This is an illustrated lecture wherein Prof. Riess will discuss the discovery and studies of the four colonial ships that have been discovered beneath modern New York City: the so-called Tijger, the merchant ship beneath the South Street Seaport Museum, the Ronson ship, and the World Trade Center Ship.  Dr. Riess has been the principal investigator for the latter two sites and is the author of The Ship That Held up Wall Street and Angel Gabriel: The Elusive English Galleon. He has also published several articles.  READ MORE ABOUT DR. RIESS

Keith Ashley is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and the University of North Florida. He grew up in northern Florida and moved north to attend Auburn University, where he received a BA in Anthropology. Keith returned to the sunshine state to earn a MS from Florida State University and a PH.D. from the University of Florida.  Over the past 20 years, he has been involved in archaeological excavation and research throughout the southeastern United State.  Field projects have ranged from 4000 year old shell middens along the Atlantic coast to 17th century Creek Indian villages in central Alabama. Dr. Ashley's current research focuses on the archaeology of Native Americans in northeastern Florida before and after European contact. 

This lecture will present a discussion of two research projects that involve incorporating archaeological methods for crime scene reconstruction. The first project used game cameras and GIS to understand the impact of vulture scavenging at scenes involving decomposing bodies.  A number of scenarios were constructed to determine how scene variables affected dispersal of remains.  The second research project used photogrammetry to document mock scenes to develop guidelines for improving documentation of scene context at forensic scenes with skeletal remains. 

March 16, 2019
​​Dr. Warren Riess,
Professor Emeritus at the University of Maine

Four Colonial Ships Found Beneath Manhattan

Newnans Lake Canoe Site in Alachua County Florida was an unprecedented archaeological find, and is still the most unique of its kind in North America and possibly the world with 101 pre-contact period dugout canoes recorded along its shoreline. For over 15 years it has been studied and revisited to better interpret the ancient peopling of Florida, migration, mobility,  trade, travel, paleoclimate and more.   It inspired the creation of what became an award winning traveling exhibit developed by the Florida Museum called “Dugout Canoes: Paddling Through the Americas.”

The almost perfectly preserved remains of “Ötzi the Iceman” may give us a glimpse into medicines practiced by prehistoric peoples. We know that “Ötzi” carried a medical kit with him – his own portable pharmacy with over ten different plant products that could heal and cure. Discoveries about ancient medical techniques may be possible by studying Otzi’s singular case.

Amazing forensic science has recovered much detail about Otzi’s life. This lecture explores the medical evidence, including material technology he carried with vital medical and bioarchaeological data. This is research conducted under the auspices of National Geographic and the Institute for EthnoMedicine where Hunt is also a Research Associate in Archeoethnobotany. Hunt has filmed several documentaries (2008, 2010) for National Geographic on Otzi and is currently involved in a third production (2015). 

May 18, 2019
Dr. Keith Ashley, Professor at the University of North Florida
Mocama Indians and Spanish Missions: Life Beneath the Bell

Award-winning archaeologist, author, and National Geographic grantee Patrick Hunt earned his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and has taught at Stanford University for 25 years. Patrick directed the Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project from 1994 to 2012, and has continued project-related fieldwork in the region in the years since. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council, and he frequently lectures for National Geographic on Hannibal and the European mummy nicknamed Ötzi the Iceman. 


He is also a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, as well as an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of nearly 20 published books including the best-seller Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, Alpine Archaeology, and most recently, Hannibal. He has a lifelong love of the Alps, having lived there for several months each year since 1994.

April 27, 2019
​​Dr. John Schultz, Professor at the University of Central Florida

The Application of Archaeological Methods for Forensic Archeological Research


In the past decade innovative “green” procedures have been developed to address the many dried dugout canoes that have been exposed, pulled and /or sampled from Florida’s drought-impacted lake beds, riverbanks, other shorelines. Current research includes applying modern technological approaches such as strontium isotopes to assess their potential for using these log boats/canoe trees for sourcing the woods origin of manufacture to better understand the role and significance of canoes to reconstructing paleoenvironment, past peoples lifeways and their ties to ancient waters. 

