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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 August 2015

Meet our new intern: Courtney!

Hello, my name is Courtney Crum. I am a junior at Flagler College in St. Augustine, dual majoring in History and Public History with a minor in Anthropology.  I have been in love with history since I was a little girl. For as long as I can remember, every summer my mother, grandmother and I would head out on a “Family Adventure.” I never knew the destination ahead of time, and many times, thanks to connecting flights or odd names (try figuring out LaGuardia at seven years old!), I would not know where we were going until we actually reached our destination. These adventures always managed to include National Parks and Historic Sites. National Historic Sites are always my favorite places to go on our adventures. Instead of being in a classroom listening to a lecture, you are actually standing where battles took place, get to see and sometimes touch artifacts that were recovered after hundreds of years, and get to learn facts that are never in the textbooks in school. Our adventures have allowed me to learn about different cultures of people and the way they live their lives. I have also had the opportunity to learn about many important people, and how they may have changed the world, for better or for worse. I am not certain which came first, my family adventures or my love of history, or if they blossomed together.
            Thus far in my college career, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in many experiences in the fields of archaeology and history, often made more unique and fascinating, due to them taking place in St. Augustine. The summer following the completion of my freshmen year, I took part in an archaeological field school with Dr. Bill Locascio and Flagler College, which took place at the site of the former Sabate House in St. Augustine. This summer I was lucky enough to volunteer at the archaeological dig at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, led by Dr. Kathleen Deagan. I have also volunteered at the Florida Agricultural Museum summer camps the past two years, where I was able to create mini archaeological digs as one of the activities for the campers.
I am currently the president of the Flagler College Cultural Anthropology Club, a member of the Archaeology Club, as well as the Historian for the Flagler S.P.I.R.I.T. club, a performance based club which interprets songs in American Sign Language club and performs them at various events around campus as well as elementary schools around St. Augustine.
Through my internship with FPAN, I hope to continue to improve upon my interactions with the public and increase my knowledge regarding what goes on behind the scenes in preparation for events.
Words and photo by Courtney Crum, FPAN Staff

ADVOCACY ALERT: Artifact Amnesty Survey

If you have not done so already, please take a few minutes to take the survey for the Artifact Amnesty Feasibility Study. It closes September 4th.

THE RESULTS WILL BE VERY IMPORTANT IN HOW THE STATE WILL PROCEED. The pro-Amnesty votes are unfortunately up, so please do whatever you can to raise awareness of this issue and have advocates who want protected protection for cultural resources found on state lands to remain protected!

To participate in the survey, click here: TAKE SURVEY

Our Executive Direction Dr. William Lees wrote a great post on the main FPAN blog on the many reasons advocates for archaeology and preservation should be opposed the notion of artifact amnesty for objects taken from already protected state lands.

You can read his blog by clicking here: ARTIFACT AMNESTY or by reading pasted sections below.
The Florida Legislature, in the 2015-2016 General Appropriations Act, has charged the Florida Division of Historical Resources (DHR) with the task of “preparing a study of the feasibility of implementing a one-time amnesty program of limited duration for persons who possess specimens, objects, or materials of historical or archaeological value found on land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority” (http://dos.myflorida.com/historical/archaeology/artifact-amnesty-feasibility-study/). As part of their feasibility study, they are seeking public input via an on-line survey which asks five questions:
  1. Did you know that it is illegal to remove, without authorization, any specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority?
  2. Do you think it should be illegal to remove, without authorization, any specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority?
  3. Do you support the implementation of a one-time amnesty program of limited duration for persons who possess specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value collected from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority?
  4. If you were in possession of any specimens, objects or material of historical or archaeological value from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority, would you return them during an amnesty program?
  5. Do you think other people would participate in an amnesty program?
  6. Please list the positive and/or negative impacts you feel that an amnesty program could potentially have on the stakeholders and historic resources of the state.
From the outset it is important to understand that this is a feasibility study for a proposal that is at best only vaguely defined. From the survey questions, it is possible to presume that a requirement of this program would be that in order to receive amnesty any illegally acquired items would be turned over to the state, but this is an assumption. Even if artifacts are turned over, how about information on the location of the find and other details that would help to establish as much about the original context as possible?

In general, we do not see how a proposal for Artifact Amnesty will help the preservation of archaeological sites that exist on land owned by the State of Florida for the public benefit. We do not believe it will do anything to improve the protection of archaeological sites in Florida.

In opposing artifact amnesty for public lands and waters, we refer to, and express our support for the appropriateness and wisdom of the legislative intent expressed in Florida Statutes 267.14, “It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the state to preserve archaeological sites and objects of antiquity for the public benefit and to limit exploration, excavation, and collection of such matters to qualified persons and educational institutions possessing the requisite skills and purpose to add to the general store of knowledge concerning history, archaeology, and anthropology.” While this intent refers to all of Florida, it is particularly important for our public lands and waters which protect for the future what is uniquely Florida in terms of our natural environment as well as the remains of our diverse and unique heritage.

