The 70th Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) was held May 11-13 at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus. This meeting brings together professionals and avocational enthusiasts to discuss the most current anthropological/archaeological research being conducted across Florida, both on land and undersea. Three researchers from the DHHC were on hand to update their colleagues on three ongoing projects taking place around the state, each partnering with a different organization.
DHHC Co-Director, Travis Doering, discussed the team’s work to document cultural heritage infrastructure at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with the presentation, “Digital Strategies to Preserve our Nation’s Space History-Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.” Much of the physical history of human space flight is located along the coastline of Cape Canaveral on Florida’s east coast. While the efforts of space exploration continue, many of the early sites that are associated with the development of rockets and space flight are losing the battle against time and climate. The DHHC is currently working to digitally preserve this infrastructure before it’s too late.
Lori Collins, DHHC Co-Director, presented, “Heritage at Risk: How 3D Spatial and Imaging Tools are Helping Managers and Researcher Better Preserve, Protect, and Interpret the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine, Florida.” This presentation highlighted a partnership with the National Park Service’s Southeast Archaeological Center to document critical cultural resources in northeast Florida. The Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas are two of the most visited historic sites in Florida and represent an important cultural touchstone for many in the state. Both are threatened by climate change impacts and this work will assist in the management of these resources by creating incredibly detailed digital records to track potential issues and fix them before they become too big of a problem. Additionally, the 3D resources generated from this work will become new interpretive tools for the park staff and shareable resources for visitors from around the world.
The DHHC’s Digital Technology Outreach Specialist, Kevin Gidusko, presented, “Digital Archaeology in St. Petersburg’s Parks.” This paper discussed the partnership between the DHHC and the City of St. Petersburg to digitally document archaeological resources contained in parks throughout the city so that better interpretive material, like augmented reality, could be made available to park visitors. Several parks managed by the city contain all or some portion of significant archaeological resources, such as shell mounds, that have been professionally investigated. The DHHC team created laser-scan models of the sites and mounds as well as artifacts associated with each of the resources. These will be made available to the public via enhanced interpretive signage, as educational resources used by educational entities such as the Florida Public Archaeology Network, and as a digital collection housed at the University of South Florida Library.
The DHHC team is staying busy creating digital heritage resources from across the state. Stay tuned to see where we end up next!