PALEO AND PASTEL: ANTHROPOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE PALM BEACHES
Pre-Columbian and historic Palm Beach County is the topic of our February 13 meeting by anthropologist and archaeologist Dorothy Block. Using archival photographs from the Lawrence E. Will Museum of the Glades, and scholarly sources, Block presents a survey of Palm Beach County’s anthropology and history. She summarizes generations of archaeological research, including newly discovered sites. Her talk will emphasize the Belle Glade archaeological culture. In addition, she will present newly archived images of the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane’s deadly aftermath.
Dorothy Block is a practicing, professional anthropologist and the Executive Director of the Lawrence E. Will Museum of the Glades. She has dedicated her career to educating the public about the Pre-Columbian archaeology of Palm Beach County. She is the Founding Chair of the Palm Beach County Archaeological Society, a chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society. She teaches Anthropology at Palm Beach State College.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE STEWARDSHIP THROUGH HERITAGE MONITORING
Join us to learn about a new program initiated by the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN). Jeff Moates, director of the FPAN West Central Region office at USF will discuss the “Heritage Monitoring Scouts” program.
Heritage Monitoring Scouts (HMS Florida) is a public engagement program focused on tracking changes to archaeological sites at risk, particularly those impacted by sea level rise and resulting erosion. Hundreds of coastal and riverine sites are threatened in Florida and tens of thousands are threatened in the United States alone. Understanding our changing coastlines and the severity of the threats to archaeological sites could help develop methods of protection for these fragile resources. The data collected can identify which sites are most at risk and in need of protection.
During Jeff’s presentation, you’ll learn what a Heritage Monitor Scout is, why monitoring sites is important, and how to become a scout. Scouts are trained and mentored by professional archaeologists who take them to the site and teach them recording techniques and the ethics of site stewardship. Specific sites will be used as examples of what scouts do and how they can help. Do you know any threatened sites in your area in need of monitoring? Scouts aren’t just for young students, but for anyone who loves the outdoors, history, and wants to get involved in site stewardship.
To learn more, come to the January 9 meeting and see what Heritage Monitoring is all about. Visit FPAN for additional details.
HAUTE COUTURE IN ANCIENT GREECE:
THE SPECTACULAR WORLD OF ARIADNE AND HELEN OF TROY
This lecture brings to life the fabulous world of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations of 2000-1200 B.C.E. immortalized by Homer. By stepping through time into their splendid palaces decorated with scenes of courtly life, their special rituals are reconstructed along with the magnificent costumes worn to carry them out. Of the utmost luxury and decorated with exquisite patterns and appliqués of gold and precious gems and topped with exquisite jewelry, the costumes are the royal regalia of queens and goddesses. No longer preserved, the costumes are replicated through detailed analysis of art and texts and draped on live models posed as in art and juxtaposed with the sculptures and wall paintings they imitate. Fragments of frescoes found out of context are digitally reassembled and reconstructed to restore once lost, spectacular scenes of palatial and everyday life. Ultimately the reconstructed costumes and wall paintings virtually bring Homer’s heroes and heroines to life and emphasize their concurrent ancient, contemporary and eternal significance.
Dr. Jones received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in the Art and Archaeology of Greece, Rome and the ancient Near East, specializing on costumes and interconnections in the Bronze Age Aegean. She has taught at Queens College, Parsons School of Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, and Manhattanville College’s Summer in Greece Program, and has published her findings in her book, Ariadne’s Threads: The Construction and Significance of Clothes in the Aegean Bronze Age. She has lectured nationally and internationally on Minoan and Mycenaean dress and on her digital reconstructions of Aegean frescoes. Her costume replicas have been the subject of exhibitions both here and abroad. Dr. Jones has participated in archaeological excavations in Greece (Santorini/Thera) and is a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC).
THE WEDGWORTH MIDDEN FIELD SCHOOL & EXCAVATION
The Wedgworth Midden is a tree-island site located in Belle Glade, Florida; just south of Lake Okeechobee. This site, along with other tree-island sites, plays a significant role in the analysis of prehistoric life in the everglades. The Wedgworth Midden provides insight to the past environment of the northern Everglades and how the peoples who inhabited the tree islands utilized resources in that area. During the 2016 field school season, students from Florida Gulf Coast University had the opportunity to participate and learn from the site’s excavation. The field school allowed students to train in methods of archaeological data collection while also contributing to the growing information of prehistoric south Florida.
Katarina Stroh is a forensic studies masters student at Florida Gulf Coast University concentrating in human identity and trauma analysis. She received her bachelors of science from Florida Gulf Coast University in forensic studies, criminal justice, and legal studies with a special interest in anthropology. She participated in the Wedgworth field school in 2016 and continued research the following year, analyzing and identifying patterns within the faunal assemblage collected.
WHERE DID COLUMBUS FIRST LAND IN 1492?
THE DESCRIPTIVE AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
For nearly 500 years there was controversy among scholars and lay people over the exact location of Columbus’ first landfall on his maiden voyage in 1492. A review of historic documents, maps, and descriptive photos will be discussed to show why there were numerous theories, but by the 500th anniversary in 1992 some undeniable evidence had come to light through archaeology.
During the 1980’s, under the direction of Dr. Charles Hoffman of Northern Arizona State University, excavations of a Lucayan Indian site on the western side of San Salvador Island, Bahamas, unearthed numerous European artifacts. Analysis of these artifacts revealed they were of Spanish origin and dated from the very late 1400’s. The significance of these finds cannot be overstated, as it provides further proof that the island of San Salvador was the location of Columbus’ first landfall in the New World.
Kathy Gerace holds a MS degree in anthropology/archaeology from Michigan State University. In 1971, she was teaching at Elmira College in Elmira, NY, when she was asked to teach a four-week field course in historic archaeology on the island of San Salvador in The Bahamas. It was meeting the Executive Director of the field station, Dr. Donald Gerace, that led to their marriage and Kathy becoming the Assistant Director of the field station.
Over the years the field station grew to provide a venue for scientific studies and research for over 100 colleges and universities from the US, Canada, and Europe. In 1988 the Geraces formed a Bahamian, non-profit corporation named the Bahamian Field Station (BFS). Knowing that they couldn’t live forever, the Geraces gave the BFS to the College of The Bahamas (COB) in 2003, and it was renamed the Gerace Research Centre (GRC). When the COB became the University of The Bahamas (UB), the GRC became one of their campuses, and continues to provide accommodations, lab and field equipment, and all types of logistical support for professors, students, and scientific researchers in the disciplines of archaeology, biology, geology, and the marine sciences.