Spring Surprise: Lessons Learned and Unexpected Results of the Chassahowitzka Headsprings - Archaeological Assessment and Monitoring Project
Thursday, April 21, 2016, 7-8 PM Michael Arbuthnot, M.S., SEARCH
Spring Surprise: Lessons Learned and Unexpected Results of the Chassahowitzka Headsprings - Archaeological Assessment and Monitoring Project In 2013 SEARCH conducted underwater archaeological investigations and monitoring at the ChassahowitzkaHeadsprings in Citrus County. Although the initial underwater survey yielded a sparse artifact count, hundreds of rare objects were recovered during the monitoring phase, including a Suwannee projectile point, a bone fishhook, an intact Pasco Plain bowl, Spanish majolica fragments, hand-carved wooden paddles, a large wooden fin effigy and over 100 bottles dating from 1885 to present. The project is important not only for the cultural materials it produced, but for the lessons learned; the results of which will undoubtedly influence future underwater archaeology work in Florida springs.
Middle Woodland Complexity and Culture Change in Northwest Florida from a Domestic Perspective
Thursday, March 17, 2016, 7-8 PM Jessica Miller, Ph.D. Candidate, University of South Florida
Middle Woodland Complexity and Culture Change in Northwest Florida from a Domestic Perspective Throughout the Eastern U.S., the Middle Woodland was a period of increased cultural complexity. This complexity is best identified in the Apalachicola-lower Chattahoochee River region of northwest Florida through the combinedpresence of Swift Creek Complicated-Stamped ceramics and early Weeden Island ceramic types along with nonlocal trade items, burial mounds, and evidence of elaborate mortuary ritual. The Otis Hare site (8LI172) is a freshwater shell midden on the east bank of the Apalachicola River occupied for over one thousand years, with the most intensive occupation during the Middle Woodland period (A.D. 300-650). The site is used as a case study to characterize the Middle Woodland and examine culture change in the river valley from a domestic perspective.
Discovering Bayira: The First Ancient African Genome from Southwestern Ethiopia
Thursday, February 18, 2016, 7-8 PM Kathyrn Arthur, Ph.D., & John Arthur, Ph.D., University of South Florida
Discovering Bayira: The First Ancient African Genome from Southwestern Ethiopia In 2012, an archaeological team funded by the National Science Foundation excavated Mota Cave in the Gamo Highlands of Southwestern Ethiopia and recovered a 4,500-year-old male human skeleton that has provided the first complete ancient human (Homo sapiens) genome sequenced from the African continent. We have named the skeleton, Bayira (by-raa) meaning “first born” in the Gamo language where Bayira was found. This discovery provides newinsights into population interactions in the Southern Red Sea area and in Northeastern Africa and has given us a new perspective on prehistoric adaptations to life in the Ethiopian highlands.
Results of Recent Archaeological Research at Upper Matecumbe Key - Evaluating Early Island Life
Thursday, January 21, 2016, 7-8 PM Traci Ardren, Ph.D., University of Miami
Results of Recent Archaeological Research at Upper Matecumbe Key—Evaluating Early Island Life Excavations on Upper Matecumbe Key provide rich archaeological data on what life was like for the earliest inhabitants of the Florida Keys. Unique challenges of life on the island chain were addressed in novel ways by this culture of coastal fisherfolk. Dr. Ardren will discuss the similarities and differences between so-called Matecumbe inhabitants of the Keys, the better known Calusa of the west coast, and the contemporary people of the Everglades. Archaeological evidence is disappearing at a dangerous rate in the Keys due to development and climate change, but analysis of existing artifact collections as well as new excavation of preserved sites can provide extraordinary information about the earliest coastal inhabitants and their unique way of life.
