JANUARY 2019 SPEAKER: Heather Walsh Haney


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.

DECEMBER 2018 SPEAKER: Christian Davenport


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!

NOVEMBER 2018 SPEAKER: Dr. Anthony Randazzo


Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Springs are well known for their warm mineralized water and importance ecologically, archaeologically, and recreationally. The intimate relationship between land and sea have sculpted these features which represent unique geologic entities whose histories are recorded in their rocks and strata. This presentation attempts to “play-back” nature’s recording of the rock record of these springs to gain an appreciation for the significance of these precious sites. The sinkholes in which these springs formed, developed some 12,000 years ago, but the rocks that provided the template for them, date back some 50 million years. Countless changes in sea level, climate, depositional environments, and hydrologic regimes are represented in their history. This talk will include insights about limestone formation, sinkholes, and springs, as well as the geologic investigative tools that are employed to discover them. Projected sea level rises and their impact on these springs will also be discussed.

Dr. Randazzo is Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida where he has worked since 1967. He has written more than 50 technical papers in professional scientific publications, as well as numerous formal research abstracts and reports and special works to governmental agencies and private clients. Most noteworthy is his co-editorship of The Geology of Florida, a book published by the University Press of Florida (1997). He has received numerous research grants from federal and state agencies to investigate subjects related to hydrogeology, sedimentology and the geology of Florida. Dr. Randazzo has more than 40 years’ experience in professional evaluations of home sites, commercial properties, roadways, tunnels, bridges, and dams involving geological hazards. He was named a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in 1995 with the Hungarian Geological Survey. He was recognized as a College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Teacher of the Year in 1999-2000. In 2001, Dr. Randazzo was appointed an Astor Visiting Lecturer at the University of Oxford, England, where he lectured on environmental issues associated with water resources and sinkhole formation. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Dr. Randazzo was appointed by both Governor Martinez and Governor Chiles to serve on the State Licensing Board of Professional Geologists. He is a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Florida and the State of Georgia.

OCTOBER 2018 SPEAKER: Ted Ehmann


Educator, ceramic researcher, WMS/LSSAS member Ted Ehmann, will give a presentation on a research passion that led to a paper he has submitted for publication in the Florida Anthropologist “Investigating The Existence Of Clay Beds Sourced By The Aboriginal People For Ceramic Production In Central And South Florida.”

Ted has made a study of Florida pottery and prehistoric aboriginal clay sourcing by studying the works of the early researchers such as Frank Hamilton Cushing, C. B. Moore in the late 1800s and early 1900s; later works by Florida archaeologists, and current research by ceramic analysts, as well as geological and mineralogical studies from Florida and the southeastern coastal plain. In his article, recounted from the study of Cushing and Moore’s journals he notes, “…their disappointment with the lack of ceramics, and the crude nature of the ceramic vessels found while excavating burial mounds in peninsular Florida.” (Ehnmann 2018). It led him to wonder why?

This presentation will describe his research methodology, sources of information, and conclusions based on his research. As Ted states, “This article describes my investigation which resulted in the discovery of a fairly large clay less environment that is unique to south Florida and the western Gulf Coast below the big bend. The results of my research impact the archaeological record in that known and classified ceramic types could not have been produced in the locales and cultural regions as presently believed.”

Ted Ehmann was born in Trenton, NJ. He is the grandson of noted New Jersey artist, M. Frank Ehmann. He studied fine arts at the Philadelphia College of Art. Upon leaving the college in 1970, Ehmann became the preparer for archaeological artifacts for the New Jersey State Museum. Summers were spent on the many statewide archaeological digs conducted by the museum. Ehmann returned to earn his BA in art and minor in anthropology at the College of New Jersey in 1990 and his master’s in teaching in 1992.

SEPTEMBER 2018 SPEAKER: Kathy Gerace


During the 1970’s archaeological studies were made of three slave plantations on the island of San Salvador in The Bahamas. These were the first systematic studies of Loyalist plantations in The Bahamas, and provided extensive information about the way of life of both the plantation owners and their slaves during this short, but pivotal era in the history of The Bahamas.

A short background history of Florida and The Bahamas during and after the American Revolution will be followed by descriptions of the three sites. Included will be maps, architectural drawings, and photos of ruins and some of the artifacts collected, as will the limited archival information available about the owners of these three plantations. This will allow for comparisons of the three sites, which have many similarities and yet vast differences, given all were established in the same, pristine environment at nearly the same time.

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.

MAY 2018 SPEAKER: John McCarthy


About 7,200 years old and buried 21 feet deep below the Gulf of Mexico, 350 yards off Manasota Key is an extremely well preserved human burial site. Archaeologists are exploring what has been termed a “globally significant” discovery. National Geographic calls it an “unprecedented” find.
How was this site discovered? A diver picked up a barnacle-crusted jaw from a shallow spot off the shore of Manasota Key. The specimen sat on a paper plate in his kitchen for a couple weeks before he realized it was probably a human bone. Weeks later the diver sent a picture to Florida’s Bureau of Archaeological Research, where it landed in front of Ryan Duggins, the bureau’s underwater archaeology supervisor. “As soon as we were there (at the site) it became clear that we were dealing with something new,” Duggins recalls. First, he spotted a broken arm bone on the seabed. Then, when he noticed a cluster of carved wooden stakes and three separate skull fragments in a depression, Duggins realized he might be dealing with a Native American bog burial site—one that had been inundated by sea level rise, but was miraculously preserved.