Our public lands and waters help us to ensure that the animals and plants, forests and wetlands, and springs and waterways that have always been a part of Florida will still exist and be accessible to the public for countless generations to come. Imbedded and submerged on these same lands are the remains of those who have come before. These remains are not just individual curiosities, they are complex archaeological sites where people lived, where they are buried, and where they have made their livings hundreds and thousands of years ago. Current law appropriately supports the public ownership of archaeological sites on public lands and waters and appropriately recognizes the value of their preservation for future scientific study by appropriately trained professionals.

Preservation of archaeological sites on public lands is all the more critical because of the rapid development of the State’s privately-held lands. Over the last several decades, development of our coastlines for residences, hotels, and businesses, and construction of highways, airports, and other needed infrastructure, has resulted in the wholesale destruction and loss of many thousands of archaeological sites, often without any record or study.

In opposing creation of an artifact amnesty program, which we presume would be accompanied by forfeiture of illegally obtained Florida artifacts and disclosure of their find locations, we believe such a program would:
  • Send a message that the Legislature does not take seriously its commitment to preservation of our publicly-owned lands and waters and the archaeological sites contained therein.
  • Not be taken seriously by many, including those who have systematically looted sites on public lands and waters.
  • Not prevent future collecting or looting of archaeological sites on public lands or waters.
  • Confuse rather than clarify the public understanding of law and regulation that protect archaeological sites and materials in Florida.
  • Provide rationale for calls to reinstate the failed Isolated Finds Program, which we also oppose (see http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/blog/?p=49).
Florida has always been a leader in state-level historic and archaeological preservation and its current policies are consistent with an international recognition of the importance of preserving the archaeological remains of our cultural heritage for the future public benefit. Regardless of how it might be constructed, we believe any artifact amnesty program would represent a retreat from this position of leadership.

If we forgive those who obtained artifacts illegally from public lands and waters in Florida, we fear that this will set the stage for a push to just make it legal to collect on these lands through a program such as the former Isolated Finds Program, or the recently proposed Citizen Archaeology Permit which we believe is also a bad idea for Florida’s irreplaceable archaeological heritage (see Della Scott-Ireton’s blog on CAP).

We encourage anyone who has interest in the proposal to establish an Artifact Amnesty Program in Florida to provide DHR with your input through response to their on-line surveywhich closes September 4, or through a letter or call to Division Director Rob Bendus, R.A. Gray Building, 500 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250, Phone: 850.245.6300., or via email to Feasibility@dos.myflorida.com.

William B. Lees, PhD, RPA
Executive Director
Florida Public Archaeology Network

Text: Sarah Miller with cited inserts to FPAN blog post by William Lees.

Norwegian Public Archaeology

This summer I had the opportunity to see one of the world's best known examples of Public Archaeology: The Oseberg ship.  This 1,200 year old Viking Ship is one of Norway's national archaeological treasures, a direct link to their past, and currently one of the most visited tourist sites in the country.  And we can all thank a local Norwegian farmer for it's current existence. Housed at the Viking Museum in Oslo, Norway, The Oseberg burial ship dates back to 834 AD with parts of the ship dating back to 800 AD and the ship itself thought to be even older.  The ship is astonishingly well preserved. It is richly decorated and more than 90% of the fully reconstructed Oseberg ship consists of its original timber.

Built almost entirely of oak it measures 70.5 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 4.9 feet deep from railing to keel and researchers estimate it could achieve a speed of up to 10 knots (11.5 MPH).  There are 15 oar holes on each side, so fully-manned the ship would have had 30 oarsman, but is believed could have held up to 70  people.  


Two women were buried with the ship, whose identities remain a mystery. One woman was 60-70 years old upon death and the other 25-30.  Of course there have been many theories as to their identities; One being the older woman was a viking queen or noblewoman and the younger woman her slave.  Others believe they were both female shaman.  Regardless, it is clear from the richly decorated ship and elaborate burial that at least one of these women was highly revered.  One of the outfits even included silk imported from the distant land of China.

Viking textiles from the ship: woven fabric, tapestries, embroideries and bands
(Photo by Oslo Museum of Cultural History)

In addition to the imported silk, woolen garments and tapestries (and textile equipment) were also included in the burial, making the Oseberg burial one of the few sources of Viking age textiles. The burial chamber was dug right behind the ship's mast and the women lay on raised beds.  Included with them was everything a person of importance would need for a long journey: clothes, combs, animals, weapons, tents, wagons, carts, furniture, and of course, elaborately carved animal heads. Precious metals were also believed to have been included at the time, but were looted not long after the ship was buried.

carved animal head found in burial
The only complete Viking age cart found to date
 Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig and Swedish archaeologist Gabril Gustafson excavated the site in 1904-1905.  The excavation itself took less than 3 months, but it took 21 years to prepare and restore the ship and most of its finds!
Excavation of Oseberg Ship in 1904 (Photo: Oslo Museum of Cultural History)
The discovery was not made by an archaeologist, but by a farmer.   Knut Rom from the Lille Oseberg farm dug into the large burial mound on his property.  On August 8, 1903 the farmer visited Gustafson at The University's Collection of National Antiquities in Oslo and informed the professor of his discovery.  Two days later, Gustafson was on the mound and began his investigation.  Without the care and efforts of this farmer, this archaeological treasure could have been lost to the world forever.  That is Public Archaeology at it's best!

