ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE of AMERICA

November 21, 2015 - Dr. Nancy Thomas, Professor Emeritus at Jacksonville University
Sleuthing in the Aegean Bronze Age: ‘Agamemnon’s Dagger’ or a Modern Forgery?

When a beautifully inlaid dagger, said to be from Greece at the time of Agamemnon, Achilles and Helen of Troy, appeared on the auction block in Switzerland in 1990, scholars around the world were astonished. Only twelve such weapons were known to exist, most of them found at Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876. Where had this new dagger been all this time? Who owned it? Was it a bona fide Mycenaean weapon? If genuine, it would be priceless. Nancy Thomas, Jacksonville University art historian and a specialist in Greek Bronze Age art, tried to get answers to these questions. She first wrote to the British scientist who had chemically tested the dagger and who vouched for its authenticity. When she asked for details of his tests, strange things began to happen. The audience enjoyed a true detective story involving archaeologists and scientists, collectors and curators, and the behind-the-scenes world of the international antiquities market.

October 17, 2015 - International Archaeology Day
​Brent Handley, M.S., R.P.A., Vice President and Senior Manager of Environmental Services, Inc. of Jacksonville
Digging Into the Business of Archaeology

An archaeologist, Handley highlighted the practical aspects of his company's work. Discussion included the selection of a project and site for investigation and mapping; the role of the archaeologist in analysis of historic structures; the collection and storage of artifacts; and the preparation of predictive models for use in industry.

September 19, 2015 - Mr. Robert Carr The Miami Circles: Uncovering 3,000 Years of Miami’s

This lecture described archaeological discoveries made at the mouth of the Miami River. After the preservation of the Miami Circle on the south bank of the river in 1999, archaeological excavations were conducted on the north bank since 2012 when over 2,000 post holes have been uncovered representing numerous Tequesta structures, including eleven circles. On the same parcel evidence of a Seminole War fort and the foundations of Miami’s first hotel, the Royal Palm, have been uncovered. These discoveries and their dilemmas for preservationists and developers were discussed

May 16, 2015 - Dr. John Kantner, Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School University of North Florida
Chaco Canyon: From the Outside Looking In

The ancient ruins of Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico stir our imagination with questions about their origins, purpose, and demise. Historically, research has concentrated on the stunning architecture and what transpired within the canyon walls. In the past few decades, however, archaeologists have turned to a consideration of Chaco’s tremendous impact across the American Southwest, especially in distant villages that lived in the shadow of Chaco Canyon. In this colorfully illustrated lecture, Southwest archaeologist Kantner described how new interdisciplinary research is answering critical questions about the ancient Chacoan world.

April 25, 2015 - John C. Whitehurst, Archaeologist for NPS, Timucuan EHP
Mill Cove Complex of Northeast Florida: A Possible Gateway Trade Center Between the Caribbean and Mississippi Culture Area

Grant Mound (8Du14) and Shields Mound (8Du12) comprise the Mill Cove Complex where research over the last 25 years has established a cultural connection between the Mississippian Period component of the complex with Cahokia cultural area in the middle Mississippi valley. Recently, artifacts have come to light from avocational archaeologist Ken Fowler, a Jacksonville resident who in 1987 salvaged archaeological materials from Grant Mound prior to its destruction by a residential housing project. He, along with other professional and avocational archaeologists, was fighting to obtain as much information about this important site before access to it was denied. His discoveries appear to possibly link the Mill Cove Complex with the Taino culture of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. This lecture was Ken’s story of these artifacts and an assessment of their relationship to the Caribbean prehistoric culture and the possibility Northeast Florida was a gateway of trade between two disparate cultural regions.

March 21, 2015 - Dr. Kathleen Deagan, Florida Museum of Natural History
The Lost Cemeteries of St. Augustine

The cemeteries that remain marked above the ground in St. Augustine are only the most recent chapter in the history of the town’s reverence for the deceased. Less well-know are the many buried graveyards from St. Augustine’s First Spanish Period (1565-1763) that have been largely forgotten and covered over by modern construction. At least six of these cemeteries have been relocated and partly restudied by archaeologists and bioarchaeologists. This talk considered what we have learned from them over the past 75 years.

February 21, 2015 - Dr. Lori Collins and Dr. Travis Doering, Co-Directors of the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies (AIST) University of South Florida
3D Survey and New Technologies for Heritage Preservation and Documentation Projects

Today, much of the world’s cultural heritage is at risk from natural and human-induced causes. New technologies such as terrestrial laser scanning, advances in imaging and photography, 3D printing, and other spatial and visualization techniques are greatly advancing capabilities for heritage preservation and research. The ability to rapidly and accurately document the world around us is revolutionizing survey capabilities and are creating new areas of research integration. Using case study examples from our projects around the world, Dr. Collins showed the latest in 3D research involving heritage and archaeological documentation in Florida, the Southeast U.S and from international projects.

January 24, 2015 - Dr. Nancy de Grummond, professor at Florida State University
Etruscan Human Sacrifice in Ritual and Myth

Scholars have been reluctant to believe that the Etruscans practiced human sacrifice. However, there are many representations in Etruscan mythic art that clearly depict human sacrifice. While the myths may show a kind of surrogate for actual killing, they nevertheless may also reflect actual rituals and beliefs associated with such killing. This presentation assembles literary, archaeological and iconographical evidence to be studied anew with an open mind in order to determine what is most likely to have represented real sacrificial practice as opposed to fictional, exaggerated, symbolic, or mythological matter.

PAST LECTURES - 2015