Monday, March 31, 2014

It has been an eventful and extremely busy Florida Archaeology Month 2014 here at the Northeast and East-Central  Regional FPAN centers! Given that today is March 31 and archaeology month is coming to a close,  : (    I figure it's a good time to highlight some of our accomplishments and share some of our outreach experiences!

We took on FAM2014 like the Paleoindians took on mammoths!
Archaeology month started with a bang. On March 1st, Ryan and intern Elizabeth led a public archaeology day dig in Clay County. The excavations focused on an area known as the "Historic Triangle" in between the County Courthouse and the old Jailhouse. We were searching for historic artifacts, or maybe even a garbage midden associated with the inmates and/or keepers.

Participants excavate a 1 m X 50 cm test trench
Meanwhile, Emily Jane spent the morning at the GTM Research Reserve in Ponte Vedra, leading an archaeology hike throughout the beautiful Guana Peninsula and discussing pottery, tools and other materials found at nearby sites.

Hikers got to learn about 6000+ years of human occupation on the Guana Peninsula!

Also that week, we made our first attempt at some archaeology Pecha Kuchas (20 slides X 20 minutes) in Fernandina Beach! We talked about archaeologist's fetishes including clothes, tools and beer.

The infamous manicures were Sarah's fetish during our first archaeology-themed Pecha Kucha series.

On March 7th,  we conducted an all-day public archaeology event at Burns Science and Technology Charter school, where we helped a class demonstrate four types of Timucuan Technology for the rest of their school.

Students gather and listen before heading to four archaeology stations

On March 8, we held our first Shells and Archaeology workshop at Ponce Inlet Marine Science Center! We talked about different types of native shells and identifying features, how people used them in the past, and how archaeologists study them today.

Participants drew how they thought Natives used shells in the past, and built their own shell middens! 

The following week, I partnered with Fort Mose State Park to lead multiple hikes out to the island location of Fort Mose II. We had great weather that day!

Ryan and park specialist Tonya stand where Fort Mose II once stood

Kevin and Emily Jane led a cookie excavation at Wekiwa Springs State park for a group of elementary school children while Sarah helped a local 4-H group clean up San Sebastian Cemetery in St. Augustine.

The students carefully excavate 'choco-facts' from their 'not-cookie-archaeological-sites.'
On March 22, Sarah led a cleanup crew out at San Sebastian Cemetery near St. Augustine. 
On the last Saturday of FAM 2014, Ryan and Elizabeth volunteered to help at Flagler College's high school visitation day by repping FPAN, local archaeology, and internship opportunities through Flagler's public history program!

That same day, Emily Jane and Kevin spent time at Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science doing all sorts of activities--atlatl dart throwing, native plants and archaeology toolkit presentations. They wrapped up with a PaleoFlorida talk by Kevin!

Emily Jane showing off her finely honed hunting skills.
Well, there you have it. Those are just some of the highlights from our region's FAM2014. We're happy to say that everyone survived (!),  and we look forward to a crazy FAM next year! Thanks to all of our collaborators, and all those who supported us throughout this public archaeology gauntlet!

Text and Images, Ryan Harke, Kevin Gidusko, Emily Jane Murray, and Sarah Miller.

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