Florida National Park Service Southeast Archaeology Project

Principal Investigator: Irvy Quitmyer, 2011-2015

The Environmental Archaeology Program has recently entered into a collaborative research project with the National Park Service Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) to use the environmental archaeological resources of the NPS Southeast Region to develop a better understanding of past lifeways, human diets, landscape and seascape transformation, and how past populations interacted with natural resources.

Over the next year Irv Quitmyer and four graduate students from the Environmental Archaeology laboratory will identify and analyze zooarchaeological remains excavated from two National Seashore Parks:

  • At Cumberland Island National Seashore, Park Service archaeologists have begun to uncover the remains of Fort St. Andrews. The fort was built in A.D. 1736 as part of British expansion into Spanish Florida orchestrated by James Oglethorpe. By A.D. 1742 the fort was abandoned by British troops in response to Spanish military operations. The zooarchaeological remains represent an opportunity to compare St. Andrews food ways with nearby colonial Fort Frederica.

  • Canaveral National Seashore presents an opportunity to study zooarchaeological remains from two prehistoric shell middens; Castle Windy (ca. A.D. 1200), and Turtle Mound (1000 B.C. - A.D. 1400). These shell middens provide evidence for the use of natural resources by some of the earlist Florida residents. Further, we will analyze the geochemical profile of oxygen isotopes 18O/16O from coquina shells to chart changes is seawater temperature. This research is an excellent example of the value of shell middens as a souce of cultural and paleoenvironmental data.

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