December 11, 2021 Speaker: Jono Miller

THE HISTORY AND USE OF THE FLORIDA CABBAGE PALM

Miller's topic will follow the title of his new book, The Palmetto, Histories and Mysteries of the Cabbage Palm. In his discussion, Jono will address some basic questions about our state tree, basically, everything you always wanted to know about our state tree, such as: Are cabbage palm trees? How long do they live? What is their natural range? How did early Europeans use the cabbage palm and how did Florida Indians and other Southeast Native American groups use cabbage palm? A charred cabbage frond fragment was found on the 27 m ledge at Little Salt Spring in 2008, which dated to 12,300 rcybp, which is almost 14,000 years old! And they go back tens, if not hundreds of millennia.


Jono Miller is the retired former Director of the New College of Florida Environmental Studies Program, his undergraduate alma mater. He is a natural historian and activist with 49 years experience in Southwest Florida. Since 1982, he has exhibited a particular interest in our state tree, the cabbage palm, which resulted in his Master’s thesis: A Humble Vulgar Tree: Explorations of the Natural and Cultural History of the Cabbage Palm, Sabal Palmetto.


November 9, 2021 Speaker: John Whittaker

FRANK HAMILTON CUSHING AND THE KEY MARCO ATLATLS


ZOOM LINK   MEETING ID: 874 7629 7701 PASSCODE: 033667

Florida excavations in 1895 by a pioneering archaeologist produced famous finds of prehistoric art, and an early recognition of a forgotten weapon, the atlatl or spear thrower. We know a lot more about atlatls today, and re-examining Cushing's finds shows some of the problems and promises of reconstruction and experimental archaeology. John Whittaker teaches anthropology and archaeology at Grinnell College in Iowa.  Much of his work has been in the American Southwest, but experiments with prehistoric technology are a favorite source of archaeological information, contact with the public, and fun. He is the author of two books on making and understanding stone tools and modern flintknappers, and coaches the Grinnell College Raging Cows, the world's first collegiate atlatl team. 


John Whittaker teaches anthropology archaeology Grinnell College in Iowa. Much his work has been American Southwest, but experiments with prehistoric technology favorite source archaeological information, contact public, fun. He is author two books on making understanding stone tools modern flintknappers, coaches Raging Cows, world's first collegiate atlatl team.


October 12, 2021 Speaker: Dr. Jeb Card

SPOOKY ARCHAEOLOGY: THE MYTH AND SCIENCE
OF THE PAST


ZOOM LINK   MEETING ID: 893 7765 9440 PASSCODE: 658534

Archaeologists are depicted as searching for lost cities and mystical artifacts in news reports, television, video games, and in movies like Indiana Jones or The Mummy.  This fantastical image has little to do with day-to-day science, yet it is deeply connected to why people are fascinated by the ancient past. Exploring the development of archaeology helps us understand what archaeology is and why it matters. The trail of clues leading us into spooky territory includes famous archaeologists, self- proclaimed explorers, haunted museums, mysterious hieroglyphic inscriptions, of a lost continent that never existed, the origin of ideas about ancient extraterrestrials, and even a Scotland Yard investigation into magic, murder, and witchcraft.

These ideas don’t come from Hollywood; they come from how humans have tried to understand the past from the earliest ancient Egyptian delvers into ruins to the modern profession of archaeology. If archaeologists want to explain why the past is important to our present, they need to understand why archaeology continues to mystify, and why there is an ongoing fascination with exotic artifacts and eerie practices. 


Dr. Jeb Card is an Assistant Teaching Professor for the Department of Anthropology, Miami University. He holds his degrees from Tulane University (Ph.D. and M.A.) and the University of Pittsburgh. His areas of specialization include Mesoamerican archaeology and archaeology of the colonial Americas, particularly European colonization and its impact on indigenous Americans and their societies, as seen from early sixteenth-century Ciudad Vieja, El Salvador. Dr. Card is also interested in current public and media perceptions of archaeology as being a science of fantastical claims of ancient aliens or lost continents. This is the subject of his most recent publication, Spooky Archaeology: Myth and the Science of the Past (University of New Mexico Press, 2018).


September 14, 2021 Speaker: Dr. Victor Thompson

CALUSA AND SPANISH HISTORIES AT MOUND KEY


ZOOM LINK   MEETING ID: 857 8902 1715 PASSCODE: 799530

We welcome Dr. Thompson, to our September 14 Zoom meeting. His topic is of local and familiar interest, the Calusa of Mound Key, Charlotte Harbor, and the bays and estuaries of southwest Florida.

In 1566, Pedro de Menéndez de Aviles arrived at the capital of the Calusa kingdom. During that same year Menéndez issued the order to construct Fort San Antón de Carlos, which was occupied until 1569. We now can confirm what archaeologists and historians suspected, that the location of the Fort, and the capital of the Calusa, was the site of Mound Key, (8LL2), located in Estero Bay in southwestern Florida.

In this talk, Dr. Thompson will present the detailed work their team conducted to find evidence of structures and fortifications associated with the sixteenth century Spanish fort and mission of San Antón de Carlos. In addition, he will discuss the insights that their excavations revealed regarding the broader histories of the Calusa people at Mound Key.


I am an archaeologist who specializes in the application of archaeological science to the study of collective social formations and the historical ecology of wetland and coastal environments. In this work I strive more and more to connect to issues related to community archaeology and the descendent communities whose ancestral lands that I study. I engage globally with scholars who share research interests in archaeological science, as well as island and coastal archaeology. Broadly, my research utilizes approaches derived from collective action, cooperation, political ecology, and historical ecology. Specifically, I seek to understand Native American histories and how these histories experienced ruptures and continuities at the moment of European contact and colonialism. I employ a number of methods in my research including the analysis of monumental architecture, radiocarbon analysis, shell midden archaeology, stable oxygen isotopes, remote sensing, and Geographic Information Systems. As Director of the Laboratory of Archaeology at the University of Georgia, I am engaged with NAGPRA to make sure that ancestors cared for by UGA are treated respectfully and repatriated to the their descendent communities.