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History Buffs Can Dig into Florida History This Month at St. Petersburg’s Weedon Island

Archaeology | Archaeologist | Archaeological Dig

March is Florida Archaeology Month and the Weedon Island Preserve is offering archaeology programs for citizens of all ages to learn more about the history of the state and why it is important to preserve important eras that showcase Florida’s rich cultural heritage. 

ST. PETERSBURG – Recent excavations at Weedon Island have uncovered substantial early Safety Harbor era deposits, dating from A.D. 1000-1200. There is evidence that during the Safety Harbor period, people in the Tampa Bay area reorganized themselves socially and politically. Platform mounds were constructed that may have helped to structure new forms of interaction between and across communities.  The preliminary results of recent fieldwork will be presented from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 19 in a presentation by Christina Perry Sampson, Ph.D., called Early Safety Harbor Communities at Weedon Island Preserve.

From 10 a.m. to noon, on March 20 and March 21, citizens of all ages can join the Florida Public Archaeology Network to experience archaeology in various ways, ranging from the methods archaeologists use to learn about the past to re-creating the technologies of Florida’s early residents.

Weedon Island Preserve protects more than 3,700 acres of natural ecosystems and is located at 1800 Weedon Drive NE in St. Petersburg. The preserve is operated under the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources Department and is open to the public seven days a week, including holidays, from 7 a.m. to 15 minutes before sunset. Its many outdoor activities include walking trails, a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch.  UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County offers classes, programs and activities at the Cultural and Natural History Center.

The Center features the permanent exhibit, Connecting People and Place, an art-inspired, hands-on educational exhibit that reveals the area’s history, ecology and people. Other Center exhibits include Uncovering Past Cultures; Understanding Culture Through Its Pottery; Relive the Recent Past: Memories, Mischief and Movies; Discovery of Hidden Worlds; What is a Watershed?; and a virtual tour of the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of Weedon Island artifacts. The center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. It is closed all Pinellas County holidays.  To learn more about Weedon Island Preserve and its upcoming programs and events, call (727) 453-6500. To register for programs and events, go to weedonislandpreserve.org. Videos featuring Weedon Island Preserve can be viewed at youtube.com/pcctv1.

Weedon Island | St. Petersburg | Pinellas County | Pinellas Parks

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