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Wildlife Park to offer Program about Native Americans who lived along the Nature Coast

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on March 15, 2018

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is celebrating History month during March and will be welcoming Nigel Rudolph, Public Archaeology Coordinator for Florida Public Archaeology Network’s (FPAN) Central Regional Center and USF Department of Anthropology. Rudolph will be presenting a special program on Thursday, March 22, 2018 entitled Shell Middens and Ceremonial Centers: Native Americans along the Nature Coast. The program will start at 10:30 am in the Florida Room of the park’s Visitor Center located on US Hwy. 19. There will be no charge to attend the program.

In describing his program Rudolph says, “The Nature Coast has been home to people thriving off its bounties for thousands of years. Before the condos and commercial fisherman, the prehistoric fisher-folk living along Florida’s north-central Gulf Coast created vibrant and large communities and left some of the most significant archaeological sites in the state of Florida. Archaeologists have come to understand these communities were far more than just people harvesting oysters, but were cosmopolitan centers of trade in a network that stretched as far north as the Great Lakes.

During this presentation, we will discuss the unique archaeological evidence and prehistoric cultures of Native Americans living along the Nature Coast. From Chassahowitzka to Cedar Key, these ‘First Floridians’ left behind evidence of their complex and dynamic cultures that survive to this day.”

Before joining FPAN, Nigel Rudolph earned his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of West Florida and was a post-baccalaureate student in Fine Arts-Ceramics at the University of Florida. His work experience before the Florida Public Archaeology Network includes working for more than a decade as a full-time field archaeologist and crew leader in Florida and the Southeast United States. He joined the Florida Public Archaeology Network team in the Central Region office at the Crystal River Preserve in 2013.

The wildlife park will have displays on the area and the park’s history on exhibit throughout March in the Visitor Center.

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