FLORIDA’S ARCHAIC AND MANASOTA PERIOD POPULATIONS: DISTANT COUSINS OR UNRELATED NEIGHBORS ?
We welcome back bio archaeologist and forensic archaeologist Maranda Kles to our April 9 meeting. With the discovery of the submerged burial site off Manasota Key, there has been a surge of interest in the relationships of pre-contact Native American populations in Southwest Florida. Previous research has examined the biological relationships of several submerged Archaic burial sites in Florida, including Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Spring, which show shared mortuary practices and shared biological relationships. Other research has examined the relationships of the later populations that were buried on upland Manasota Key and nearby sites. This talk will review previous findings and examine the relationship of the Archaic populations to the later land-based Manasota Key population, as well as offer a discussion about the possible relationship of the offshore Manasota population.
Maranda Almy Kles, Ph.D., RPA is a Registered Professional Archaeologist with over 10 years of experience in prehistoric archaeology and physical anthropology specializing in Southeastern archaeology and bioarchaeology. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Florida and her thesis examined the biological and cultural associations of skeletal samples from throughout Florida. Dr. Kles has continued to expand on this research and has developed research interests in forensic anthropology and Southeastern archaeology.
NEW DISCOVERIES OF THE EVERGLADES LANDSCAPE: LOST CREEKS AND PREHISTORIC SITES
Archaeological testing of agricultural fields in the eastern Everglades has resulted in the discovery of creeks and prehistoric sites buried beneath the muck. This creek system had been previously unknown and was undetected during earlier assessments. Aerial photographs taken during and after sugar cane cultivation revealed the ancient creek system and resulted in the discovery of a 2000-3000 year old prehistoric midden (8PB17113) and cemetery (8PB17114).
Archaeologist Robert S. Carr is the Executive Director of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc. In his 35 years of experience in South Florida he was Miami-Dade County archaeologist and director of the Historic Preservation Division, and has worked for the National Park Service and the State of Florida. Carr was co-discoverer of the Miami Circle, led investigations at Preacher’s Cave in the Bahamas, and recently directed an extensive archaeological assessment at the Jupiter Lighthouse. He is the author of Digging Miami, a chronicle of the archaeology of greater Miami. He has a Master of Science Degree in Anthropology from Florida State University.
THE MAKING OF ESCAMPABA: THE KINGDOM OF CARLOS
Remnants of elevated mounds and ridges, sculpted canals and water courts remain a visible yet subtle reminder of the once thriving Calusa chiefdom that controlled the southern third of the Florida peninsula by the 16th century. Mound Key — the Calusa principal village, located in Estero Bay in Lee County Florida — remains the first specific location documented in the voyage of Juan Ponce de León in 1513 that named La Florida and was one of the first charted destinations of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés after founding St. Augustine in the fall of 1565. This early southwest Florida history is explored in a new documentary film. Executive Producer Theresa Schober will recount key aspects of this history in a presentation on how we represent the past through film and will show some clips from the recently completed project.
Ms. Schober holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. In addition to conducting archaeological projects over her 20-year career in south Florida, she specializes in collaborative planning and development of historic sites into interactive museum and park facilities. She serves as an advisory-board member to the Florida Council for History Education and is past president of the Florida Anthropological Society. She is currently the Manager of the Immokalee Pioneer Museum in Collier County, where we are planning a field trip in February.
THE SCIENCE AND ART OF READING BONES
On January 8, 2019 we welcome Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Heather Walsh Haney for a presentation titled “The Science and Art of Reading Bones.” Dr. Walsh-Haney is an Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University who studied at the University of Florida under Dr. William Maples, a renowned forensic anthropologist. He created a remarkable forensic collection and, upon his death, his widow asked her to take over the collection. It is now housed at FGCU under her auspice. Dr. Walsh-Haney works closely with the local medical examiners in eleven jurisdictions and handles between 80-100 cases per year. Additionally, she teaches at the University of Tennessee National Forensic Academy’s surface scattered and buried body courses.
While she is a forensic anthropologist and also studies human remains from archaeological sites, she is in the Department of Justice Studies at FGCU and not in the Anthropology Department. It is within that Department that she has created the Buckingham Environmental Forensics Facility—an FGCU outdoor forensics facility that provides opportunities for research, education and training concerning clandestine graves. In addition, she has helped to coordinate Forensic Field for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and Florida’s Forensic Institute for Research, Security, and Tactics.
Her presentation will include a comparison of how forensic anthropology is portrayed in popular culture, through television series such as Bones, and that of actual scientists in the field. She will explain what happens to bodies when buried and when left on the ground and how they differ, and how new plant growth and intrusive plant growth are factors in locating a buried body. In other cases, the disturbed soil will subside over time and can leave the ground bare of plant growth. The soil color and density can be another clue to the location of buried remains. The art and science of forensic anthropology has come a long way and it is the science of it that will lead to identification of the body and aid in the identification or exoneration of the perpetrator.
Heather received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Florida where she trained within the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory for over a decade. She is the consulting forensic anthropologist for 11 Florida Medical Examiner Districts and has been the principle investigator for over 1,500 forensic anthropology cases. As a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Disaster Mortuary Response Team (DMORT), she helped locate and/or identify human remains from Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina and assisted in the recovery of human remains at the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Dr. Walsh-Haney’s knowledge of human skeletal biology arose from her work with ancient skeletal remains from archaeological settings including the sites of Bay West, Windover, Bird Island, and Gauthier to name a few. This research experience provided her and her graduate students with the opportunity to assist the Bureau of Archaeological Research and the Seminole Tribe of Florida with the Manasota Key Offshore Site recovery and preparation for repatriation processes for the last 2 years.
THE PREHISTORY OF PALM BEACH COUNTY
Similar to Sarasota County, Palm Beach County has a Historical Preservation Element in their Comprehensive Plan and includes an Archaeological and Historic Preservation Ordinance in their Unified Land Development Code. Mr. Davenport will give an overview of the prehistory of Palm Beach County in relationship to the sites he has worked on and recorded, and the projects he has participated on in his position administrating the county’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. Mr. Davenport’s job allows him to conduct site visits to lands proposed for development with known archaeological sites and can require Cultural Assessment Surveys at those sites. His responsibilities include identifying, protecting, and promoting archaeological sites and historic structures throughout unincorporated Palm Beach County.
He also oversees the Historic Resource Review Board and Historic Preservation Officer Internship Program that offers a variety of opportunities for students and the public to learn about the historic preservation process at the local government level, participate in field work, learn archaeological laboratory techniques, prepare historic designations, assist in the preparation of historic property-tax exemptions and text for historic markers, and much more.
Mr. Davenport has a BA in anthropology from Franklin Pierce University, New Hampshire, where he specialized in the identification of human and animal remains from archaeological sites. He spent several years in the private sector in the field of Cultural Resource Management (CRM), working on archaeological investigations throughout the mid-Atlantic states. After two years in CRM, he entered graduate school at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he earned a Masters degree, again specializing in the identification of human and animal remains from archaeological sites. During and after grad school, he worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority, identifying thousands of historic resources (sites) within TVA’s property. In 1999, he took another CRM job in his home state of Maryland, teaching part time at the University of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University.
He moved to Palm Beach County in 2005 and has been teaching night school at Florida Atlantic University since 2009. Since joining the county, he was the lead archaeologist on projects and recorded 33 new archaeological sites in Lake Okeechobee during the 2007–2009 drought. In 2010, he led excavations on a portion of a buried sand mound in Dubois Park and is currently researching the large prehistoric Native American mound complexes around the Everglades. This should prove to be another meeting you don’t want to miss!