St. Augustine Archaeology: Land and Sea

I was talking with a friend last night, and she said, "You know, I've never heard anyone speak poorly of St. Augustine." Although many of the people she's referencing are likely tourists, the notion rings true: there is something special about St. Augustine and its place in history--this makes the region perfect for public archaeology.

View facing south from the Bridge of Lions, downtown St. Augustine

As summer comes to an end and the students return for fall semester, two local archaeological investigations also came to a close, echoing how this setting is a centerpiece for archaeology outreach, education and research.

Recently, we joined the LAMP , underwater archaeologists (a program of the St. Augustine Lighthouse) for their final dives of the season on the Storm Wreck (also see the Record article). It is wonderful to have such a dedicated group of maritime preservationists nearby!

The LAMP crew after a few dives cleaning up baselines, the dredge, and debris

This tapper was discovered recently. Was it for water? beer? 

Brendan does a far better Zissou member than Ryan

Meanwhile the City Archaeologist of St. Augustine, Carl Halbirt, is wrapping up work at a St. John's II prehistoric site near east May Street, north of downtown St. Augustine. He has tremendous support from the SAAA, landowners, and other volunteers.  The site was occupied by Native Americans sometime in-between four and eight-hundred years ago, and serves as a reminder that people were living in St. Augustine long before the Spanish arrived--living off of the myriad aquatic resources of the intracoastal and freshwater creeks.

SAAA volunteers excavate post-molds and other clues of human habitation

Features must be excavated and screened separately

The crew sets up shade before a photograph 

FPAN will continue to work alongside LAMP, and with the city archaeologist and SAAA members to promote archaeology and preservation. While some local field research is ending, FPAN is gearing up to carry our 'archaeological' message to the masses, using these wonderful resources (and others!) right here in St. Augustine, to spread throughout our 7-county region.