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.


May 11, 2021 Speaker: Dr. April Watson

PREHISTORIC FOOD RESOURCES IN COASTAL SOUTH FLORIDA
Dr. April Watson

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!

JANUARY 2021 SPEAKER: Dr. Edward González-Tennant

EXCAVATING ROSEWOOD: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF VIOLENCE AND HOPE

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.


 

OCTOBER 13, 2020 SPEAKER: Eric Prendergast

A JAR FULL OF LOVE LETTERS AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN TAMPA ARCHAEOLOGY

Recent archaeological work in downtown Tampa focused on parts of former Fort Brooke, an important military installation from the Period of Indian Removal in early American Florida. The work uncovered the location of the fort’s lost cemetery, buried under a tangle of city streets and utilities in the shadow of the hockey arena. Excavations unintentionally unearthed a glass swing-top jar stuffed full of love letters written in 1916. The letters were written to the captain of Clarence Bloomfield Moore’s archaeological research vessel, the steamer Gopher. This presentation will discuss the letters, their author, and their recipient, who was a long-time resident and amateur scientist of early Tampa, as well as some findings from other excavations at Fort Brooke.


Eric Prendergast, M.A., RPA. Senior Staff Archaeologist with Cardno. Eric is a transplant from the northeast who has only lived in Tampa since 2012, when he came to graduate school at USF. Since then he has worked in CRM and has recently served as Principal Investigator for major excavations in Downtown Tampa and for the Zion Cemetery Project, Robles Park Village.


INFO FOR THIS 7PM ZOOM PRESENTATION

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88125682430?pwd=TjRYVEN2UlNKd0I5eHBlcE9SUDE0Zz09
Meeting ID: 881 2568 2430 Passcode: 9LixDD or 334427

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 SPEAKER: Michelle Calhoun

SHELL TOOL ANALYSIS FROM SNAKE ISLAND

New College of Florida undergraduate student and WMS/LSSAS member Michelle Calhoun will be the speaker at our April 14 meeting. Her topic, “A Preliminary Analysis of Columella Tools and Gastropod Hammers from Snake Island, Sarasota County, Florida (8So2336).

Snake Island is a small island situated near the Venice Inlet in Sarasota County, Florida and is owned by the West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND). It was used as a spoil site for dredged material in 1907 during initial dredging to facilitate navigation between Sarasota and Venice, and in 1965 during the construction of the bypass canal and Intracoastal Waterway improvements and realignment. In 1994, a shell midden was identified and recorded with material actively eroding from the southwest shore of the island.

Steve Koski conducted a salvage collection project intermittently from 1994 to 2012. Diagnostic ceramic artifacts indicated a Safety Harbor period occupation, around CE 1,200 – 1,400 (AD), but initial occupation was likely several hundred years earlier in the late Manasota/Weeden Island periods. While the majority of shell tools eroding from the midden were type C and D gastropod hammers centered along the southwest shore, columella hammers were most plentiful and more widely distributed along the entire north and west shores where the erosion was most severe, suggesting a different origin. Archaeologist George Luer indicated that columella hammers were more indicative of the Archaic period, and type C and D hammers more indicative of the Safety Harbor period sites, something testing and radiocarbon dating substantiated.

It was found that the midden lay beneath the spoil and layer of mangrove mud. This occurrence has the potential to lend insight into the effects of sea level rise on archaeological sites and conditions that facilitate site preservation.


Michelle became interested in the shell tool collection during an internship and Independent Study Project (ISP) for her New College professor Dr. Uzi Baram. The intern position and Independent Study Projects were done at Sarasota County Historical Resources (SCHR) through 2019 and continued into 2020, working with Sarasota County archaeologist Steve Koski, where the Snake Island specimens are curated. Her first project was to update the NAPGRA inventory in the SCHR collections for submittal to the Florida Division of Historical Resources and the National Park Service. During the fall 2019 semester, she decided that the collection would be appropriate for her Method and Theory in Archaeology class at NCF.

She spent months working on the collection and collaborating on hypotheses with Koski regarding use, hafting methods, breakage patterns, and overall variability; recording, updating the field specimen log, taking measurements, photographing, and illustrating a sample of the more than 200 shell artifacts.  

