SWFAS was founded in 1980 to provide a meeting place for people interested in the southwest Florida area's archaeology, history and cultural past.



UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS & SPEAKERS


 

January 17, 2018: Night at the Museum - The Lenses of Science and History

Presenter: Matthew Johnson, Director, IMAG
Location: IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers
Reception 5:00pm  Program 6:00pm

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February 21, 2018: Slavery and the Sea - Exploring Maritime Aspects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Presenter: Corey Malcolm, Director of Archaeology, Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Location: IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers
Program 7:00pm

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March 21, 2018: Made from the Sands of Florida - Egmont Key, Climate Change and the Seminole Tribe of Florida

Presenter: Paul Backhouse, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Seminole Tribe of Florida 
Location: IMAG History & Science Center, 2000 Cranford Avenue, Fort Myers
Program 7:00pm

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April 18, 2018: The Science and Art of Reading Bones

Presenter: Heather Walsh-Haney, Associate Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University
Location: Collier County Museum, 3331 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, 34112
Program 7:00pm

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November 15, 2017: Cattle and Conflict - The History of Cattle Ranching in Florida

Presenter: Dave Southall
Location: Collier County Museum, 3331 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, 34112
Program 7:00pm

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NEWSLETTERS & PUBLICATIONS


 

Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) Newsletter, October 2017 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER by John Furey
Hurricane Irma blew into Southwest Florida and devastated parts of Collier and Lee Counties. Marco Island, Naples and East Lee and East Collier communities such as Lehigh Acres, Goodland, Chokoloskee, Everglades City and Immokalee were particularly hard hit while coastal Lee County avoided the full force of Irma. Power outages and communications were major losses to many of us, but one can't always prepare for a storm of this magnitude. I've been in contact with several SWFAS members and all have personal hurricane stories to tell but fortunately, none were injured. The Collier County Museum grounds had damage to many of the trees in the park area and the Craighead Archaeological Laboratory received no physical damage. With several collections stored there we could have sustained a great cultural loss. These kind of storms play havoc with many of our archaeological sites located on the coast and on rivers by washing away parts of the sites and mixing up their cultural material. If you know of a local site that is damaged or threatened, please take some time to monitor the site and report it to me at 508-330-5566 or jffurey@charter.net . I will assist with coordinating SWFAS or the necessary agencies to insure that salvage or documentation of the material being eroded is conducted before it is lost.

 

The 2017/2018 season is upon us and SWFAS has another full season of interesting speakers and events scheduled. We have migrated to the 21st century and will have a website soon. The old and new newsletters will soon be available on line and planning for the 2020 Florida Anthropology Society Meeting hosted by SWFAS will begin. Articles on local archaeological sites, statewide sites and national articles will continue to be featured monthly, as well as, local programs and celebrations that may be of interest to our membership. We look forward to seeing you at one of our programs.

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Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) Newsletter, May 2017 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER by John Furey
The March 2017 SWFAS Newsletter signals the end of another successful 2016 Fall to 2017 Spring season. The Newsletter will resume in September and our archaeological presentations will resume in October. SWFAS is proud to have two of our long time members honored by the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) at the 69th annual meeting in Jacksonville, Florida; Elizabeth Clement and Jack Harvey. Both have been major contributors to SWFAS and Southwest Florida archaeology. Certificates were presented at the Jacksonville meeting and their contributions can be read in the articles below.

 
At our last SWFAS meeting of the current season, David Southall presented a highly interesting talk on “Florida's Mission Trail” and wove into his talk a wide range of facts from a different perspective than I have encountered before. It was highly informative and thought provoking. He has an excellent grasp of the factors that made the St. Augustine and the Spanish “invasion” successful for over 200 years and those that caused the rapid collapse of the settlements on the “royal road”.
 
Included in this Newsletter is a listing of our Speakers and their topics and the subjects covered in the SWFAS Newsletter for this season for you to reference any of the articles. And in this last Newsletter for the season is an article on the Calusa.
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Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) Newsletter, April 2017 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER by John Furey

FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY (FAS) STATEMENT ON THE 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
In 2016 bills were filed in the Florida house and senate to create a citizen permit program to allow the taking of archaeological and historical materials from submerged state land. These bills are being highly lobbied by known artifact traffickers and will lead to the destruction of archaeological sites, Indian burials and the loss of our Florida prehistoric and historic heritage. We beat back these bills last year but it is now 2017 and nothing precludes the same bills being filed again. For this reason, a new organization – the Florida Archaeological Preservation Association – has sponsored legislation that allows for a citizen permit program. We urge you to join us by contacting your legislators to oppose this rape of archaeological sites for artifact traffickers to profit from. Please see the enclosed FAS Statement on the 2017 Legislative Session and how to contact your legislator.

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Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) Newsletter, March 2017 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER by John Furey
DUES 2017
Please remember to remit your SWFAS dues on the attached form. Without your continued support, we will be unable to continue to provide quality speakers on archaeological topics that relate to Florida. Even an extra donation will help us defray costs. Thank You!

 

CALUSA HERITAGE DAY
Calusa Heritage Day is Saturday March 25, 2017 from 9-4 at The Randell Research Center on Pine Island, FL. SWFAS encourages you to visit to support Calusa Heritage Day and to learn more about the Calusa. We will have a table at Calusa Heritage Day to promote SWFAS and educate people about our organization and our annual speaker series on archaeological topics. We are looking for volunteers to help staff a table at the event. If interested and available for a 3 or 4 hour time frame (morning or afternoon), please contact John Furey at 508-330-5566 or jffurey@charter.net.

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Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) Newsletter, February 2017 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER by John Furey

KORESHAN STATE HISTORIC SITE
All of us are aware of the tragic end of the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas and its leader David Koresh. Well Estero, Florida had a religious cult and a Koresh in 1894 long before Waco, Texas. Most of us have heard of Koreshan State Historic Site, driven past the signs to it location in Estero, Florida; but how many of us have visited the site and know the background and story behind its founding and significance. Again, Koreshan State Historic Site, like many of the archaeological sites I have recently spotlighted in the SWFAS Newsletters, is a local attraction that has a unique historical narrative. Koreshan is the story of Cyrus Teed, a physician and the founder of a religious cult, who in 1869, after a serious electric shock claimed divine inspiration and became a religious leader and messiah. Originally founded in New York, he eventually moved his commune to Estero, FL and founded the Koreshan Unity as his “New Jerusalem”. I have included a number of articles about Teed and his movement in this Newsletter to acquaint you with this local landmark and its history. I Hope you find it interesting.

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Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) Newsletter, January 2017 

PRESIDENT’S CORNER by John Furey

SWFAS JANUARY MEETING
On Wednesday January 18, 2017 Dr. Uzi Baram, a Professor of Anthropology at New College of Florida in Sarasota, FL spoke at the Imaginarium in Ft. Myers on: Tragedy and Survival on the Early Florida Gulf Coast: History and Archaeology of the Freedom Seeking Peoples Known as the Black Seminoles. Dr. Baram was able to trace the movement of a group of maroons and escaped slaves, native Americans and Seminoles by using U.S. military records and archaeology from a settlement on the Apalachicola River in 1816 through several battles against the US military including a settlement on the Manatee River that lasted until 1821, when the USA took Florida; many escaped after each military batter, finally finding freedom on Andros Island in the Bahama Islands.

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