When most people think of Spanish Missions, they think of California, New Mexico, or even Texas. What many do not realize is that the Spanish Mission system in Florida occurred earlier and lasted longer than it did in any of those other areas. Among the Mocama-speaking Timucua of northeastern Florida, mission communities existed between 1587 and 1702. This lecture discusses Mocama life under the mission bell, with emphasis on archaeological excavations at San Juan del Puerto and Santa Cruz de Guadalquini in Jacksonville. ​

October 19, 2019
​​Dr. Katherine Grillo, Assistant Professor, University of Florida

The Lives and Deaths of Neolithic Herders in Northwestern Kenya:New Archaeological Research at the Turkana Basin’s Megalithic Cemeteries

Donna is Florida Archaeology and Bioarchaeology Collections manager and oversees the daily access, use, digitization, rehabilitation and maintenance of these holdings. In addition, her research involves the documentation and analysis of Florida’s ancient dugout canoes, including those exposed in recent years by severe drought. This is a collaborative effort between the Florida Museum and other state and local institutions and the private sector to better inform and chronicle these unique artifacts. She holds a concurrent appointment in Environmental Archaeology as a Research Associate in Archaeobotany where she studies plant remains from southeastern U.S. archaeological sites (e.g., Florida- Useppa Island, Whitebelt I Circle-Ditch, Garden Patch; Georgia- St. Catherines Island shell rings) and more recently the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix).

September 21, 2019
Donna Ruhl, Collections Manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Florida’s Ancient Dugout Canoes: More Canoes and Continuing Research Offer New Insights and Initiatives

For almost one hundred years the immense metropolis at Kerkenes in central Turkey has lain shrouded in mystery.  Scholars have puzzled over this large pre-planned city apparently built and occupied by the Phrygians, of King Midas fame, for a brief period of time between the fall of the Assyrian Empire and rise of the Persian Empire around 550 BC.  Over the past twenty-seven years, the site has been a showcase of new technologies being used alongside active excavation, useful in reconstructing the plan of the buried city and the activities and interactions of the people who inhabited it.  Together, the latest excavations and technologies are shedding new light on what transpired in this ancient city in the years prior to its fiery destruction.

NOVEMBER 16, 2019 
Dr. Scott Branting, professor at the University of Central Florida
​The Rise and Fall of Kerkenes: New Technologies for Exploring Ancient Cities


Dr. Branting is an archaeologist with specializations in the ancient Near East and geospatial science. He holds advanced degrees in archaeology and geography from the University at Buffalo and the University of Chicago. For ten years he served as the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He directs the Kerkenes Project in central Turkey, an enormous ancient city that was built around 600 BC by the Phrygians of King Midas fame and destroyed around 547 BC during the rise of the Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. The Kerkenes Project seeks to understand this ancient city, and aspects of other cities by comparison, through excavations, remote sensing, and advanced simulations.  Dr. Branting is also involved in using satellite images to monitor cultural heritage sites from space, and has worked on archaeological projects around the world.

This lecture will explore the rise of Hatshepsut--king’s daughter, king’s sister, king’s wife—who ultimately became pharaoh of Egypt.  Declaring herself as the offspring of Egypt’s supreme deity, she seized control of one of the ancient world’s greatest kingdoms. 

January 26, 2019
​Dr. Patrick Hunt, Professor at Stanford University
Timely Remedies: The Ancient Medicine of Otzi the Iceman

February 23, 2019
​​Christianne Henry,
formerly of the Walter's Art Museum, Baltimore​

Hatshepsut:  Daughter of Amun-Re, Pharaoh of Egypt

May 18, 2019
​​Dr. Keith Ashley, Professor at the University of North Florida

Mocama Indians and Spanish Missions: Life Beneath the Bell

Christianne Henry is an independent scholar in the field of Egyptology with a Masters Degree from the Johns Hopkins University. She attended the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Institut für Ägyptologie, in Munich, Germany, taking graduate courses in Egyptology. Her undergraduate degrees include a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies/Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in French Studies from Towson University. 

As Head of the Library at the Walter’s Museum, Henry has extensive experience with all aspects of preparing materials for exhibition and producing the museum’s publications.  Her many visits to Egypt have given her a unique perspective on Egyptian history.  She recently taught an OLLI course on Egypt’s significant queens. 

Over 5,000 years ago, cattle herders built the earliest and most massive monumental sites in eastern Africa. These megalithic and architecturally complex “pillar sites,” located on the ancient shores of Lake Turkana, served as communal burial grounds for hundreds of individuals who lived during a time of dramatic social and climatic changes. This presentation will detail results from new excavations at the Lothagam North, Manemanya, and Jarigole Pillar Sites, and discuss how and why herding communities came together to construct these spectacular sites. Her research has led to new theories regarding these early cultures.  

Dr. John Schultz is a biological anthropologist with specializations in forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology. He is also a consulting forensic anthropologist for the Districts 9 and 25 Medical Examiner’s Office.  His projects have addressed search and recovery issues involving decomposing bodies and skeletal remains in order to develop evidence-based guidelines for forensic practitioners.