April 2022 Speaker: Juliana Waters

April 21, 2022 7:00 pm (Zoom Link)
Black Cemeteries Matter: Erasure of historic Black Cemeteries in Polk County, Florida
Juliana Waters, CRM archaeologist and master’s student in the Department of Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida

In the past several years, the Tampa Bay area has experienced a reckoning with regard to the intentional erasure, destruction, and abandonment of historic African American cemeteries such as Zion Cemetery in Tampa or St. Matthews Baptist Church Cemetery in Clearwater. Scholars, journalists, community members, archaeologists, and others have contributed to a growing movement that aims to identify and document these sacred sites in an effort to prevent further destruction.

In this vein, this project aimed to identify and record cemeteries in Polk County, examine the processes leading to the erasure of historic Black cemeteries, the history surrounding erasure on a county scale, and to provide a framework for researching and documenting historic Black cemeteries in the Jim Crow South. Prior to this project, only four historic Black cemeteries were documented in the Florida Master Site File for Polk County, which records cultural resources and sites throughout Florida. The resulting efforts of this project produced documentation for an additional 60 historic cemeteries, 13 of which are historic African American cemeteries. Identification was completed through extensive archival research, property records, pedestrian survey, and community outreach.

Of the 13 newly documented burial grounds, three were determined to be unmarked and five were determined to have been erased or destroyed between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries resulting in their erasure from the modern landscape. Juliana's research suggests that the destruction of these sites is connected to industrial development throughout the county and these instances of erasure are representative of larger structural inequalities present throughout the Jim Crow South.


Juliana Waters (she/her) is a CRM archaeologist and master’s student in the Department of Applied Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on documenting Historic Black cemeteries in Polk County and exploring the socioeconomic and political factors that have contributed to their erasure from the modern landscape.


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

March 2022 Speakers: Sinibaldi and Trappmann

March 17, 2022 7:00 pm (Zoom link below)
Ice Age Florida: In Story and Art
Robert Sinibaldi, PhD (author) and Hermann Trappman (artist)

Florida’s Ice Age was vastly different from what the North experienced. Ice Age Florida: In Story and Art investigates the fascinating fossil record and prehistory of the Gulf Coast compared to what most envision when the term Ice Age comes up. The book opens with the logistics of the last ice age, then proceeds through the stories of over 25 animals, beginning with Titanis walleri at the beginning of the Ice Age and ending with Florida’s First Paleo-Peoples as the Ice Age comes to a close. Accompanying the dialog is the incredible illustrations and artwork of Hermann Trappman.

To participate in the lecture, please register at: https://tinyurl.com/2p8fpe8t.
Attendees will not be admitted to the Zoom lecture without registering first. Thank you.

Robert Sinibaldi is an amateur paleontologist and the author of four books on paleontology. In 2012 he was the recipient of the prestigious Howard Converse Award from the University of Florida’s Paleontology Department for his contributions to the field of paleontology in Florida. In 2001 he was elected President of the Tampa Bay Fossil club, the world’s largest amateur paleontological association at the time, he remains on their board of directors to this time.


In the late 70’s Hermann Trappman studied art at the Haus der Kunst (House of Arts) in Munich Germany. His varied background includes work as a forensic artist for the medical examiner’s office in Pinellas County, graphic illustrator for the Florida Frontier Gazette, and artist for the Trail of Florida Indian Heritage brochures. His illustrations of Florida’s First Peoples have been exhibited throughout the southeast. Recently he created a series of illustrations for TUSKS! Ice Age Florida Mammoths and Mastodons.


