Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Friday everyone! I'll keep this week's post brief; I just wanted to share a new workshop series that got underway yesterday morning. The programming was developed by our friends at FPAN West-Central in Tampa. Because it has been so successful, we're bringing some of their topics here to Northeast Florida, and we're working on some of our own!

Here's how it works (no pun intended!):

Each workshop is centered on a particular artifact type or archaeological process. Then, depending on what it is, we teach all of the information that archaeologists can learn from that artifact. The programs feature an interactive lecture/powerpoint presentation that lays out the basics, and then participants are encouraged to participate in related activities that follow.

For example, lets pick stone tools. What do lithic artifacts teach archaeologists about the past? Well, they can show how hunting technologies changed through time (e.g., spears, atlatls, bows), aid in determining what animals were being hunted, provide clues to how stone tools were crafted and what they were used for, and of course, much more! The first part of the presentation describes everything outlined above, demonstrating what archaeologists now know because of their work with stone tools. The latter half of the workshop might include flint-knapping demonstrations, atlatl dart throwing, and/or any other activities related to stone tools.

Flier for FPAN West-Central's Lithics workshop

This recipe works for any artifact type or process. Here are a few other examples:

What can archaeologists learn from food remains? 

Example of an archaeology "tool" or process-- flotation teaches how archaeologists learn from tiny plant remains! 

The first "Archaeology Works" workshop by FPAN Northeast was "Shells" 

Next week Sarah will be doing "Historic Ceramics" at Amelia Island Museum of History. Shortly thereafter, Emily Jane will be presenting "Prehistoric Pottery" at the GTMNERR.  Stay current by watching our facebook page  and website for more Archaeology Works information and upcoming workshops. We're planning several more in the fall, and they'll definitely be featured during Florida Archaeology Month (March).  I've heard rumors of  topics such as "Historic Nails" and "Archaeology Dating Methods"!

Text by Ryan Harke, FPAN Northeast staff. Full Credit to FPAN West-Central staff for Archaeology Works and fliers used in this blog.

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