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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 April 2016

Finding Archaeology in the Big Apple

I recently got to spend some time in New York City and sought to learn a bit about its history before I left. The original settlement, a Dutch colony by the name of New Amsterdam, was located on the southern tip of Manhattan Island. It thrived from 1624 until 1664, when it was handed over to the British. The small town grow over its almost 400 years, through wars, immigration, industrialization and more, to become the global powerhouse of a city it is today.

But can you still find evidence of its past hidden there between the skyscrapers and subway lines? NYC, in many ways, is not known for its history but rather for its progress.

This is exactly the question that was asked in the 1970s when the first archaeological mitigation project was undertaken. A small building in the oldest section of town was torn down to make way for a large modern skyscraper. Archaeologists were given a few months to survey the area, in hopes of locating undisturbed archaeological deposits under the basement of the old structure. In fact, the very first government building, the Dutch Stadt Huys should have been in the area.

Sure enough, the archaeologist found 17th century foundations, not for the Stadt Huys, but for the tavern next door as well as other deposits from throughout the city's 400 years. Archaeology has continued as a part of construction and preservation throughout the city since then. And there's some great interpretation at the site.


Yellow brick represents the estimated outline of the Stadt Huys.
Foundations of the tavern located next to the Stadt Huys.
Well from the early 18th century.
As a bonus, I also found some cool Florida artifacts in the Museum of the American Indian branch in NYC!
Santa Rosa Swift Creek potsherds from Crystal River Mound.
Weedon Island jar from Taylor County.

Text and images by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN staff

CLAASP: Working to Document Unprovenienced Artifacts

CLAASP: Communities of Lake Apopka Artifact Survey Project

Unprovenienced artifacts from a private collection on the shores of Lake Apopka.


At FPAN, we are often at the front lines of conversations with the public about the collection of artifacts. This is a complex conversation and one that has a number of different, important viewpoints. Artifact collection by non-professionals is prohibited on public lands without a research permit and disallowed on private lands without a landowner's permission (More info here).  Despite these protections, artifact collection by non-professionals is a persistent practice in many areas of Florida, as well as throughout the world for that matter. Traditionally, the relationship between collectors and the professional community has been fraught with tensions and disagreements about how best to preserve our shared history. Archaeologists in general support preservation and mitigation of impacts on archaeological sites, digging only to answer research questions. A critique from the collector community is that archaeologists do not do enough to protect sites; often, the collector community feels that they are doing valuable work to preserve information that would otherwise not be known about. One significant point of contention is that some in the artifact collector community dig artifacts in order to sell them, something never done by professional archaeologists. There has often, though intermittently, been attempts to bridge the gap between these two camps. On the part of the archaeologists, there is a, begrudging at times, acknowledgement that local artifact collectors may have excellent information to impart about the location of archaeological resources. On the part of collectors, there is a feeling that their goal of preservation is not recognized as such by the professional community, that they are not being acknowledged for their contributions to a field of study they feel passionately about. The CLAASP program is an attempt to bridge the gap between these two groups and to engage the public in the preservation of cultural resources in their local area, the Lake Apopka region of Central Florida. 
56 archaeological sites are within 1 mile of Lake Apopka (map credit: FMSF).


Lake Apopka is Florida's 5th largest lake. It covers over 30,000 acres and has a long history of prehistoric and historic occupation. In the most recent decades it was a center of agricultural production. Though never heavily populated, that trend is changing now as crops, especially citrus, become unprofitable to produce in the area and land is sold to real estate development. In terms of archaeology Lake Apopka and the Central Florida Region has not enjoyed near the levels of professional archaeological interest shown in other parts of the state. As a result, we actually know relatively little about the groups of people that inhabited the region for thousands of years. Currently, the Florida Master Site File only has 56 recorded sites within 1 mile of Lake Apopka, an astonishingly small number for such a large lake feature, especially one that has had documented occupation dating back to Florida's Paleoindian period. This small number of recorded sites represents the work of the professional community in the region which is dictated by professional research, funding for projects, or mitigation projects undertaken by CRM firms. The collector community, however, has been hard at work in the area for decades. Many of these collectors have accumulated far more archaeological material than they can reasonably store and so parts of their collections are often donated to the small museums or nature centers around the lake to be used in outreach and education. These remain, however, unprovenienced and undocumented artifacts that do not serve to answer any broader questions about the lifeways of the peoples who previously inhabited the Lake Apopka Region. 
The Oakland Nature Preserve interprets the environment and cultural hsitory of Lake Apopka.


