Campus Life

Digging archaeology: Florida Archaeology Month

The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) works every day to bring the past to life. FPAN offers Archaeology Days, lectures and special events throughout March in celebration of Florida Archaeology Month, allowing Florida residents the opportunity to discover their inner archaeologists.

“Throughout the year FPAN works hard to connect professional archaeologists with their communities,” said Mary Furlong, FPAN outreach coordinator. “During Florida Archaeology Month, we try to draw attention to all of the things we do throughout the year by concentrating many exciting activities into one month in order to grab the attention of the public.”

Participants will learn about important archaeological research projects being conducted by the state of Florida, universities, cultural resource management companies and non-profit organizations statewide. Coordinated by the Florida Anthropological Society, Florida Archaeology Month is supported by FPAN and the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Opportunities include learning about archaeological sites, shipwrecks and people involved in the Spanish colonial claiming of Florida as well as the chance to have artifacts analyzed by archaeologists.

“The most rewarding aspect of these types of events for the community is that they bring attention to the rich history of Pensacola and all of Northwest Florida,” said Furlong. “It is our unique past that laid the foundation for the culture and community we have today. I think it means something to people to know that the roads they drive across were laid out by British colonists in the 1700s or that at the bottom of our bay are shipwrecks that are the result of people trying to live here 450 years ago.”

FPAN’s Northwest Regional Center will feature two events geared specifically towards children. Sparking interest through an interactive presentation and cookie excavation, the Walton County Library will host a general children’s program March 18 at 3 p.m. Similarly, FPAN’s Destination Archaeology! Resource Center will host its first Mother’s Morning Out March 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. Children are invited to spend a few hours in FPAN’s gallery and archaeology lab experiencing archaeology through hands-on activities. FPAN’s Northwest Regional Center will also partner with several organizations for a variety of events during Florida Archaeology Month including Gallery Night, Arcadia Mill Open House and Falling Water’s State Park “Legends and Lore.”

“Both adults and children are excited to learn about the past through hands-on archaeological programs,” said Furlong. “Although we know not everyone will grow up to be an archaeologist, we feel that archaeology is a great way to teach students science, history, math, language arts and art, while also instilling an appreciation for the past.”

For a complete schedule of events being held in Northwest Florida throughout Florida Archaeology Month, visit For more information, contact the Florida Public Archaeology Network at (850) 595-0054 or e-mail To find out more about Florida Archaeology Month, visit

Written by Megan Tyson, University Marketing Communications