Text and Photos (except where noted) by FPAN Staff, Robbie Boggs

a good find in the Viking Museum gift shop

Current Laws For Drone Use in the U.S.

A Background And Basic Overview of Drone Laws

The FAA is currently working to refine drone use regulations.

In a previous post we introduced you to the newest FPAN team member in our super-region, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle named Boas 1. The last few years have seen a steady growth in the UAV market and interest by the general public has perhaps never been higher. Drone sales for recreational use by the general public are projected to increase steadily over the next several years meaning that drones, their regular use in public, and issues of drone use are more than likely here to stay. 
Buying stock in UAV tech companies might be a good idea.

Of course with any new advancement in technology that is unleashed on the general public we quickly see both the great potential and the technology as well as the various ways it can be misused, misconstrued, and just plain misunderstood. 
These are people that have the right to vote and say things.

A good example of this situation was the introduction of Google Glass in 2013. Google Glass was at the cusp of the current and growing trend of wearable technology; allowing the wearer to do things like read email, use the internet, experience augmented reality displays, and take photos. By 2015 Google had decided to stop producing the Glass prototype due in part to privacy and security concerns; users could collect data or pics surreptitiously and some groups saw this as a threat to personal privacy. Users of Google Glass became the butt of jokes in the media and were even given their own derogatory moniker: Glassholes.
Friends don't let friends be glassholes.

As with Google Glass, UAVs are at the center of quite a bit of debate about their use and regulation, certainly privacy concerns comprise a good portion of that debate as well. While many organizations (such as the groups utilizing UAVs for archaeological research discussed in the last post) laud the capabilities of drone use in research, and more and more people are using them for fun photography or video production, a few cases have highlighted the potential issues with the growing trend of drone use in the U.S. In May of 2015, a man was arrested for attempting to fly a drone over the White House. In April of this year the first recorded case of drone vandalism was noted on a Calvin Klein billboard in New York City. This year a number of incidents have involved the flight of drones too close to airports, causing concern over the safety and well-being of commercial aircraft. 
Graffiti artist Katsu makes this ad in NYC worth looking at.

The use of drones has certainly outpaced the ability of the Federal Aviation Authority to create a set of regulations to handle the myriad ways that drones can be used and misused. Some argue that this slow response is to blame for the misuse of drones in by the public; the argument that if regulation was in place before the growth of drone use, there would be training and certification programs in place to better educate the public about the use of UAVs. Regardless, the FAA has a set of rules in place and are actively working on creating more substantial regulations to deal with the growth of the drone industry. 

Currently there are three categories for drone use in the U.S. as dictated by the FAA: Public Operations (Governmental), Civil Operations (Non-Governmental), and Model Aircraft use. Most of the drones being used in the U.S. currently by the public would fall into the category of Model Aircraft (Hobby and Recreation). 

Public Operations use is largely self explanatory and not something most drone enthusiasts will be dealing with. Increasingly drones are seen by some private companies as a new, innovative way to record information or conduct surveillance. Drones are being used to inspect construction, in agriculture, for gathering film or television footage, etc. For any purposes where using a drone is done as part of a business operation, the Civil Operations category applies. Within this category the FAA provides the option to apply for a Section 333 exemption or a Special Airworthiness Certificate for the use of UAVs which allows the use of a drone under certain circumstances to be used by these entities. 

The Model Aircraft category is the section under which FPAN operates Boas 1. Drone users operating drones under the parameters of this category do not require special training or certification, but must comply with a few specific rules (see infographic below). As FPAN's focus is outreach and education about archaeological sites, Boas 1 helps us to bring this new technology to the public to discuss its uses in the field of archaeology. 
Very simple, easy to follow rules. Do it!

For all categories there are certain places you simply cannot use a drone: Within 5 miles of an airport (for most cases), in National Parks, and within the limits of the District of Columbia. 
These signs are not science fiction. You are living in the FUTURE!

Broadly, these are the regulations in place at the current time for the use of drones by the public in the U.S. Recent talks between the FAA, UAV technology companies, and with input from the public, have taken place with the goal of better defining the regulations in place concerning drones. More than likely as cost decreases and availability and capability increase, the regulations will need to be changed yet again. Overall, the regulations in place for the public use of drones by the FAA are liberal and understanding of the public's fascination with this new technology while also acknowledging the great potential of drones as tools in many different areas of the private sector. The rules provided are broad and there are certainly gray areas. It is up to each drone user to think critically about their use of a drone, to be concerned with safety of those around them, and to represent the UAV community well wherever they may be. In short, don't be a Dronehole.

Text: Kevin Gidusko
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