MARCH 10, 2020 SPEAKER: Lindsay Ogles

FINDING OVERTOWN – SARASOTA’S FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

Few newcomers to Sarasota County would know that the Rosemary District in Sarasota was once known as Overtown and part of the original plat of the Town of Sarasota in 1885. Beginning in the 1890’s African Americans settled there. It was north just north of downtown Sarasota and known as “Black Bottom,” later to be change to Overtown in the mid-1920s. It was a vibrant community with a rich history to many of its residents and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District in 2003. It became officially named the Rosemary District in honor of the Rosemary Cemetery, established in 1886 and a historic marker was first dedicated there in 1985.

It became officially named the Rosemary District in honor of the Rosemary Cemetery, established in 1886 and a historic marker was first dedicated there in 1985. It was a segregated community and through time Overtown was lost to expanding downtown Sarasota and most of its residents relocated to Newtown. While a few of its original historic structures relate to the Overtown community remain, most were demolished and lost to time. 

FEBRUARY 11, 2020 SPEAKER: William Locascio

EVERGLADES ARCHAEOLOGY

Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Assistant Professor, William Locascio, will be the speaker at our February 11 meeting. His topic will cover recent excavations by his FGCU students in the Everglades Agricultural Area. He has shown that the Everglades was inhabited for thousands of years in the Archaic Period and was not a sterile, uninhabited area as many have postulated. His work there is changing how we view the prehistoric populations and their subsistence base. He views his research as a way to teach the next generation of archaeologists and advance archaeological knowledge of this region, which reveals remains of life among the people that settled the region over three thousand years ago.


William Locascio received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 and was an assistant professor at Flagler College from 2011–2014. He is currently an assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on pre-Columbian societies of Panama and addressed how and why societies became hierarchical after millennia of successful organization as egalitarian and semi-egalitarian groups. Over the last twenty years, he has been very fortunate to do archaeology in many regions of the Americas, from Alaska to Ecuador. “I came to Florida several years ago and have fallen in love with the archaeology and the archaeology community.”

JANUARY 14, 2020 SPEAKER: Ted Ehmann

RETHINKING CALUSA

Upon retiring to Charlotte County in 2016, author Ted Ehmann was curious why after over twenty-five years of researching and visiting the Indian mounds of the Hopewell and Mississippian cultures of North America, there was not one mention of the Calusa and the mound building cultures in Charlotte Harbor and the entire south Florida Region. He claims, the Calusa and their neighbors have received very little archaeological investigations. Ehmann argues that the evidence reveals that the mound-building epoch in south Florida and the hunter-gathering societies responsible constitute a unique cultural epoch spanning twenty-five centuries, and is of global importance. Ehmann applies new models and connects the archaeological record to an earlier epoch in Louisiana, the latter epochs of the Hopewell and Mississippian mound builders, and the research by archaeologists outside of Florida.


He has a Master of Teaching degree and a B.A. degree , with a minor in Social Science and Anthropology College of New Jersey and studied for two years at the Philadelphia College of Art.

DECEMBER 10, 2019 SPEAKER: Rick Kilby

THE MAGICAL SPRINGS OF OLD FLORIDA

(Presentation Description Provided by Speaker)
“As I traveled the state while working on my book, Finding the Fountain of Youth, I observed that many Florida springs shared a similar history. First, the Native Americans who inhabited the state considered the pristine waters of springs to be sacred. As European settlers arrived, they found the limitless supply of pure water provided by the springs to be an invaluable resource. Near the end of the 19th century, affluent travelers began visiting Florida and many springs become health spas where wealthy patrons could take the waters.”

“In the twentieth century, tourists started to arrive by car and some springs became roadside attractions with fanciful features like water-skiing elephants and underwater mermaids. Eventually, interstate highways bypassed many of these roadside roadside attractions and they often found new lives as state and county parks. Today many of our state’s “fountains of youths” are at risk, as development threatens our springs and their source, the Floridan aquifer, the origin of most of the state’s drinking water.”

“With many colorful images throughout the presentation, I will explore the history of our springs and how these Fountains of Youth became an important part of the state’s early development. I will also examine some the challenges facing these spectacular natural resources as the population of Florida continues to expand rapidly.” 


