Sarasota-Manatee, Florida

Public Archaeology in Sarasota

Influenced by public archaeology programs around the USA, from 1997 to 2003 I organized a series of small scale projects around Sarasota County in partnership with the Sarasota County Archaeologist. There were pedagogical goals to the endeavor: to offer New College students experiential knowledge in archaeology and historic preservation, to offer service learning opportunities, and to build an archaeology focused on a civic engagement. The projects include the Paleo-Indian and Archaic period site of Little Salt Spring, the late 19th to early 20th century Rosemary Cemetery, and the early 20th century Venice Train Depot. The endeavor contributed to a National Registry of Historic Places nomination, helped with two museum exhibits at the Sarasota County History Center (2001 and 2006), trained several generations of New College students, and volunteered numerous public presentations and lectures as well as support for other archaeologists involved in public archaeology in the region. Publications related to those projects can be found on my CV.

Looking for Angola

In 2004, I joined a team of scholars looking for an early 19th century maroon community on the Manatee River. The community is known today as Angola.  My involvement includes supervision of the archaeological research which revolves around methodological challenges of locating a maroon community, public archaeology, raising questions for the archaeological and representational aspects of the work, and outreach to a broad audience to encourage local and descendant communities to join in the search.

For information on this project, see the webpage as well as searching YouTube for "Looking for Angola" videos.

Traces of Our Past

In 2006, a community-based endeavor began the search for the hidden histories of the Manatee River communities. These histories include stories of pre-Columbian Native Americans and Seminoles, Spanish explorers and Cuban fishermen, free Blacks and enslaved Africans, and Anglo-American men, women, and children. Those hidden histories expand the search for the recent beyond the goals of Looking for Angola. The link to Traces of Our Past can be found on our partner's website Reflections of Manatee, Inc.  

New College Public Archaeology Lab

Opened in 2010, the New College Public Archaeology Lab encompasses the strands developed by Public Archaeology in Sarasota and Traces of Our Past via the dynamics of community-based public anthropology. Information on NCPAL is available at the college website, which includes the annual newsletters (on the right side of the page, as pdfs) and by "liking" its facebook page NCPAL is dedicated to preserving regional heritage through archaeological excavations and interpretations, historic preservation, and educational outreach and community engagement.