April 15, 2021 Speaker: Christopher Hunt

Florida’s Forgotten City: The Archaeology of the Lost City of St. Joseph

Thursday, April 15, 2021 7PM

Christopher Hunt, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida

Situated along the banks of St. Joseph’s Bay in northwest Florida, the antebellum city of St. Joseph played a foundational role in Florida’s early political and economic history. Unfortunately, little is known about its inhabitants or why this important coastal city never recovered after the 1840 yellow fever epidemic and subsequent hurricane. Only after the turn of the 20th century was this area resettled into what is today modern Port. St. Joe. Through archaeological excavation and archival research, a new narrative is forming around the once lost city of St. Joseph.

To register for ZOOM meeting, please follow this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAucOmrrz0tEtwNhGo8BRsZKQd5fVl5Muzo


Christopher Hunt is an archaeologist with over ten years of experience in the private and public sectors. Chris is currently focusing on the antebellum history of Florida through his dissertation research at the lost city of St. Joseph in Northwest Florida. As a Graduate Fellow at the University of South Florida’s Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment, Chris is interested in understanding the role culture plays at the intersection of human resilience and critical environmental changes. He hopes that through our understanding of the past, we can better prepare for future challenges. Chris’s research and professional experience also include cultural resource management, geospatial analysis, bioarchaeology, remote sensing, political economy, and archaeological landscapes.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

March 18, 2021 Speaker: Patrisha Meyers-Gidusko

Bioarchaeological Investigations of The Red House Archaeological Site, Port of Spain, Trinidad:
A pre-Columbian Mid-Late Ceramic Age Caribbean Population

Patrisha L. Meyers-Gidusko, M.A., RPA

Zoom registration link for the March meeting: https://tinyurl.com/c5609xp9
*Due to the sensitive nature of the information provided during this lecture, this talk will not be recorded for future viewing.

In 2013, structural assessments associated with ongoing renovations of the Red House, Trinidad and Tobago’s Parliament building, revealed human remains buried beneath the foundation. Excavations and radiocarbon dating indicate the remains are pre-Columbian with 14C dates ranging between approximately AD 125 and AD 1395. Patty’s graduate research provided the first bioarchaeological assessment of the excavated graves and associated human skeletal material. Her analyses included determining the demographic profile and the pathological conditions exhibited by the collective skeletal sample. While not a representative population, the reconstruction of health, lifestyle and disease for these ancient peoples makes a significant contribution to the limited osteological research published on the Caribbean’s pre-contact period.

Content Warning: Because bioarchaeology inherently involves human remains, the content of this lecture is of a sensitive nature and will depict images of human remains which may be uncomfortable for some viewers.


Patty is the project manager for FPAN’s Heritage Monitoring Scouts program. She holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida and a Graduate Certificate in Forensic and Biological Anthropology from Mercyhurst University. Her research interests include Forensic Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, Human Paleopathology, Historical Marginalization of Social Groups, and Differential Burial Practices.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Tampa Bay Archaeology

Kendal Jackson, Ph.D. Candidate, USF

Searching for Ancient Seascapes: Preliminary Results of Ongoing Geoarchaeological Investigations in Tampa Bay Estuary

Abstract: Like all estuaries, Tampa Bay is an exceptionally dynamic environment where the encroaching sea has transformed once-terrestrial landscapes into littoral ecosystems conditioned by patterns in salinity, surf, and tide. This history of near-constant change makes it difficult for archaeologists to understand the character and distribution of the ancient habitats utilized and managed by ancestral Native American communities. However, estuaries are also places of deposition where accumulating sediments often preserve a record of past environmental transformations. My present research in Tampa Bay is focused on reconstructing the ancient landscapes and seascapes that encompassed and surrounded habitation sites. In this talk, I’ll discuss an ongoing program of vibration coring, percussion coring, and excavation centered at well-preserved Woodland-period (ca. 1000 BC – AD 1050) midden-mound sites in Upper Tampa Bay, Cockroach Bay, and Weedon Island Preserve. Preliminary results reveal complex histories of marine flooding, seascape development, and transformation that contextualize archaeological patterns and inspire novel hypotheses for interpreting ancient shellworks.


Kendal Jackson is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida. His research focuses on paleoenvironment and how past societies have shaped the trajectory of long-term ecological processes. His dissertation research is focused on understanding the roles that ancestral Native American societies played in the establishment and transformation of nearshore estuarine ecosystems across the late-Holocene.


Heather Draskovich, M.A. Student, USF

Rethinking Settlement Patterns at the Weeden Island Site (8PI1)

Abstract: The Weeden Island site (8PI1), despite its importance as a Weeden Island period (AD 200-900) ceremonial center and type site for the ceramic series bearing its name, has largely remained poorly-dated. With a limited amount of dates available to archaeologists, yielded from an intensive focus on only small portions of the site, there has continued to be a lack of the temporal and spatial control needed to answer many of the big questions involving change at the Weeden Island site. Through the execution of shovel testing in previously uninvestigated areas of the site, as well as analysis of material from past excavations, new radiocarbon dates have been obtained to help build a better chronology of the site. This research models newly acquired radiocarbon dates with those from previous research to aid in further understanding of the settlement patterning and landscape use of the Weeden Island site.


