Thursday, April 18, 2019 7 PM – 8 PM at Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center

A Prehistoric Cemetery In the Gulf of Mexico

An unexpected discovery by a fossil hunter diving a quarter-mile off Manasota Key near Venice, Florida, has led to a groundbreaking archaeological project that could change everything scientists thought they knew about offshore archaeology. Investigations by the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research at the Manasota Key Offshore site (8SO7030) revealed evidence of a prehistoric Native American burial site in what appears to have been a freshwater peat-bottomed pond thousands of years ago. Ongoing archaeological investigation revealed multiple discrete areas containing peat, worked wooden stakes that were used in burial practice, and the remains of multiple individuals. Radiocarbon dating of two stakes dated them to more than 7,200 years old. When this site was in use, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico were about 30 feet below their current level. This talk presents results from remote sensing investigations and underwater archaeological documentation while addressing long term management plans for this delicate and unique site.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the WIP Cultural and Natural History Center at (727) 453-6500.

This program is sponsored by the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.