skip to main content

Title: Hidden in Plain Sight: Digital Documentation of Cockroach Key (8HI2), a First Millennium Native American Mound Complex on the Western Coast of Florida, USA
We present digital documentation of the Cockroach Key archaeological site in Tampa Bay on the western coast of Florida, USA. The site consists of a mound and midden complex constructed by Native Americans between around 100 and 900 CE. Although well known to antiquarians of the 1800s and archaeologists of the early 1900s, the site has slowly become “hidden in plain sight” to both archaeologists (owing to the lack of contemporary investigations) and the public (owing to the density of vegetation). We use LiDAR-based mapping and ground-penetrating radar to document the site’s surface and subsurface features.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Studies in Digital Heritage
Page Range / eLocation ID:
107 to 130
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Recent advances in spatial and remote sensing technology have led to new methods in archaeological site identification and reconstruction, allowing archaeologists to investigate landscapes and sites on multiple scales. These remotely conducted surveys create virtual cultural landscapes and seascapes that archaeologists and the public interact with and experience, often better than traditional maps. Our study examines landscape reconstruction and archaeological site classifications from a phenomenological and human behavioural ecology (HBE) perspective. HBE aims to reconstruct how humans interacted with these places as part of their active and passive decision making. Through temporal reconstructions, archaeologists and others can experience and interpret past landscapes and subtle changes in cultural land‐ and seascapes. Here, we evaluate the use of remotely sensed data (lidar, satellite imagery, sonar, radar, etc.) for developing virtual cultural landscapes while also incorporating Indigenous perspectives. Our study compares two vastly different landscapes and perspectives: a seascape in coastal Alaska, USA, and a neotropical jungle in Belize, Central America. By incorporating ethnographic accounts, oral histories, Indigenous traditional knowledge and community engagement, archaeologists can develop new tools to understand decisions made in the past, especially pertaining to settlement selection and resource procurement. These virtual reconstructions become cognitive images of a possible place that the observer experiences. Virtual cultural landscapes allow archaeologists to reproduce landscapes that may otherwise be invisible and present them to different publics. These processes elucidate how landscapes changed over time based on human behaviours while simultaneously allowing archaeologists to engage with Indigenous communities and the public in the protection of prehistoric and historic sites and sacred spaces through cultural heritage management.

    more » « less
  2. Asouti, Eleni (Ed.)
    Today, the satellite-based monitoring of archaeological sites and site damage is a widespread practice, especially in conflict-affected regions. However, the vast majority of these remote sensing cultural heritage monitoring efforts have been led and conducted by remote researchers, and there remains an urgent need to embed this work within existing, in-country institutions at local and regional levels. Here, we present the archaeological site monitoring approach and results from the project Archaeological Practice and Heritage Protection in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq , a collaborative project between the Sirwan Regional Project and Kurdish Iraqi archaeologists aimed at generating a fully functional and sustainable programme of archaeological site management co-created with, and managed by, Kurdish Iraqi archaeologists and antiquities officials. Between August 2018 and February 2020, 376 archaeological sites in the Sirwan/Upper Diyala River Valley region, located in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, were assessed for damage by Kurdish Iraqi archaeologists in collaboration with the Sirwan Regional Project. This work represents the first large-scale, systematic dataset of archaeological site conditions and longer-term damage in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Our results show that 86.7% of the assessed archaeological sites and 38.6% of the site surface area in this region were affected by damage between 1951–2018, and demonstrate the great urgency with which action must be taken to develop appropriate safeguarding measures for the KRI’s archaeological heritage. On the basis of these results, we outline relevant recommendations for the immediate protection of archaeological sites in Garmian and the greater Kurdistan Region. 
    more » « less
  3. Ethnographers have ably documented the great extent and diversity of social institutions that contemporary fishers and shellfishers employ to collectively manage common property resources. However, the collective action regimes developed among ancient maritime societies remain understudied by archaeologists. We summarize research into the development and form of collective action among the maritime societies of the western peninsular coast of Florida, USA, drawing on our own recent work in the Tampa Bay area and previous work elsewhere in the region, especially the Calusa area to the south. Archaeological evidence suggests that collective action became more important in Tampa Bay in the first centuries CE, probably owing to a marine transgression that resulted in more productive estuaries. Groups here staked claims to productive estuarine locations through the founding of villages, the building of mounds, and the construction of relatively simple marine enclosures. Historically, these changes resulted in societies of relatively small scale and limited authoritarian government. In contrast, collective action developed later in the Calusa area, may have begun in relation to resource scarcity than plenty, and may been founded in kinship rather than in public ritual. Collective action in the Calusa area resulted in projects of greater scale and complexity, providing a foundation for more hierarchical and authoritarian social formations. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    The rockshelter of Crvena Stijena (Nikšić municipality, Montenegro) is one of the most important Paleolithic sites in southeastern Europe. Its 20-meter deep sequence of archaeological deposits spans the Middle Paleolithic through the Bronze Age. The Middle Paleolithic deposits themselves, which cover an astonishing 12 meters in depth, contain one of the longest records of Neanderthal occupation in the region. Since its discovery in 1954, the site has been the subject of two major research projects; the data they have produced have helped make it a critical type-site for the Paleolithic in the Balkans. In this paper, our goal is to introduce the aims and methodologies of the new research collaboration at Crvena Stijena that we established in 2016. We first present the site within the context of the Middle Paleolithic of the western Balkans. We then describe the history of research at Crvena Stijena, and summarize the results of the last project, which were recently published. Finally, we describe the research questions that are guiding our new investigations, and the methods we are applying in order to answer these questions while preserving as much of the site as possible for future generations of archaeologists. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    The use of fire played an important role in the social and technological development of the genusHomo. Most archaeologists agree that this was a multi-stage process, beginning with the exploitation of natural fires and ending with the ability to create fire from scratch. Some have argued that in the Middle Palaeolithic (MP) hominin fire use was limited by the availability of fire in the landscape. Here, we present a record of the abundance of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organic compounds that are produced during the combustion of organic material, from Lusakert Cave, a MP site in Armenia. We find no correlation between the abundance of light PAHs (3–4 rings), which are a major component of wildfire PAH emissions and are shown to disperse widely during fire events, and heavy PAHs (5–6 rings), which are a major component of particulate emissions of burned wood. Instead, we find heavy PAHs correlate with MP artifact density at the site. Given that hPAH abundance correlates with occupation intensity rather than lPAH abundance, we argue that MP hominins were able to control fire and utilize it regardless of the variability of fires in the environment. Together with other studies on MP fire use, these results suggest that the ability of hominins to manipulate fire independent of exploitation of wildfires was spatially variable in the MP and may have developed multiple times in the genusHomo.

    more » « less