AWIARE held its first Adult Archaeology Camp February 22 – 26, 2021. Eight participants spent a week of performing archaeological activities that included field and lab experiences at Weedon Island Preserve and informative site visits. The camp enjoyed great weather the entire week. Protocol was in place for Covid-19 restrictions at all times.

On Monday, after the participants were welcomed by Phyllis Kolianos, the group learned about the area’s archaeological past in a slide presentation from Dr. Robert Austin followed by a trip to the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center to view the ancient canoe and exhibit area.  After lunch, the campers hiked to an excavation area of the Weedon Island site for a talk by Dr. John Arthur with Kendal Jackson and George Stovall about the USFSP research and excavations, and to view the trench area where the group would participate in field work for the rest of the week.

Tuesday through Thursday, the participants were divided into two excavation teams led by Austin and Kolianos with morning and afternoon shifts of working in the field excavating and doing artifact and shell analysis in the lab at the research station.  Heather Draskovich assisted the campers in the field and Cindy Martin worked with the lab team. 

On Friday, Austin led a caravan to visit the important south St. Petersburg sites of Pinellas Point Mound and Maximo Park.  The participants were given informational hand-outs, as Austin spoke of the context of these mounds and their archaeological history and importance. With the success of this inaugural camp, future camps are being planned.  The 2020 camp was underwritten in part by a donation from the Margaret and David Perry Foundation.

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