FPAN has had a presence in this region for several years and has developed long-standing relationships with important cultural and environmental centers around the lake such as the Oakland Nature Preserve. Last year the Director of the Preserve informed us that a local collector had donated buckets worth of cast-off artifacts. The collector's hope was that pottery sherds or lithic flakes could be given to students who visited the Preserve as a keepsake. We suggested against this and worked to engage the collector in a different type of education outreach instead. From this initial contact with the collector grew the idea to work together to record these unprovenienced collections that had been donated to the local cultural institutions around the lake. Our goal was to hold public lab days and to involve the public and collector community in documenting these resources to showcase how artifact assemblages are used to answer questions about the past. And that is where we are at!
Volunteers from the public assist in artifact sorting.

Volunteers assist in almost every step of labwork.


CLAASP is up and running at the Oakland Nature Preserve. We have been posting open lab days where the public is welcome to do the work of archaeologists and assist in recording information about these collections that may otherwise have languished in a closet. Once we are done at the Preserve we will move to another institution around the lake and begin lab work there. Our goal is to provide some basic information about the types of artifacts present in this area and to hopefully generate interest in further professional research. If nothing else, the public will be helping us to record invaluable information about a quickly changing landscape. We look forward to creating new partnerships and bridging any gaps we come across; this is an experiment and we hope you will join in!

Text and pics (except where noted): Kevin Gidusko

FPAN Celebrates 10 Years at SAAs!


This month the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN East Central) welcomed the 81st annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Orlando. FPAN staff took it as an opportunity to celebrate 10 years of helping save the state's buried past through education and outreach by organizing a group session. Below are the cover slides and abstracts from each of the papers. If you're interested in learning more about the papers or projects, contact the author by clicking on their name which will take you via hyperlink to his/her email.


My Best (and Worst) Day at FPAN: Celebrating 10 years of Florida Public Archaeology Network Program Highlights and Continuing Challenges
 The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) began operations in 2005 and since that time has experienced a range of public archaeology highs and lows. Papers in this session will be delivered by current and past staff asked to consider their best program and greatest challenge. Some of the highlights will include the Submerged Sites Education andArchaeological Stewardship (SSEAS), Cemetery Resource Protection Training(CRPT), Archaeology Works, Teacher in-service, local government assistance, and partnered programs with Florida’s Division of Historical Resources. Challenges include assessment, measuring impact, large population centers, rural outreach, turnover rate of partners, and navigating economic trends. 



The Best Days at FPAN are Under Water: The SSEAS and HADS Programs for Sport Divers and Diving Leadership
FPAN’s development of the Submerged Sites Education & Archaeological Stewardship(SSEAS) program targeted to sport divers and the Heritage Awareness DivingSeminar (HADS) targeted to diving leadership has led to gains in the appreciation and protection of the underwater cultural heritage, in Florida and elsewhere. In presenting these programs, FPAN staff have worked with divers ranging from newly certified to long-time educators, in the process learning as much as we teach. This paper describes these programs and how they are intended to encourage divers to become active in preserving underwater cultural heritage, monitoring historic wrecksites, and making their own discoveries, thereby producing information instead of simply consuming information.


Engaging the Living in Honor of the Dead: the Cemetery Resource Protection Training (CRPT) Program across Florida
The flagship program to come out of FPAN’s Northeast Regional Center, hosted by Flagler College in St. Augustine, is the Cemetery Resource Protection Training (CRPT) workshop. CRPT developed in an effort to curb the mass deterioration of historic cemeteries across the state, particularly in Jacksonville, Palatka, and Fernandina where municipal governments are responsible for their preservation. Outcomes of CRPT were the subject of a recent AAP article (Miller 2015:275-290) but the challenges are on-going and subject to great change after local elections. This paper will describe the CRPT program, present the most challenging cases to date, and deliberate how to stay the course through political and economic change. 