John McCarthy, Director of Historic Spanish Point, will speak about this newly discovered burial ground that scientists are studying underwater off Manasota Key. He is Executive Director at Spanish Point as well as a writer for Sarasota Magazine. He served over 10 years an Environmental Specialist for Sarasota County responsible for providing environmental and development review for coastal resource protection and coordination of resource monitoring and enhancement projects. Mr. McCarthy was Sarasota County Historian from 1982 to 1988.

MARCH 2018 SPEAKER: Irv Quitmyer


Zooarchaeologist Irvy Quitmyer is a long-time researcher at the Florida Museum, and was collection manager from 2001-2016. His work focuses on the animal remains from sites in southeastern North America and the circum-Caribbean region. Quitmyer’s research specialty is the study of season of and age at death of animals incorporated into archaeological samples. Many but not all of these studies were based on incremental growth structures of mollusks, particularly bivalves such as the hard clam or quahog. These studies identify the season of death of organisms and therefore also the time of the year they were gathered or fished. They also illustrate the stress on animal populations from human exploitation.

FEBRUARY 2018 SPEAKER: Dorothy Block


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.

JANUARY 2018 SPEAKER: Jeff Moates


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.

DECEMBER 2017 SPEAKER: Dr. Bernice Jones


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).

NOVEMBER 2017 SPEAKER: FGCU graduate student Katarina Stroh


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.

OCTOBER 2017 SPEAKER: Archaeologist Kathy Gerace


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.


An environmental initiative by the Friends of Little Salt Spring is gaining momentum. The concept of the Myakkahatchee Creek, Little Salt Spring Greenway Corridor was introduced at the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Little Salt Spring January 17, 2017 during a presentation by Steve Koski titled “The Archaeology of the Uplands at Little Salt Spring and Significance of the Ecology Surrounding the Spring.” He explained the overall concept developed by the Friends of Little Salt Spring to establish a conservation corridor from Myakkkahatchee Creek to Little Salt Spring to maintain an open land access for wildlife from one conservation area to another, a distance of approximately 0.5 miles.

On January 30, 2017 an article appeared in the North Port Sun by the Viewpoint editor, “Little Salt Spring: Preserving, Protecting a Unique Heritage,” stating “Our Position: The Little Salt Spring greenway corridor deserves serious consideration.” The editorial was followed by an article by FLSS President and guest columnist Lawry Reid that appeared in the North Port Sun February 1, 2017, “Preserving Green Corridor Near Little Salt Spring.”

From the FLSS web site: http://www.friendsoflittlesaltspring.com/wildlifecorridor.html
“The goal of the initiative is to preserve the approx .5 mile natural corridor that connects the Myakkahatchee Creek with the Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve. This last remaining natural corridor is threatened by development that would further fragment the Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve from Myakkahatchee Creek; effectively isolating this sensitive property and disconnecting it from abutting native habitats that also serve as critical pathways for naturally occurring wildlife species inhabiting the region extending from the creek to the spring.” “This initiative would extend the conservation corridor from Myakkahatchee Creek, just south of Butler Park, north, through approx +/- 6 acres of private vacant land and approximately +/- 60 acres of vacant wooded land owned by the Sarasota County School Board abutting the 112-acre Little Salt Spring Archaeological and Ecological Preserve.” The plan would require the acquisition of private land (35 lots owned by two owners) and a conservation easement of all or a portion of the vacant School Board, Heron Creek Middle School woods property. The road design and pending construction of the Spring Haven Drive extension would also need to take this vital natural corridor into consideration.

Once preserved, this Natural Corridor would:
● Be compatible with and complement the City of North Port Myakkahatchee Creek Greenway Master Plan;
● Preserve the last remaining wildlife corridor connecting the Myakkahatchee Creek environmental preserve to the Little Salt Spring environmental preserve, crossing the proposed Spring Haven Drive road extension;
● Expand passive nature trails from Butler Park into six or more additional acres;
● Provide ecological educational opportunities in the form of a living laboratory for the students of Glenallen Elementary School, North Port High School, and Heron Creek Middle School;
● Prevent further fragmentation of a critical ecosystem (Little Salt Spring) and provide a buffer for a relic ecosystem surrounding the spring, which has survived through natural succession from the late Pleistocene (ending 11,000 BP) through the Holocene era (11,000 BP to present). This is one of the most significant natural and cultural resources in the Southeastern United States.


The Annual Meeting and voting in of new officers and directors will be held at the beginning of our April 11 meeting.

Regarding Officers and Directors, Our ByLaws state; The Society shall be governed by an executive board, herein referred to as the “Board”. The Board shall be comprised of the officers and not less than 6 directors. One of the Board directors shall be a professional archaeologist and not subject to term limitations. The Officers shall be the following: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Directors shall be elected for a staggered three-year term. President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected for a term of two years. If after the term of an officer is completed and the nominating committee cannot find a suitable candidate for the position, the officer may be re-elected for a one-year term.

The 2017 slate of officers and directors are:

President, Steve Koski (re-elect one year);
Vice President, Linda Elligott (second year of three-year term);
Secretary, Hilda Boron (re-elect one year);
Kate Cattran (re-elect one year)

Rita Bass (second year of two-year term);
Judie Bauer (second year of two-year term);
Jack Bauer (second year of two-year term);
Loraine Hawkins (re-elect one year);
Rik Jimison (new nominee)
Linda Massey, Membership Secretary (re-elect one year);
Carol Myers (re-elect one year);
Betty Nugent (re-elect one year);
Judith Ribarick (second year of two-year term);
Joan San Lwin (new nominee);
and George Haag, Honorary