Archaeology Day

Saturday, 3/16/2013

10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Free with Estate admission

In celebration of Florida Archaeology Month, the Deering Estate at Cutler will host its 2013 Archaeology Day on Saturday, March 16th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Activities and programs for the entire family include educational activities, expert lectures and walking tours of the Estate’s unique natural areas. The event is free with regular admission - $12 for adults and $7 for children (ages 4-14).

Florida's diverse history and prehistory stretches back over 12,000 years. Every March, statewide programs and events celebrating Florida Archaeology Month are designed to encourage Floridians and visitors to learn more about the archaeology and history of the state, and to preserve these important parts of Florida's rich cultural heritage. Archaeology Month 2013 explores the last 500 years of Florida history. Florida Archaeology Month is coordinated by the Florida Anthropological Society, and supported by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources. Additional sponsors for 2013 include the Florida Archaeological Council, Florida Public Archaeology Network, state and local museums, historical commissions, libraries, and public and private school systems.

This year, Archaeology Day at the Deering Estate celebrates “The Rock,” with special guest archaeologist and lecturer, Amber Yuellig. The Estate features excellent examples of unique geologic features including karst topography, terrestrial and aquatic caves, Cutler Creek, and the Silver Bluff formation. These formations have been exposed above sea level for the last 120,000 years. Amber and her husband Lee Florea, have been researching the Deering Estate at Cutler’s exposed rock and terrestrial caves for several years. During her morning and afternoon programs, some of that research, as well as a walking tour of the hammock and pine rockland will be offered to guests. There will also be an afternoon lecture with Charles Lawson – “Recent Underwater Archaeological Investigations in Biscayne National Park, the English China and Soldier Key Wrecks.”?

Deering Estate Artist in Residence Antonia Wright and Artist Marina Font present compelling photography focusing on the female figure. Guests can also enjoy the fine art photography exhibit "Between Sea and Sky: Dreams of a Visionary" by Patricia Gonzalez-Osorio as she shares her architectural photography from Charles Deering's former properties in Spain. Exhibit runs through April 23, 2013.

A special thanks to Florida Public Archaeology Network, Archaeology Society of Southern Florida, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Historic and Archaeological Resources, Biscayne National Park, the National Park Service, Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc., History Miami, and the Everglades Outpost.

Program schedule for the 2013 Archaeology Day at the Deering Estate at Cutler:

10:30 am – 12:30 pm & 1:30 - 3:30 pm: Book Nook by the Bay
“Limestone Rock Game”
Enjoy a relaxing trip through time as you play the limestone rock game. See what happens to our limestone rocks during times that have had higher ocean water and lower ocean water. This is a wonderful opportunity to see how rocks and water have shaped our community. Book Nook by the Bay is offered in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Public Library System & Lynne Hudgins from Nature's Natives.

10:30 am: Lecture in the Richmond Cottage Dining Room, followed by a walking tour.
Topic: “The Rock – A Natural History of the Deering Glade”
Featured Speaker: Amber Yuellig

Following a lecture on the Estate’s unique karst topography, take a walking tour with archaeologist and guest lecturer, Amber Yuellig as she highlights the geological formation known as the Miami Rock Ridge, which traverses most of Miami’s Atlantic coast. It is most prominent and visible in southern Miami-Dade County, particularly at the Estate. The Miami Rock Ridge is an important foundation for the Miami area, and its visible outcrops at the Estate present a rare opportunity for up-close experiences with large-scale geologic and hydrologic elements. The Miami Rock Ridge in the Deering Estate at Cutler also features excellent examples of karst topography, which is characterized by solution holes and caves created by historical movement of freshwater through limestone. These features are common on parts of the Estate and represent a unique component of Florida geology. Regional lowering of the freshwater table over the past century has drained and exposed numerous interconnected shallow aquatic and terrestrial caverns. The Estate has six (6) known subterranean terrestrial and aquatic caves, none of which are deeper than eight feet underground.

1:00 pm: Lecture in the Richmond Cottage Dining Room
Topic: “Recent Underwater Archaeological Investigations in Biscayne National Park, the English China and Soldier Key Wrecks”
Featured Speaker: Charles Lawson

Biscayne National Park, the largest marine park in the National Park Service, is in our own back yard. The park is home to scores of historic and archeological resources, including dozens of shipwrecks. In the last three years the park has been conducting archeological and historical research at several of these sites. The archeology of two of them, both 18th century merchant vessels, will be discussed. Also, Biscayne National Park's Maritime Heritage Trail is open to the public, come and learn how to visit several of the shipwrecks of Biscayne National Park yourself.

2:30 pm: Lecture in the Richmond Cottage Dining Room, followed by a walking tour.
Topic: “The Rock – A Natural History of the Deering Glade”
Featured Speaker: Amber Yuellig

Following a lecture on the Estate’s unique karst topography, take a walking tour with archaeologist and guest lecturer, Amber Yuellig as she highlights the geological formation known as the Miami Rock Ridge, which traverses most of Miami’s Atlantic coast. It is most prominent and visible in southern Miami-Dade County, particularly at the Estate. The Miami Rock Ridge is an important foundation for the Miami area, and its visible outcrops at the Estate present a rare opportunity for up-close experiences with large-scale geologic and hydrologic elements. The Miami Rock Ridge in the Deering Estate at Cutler also features excellent examples of karst topography, which is characterized by solution holes and caves created by historical movement of freshwater through limestone. These features are common on parts of the Estate and represent a unique component of Florida geology. Regional lowering of the freshwater table over the past century has drained and exposed numerous interconnected shallow aquatic and terrestrial caverns. The Estate has six (6) known subterranean terrestrial and aquatic caves, none of which are deeper than eight feet underground. 

About Amber Yuellig:
Amber Yuellig is a graduate of the University of South Florida (2007) with a MA in Anthropology focusing on Public Archaeology. She has primarily worked in the southeastern United States with most of her work in occurring in Florida swamps of the panhandle in Woodland and Mississippian as a part of her thesis research and in the Florida Everglades with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Following a move to Kentucky with her husband, Lee Florea (BSU Geology Department), Amber accepted an appointment with the National Park Service at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Amber moved to Muncie permanently in 2011. Her research interests are primarily the Woodland, Mississippian periods as well as late 1800s historic archaeology, ceramic technology, cave archaeology, and natural resource booms. In her free time, Amber spends much of her time caving and is active in caving organizations both on the regional and national level. Amber and her husband, Lee Florea, have been research the terrestrial caves at the Deering Estate at Cutler for several years.

About Charles Lawson:
Mr. Charles Lawson is the Cultural Resource Manager and Park Archaeologist at Biscayne National Park. He has been at Biscayne National Park three years; prior to that he was an Archaeologist at the National Park Service's Southeast Archaeological Center in Tallahassee for ten years.