Understanding Archaeological Site Protection at the Local Level in Florida
Archaeological sites face many threats in Florida. While both natural and cultural forces are at play the most destructive threat might be inaction at the local level from the professional and amateur archaeology communities. Local preservation programs began in earnest with the passage of state laws aimed at managing and regulating growth in the state and have continued largely through the implementation of the Certified Local Government Program. However, an apparent lack of a clear understanding of archaeology and best management practices at the local level has left archaeological sites to be sorely underrepresented in local government preservation programs and woefully unprotected under local ordinance. This presentation details some of the initiatives undertaken by FPAN to bring together information on local level preservation ordinances throughout the State of Florida, work with local governments on their management of archaeological sites, and create a clearing house for preservation ordinances and locally designated sites and resources.



The Best Days at FPAN are Shared with Others: The Various Partnerships FPAN had Developed over the Years
Since its inception, the Florida Public Archaeology Network has relied on partnerships with other organizations to help meet our goal of public awareness and education. Throughout the years we have partnered with various organizations to offer training, workshops, youth and adult programs and other opportunities for the public to learn about Florida's archaeological heritage. Each of these partnerships is unique and bring with them their own challenges and successes. This paper will discuss some of the lessons we have learned through these partnerships. 


The Best Days at FPAN are Out of Sight: Public Archaeology Airwaves of Unearthing Florida and the DARC Geotrail
The Florida Public Archaeology Network has created a variety of unique projects throughout the past decade of its existence. Two of these projects called Unearthing Florida and DARC Geotrail used “airwaves” through the medium of radio and the technology of GPS satellites as a way to educate the public about Florida’s archaeological heritage and to promote archaeotourism. Unearthing Florida is a radio program broadcast Florida public radio NPR member stations designed to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of Florida’s archaeological heritage. DARC Geotrail is a project that uses the worldwide GPS based scavenger hunt game of geocaching as a way to promote responsible site visitation and tourism to historic and archaeological sites in Northwest Florida. This paper reflects on some of the successes and challenges of creating and maintaining both these projects using “airwaves” over the past four years.


What Have We Here?: Demonstrating the Opportunities for Heritage Preservation to Local Governments
Tristan Harrenstein
Part of the Florida Public Archaeology Network’s mission is to work with local governments to both protect archaeological sites and to ensure that these communities receive the benefits related to their preservation. However, many of the smaller communities in Florida are unaware of the opportunities available for state and federal assistance in preserving their heritage. This paper details a new project designed to educate local governments and historical societies about the benefits and legal pitfalls associated with archaeological and historic resources.


Collaboration in Progress: FPAN Central Regional Center and the Florida Park Service
Among the many places that the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) uses as a base of operation, the relationship the Central Region has with the Crystal River Archaeological State Parks is unlike any other. Housed within the visitor’s center at the Crystal River PreserveState Park, FPAN’s Central Region is the only regional center located at a National Historic Landmark prehistoric mound complex. This provides the center with a unique opportunity for outreach, education, and promotion of this important site and the compatible mission of the Florida Park Service. The distinct relationship comes with distinct successes and challenges. This paper navigates these opportunities including development of site based interpretation and collaboration on existing State Park programs. Also considered are challenges such as working within the bureaucratic framework of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and ethical considerations necessary at a prehistoric mound complex.


Archaeology in your Backyard: Successes and Lessons Learned from FPAN-Led Community Archaeology Projects
 Over the past 10 years, staff from the Florida PublicArchaeology Network (FPAN) have developed curricula, programs, and trainings that educate both the general public and land managers about archaeology and Florida's unique past. While many of these initiatives might take place in a classroom or lecture hall, FPAN archaeologists also get out in the field to organize community archaeology projects that engage the public with the discovery of their own pasts. This presentation will highlight some of the successful strategies employed for these community based archaeology programs, as well as some of the challenges of this type of work outside of a traditional academic setting. Participatory mapping, oral history work, and public archaeology days have been useful in listening to and learning from the public about their local histories, but what happens when memories clash with archaeological interpretation? How can "public archaeologists" bridge the gap while also respecting the layered and ever changing histories that communities are constantly building and changing?


