The Archaeology Institute is an educational, research, and service facility concerned with the prehistoric and historic archaeological resources of the northwest Florida region. Archaeological investigations are conducted in both terrestrial and underwater settings. The Archaeology Institute building, located on the University of West Florida Main Campus, includes a museum, research and teaching lab, and faculty offices.
Administratively, the Archaeology Institute is part of the UWF Division of Anthropology and Archaeology and provides educational support to the Anthropology Department’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Pensacola. In addition, a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation is offered in cooperation with the Department of History. Students obtain extensive training and hands-on experience in classroom, field school, laboratory and fieldwork settings. The Institute also provides training and services in bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. Facilities include exhibit space, laboratories, offices and collection curation space in three buildings. An exhibit hall, open to the public, is located in the Archaeology Institute Building (#89). Standard archaeological research equipment maintained by the Institute includes excavation and laboratory tools, computers with CAD and GIS capabilities, digital cameras, total stations, microscopes and vehicles. Special facilities include terrestrial and marine remote sensing equipment, forensic anthropology/human osteology labs, artifact conservation labs, diving equipment, boats and work platforms, comparative faunal collections, research libraries and prehistoric/historic collections from two decades of previous archaeological research in northwest Florida. The Archaeology Institute serves the northwest Florida region not only through its academic and extensive public outreach programs, but also by providing professional archaeological services and consulting for historic preservation and cultural resource management undertakings.
John Worth, associate professor of historical archaeology with UWF Department of Anthropology, looks at a pottery sherd with Jan Lloyd, UWF Archaeology Institute lab director.
[photo: Ben Twingley, Pensacola News Journal]
UWF's recent archaeological excavations, like the Luna Settlement Project, have inspired public interest in the history and archaeology of northwest Florida. The Archaeology Institute has created museum exhibits, outdoor interpretive educational displays, and archaeological trail sites. These exhibits, museums, and parks educate the community about the area's history and attract tourists traveling through the region. There are several places to see the artifacts that UWF archaeologists have unearthed.
Many of the most spectacular artifacts from all time periods - Prehistoric Native American, Colonial, Early American, and Victorian - are on display in the exhibit area of the Archaeology Institute. Artifacts, such as a 300-year old cannon from Santa Maria de Galve, are on display here. In addition, exhibits present information on site excavation, archaeological tools and conservation of artifacts from maritime excavations.
The Archaeology Institute contributed to the "City of Five Flags" exhibit at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum in Pensacola. The exhibit explores the history of Pensacola via artifacts, photographs and stories told through archaeology and preservation efforts. Renovated in 2012, the City of Five Flags exhibit includes streamlined timelines, engaging interactives, one-of-a-kind artifacts, and immersive environments all designed to help visitors experience life in Pensacola under five different flags.
Located on the Pensacola Naval Air Station on a bluff overlooking Pensacola Pass, the first permanent settlement in Pensacola was found, investigated and developed into an open-air exhibit by UWF between 1995 and 1998. Visitors can stroll through the area once occupied by Spanish colonists and see the reconstructed northwest bastion of the wooden Fort San Carlos de Austria with two of the original cannons mounted on the walls above the fighting deck. A series of interesting historical markers offer a self-guided tour through the fort, village and cemeteries. Many of the artifacts from the Presidio are on exhibit at the Archaeology Institute.
Located in Historic Pensacola Village in downtown Pensacola, the Colonial Archaeological Trail is a project of the UWF Historic Trust, the City of Pensacola, and the University of West Florida Archaeology Institute. It is a collection of outdoor exhibits relating to the Spanish, British, and American occupations of Pensacola. This interpretive trail highlights the rich deposits of colonial history and archaeology in the heart of downtown Pensacola. For more information, download the Colonial Archaeological Trail brochure.
In addition to including members of the general public in projects, classes and events, UWF archaeologists regularly present public talks at no cost to schools, teacher workshops and organizations such as Rotary, Sertoma, Elderhostel, and garden clubs. UWF archaeological investigations are often conducted in publicly accessible places. Students and staff are always willing to discuss the excavations with visitors, and tours are available upon request.
page information credit: University of West Florida, http://www.historicpensacola.org/
photos from the sources listed above, as well as publicly posted online sites with thanks to the contributors