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

February 2022 Speaker: Jacob Holland-Lulewicz

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Muskogean Council Houses and Indigenous Democracy in the Southeastern US

Jacob Holland-Lulewicz, Ph.D. Department of Anthropology, Washington University

Recent re-dating of the Cold Springs site in northern Georgia has led to the identification of the earliest known council houses in the ancestral Muskogean homeland by at least AD 500. This is roughly 500 years earlier than previously identified council houses in this region. These large round structures and their arrangement around a plaza along with two platform mounds also seems to represent the earliest manifestation of the traditional square-ground form. Both council houses and square grounds continue to serve as important institutions within the Muscogee communities of Oklahoma today. We argue that the archaeological record of the American Southeast provides a case to examine the emergence of democratic institutions, and to highlight the distinctive ways in which such long-lived institutions were, and continue to be, expressed by Native Americans. Unexpectedly, the 1,500-year continuous history of the use of council houses represents one of the oldest and most enduring democratic institutions in world history.


Jacob Holland-Lulewicz is currently a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his PhD in 2018 from the University of Georgia. His research across the southeastern and Midwestern U.S. focuses primarily on the archaeology of governance, politics, and social networks.


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

January 2022 Speaker: Anna Guengerich

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Lost Cities of the Cloud Forest: Archaeology in the Eastern Andes

Anna Guengerich, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Eckerd College

Located between the Andes Mountains range and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin, the Eastern Andes were long assumed to be too rugged, too rainy, and too dense with vegetation to support the development of large, culturally complex human populations. But with recent discoveries of the large scale of populations in the ancient Amazon—including the impacts they had on shaping the supposedly “natural” rainforests of this region—archaeologists have begun to reconsider their assumptions about the high-altitude cloud forests of the Eastern Andes. This talk will explore some of the findings from ten years of research into how human societies flourished in this challenging environment for at least two thousand years, and what this might tell us about current efforts of land management in one of the world’s global biodiversity hotspots.


Anna Guengerich is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Eckerd College. She has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Peru and Bolivia since 2007 and has directed the Tambillo Archaeological Project since 2010. Her research focuses on household architecture and human impacts on high-altitude forest environments in South America, and she also is interested in the use of comics, graphic novels, and other visual media in archaeology.


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

December 2021 Speaker: Liz Southard

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Feasting and Fishes: An Investigation into Seasonal Patterns, Labor Organization, and Monumental Architecture from Florida’s Crystal River Site and Roberts Island Shell Mound Complex

In recent decades, archaeological research has provided evidence that some mounds in the southeastern United States were constructed in short episodes. A large work force would have been required to accomplish these monumental projects. Shell mounds, in particular, provide an opportune type of architecture to investigate whether seasonal aggregations of laborers gathered at sites to engage in large-scale work projects because these mounds are primarily constructed of aquatic resources that leave signatures for what time of year they were caught or harvested. This study investigates whether the residents of the Crystal River site (8CI1) and Roberts Island Shell Mound Complex (8CI40 and 41) on Florida’s Gulf Coast were participating in seasonal deposition events involving the construction of monumental architecture and if feasting acted as a mechanism to attract the needed labor force. Marginal increment analysis was performed on red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) and spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) otoliths to determine what time of year these fishes were captured and eventually deposited in midden and mound contexts. The results of this investigation suggest fish remains recovered from mound contexts during excavations at these sites were primarily caught during winter months and could have been a feasting resource that aided in the Crystal River and Roberts Island communities’ ability to attract the labor force needed to accomplish the construction of the monumental architecture observed on the landscape today.


Liz Southard has ten years of archaeological field experience including two years of experience doing Cultural Resource Management. Liz received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of South Florida Saint Petersburg and her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida Tampa. She currently works at TerraXplorations, Inc. as a principal investigator and serves as Vice President for the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education (AWIARE). Most of her experience comes from Florida and Georgia projects where she has worked as a project archaeologist and field director. Her main areas of interest include subsistence practices, seasonality studies, and settlement patterns during the Woodland period in the Southeast.


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

November 2021 Speaker: Katharine Napora

Five Millennia of Environmental Changes in the Coastal Southeast U.S.

