Recent Advances in Paleoamerican Research in Florida
Thursday, September 21, 2017, 7-8 PM Albert C. Goodyear, Ph.D., Institute of South Carolina Archaeology and Anthropology
Recent Advances in Paleoamerican Research in Florida Florida has long been a place of exciting finds in what can be called Paleoamerican archaeology, which now includes evidence of occupations predating Clovis (13,000 cal. yrs). Current research on the extensive Ike Rainey collection in Ocala is aiding in developing a fluted point survey for the State of Florida. The number of Clovis points is easily equal to the numbers reported from adjacent states and may in fact exceed them. Several significant studies currently underway in Florida are also expanding pre-Clovis research at places like Vero Beach, Wakulla Springs, and the CCA site. It can be said that “the light is now green” for pursuing evidence of possible pre-Clovis sites in Florida. Florida was far south of the Pleistocene ice sheets, serving as a refugium for plants and animals for over 20,000 years. As such it should have been an environmentally optimal region for settlement by the earliest human colonizers of the continent.
Public Archaeology at Judah P. Benjamin Confederate Memorial, Gamble Plantation Historic State Park
Thursday, October 19, 2017, 7-8 PM Diane Wallman, Ph.D., University of South Florida
Public Archaeology at Judah P. Benjamin Confederate Memorial, Gamble Plantation Historic State Park In the mid-19th century, Robert H. Gamble established a sugar plantation along the Manatee River. After selling the plantation to a pair of Louisiana planters in the 1850s, the site was briefly occupied in 1865 by Confederate officer and Confederate Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin. In 1873, an attorney, George Patten bought the property, where he and his family lived until the early 20th century. The goal of the archaeology is to increase our understanding of the nuanced history and diverse residents at the site, including the enslaved laborers who lived and labored on the plantation. The project emphasizes community engagement to foster public awareness of the value of cultural resources, archaeological methods, and heritage preservation. During the 2017 field season, we recovered artifacts spanning the various occupations, and identified several features, contributing to our understanding of the transforming landscape and lifeways at the plantation.
The Old Vero Site: Some Recent Findings and Thoughts on Paleoindian Archaeology in Florida
Thursday, November 16, 2017, 7-8 PM C. Andrew Hemmings, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University
The Old Vero Site: Some Recent Findings and Thoughts on Paleoindian Archaeology in Florida In 1913 workers dredging a canal near Vero Beach found fossilized bones. State Geologist, Dr. Frank Sellards, visited the site and later began excavations, finding bones of humans and Pleistocene animals. Although convinced his finds confirmed that humans and extinct Late Ice Age animals lived side by side in Florida, his discoveries were dismissed by the scientific community. In 2008 renewed local interest in the site protected it from destruction and lead to a multi-year excavation. Analysis of this material is well underway and is combined with information gathered from old collections and archives. A wealth of new information regarding the Terminal Pleistocene environment, and how the first humans to arrive adapted and flourished in a rapidly changing Pleistocene Florida.
Florida’s Container Revolution: The Historical Consequences of Late Archaic Pottery Adoption
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 7-8 PM Zachary Gilmore, Ph.D. Rollins College
Florida’s Container Revolution: The Historical Consequences of Late Archaic Pottery Adoption Traditional accounts suggest that the adoption of pottery technology in Florida approximately 4,700 years ago came with few, if any, discernible impacts on the hunter-gatherer societies involved. Recent research, however, has revealed a number of important cultural transformations that coincided with pottery’s appearance, including shifts in settlement, exchange, monument construction, and mortuary traditions. New data from the Silver Glen shell mound complex in the middle St. Johns Valley indicate that the earliest pottery vessels played a significant role in ritual feasting events and long distance exchange networks, which integrated people and communities across peninsular Florida. In this way, the new technology helped to challenge preexisting political structures and usher in truly revolutionary change across the region.