How Oceanographic Effects Influenced the Prehistoric Colonization of Islands: A Caribbean-Pacific Comparison
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 7-8 PM Scott M. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
For many island societies worldwide, the acquisition and exchange of prized resources was fundamental to developing and maintaining social, political, and economic relationships. The patchiness of resources such as stone, clay, tempering agents, shell, and animals often led to differential access, which then helped to fuel the rise of social complexity. This presentation considers questions of resource acquisition and population movements as mediated by oceanographic and wind conditions. Comparing results from archaeological and other lines of evidence in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands highlights the role of seafaring capabilities as a critical factor in structuring colonization, population dispersals, and inter-island and island-mainland interaction.
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 7-8 PM Barbara Purdy, Ph.D.
It slumbered for nearly a thousand years having endured battering tides, changing climate, and invasive vegetation. Discovered in 2001, recovered in 2011 and preserved, it is now on display at the Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center. Records exist for approximately four hundred prehistoric Florida canoes that survived in waterlogged environments, but this one is special. It is the longest and the only saltwater canoe recovered and preserved in Florida. We may never discover its passengers or its cargo, but because of the dedication and perseverance of all those who participated in keeping alive this “shard” of Florida’s past, we recognize that watercraft furnished the major means of transportation before trains, planes, and automobiles. It is a perfect example of “thinking globally, but acting locally,” and is an important addition to the story of Florida’s Maritime Heritage.
Ancient Mariners of Tampa Bay: The Weedon Canoe and the People Who Used It
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 7 PM Brent R. Weisman, Ph.D.
Native Americans plied the waters of Tampa Bay for centuries, making their living from the natural bounty of fish and shellfish that thrived in the shallow waters of the estuary. The rich maritime environment sustained these native people as they settled along the shorelines in small communities. This way of life was stable for the last several centuries B.C. through about A.D. 800 during what archaeologists call the Manasota period. Then things began to change. Pottery styles show influence from distant points north and west and a ruling class began to develop. Archaeology tells us that life was changing but it doesn’t tell us why. The Weedon canoe dates to this period of transition, from the Manasota culture to what archaeologists have named the Safety Harbor culture. The canoe is as enigmatic as the people who made it. At least 40 feet long, this dugout canoe is far longer than any know prehistoric canoe in Florida (and perhaps in eastern North America) and is the only prehistoric canoe known in the state to have come from a saltwater environment. What importance did it have for the people who made and used it? How was it used? In what kind of society would the Weedon canoe have been a technological necessity? From archaeology we know something about the people living on Weedon Island during this transitional period. From a detailed study of the canoe we know how it was made and what it was made of. Can the canoe tell us about the people, and can what we know about the people tell us about the canoe? This talk will explore the answer to those questions.
Building Capacity in a Tin Can: a Short History of the Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Historic Preservation Office
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7-8 PM Paul Backhouse, Ph.D., Seminole Tribe of Florida
There is no blueprint for the successful development of a Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO). In fact, more than one hundred and fifty THPOs now exist across North America with many different individual missions and personnel configurations. The institutional history of the Seminole Tribe of Florida THPO is explored as a vehicle for tribal capacity-building and an expression of sovereignty.
Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7-8 PM Christina Perry Sampson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Michigan
Recent excavations at Weedon Island have uncovered substantial early Safety Harbor-period deposits, dating between A.D.1000-1200. There is evidence that during the Safety Harbor period, people in the Tampa Bay area reorganized themselves socially and politically. Platform mounds were constructed that may have helped to structure new forms of interaction between and across communities. However, few archaeological sites have revealed evidence of daily life activities like those are being uncovered at Weedon Island. The preliminary results of recent fieldwork will be presented and contextualized in terms of local social organization and participation in regional processes.
Tales From a Museum Basement: New Insights on Pottery from the Crystal River Site
Thursday, February 19, 2015, 7-8 PM Kassie Kemp, M.A. Candidate, University of South Florida
The Crystal River site is a Woodland-period mound complex in west-central Florida. Revisiting a collection of over 16,000 sherds previously excavated at the site by Ripley Bullen and others provides an opportunity for new insights on a collection that has never been thoroughly analyzed. This presentation will focus on a few aspects of the research project such as the differences in vessel types, forms, and functions and their distribution across the site. This new information adds to a broader understanding of pottery and its role in social interactions at this famous site.
