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Archive for November 2015
Get Thee to a Parkery!
|One of several Florida National Parks, the Everglades is one of the most unique places in the United States|
What would you do if you lived in a world where you could visit any U.S. National Park you wanted to for free? And you were in 4th grade? Amazingly, you live in that world!
|Get out and find your park!|
We recently got to hear a little more about the the National Park Service "Every Kid in a Park" program and it sounds absolutely great. All 4th graders are able to sign up for a pass which is good through August 31st, 2016. This pass will allow them and up to three adults per pass to get FREE entry into any National Park! In the WORLD (as long as it's in the U.S.).
4th graders, you can check out more about the program HERE!
Parents and Educators, you can check out rules and the nitty gritty details HERE!
Now, the only question is: Which Florida National Park/Memorial/Monument will you visit? Each is a beautiful representation of Florida's diverse environments and history. Are you more of a beach kid? Kid who likes to hike through the woods? Maybe you're a kid who likes to do taxes. If so, we should talk. Florida has National Parks that are not only gorgeous, but also have archaeological sites in them that you can visit!
|Thank goodness Tax Kid is here.|
Will you venture to the Castillo De San Marcos to learn about the early Spanish settlers of Saint Augustine and see more coquina in one spot than your brain might be able to handle?
|The mighty Castillo De San Marcos|
Will you trek to the Canaveral National Seashore and there make the ascent up Turtle Mound, one of Florida's largest remaining shell mounds constructed by the First Peoples to inhabit this area?
|Turtle Mound was so big that ships used it to figure out where they were!|
Will you, oh intrepid soul, find a way to get to the Dry Tortugas? There to climb the stairs of Fort Jefferson, the one-time jail of the infamous Dr. Samuel Mudd?
|Pretty, yes. But bad wifi signal.|
There are many surprises awaiting you! And remember: Go prepared for adventure!
Text: Kevin Gidusko
Pics (in order):
The last few weeks have been busy ones at my internship with FPAN. In addition to working on a display for the public library and recording the San Sebastian cemetery, I have been able to attend two outreach events.
|The FPAN gang at Archaeologists for Autism. (Photo credit: Archaeologists for Austim)|
The first event was Archaeologists of Autism at the end of October. Archaeologists for Autism is an amazing event created by archaeologist Thomas Penders, the father of an autistic daughter, Becky. After attending a Surfers for Autism event with Becky, Mr. Penders began thinking about how all children love dinosaurs and playing archaeologist, including autistic children. The Archaeologists of Autism event was for children aged 6-17, anywhere on the autism spectrum. The event was limited to one hundred families, to keep the stress level for the children low, and included an entire day full of activities. Some of the activities included helping with a real archaeological excavation, creating their own fossils, atlatl throwing, as well as face painting, therapy horses, and many, many more. For FPAN’s activities, we focused on helping the children learn about underwater archaeology. We brought an anchor for mapping, our shipwreck of the Maple Leaf, which encourages the children to use artifacts to hypothesize what the use of the related area of the ship would be, and our foam activity, where children reach through the foam and try to determine what an artifact is by touch only, unable to see through the foam. The highlight of my day was working with little boy named Charlie on the anchor mapping activity. When we had completed the activity, his mother expressed her surprise at his engagement in the activity, as he typically does not show any interest in getting involved.
|Making pots at Marshfest!|
The second event was Marshfest in early November, which took place at Dutton Island Preserve in Jacksonville. Marshfest was my first solo event representing FPAN, and we focused on activities relating to the Timucuan Indians. My primary activity, which attracted as many adults as it did children, was creating Native American pottery from Play-Doh and decorating it using some of the same materials that the Timucuans would have used to decorate their own pottery. In addition to many vendors representing the natural side of Florida, including a couple of live, native wildlife for visitors to touch, Marshfest offered nature hikes, an environmental play, and even kayak trips. It was a beautiful day at the preserve, and I enjoyed being able to share a little information about Timucuan pottery and FPAN with the visitors.
Words and text by Courtney Crum, FPAN intern, unless otherwise noted.
|We'll get back to these sand-covered, shovel wielding, sweaty people in a minute...|
This month I went back out to the Garden Patch site near Horseshoe Beach, FL. For those of you following along, last time we went out to visit this project, run by Dr. Neill Wallis and Dr. Paulette McFadden from the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), we assisted in conducting a few types of remote sensing. This time we were testing some of the remote sensing leads with good ol'-fashioned excavation. This is just one of the ways archaeologists decide where to dig a hole.
Dr. Wallis and Dr. McFadden decided on an ambitious excavation plan to dig two 3x3 meter excavations (called units or blocks) over the span of two four-day work weeks. FPAN joined the crew for the last two days and helped finish up Unit 2 (which took one day longer than expected, not unusual in excavation- see last month's blog about our run-in with the weather). During excavation we ran into quite a few features that took extra time and attention.
A feature is "any physical structure or element, such as a wall, post hole, pit, or floor, that is made or altered by humans but (unlike an artifact) is not portable and cannot be removed from a site." Usually, an area of soil or sand that is darker than what's around it (because we're in Florida, with our generally light colored sand, the dark is an indication of something out of the ordinary, dark can also come from burning, something archaeologists love because we can use carbon from burnt wood for dates).
The two types of features we identified at the site were post holes and pits. Post holes are the holes that people put posts in, most often to build structures. Think of the hole you dig to put the support beam of a fence in- it's the same idea. These are usually what archaeologists use as evidence of buildings, assuming they're in the proper configuration and size (a large circular configuration might indicate a house).
One of the many post holes we excavated. One method is to cut the feature in half so you can see the whole profile, like we did here.
Pits are, well, pits people put stuff in. Post holes and pits are similar in the archaeological record, usually seen as dark spots. But pits mean different things. Instead of a structural element, they were often used for storage or sometimes cooking.
This pit was in the wall of our excavation, we followed the same method of cutting it in half to see the whole profile. Note the rest of the excavation stopped at the whitish sand to the left and right, while the pit goes deeper. The white sand is the original ground surface, so the pit was dug into it.
The artifacts collected will be cleaned, cataloged, and interpreted back at the FLMNH, and they will help Dr. Wallis and Dr. McFadden interpret what was happening at this amazing Middle Woodland period (ca. AD 100-500) site! Keep an eye out for their future publications, and updates from us on their work!
Our team after backfilling the excavation (we have to put all the dirt back in the hole!)
Back row: Angelica Costa, Austin Jacobs, Rachel Iannelli
Front row: Rachael Kangas, Dr. Paulette McFadden, Dr. Neill Wallis
Text and Photos: Rachael Kangas, Outreach Assistant, East Central Region
For more on Garden Patch:
-McFadden, P.S., 2014. Archaeological Investigations of Threatened Stratified Sites in Horseshoe Cove, Northern Gulf Coast, Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 67(4):179-195.-Wallis, N.J., McFadden, P.S., 2013. Archaeological Investigations at the Garden Patch site(8DI4), Dixie County, Florida. Miscellaneous Report No. 63, Division of Anthropology,FloridaMuseum of Natural History. University of Florida, Gainesville.-Wallis, N.J.,McFadden, P.S., 2014. Suwannee Valley Archaeological Field School 2013: The Garden Patch Site (8DI4). Miscellaneous Report No. 64, Division of Anthropology, Florida Museum of Natural History. University of Florida, Gainesville.-Wallis, N.J., McFadden, P.S., Singleton, H.M., 2015. Radiocarbon dating the pace of monument construction and village aggregation at Garden Patch: A ceremonial center on the Florida Gulf Coast. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 2: 507-516.