Video Archive 2018

Professor Thomas J. Pluckhahn, University of South Florida
New Histories of Village Life at Crystal River


Today, more than half of the earth’s 7 billion people live in cities, and we take the benefits—and challenges—of urban life as a given. But the vast majority of human history was lived in communities of much smaller size. For social and biological scientists, the decision our ancestors made to begin living in larger communities is part of the larger puzzle of the evolution of cooperation: why and how did individuals choose to subsume their self-interests to those of larger social groups?

The transition to village life began some 10,000 years ago in the Middle East. In eastern North America, villages became common in the Woodland period, from around 1000 BC to AD 1050. Among the more prominent of these was the village that developed at the famous Crystal River site, north of Tampa. Recent research at Crystal River contributes to our understanding of the way villages form, grow, and eventually dissolve.

Dr. Pluckhahn recently published Histories of Village Life at Crystal River (2018)

APRIL 2018
Willet A. Boyer III, Ph.D. - Aucilla Research Institute
De Soto Slept Here, Not There: The Archaeology of Early Contact and Missions Sites


The Marion County region of northern central Florida was the location of three of the Timucuan chiefdoms Ocale, Potano and Acuera, referred to in accounts of the Hernando de Soto entrada, as well as several seventeenth-century mission sites. Claims were made in the popular press in 2012 that the so-called "White Ranch Site", 8MR3538, in this region represented the early contact and mission-era site of Potano. Long-term research at the Hutto/Martin Site (8MR3447) and the Richardson Site (8AL100) has confirmed that these sites represent genuine early contact and mission sites, while archaeological study at the purported "White Ranch Site" revealed no precontact, early contact, or mission-era site ever existed there. The results of study at these and other sites will be presented, and avenues for future long-term research in this region discussed.

Dr. John R. Bratten of the University of West Florida
Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano’s Colony & Fleet


In 1559, a Spanish fleet sailed into Pensacola Bay, Florida, to found a colony. What would have been a self-sustaining and permanent colony in the present-day United States was destroyed almost as soon as it began when a powerful hurricane struck, sinking most of the ships and much of the colonists’ food supplies. In 1992, one of the ships of the lost fleet was discovered, a second was found in 2006, and a third in 2016. In 2015, the UWF archaeology program announced the finding of the Luna settlement land site.

The investigation of the ships (dubbed Emanuel Point I, II, and III) and the settlement site by the University of West Florida’s Archaeology Program is revealing fascinating information about early Spanish colonization, seafaring, ship construction, and material culture. This is a multi-component project incorporating both terrestrial, underwater archaeology, and documents research as part of its overall research design, while incorporating a curriculum and training program for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Robert Sinibaldi Ph.D.
Vertebrate Fossils & Cultural Modification

The cultural modification of bones, antlers, and teeth by Paleoindians and those Native Americans that followed could constitute a book unto itself. Join the The Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education in conjunction with the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society for a presentation from Dr. Robert Sinibldi on the subjects of his latest book "What Your Fossils Can Tell You: Vertebrate Morphology, Pathology, and Cultural Modification". As a rule of thumb many use the 10,000 year mark as a limit for what is fossilized and what is considered sub-fossil. Therefore in North America there is a short geological window where culturally modified items of bone, antler, and teeth could also be fossilized. Many of the items that will be presented might be considered sub-fossil – however, they could/should still represent culturally what could have existed during the Paleoindian time period.

Video Archive 2012-2013

Video Archive 2010-2011

Video Archive 2008-2009