Forensic Anthropology & Archaeology: Lessons From the Field
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 7-8 PM Erin Kimmerle, Ph.D., University of South Florida
This talk will focus on the latest trends and themes in forensic anthropology with an emphasis on field work and archaeology. From mass graves in the Balkans to exhumations of John Does in cold case homicides, the tools and methods of archaeology are often invaluable in crime scene processing today. The Dozier Reform School in North Florida is a prime example of the use of forensics, anthropology and archaeology in a humanitarian effort to identify and repatriate children who died in State Custody.
Weeden Island on the Northern Gulf Coast: The Garden Patch (8DI4) Site
Thursday, December 18, 2014, 7-8 PM
Neill Wallis, Ph.D., Florida Museum of Natural History
The Garden Patch site is a Woodland-period residential and ceremonial complex in Horseshoe Beach, Florida. Recent investigations by the Florida Museum of Natural History reveal that the six mounds and circular village were constructed quickly around AD 300 and occupied by a substantial population. New data from Garden Patch will be the basis for discussing the implications of similarities to other major Swift Creek and Weeden Island sites on the Gulf coast and beyond, as well as evidence of social interactions between them.
Prehistoric Ecosystems and Human Landscapes: A Historical Ecology of Crystal River, Florida
Thursday, November 20, 2014, 7-8 PM
Trevor Duke, MA Candidate, University of South Florida
The impact of human activity on ecosystems is a topic currently at the forefront of global concern. Some of the problems associated with ecosystem collapse are distinctly correlated with modern human behavior, while others may have been present for millennia. This presentation focuses on the extent of prehistoric human impacts on the estuarine ecosystem in Crystal River, Florida, over an 812 year time frame (A.D. 155-967). The archaeological record of Florida’s rich fishing traditions indicates the presence of intensive harvesting of both fish and shellfish. Thus, prehistoric human impacts on Florida’s coastal ecosystems may be present, but are largely unknown. Through studying food web dynamics and molluscan life history of harvested species in midden deposits, this research seeks to assess the extent of past human-environment interactions in Crystal River, as well as to provide an ecosystems baseline for restorative efforts today.
Taino vs. Spaniard: The First Act of European “Discovery” in the Americas
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 7-8 PM
Pete Sinelli, Ph.D., University of Central Florida
Events that transpired between the indigenous Taino people and the Spanish in the decades after 1492 presaged how relations between Native Americans and Europeans would play out across the hemisphere for the next several centuries. Learn about the Taino people, First Contact, and how it impacted the indigenous Americans who experienced it.
From Clovis to Bolen: Florida’s Paleoindian and Early Archaic Record
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 7-8 PM
Michael Faught, Ph.D., Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc.
The end of the last Ice Age and the beginning of the Holocene (modern) epoch was a period of abrupt climate changes in Florida. Drawing on Florida’s place in the Peopling process in North America, Dr. Faught will present evidence of apparent settling in and cultural continuity for more than 3000 years in Florida during a time when sea levels were significantly lower. In addition to the kinds of early sites and tools known from Florida, an animation will show the extent of the peninsula with rising sea levels and the search for early sites offshore will be discussed.
Outside Influences, In-Place Change: Weeden Island to Safety Harbor along the Florida Gulf Coast
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7-8 PM
Jeffrey M. Mitchem, Ph.D., Arkansas Archeological Survey
For centuries, the Manasota/Weeden Island peoples along the Gulf coast lived a lifestyle that was well adapted to fishing, gathering, and hunting. They practiced rituals that included elaborately decorated pottery vessels, many made specifically for inclusion in burial mounds. Beginning around A.D. 900, a change occurred across the SEUS; Mississippian culture took hold, typically replacing earlier lifestyles. In Florida, the Weeden Island/Manasota peoples resisted this drastic change in lifestyles, although they did adopt certain Mississippian traits related primarily to religious and political beliefs. Archaeologists call this later culture Safety Harbor, and it was these people who met the Spanish expeditions of Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando de Soto in the 1500s.
