February 9, 2021 Speaker: Sean Norman


Tuesday, February 9, 7:00pm
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Meeting ID: 896 8337 6845    Passcode: 691923

The Withlacoochee and Crystal River estuaries are home to a dense assemblage of Woodland Period shell middens. However, centuries of natural and anthropogenic stressors have degraded the integrity of this cultural landscape. The conditions of the prehistoric sites are inherently linked to the ecological and geomorphological condition of the landscape. Ecological regime change, soil loss, and karstification are actively transforming the Gulf Coast and destroying the shell middens in the process.

This presentation discusses the Rapid Midden Assessment program used to examine the taphnomic features of coastal shell middens. This method combines site-level and landscape-level analysis to evaluate site “health” and ecological stability. The resulting projects provide land managers with the information necessary for prioritizing the protection of cultural and natural resources. By understanding the degradational processes impacting our coastline today, we can better plan to preserve the archaeological record in the future.

Sean Norman received a B.A. in History from Columbus State University before receiving a M.A. in Applied Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of South Florida. He specializes in the geoarchaeology of prehistoric coastal landscapes examining sites such as the Crystal River mounds and the Tomoka Mound Complex. He currently serves as the Acting Executive Director of the Gulf Archaeology Research Institute (GARI) in Crystal River, Florida. In addition to coastal prehistory, he collaborates with his associates at GARI on the archaeology of the Seminole Wars. For more information on the Gulf Archaeology Research Institute, visit: gulfarchaeology.org

JANUARY 2021 SPEAKER: Dr. Edward González-Tennant


Rosewood was a prosperous African American community hard-won from the swampy hammocks of north Florida. Although the town was destroyed in 1923, the community continued, scattered across the state of Florida and beyond. Now, nearly 100 years after this tragic event the story of Rosewood remains shrouded from public view. Those who have heard of Rosewood are rarely aware of the community’s deeper history, or its relation to other places across the state. Dr. González-Tennant will discuss the role of archaeology and geospatial sciences in unearthing Rosewood’s complex history.  In addition to describing how digital technologies aid traditional archaeological methods, he’ll discuss the importance of outreach and its ability to support a public conversation on racial reconciliation.

Edward González-Tennant, is a lecturer in anthropology at UCF. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Florida. His research explores the use of geospatial and remote sensing technologies to understand how geophysical processes impact heritage sites. He also explores the use of digital and visual technologies to communicate archaeological research with the public.