Exploring Strategies for Talking to the Public: Learning from 10 Years of the Florida Public Archaeology Network
The last 10 years of outreach and education has allowed staff from the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) to experiment with many different strategies for discussing archaeology with the public. Through this experience we have become better aware of the ways to effectively communicate archaeological concepts and garner an appreciation for our archaeological and historic heritage. This presentation will provide some basic strategies and outline specific programming that we have found successful. Some of the most useful strategies combine numerous approaches to simultaneously engage visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. 


CLAASP: A Public Archaeology Initiative To Preserve Archaeological Information In Central Florida
Kevin Gidusko
The Communities of Lake Apopka Artifact Survey Project(CLAASP) is an attempt by several regions within the Florida Public Archaeological Network (FPAN) to preserve information about the many unprovenienced collections of artifacts hailing from this area in Central Florida.  Relative to several other areas in the state, the Lake Apopka region is under-represented in the archaeological record. This is in part due to the long term use of much of this area for agriculture prior to the creation of laws requiring cultural resource surveys and the collection of many artifacts by avocational archaeologists. Many of these unprovenienced collections have found their way into local museums around the Lake and throughout the region. CLAASP seeks to create a basic database of these collections by creating partnerships with local cultural institutions and avocational archaeologists. This project will allow FPAN to engage the public via open lab days, educational opportunities, and the creation of interpretive material.


It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s Public Engagement! One Summer Library Program as an Effective Outreach Platform
 Summer library programming is a crucial element of the Florida Public Archaeology Network’s (FPAN) outreach efforts. Library programs are a common and important part of FPAN's work as they allow us to explore multiple approaches to engagement and education.  The program "Superheroes of Stewardship" was developed by FPAN for the Orange County Public Library System's summer programming in 2015, and serves as an example of the efficacy of queer archaeology in engaging and educating young audiences. This program is designed to teach children about archaeological methods and stewardship while maintaining some core concepts of queer archaeology, such as non-gendered interpretation of data. This program is similar to the majority of FPAN's programming, however it was developed as an application of queer archaeology in this type of outreach setting.


My best day at FPAN was teaching teachers: Celebrating 10 years of Project
Archaeology in Florida
 The Florida Public Archaeology Network was established in 2005 and within a year hosted its first Project Archaeology: Intrigue of the Past workshop. As a proud sponsor of Project Archaeology in Florida, regional center staff partnered with the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve (NPS) to publish the first Investigating Shelter investigation in the southeast. It was also the first in the Investigating Shelter series to feature a National Park site. Investigating aTabby Slave Cabin teacher guide and student handbook were produced through an internal NPS grant that combined the efforts of Teacher-Ranger-Teachers, Park Service interpreters, FPAN staff, and cooperating archaeologist Dr. James Davidson from University of Florida. By investigating a Kingsley tabby cabin through a series of lessons (geography, history, archaeology, preservation), we hope teachers and students will better understand slavery and the families who occupied the cabins. In June 2016, the new Lighthouse Shelter curriculum will launch at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Experience gained from the drafting, piloting, and publishing of the program will be discussed. Finally, this paper will highlight past, present, and future partnerships with Florida teachers.



Submerging the Public: Perspectives on Developing Guided Archaeological Shipwreck Tours
Community interest in archaeological shipwreck sites is increasingly profound in Florida. Though laws protecting these submerged cultural resources in state waters have been in place for nearly 30 years, many people are still unaware of the importance of these resources as heritage tourism destinations, foci of archaeological research, and representatives of community identity. After award of a grant to explore the 16th-century Spanish Emanuel Point II shipwreck in 2014, the University of West Florida (UWF) Division of Anthropology andArchaeology began considering new avenues for providing public engagement built around a preservation message. This paper explores the recent development of the “PAST (Public Archaeological Shipwreck Tours)” diving program. PAST allows FPAN and UWF archaeologists to offer local recreational divers an opportunity to learn more about shipwreck sites (like the Emanuel Point shipwrecks) and participate in guided dive tours. Reflections on the program include a discussion of the successes of initial PAST events, participant feedback, and plans for the future.

Post editor: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff
www.fpan.us 

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