Trevor Duke, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Florida & Lindsey Parsons, M.A. Student, Geology Department, University of Georgia
Gulf Coast Archaeology: Examining Society and Climate through Material Culture

Two winners of the 2019 and 2020 Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education (AWIARE) and Levett Foundation Grant will discuss their winning research along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

C. Trevor Duke is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at the University of Florida. His research focuses on how people use labor and objects to create social relationships. His dissertation research centers around developing new methods for investigating pottery specialization in small-scale societies.

Lindsey Parsons is a second-year master’s student in the Geology Department at the University of Georgia. Her focus is interdisciplinary in nature combining the practices the paleontology and archaeology to understand the resource use of scallops by native communities along the gulf coast of Florida. Her project is being funded by the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeology Research and Education, Inc. (AWIARE)/ Levitt Foundation. She currently works as a research assistant at the Laboratory of Archaeology working on an NSF-funded project. She completed her undergraduate geology degree at the University of Georgia as well in 2013.


Robert Austin, Ph.D., Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education, Inc.
Once There Was A Mound . . .

During the third week of July 1950, bulldozers began chewing away at the sides of a large shell mound in downtown St. Petersburg, bringing to an end a once iconic landmark. During the city's early development, images of Shell Mound Park were used to promote tourism and boost real estate sales. But the fact that little was known archaeologically about the mound enabled naive, and sometimes outlandish, interpretations of its origin and function to be perpetuated by the public and press. These ultimately influenced public and political perceptions of the mound's value and Shell Mound Park became a source of conflict between the forces of progress and preservation. Eventually, the mound succumbed to the advancing front of urbanization. This is that story.

Robert Austin has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Florida and worked in the cultural resource management field for nearly 40 years before retiring in 2015. He is a co-founder of the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education, Inc. (AWIARE) where he currently serves as Treasurer and Principal Archaeologist.