Rick grew up in Gainesville, Florida, looking for shark’s teeth, swimming in springs, and wading through swamps. He has earned his living as a graphic designer since 1986, launching his own company, Kilby Creative, in 2000. His first book, “Finding the Fountain of Youth: Ponce de León and Florida’s Magical Waters,” was published by the University Press of Florida in 2013 and won a Florida Book Award in the Visual Arts category. His mission is to motivate Floridians to appreciate the natural and historic wonders of their state.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 SPEAKER: Dr. Anna Dixon

MARKS OF IDENTITY: THE ETHNOBOTANY OF TATTOOING

The resurgence of interest in traditional tattooing, as well as concern about the safety of commercial inks, has led to a search for “natural,” “traditional,” products for tattoos. Scientific techniques for visualizing and analyzing ancient tattoos preserved on mummified human remains have been able to identify minerals and “pyrolized plant particles” (soot) in ancient tattoos, but not the plant taxa themselves. Ethnographic studies of traditional tattooing have focused largely on tattoo motifs, meaning and tool technology, with less emphasis on the botanical materials involved. While it is true that “soot” from burned plant material is the most common tattoo pigment, a variety of other plants were traditionally used to produce tattoos by either injecting colors under the skin or via the activity of irritant chemicals that produced tattoo-like marks. Indigenous peoples around the world have used a variety of plant substances to produce tattoos for therapeutic, decorative, commemorative or ritual reasons; the rarity of the tattooing plant itself sometimes also lent extra meaning and significance to the tattoo. This paper looks at tattooing plants cross-culturally, with a focus on Oceania and North America.


Dr. Anna Dixon is Instructor of Anthropology at USFSP. She received her MA at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and PhD at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was formerly Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Eckerd College and Archaeological Laboratory Director for Pan-American Consultants in Tampa. She is a medical anthropologist and ethnobotanist who has conducted fieldwork in Micronesia, Polynesia and North America.

OCTOBER 8, 2019 SPEAKER: Dr. Charles Cobb

EARLY SPANISH CONTACT IN THE NEW WORLD 

On October 8, we welcome Florida Museum of Natural History Curator and Professor, Dr. Charles Cobb, who will present a program on one of his research projects titled, “The Remains of the Fray: Native American Re-purposing of Spanish Expedition Objects”. He will discuss an unusually large assemblage of 16th-century metal artifacts recently recovered in northern Mississippi. These likely derive from a major battle between Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and Native Americans in 1541. Their number, variety, and degree of refashioning have no parallels from contemporary sites in the Southeastern US.


Charles Cobb is the James E. Lockwood, Jr. Professor of Archaeology. His primary interest lie in the archaeology of the colonial era in the Southeastern US. This work has focused on how Native American societies contested and accommodated the arrival of Europeans, particularly in frontier zones. His project have included the establishment of 17th- and 18th-century Indian towns on the Savannah River, the French and Chickasaw wars in northern Mississippi, and his recent research on the archaeology of the De Soto Expedition. 

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 SPEAKER: Gene Dole

FINDING LUCY – OUR 3.5 MILLION-YEAR-OLD ANCESTOR

The 1972 and 1973 International Afar Research Expeditions were groundbreaking in what they discovered. The presentation on September 10 by Gene Dole will discuss his personal involvement in the expeditions, the formation of the first truly multinational paleontological research team, the geological background of the site, getting to the site, camp life, how fossils were discovered and the people of the Ethiopian Afar.

Then the lecture will discuss dating the site biostratigraphicly and radiometricly, the excavation of numerous hominid fossils including the world-famous Lucy, what early human ancestors were found and their impact on the field’ of paleoanthropology. There are photos of Afar people, fossils, the excavation process and the controversies around various interpretations of the finds.


Mr. Dole has a BA in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and has organized the purchase of all supplies for two archaeology expeditions to the Afar region of Ethiopia

MAY 2019 SPEAKER: Xenia-Paula Kyriakou

BIOARCHAEOLOGY OF MONASTICISM: THE UNRULY NUNS OF CYPRUS

This month we welcome FGCU visiting professor, forensic anthropologist Xenia Kyriakou who will present a program on one of her research projects titled, “Bioarchaeology of Monasticism: the unruly nuns of Cyprus.” The presentation will cover the discovery of the human remains from the St. Theodore nunnery in Cyprus and contextualise the findings of the skeletal analysis within the socio-cultural context of medieval monasticism.


