impacts on past and present cultures. It was put together by the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida and runs from now until 2015.

The exhibit has 5 main sections: the first sets the stage for the Spanish arriving in La Florida; the second explains the first colony's story; the third explains how archaeologists uncovered the past; the forth gives visitors a look at life in the new colony; and the fifth allows visitors to consider their own heritage in our global world.

The exhibit features a blend of traditional museum techniques, like text panels and artifact displays, with new technologies and interactive features. Visitors can take a 3-D tour of the original encampment or compare types of native and Spanish ceramics. Many of the artifact kioks allow visitors to interact with the artifacts virtually and share archaeologists' (like Dr. Kathleen Deagan and Dr. Gifford Waters) insights into the item's significance.

Check out some teasers of the displays below:

Interactive virtual excavation lets visitors unearth the past.
Model of a barrel well with in situ artifacts.

Make sure to look at the walls! They feature the various popular building materials in the city, including wattle and daub above.

The display about our own heritage asks visitors to become a part of the exhibit with a collage about themselves.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7.99 for adults and $5.99 for children 5-12. For more information, check out the Florida Museum of Natural History's website.

Words and Photos by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN Staff

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