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!