The Ebb and Flow of Life at Late Archaic Shell Rings along the Georgia Coast
Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7-8 PM
Victor D. Thompson, Ph.D., University of Georgia
Shell rings, large arcuate or circular piles of shell arranged around a central plaza, are perhaps some of the most intriguing features of the Late Archaic coastal world. Archaeologists have interpreted them in various ways from villages to monumental architecture. However, most of these explanations are derived from investigations of specific sites without placing them within the broader landscape. This talk evaluates the role that shell rings played in the larger world of Late Archaic peoples by using site specific, as well as larger regional, environmental and archaeological data from Sapelo Island and the Georgia Coast.
Pirates, Protestants, Militia, and Miskitu: The Royalization of Roatan Island
Thursday, January 16, 2014, 7-8 PM
Christian Wells, Ph.D., University of South Florida
In 1742, on the heels of the golden age of pirates of the Caribbean,€ť a British military outpost was established on Roatan Island off the northern coast of Honduras. The community, Augusta, housed a mix of British settlers and militia along with local indigenous Miskitu peoples. While the settlement was occupied for only seven years, the archaeological record of the community provides an exciting glimpse into a world of complex interactions among Protestant settlers, English pirates, Spanish soldiers, enslaved Africans, and native Miskitu during early efforts by the British to royalize its colonies. In this presentation, Dr. Wells will discuss the concept of royalization and then describe the results of his four field seasons of archaeological investigations at Augusta, which have unearthed mixed deposits of English and Miskitu material culture. These reveal the ways in which the process of royalization was adapted to the area’s unique social and natural landscapes.
Mental Templates and a Revised Typology for Florida Paleoindian Points
Thursday, December 19, 2013, 7-8 PM
Jim Dunbar, Ph.D., Independent Researcher
How many ways are there to make lanceolate points from Southeastern Coastal Plain chert? The analysis of more than a thousand specimens has resulted in the redefinition of several well-known types and the identification of some new types. The Simpson point is redefined, Suwannee waisted points are defined, Clovis waisted (a well-known Clovis form) will be discussed as are an array of other waisted (recurvate AKA “fishtail”) points. In North America the distribution of “fishtailed” Suwannee and Simpson points is unique to the Southeastern US. An equally surprising assemblage of excurvate and triangular points are also documented and will be discussed including new additions such as the Harney point.
The Archaeology of Beer in Ethiopia and Other Regions of the World
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 7-8 PM
John Arthur, Ph.D., University of South Florida
This talk looks at the evidence of beer in the archaeological record from China, Egypt, Nubia, Mesopotamia, and the Americas and whether beer may have been a factor in the domestication of grains. Beer is important among many indigenous societies for daily food but also as a ritual lubricant during feasts. Ethnoarchaeological and archaeological research from southwestern Ethiopia documents how we can decipher beer in the archaeological record.
Between Two Cultures: Biological and Cultural Variation in the Weeden Island Complex and Manasota Culture
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 7-8 PM
Maranda Kles, Ph.D., Independent Researcher
Craniometrics, or the measurement of physical characteristics of the skull, are used to examine the biological variation of populations associated with the Weeden Island/Manasota Complex to better understand how these populations related to each other. The results are compared to the archaeological record of these cultures. The findings raise questions about the cultural and biological continuity of the Weeden Island Complex and support the distinction of the Manasota culture.
A Forgotten Community: Archaeology of Old St. Joseph, Gulf County, Florida
Thursday, September 19, 2013, 7-8 PM
Christopher Hunt, MA Candidate, University of South Florida
The tragic story of the town of old St. Joseph is known from history. The town was founded in 1836 by rival speculators in the antebellum cotton trade and became politically important. Later yellow fever and a subsequent hurricane combined to devastate the community and by 1842 it had disappeared. St. Joseph was influential in early Florida, hosting the state’s first constitutional convention and establishing new shipping routes. Analysis of a newly identified collection of artifacts has made possible an archaeological assessment of the town and its history. My research specifically uses material culture to examine questions of early nineteenth-century capitalism and consumer behavior.