Campus Life

UWF students uncover the past

Clues to Pensacola’s history dating back more than three centuries lie hidden beneath many layers of dirt and vegetation in the downtown area.

University of West Florida archaeology students are currently investigating a section of downtown called the Governor’s Garden and its use by Spanish and British colonial governors in the 1700s.

By using maps from the 18th century, the students can determine the location of wells, walkways and planted gardens. They hope their excavations will provide a more clear understanding of the cultural evolution that began when the Old World met the New World.

The work in the Governor’s Garden is part of Viva Florida 500, a Florida Department of State project celebrating the 500th anniversary of Ponce de León’s arrival on Florida’s east coast. Viva Florida 500 commemorates Florida’s rich heritage and diverse cultural history through 2013.

Other archaeology field schools occurring this summer include Arcadia Mill, Blackwater River and Molino. For more information, visit

To see pictures of the dig, visit