Heather Draskovich is a master’s student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on landscape use on a site-level scale around Tampa Bay. Her master’s research centers around the pre-Columbian settlement patterning and use of the Weeden Island site.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

An Indigenous Analysis of the Grotesques of the Southeast

S. Margaret Spivey-Faulkner, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta

A new reanalysis of the large assemblage of zoomorphic carvings excavated at the Fort Center archaeological site in south Florida has revealed what appears to be a nearly 1,000-year rooftop sculptural tradition in the American southeast. Here, we will review that reanalysis, including a nascent indigenous method of interpreting the figural depictions using folk taxonomies developed out of Native southeastern languages. Finally, we will contextualize this work within the broader project of indigenous archaeology.


Dr. S. Margaret Spivey-Faulkner is an anthropological archaeologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta. Her work focuses on hunter-gatherers of the southeastern United States, looking specifically at examples of peoples who defy popular characterization of hunter-gatherer societal complexity.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

 

Gulf Coast Archaeology: Examining Society and Climate through Material Culture

 

Trevor Duke, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Florida

Lindsey Parsons, M.A. Student, Geology Department, University of Georgia

Two winners of the 2019 and 2020 Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education (AWIARE) and Levett Foundation Grant discuss their winning research along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Trevor Duke, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Florida
FANCY POTS FOR TOUGH TIMES: RITUAL SPECIALIZATION IN THE SOUTHEASTERN US
Abstract: Modern society is highly specialized. Most people spend years acquiring the skills necessary to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., and thus depend on other specialists, like farmers or butchers, to meet their everyday needs. This type of interdependence is characteristic of state-level societies with centralized economies. Conventional wisdom tells us that hunter-gatherers are generally unspecialized, diversifying daily tasks to meet the needs of their household or village. On the contrary, archaeological evidence demonstrates that hunter-gatherer societies in the Tampa Bay region embraced different forms of pottery specialization. This presentation focuses on this observation to address a critical anthropological question: What motivates people in different societies to become specialists? I argue that the tumultuous times of the Late Woodland and Mississippian periods (AD 650-1550) created the need for a network of ritual specialists that served specific purposes for Native American communities across the Lower Southeast.

C. Trevor Duke is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Florida. His research focuses on how people use labor and objects to create social relationships. His dissertation research centers around developing new methods for investigating pottery specialization in small-scale societies.


Lindsey Parsons, M.A. Student, Geology Department, University of Georgia
Abstract: The Calusa, a group native to southwestern Florida, left extensive shell mounds and kitchen middens throughout the region up to and including the 18th century. While oysters and hard clams are known food items for the Calusa, they also ate scallops, but little is known about this food resource. The purpose of this study is to determine if the Bay Scallop Argopecten irradians, found in midden deposits, provide key insights into Calusa resource use during the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age climate anomalies (A.D. 850 – 1850). I focused on two localities, the Pineland Site Complex and Bayshore Homes that are both located on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I will use body size, taphonomy, and stable isotopic analysis of deposited shells to examine how climatic factors may have influenced the scallop as a food resource as well as harvesting behaviors of native communities.

Lindsey Parsons is a second-year master’s student in the Geology Department at the University of Georgia. Her focus is interdisciplinary in nature combining the practices the paleontology and archaeology to understand the resource use of scallops by native communities along the gulf coast of Florida. Her project is being funded by the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeology Research and Education, Inc. (AWIARE)/ Levitt Foundation. She currently works as a research assistant at the Laboratory of Archaeology working on an NSF-funded project. She completed her undergraduate geology degree at the University of Georgia as well in 2013.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Once There Was A Mound . . .

Robert Austin, Ph.D., Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education, Inc.

During the third week of July 1950, bulldozers began chewing away at the sides of a large shell mound in downtown St. Petersburg, bringing to an end a once iconic landmark. During the city's early development, images of Shell Mound Park were used to promote tourism and boost real estate sales. But the fact that little was known archaeologically about the mound enabled naive, and sometimes outlandish, interpretations of its origin and function to be perpetuated by the public and press. These ultimately influenced public and political perceptions of the mound's value and Shell Mound Park became a source of conflict between the forces of progress and preservation. Eventually, the mound succumbed to the advancing front of urbanization. This is that story.


Robert Austin has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Florida and worked in the cultural resource management field for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2015. He is a co-founder of the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education, Inc. (AWIARE) where he currently serves as Treasurer and Principal Archaeologist.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

April 2020 Speaker

Deep Sea Archaeology

Dr. James Delgado, Maritime Archaeologist

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2020 AT 7 PM – 8 PM AT WEEDON ISLAND PRESERVE CULTURAL AND NATURAL HISTORY CENTER

The deep ocean is one of the last unexplored frontiers in archaeology. Maritime archaeologist James Delgado takes us on a tour of the technology, expeditions and discoveries, including Titanic, lost World War II wrecks, and 19th century ships at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. These include sites he has explored and expeditions he has led or participated in, which he will share as part of a personal tour of the “great museum of the sea.”