Xenia Paula Kyriakou is a Greek-Cypriot forensic anthropologist and bioarchaeologist. Xenia studied at the University of Malta for her undergraduate degree and continued her graduate education and professional development at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She is currently a visiting instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University and soon to complete her PhD at the University of Warsaw, Poland. Xenia has worked in many countries both as a forensic expert dealing with the repatriation of those missing in armed-conflict but also as the bioarchaeologist in many archaeologist projects. As a bioarchaeologist, Xenia has engaged in the study of different ancient and historic populations. She is currently working on a research project that addresses behavior and lifestyle within monastic and religious settings of Medieval Europe.

APRIL 2019 SPEAKER: Maranda Kles

FLORIDA’S ARCHAIC AND MANASOTA PERIOD POPULATIONS: DISTANT COUSINS OR UNRELATED NEIGHBORS ?

We welcome back bio archaeologist and forensic archaeologist Maranda Kles to our April 9 meeting. With the discovery of the submerged burial site off Manasota Key, there has been a surge of interest in the relationships of pre-contact Native American populations in Southwest Florida. Previous research has examined the biological relationships of several submerged Archaic burial sites in Florida, including Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Spring, which show shared mortuary practices and shared biological relationships. Other research has examined the relationships of the later populations that were buried on upland Manasota Key and nearby sites. This talk will review previous findings and examine the relationship of the Archaic populations to the later land-based Manasota Key population, as well as offer a discussion about the possible relationship of the offshore Manasota population. 


Maranda Almy Kles, Ph.D., RPA is a Registered Professional Archaeologist with over 10 years of experience in prehistoric archaeology and physical anthropology specializing in Southeastern archaeology and bioarchaeology. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Florida and her thesis examined the biological and cultural associations of skeletal samples from throughout Florida. Dr. Kles has continued to expand on this research and has developed research interests in forensic anthropology and Southeastern archaeology.

MARCH 2019 SPEAKER: Robert S. Carr

NEW DISCOVERIES OF THE EVERGLADES LANDSCAPE: LOST CREEKS AND PREHISTORIC SITES

Archaeological testing of agricultural fields in the eastern Everglades has resulted in the discovery of creeks and prehistoric sites buried beneath the muck. This creek system had been previously unknown and was undetected during earlier assessments. Aerial photographs taken during and after sugar cane cultivation revealed the ancient creek system and resulted in the discovery of a 2000-3000 year old prehistoric midden (8PB17113) and cemetery (8PB17114).


Archaeologist Robert S. Carr is the Executive Director of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc. In his 35 years of experience in South Florida he was Miami-Dade County archaeologist and director of the Historic Preservation Division, and has worked for the National Park Service and the State of Florida. Carr was co-discoverer of the Miami Circle, led investigations at Preacher’s Cave in the Bahamas, and recently directed an extensive archaeological assessment at the Jupiter Lighthouse. He is the author of Digging Miami, a chronicle of the archaeology of greater Miami. He has a Master of Science Degree in Anthropology from Florida State University.

FEBRUARY 2019 SPEAKER: Theresa Schober

THE MAKING OF ESCAMPABA: THE KINGDOM OF CARLOS

Remnants of elevated mounds and ridges, sculpted canals and water courts remain a visible yet subtle reminder of the once thriving Calusa chiefdom that controlled the southern third of the Florida peninsula by the 16th century. Mound Key — the Calusa principal village, located in Estero Bay in Lee County Florida — remains the first specific location documented in the voyage of Juan Ponce de León in 1513 that named La Florida and was one of the first charted destinations of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés after founding St. Augustine in the fall of 1565. This early southwest Florida history is explored in a new documentary film. Executive Producer Theresa Schober will recount key aspects of this history in a presentation on how we represent the past through film and will show some clips from the recently completed project.


Ms. Schober holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. In addition to conducting archaeological projects over her 20-year career in south Florida, she specializes in collaborative planning and development of historic sites into interactive museum and park facilities. She serves as an advisory-board member to the Florida Council for History Education and is past president of the Florida Anthropological Society. She is currently the Manager of the Immokalee Pioneer Museum in Collier County, where we are planning a field trip in February.

JANUARY 2019 SPEAKER: Heather Walsh Haney

THE SCIENCE AND ART OF READING BONES

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

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!