Katharine Napora, Ph.D., University of Kentucky
Webb Museum of Anthropology

Dr. Napora presents insights into over 5000 years of coastal paleoenvironmental changes based on analyses of ancient buried bald cypress trees recovered from the Georgia Coast. Information from tree rings and chemical analyses, supported by other lines of environmental proxy data, reveals changes in rainfall, sea-level, hurricane frequency, and ecological stability in antiquity. This information about the ancient environment provides a long-term comparative framework for understanding cultural changes in the Southeast U.S. through time.


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

October 21, 2021, 7pm Speaker: Uzi Baram

Finding Angola: A Visual Tour of the Manatee Mineral Spring Site in Bradenton, Florida

Uzi Baram, Professor of Anthropology, New College of Florida

Freedom-seeking people found a haven of liberty on the Manatee River from the 1770s until 1821. The maroon community known as Angola, destroyed just as Spain transferred Florida to the United States, had its memory nearly lost. Looking for Angola launched a public anthropology program in 2004 involving local and descendant communities culminating in a Network to Freedom designation, recognizing the place now known as Bradenton as part of the southern route of the underground railroad. This presentation offers a 2021 hour-long film following the lead archaeologist on a tour of the Manatee Mineral Spring, the location of January 2020 excavations revealing details for the daily life of the maroons, also known as Black Seminoles or African Seminoles. Questions and discussion with the archaeologist after the film.


A professor of Anthropology at New College of Florida since 1997, Uzi Baram teaches a wide range of archaeology and cultural anthropology course. His academic efforts focus on the politics of the past in the Eastern Mediterranean and public archaeology in Florida. He has published and contributed to four edited volumes, dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters and delivered many conference papers on topics ranging from the archaeology of the Ottoman Empire to marketing heritage as well as giving public lectures based on archaeological insights into heritage; his current book project is "Historical Archaeology of the Sunshine State" for the University Press of Florida. As founding director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab, Professor Baram has experimented with “radical openness” for collaborations, undergraduate research opportunities, and representations for the ancient and recent past of the communities around Sarasota, Florida. Recent projects in the region include recovering an early 19th century maroon community, heritage interpretation for a county park, and building community resilience through heritage in an age of rising sea levels.


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

September 16, 2021 Speaker: Jon Endonino

The Ancient Mound-Builders of Tomoka: Ecology, Migration, and Ritual

Jon Endonino, Ph.D, Eastern Kentucky University

Dr. Endonino will present excavation and analyses results from Phase 2 of the Tomoka Archaeology project where ecological data was collected in order to determine the environmental conditions that existed when Mount Taylor hunter-gathers settled and constructed the mounds, earth- and shell-works, and the attending rituals during the Thornhill Lake phase (5600-4700 cal BP). Environmental data are combined with radiocarbon dates and analyses of artifacts in order to situate mound-building in time and in relation to other people across Florida and beyond.

Jon has been engaged in archaeological research for over two decades in Florida and elsewhere in the Southeastern United States. Among his long-standing research interests are the social and ecological conditions associated with mortuary monumentality among Mount Taylor groups in the St. Johns River Valley (SJRV) and along the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida. Additionally, Jon researches regional social interactions, notably the exchange of stone tools and lithic raw materials between groups inhabiting chert-bearing regions in the interior uplands of peninsular Florida and those inhabiting the stone-deprived SJRV and Atlantic coast.

Recently Jon has initiated the Tomoka Archaeology Project (TAP), a program of site mapping at testing at the Tomoka Mound and Midden Complex along the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida. Additional ongoing research includes the characterization of lithic source areas throughout peninsular Florida, the modeling of the organization of lithic technology in stone-deprived landscapes such as the SJRV, and experimental archaeology programs designed to investigate issues related to the manufacture and use of fiber-tempered pottery and the function of Expanded Base Microliths.

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

April 15, 2021 Speaker: Christopher Hunt

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

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.


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

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.

*Due to the sensitive nature of the information provided during this lecture, this talk was not recorded for future viewing.


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.