 

James Delgado, Ph.D. is among the world’s leading experts in maritime archaeology and cultural heritage. Dr. Delgado joined SEARCH, Inc. in 2017 and serves as Senior Vice President. He is responsible for ensuring operational and research excellence, implementing strategic initiatives, and expanding the firm’s international footprint. Dr. Delgado also serves as a public speaker, international delegate, documentary host, and major project spokesperson. Prior to joining SEARCH, Dr. Delgado served as the Director of Maritime Heritage in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries for NOAA for seven years, where he implemented heritage programs and active research in the nation’s waters, as well as promoted outreach and education on America’s underwater and marine heritage. Previously, he served a four-year term as President and CEO of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, the world’s leading scientific and educational organization dedicated to the understanding of humanity’s seafaring history through the excavation and scientific study of shipwrecks. Dr. Delgado was the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum in British Columbia, Canada for 15 years, and he served as Maritime Historian and Head of the US government’s Maritime Heritage Program for the US National Park Service for four years in Washington, DC. Dr. Delgado also served as the first historian for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area where he participated in the restoration and interpretation of Alcatraz.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

February 2020 Speaker

Investigations into the Archaeology of the Anclote River Region

Phyllis E. Kolianos, AWIARE

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020 AT 7 PM – 8 PM AT WEEDON ISLAND PRESERVE CULTURAL AND NATURAL HISTORY CENTER

Within Central Peninsula Gulf Coast, the archaeology of the Anclote River is understudied and underreported relative to other population centers. In the late 1800s, S. T. Walker and F. H. Cushing noted the importance of the mounds and pre-Columbian sites on the banks of the river, and both investigated the Safford (Ormond) Mound, 8PI3, near the upstream riverine system, a reused burial mound dating over 1,500 years. Almost 20 years of investigations into the archaeology of the Anclote River region reveal some important results that support recent research at other major sites and suggest shifting population settlements and sea-level change.

 

Phyllis received her BA and MA degrees from the University of South Florida in Applied Anthropology, and in 2009 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the USF, Department of Anthropology. In her past position with Pinellas County, she supported the archaeological programs and activities at Weedon Island Preserve and was instrumental in the establishment of the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education, Inc. (AWIARE) and their research station at the Preserve. Kolianos has worked for many years with the investigation and recording of area sites, and has been active with public archaeology projects, grants, and archaeological research projects involving Weedon Island’s cultural resources and other lands within Pinellas County. Her most recent and ongoing project is the archaeology of the Anclote River region.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

January 2020 Speaker

Remembering Tocobaga: Recent Archaeology at the Safety Harbor Site in Philippe Park

Dr. Thomas Pluckhahn is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida

The Safety Harbor archaeology site (8PI2) in Philippe Park is widely assumed to represent the ruins of the Native town of Tocobaga, where the Spanish briefly established a mission and fort in the 1560s. However, the site has only been minimally investigated, and much of the work is under-reported. This talk describes the goals and preliminary results of recent archaeological investigations by the University of South Florida.

Dr. Thomas Pluckhahn is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. His research focuses on the understanding of small-scale social formations, particularly on the Native American societies of the Woodland period (ca. 1000 BC to AD 1050) in the American Southeast and those of the Swift Creek and Weeden Island cultures of the Gulf Coast.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.

December 2019 Speaker

Digital Storytelling and the Past, Present and Future of Egmont Key

Laura Harrison, PhD, Director, Access 3D Lab, University of South Florida

Egmont Key is a diminutive island located at the confluence of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Because of its strategic location, the island played a significant role in Florida’s history. It was a haven for runaway slaves and Union soldiers during the Civil War, a Seminole prison during the Indian Removal Period, an outpost for rum runners during Prohibition, and a defensive location during multiple 19th and 20th century conflicts. Today, these histories (and others) are largely invisible to the public, due to limited tourism and outreach infrastructure on the island. Coastal erosion also threatens to destroy and submerge several historic buildings.

This presentation details an ongoing interdisciplinary project aimed at making Egmont Key’s invisible stories visible to the public, and digitally preserving endangered heritage with 3D laser scanning. A team from the University of South Florida in collaboration with the Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office and the Egmont Key Alliance used archival research, community outreach, and virtualization technologies to create immersive 3D visualizations of heritage sites that tell the many stories of Egmont Key’s past, present and future

 

Dr. Laura K. Harrison is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida, and the Director of Access 3D Lab - a research lab that incubates and supports transformative research in the digital realm. She is an advocate of interdisciplinary approaches in archaeology, as well as open access and digitization in the sciences and humanities. Originally trained as a Bronze Age archaeologist, Dr. Harrison became interested in digital heritage during her research at a threatened site in Turkey. She has worked on archaeology and heritage projects in the United States, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, France and Romania. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University at Buffalo, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Art History from Ithaca College.


This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.