May 11, 2021 Speaker: Dr. April Watson

PREHISTORIC FOOD RESOURCES IN COASTAL SOUTH FLORIDA
Dr. April Watson

May 11, 2021 Zoom Meeting 7pm – 9pm Eastern time,
Join Zoom Meeting at: (link coming soon)

How do archaeologists investigate the ways people have eaten through time? The study of these leftovers give us a powerful tool for understanding past human behavior. Leftovers such as bones, scales, and shells can help archaeologists explore the ways that people might have different social and/or cultural eating practices, what the environment was like thousands of years ago, how people might maximize resources both on the land and the sea, celebrations such as feasting, and more! This presentation focuses on coastal sites in South Florida and the dietary choices these costal dwellers made from the Atlantic Ocean, the first 'grocery store'.

April Watson completed both her undergraduate degree and her master's degree in anthropology with a focus in archaeology. Watson’s undergraduate research centered on south Florida prehistoric mound sites, particularly looking at the use of ceramics and shell tools. Her graduate studies focused on the coast of Cuba, where she created a predictive model of prehistoric archaeological sites. Watson finished her graduate education with a PhD in Geosciences from Florida Atlantic University. Watson’s current research interest include prehistoric ceramics’ usage, landscape utilization by past and present peoples of the Southeastern United States, environmental sustainability, GIS based map inquires, and mathematical modeling of human/environmental spatial relationships. 

April 13, 2021 Speaker: Jeff Moates

AMPLIFIED: AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES IN TAMPA BAY
Jeff Moates, Director of the West Central and Central Regional Centers of the Florida Public Archaeology Network

April 13, 2021 Zoom Meeting

In 2020 groups in the Tampa Bay area began a quest to replace, buildover, and destroyed African American cemeteries. These places had been wiped from sight but remained ever-fixed in the consciousness of the communities they had served. Archaeology is one among many tools being utilized to reframe these sacred places and their stories.

"African American cemeteries, whether in the past or today, are at risk due to segregation-era policies. Lawmakers at the State and Federal levels are increasingly aware of this issue and are Jeff Moates, Director promoting legislation to aid in the preservation efforts. Ultimately, it is incumbent on government officials and researcher alike to work with the descendents and local communities to ensure their stories of the sacred places are brought forth in a way that preserves them in place for generation to come." (FAM 2020 poster text).

Jeff earned a MA in History/Historical Archaeology and a BA in Anthropology from the University of West Florida. He worked for Archaeological Consultants, Inc., the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research in the Underwater Archaeology Division, and as museum curator at the Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez. Jeff enjoys tinkering with things, watching baseball, eating smoked mullet, and drinking hot coffee. 

March 9, 2021 Speaker: Frank Cassell

SARASOTA COUNTY HISTORY

As part of our Sarasota County 2021 Centennial Celebration, we welcome historian Dr. Frank Cassell, author of Creating Sarasota County (2017), and Suncoast Empire, Bertha Honore Palmer, Her Family, and the Rise of Sarasota (2019).

Frank will recount the dramatic history and tales of the men and women who led the county independence movement by the citizens of the Sarasota district, leading to the independence from Manatee in 1921 and the creation of Sarasota County. And it’s quite a story. Frank Cassell, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus and President Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. He earned the B.A. degree at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and his M.A. and Ph. D. degrees at Northwestern University. He taught and served as an administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Roosevelt University in Chicago before taking the presidency at Pitt-Greensburg. Dr. Frank Cassell is chair of the Historic Centennial Steering Committee, received the silver award for nonfiction by the Florida Book Awards for Suncoast Empire and this latest 2019 book, Creating Sarasota County was written to provide historic support for the Sarasota County Centennial celebration. So, we are very fortunate to have him speak during the kickoff month of the 100 year anniversary of Sarasota County!