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


Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS) May 2019 Newsletter


With the issuance of our May Newsletter, we wrap up the Spring 2019 season and will return in October with a Newsletter, resume our presentations in November and finish out the year with a SWFAS Field Trip. We are in the process of organizing another series of interesting and informative presentations on Southwest Florida archaeology for you and look forward to another successful year. Have a safe (and fun) summer and we will see you again in November.

Remember, if you are lucky enough to get to travel to an interesting location this summer, take some photos and provide a write up on your trip. You can then submit it to me and share it with our 300+ readers who will then wish that they had gone there with you!

I have included a brief recap on the 71st FAS Annual Meeting at Crystal River to provide you with a snapshot of how the meeting went and about some of the interesting papers that were presented. We are hosting the 2020 FAS Annual Meeting and are looking forward to offering you a fantastic local meeting to attend.


This year the 71st Annual Meeting was held in Crystal River, Florida; the last meeting there was 50 years ago in 1969!
The venue was a lovely place called the Plantation that was on an arm of the Crystal River itself and only a short drive from the famous Crystal River Archaeological State Park where we enjoyed a Friday evening outing. If you haven’t visited the park, it contains several low burial mounds and a magnificent ‘temple’ mound about 40 feet high with a staircase built into it for ease of acceding to the top for a view of the river and surrounding area. They were recently able to purchase the property directly across the river to maintain the pristine view since it was originally inhabited. There is a small archaeological museum on site that displays artifacts and the exhibits were actually designed by Ripley P. Bullen.

The Saturday conference presented a 60-paper program and 11 posters. The papers presented covered a wide range of topics and, the ones that I was able to attend proved to be highly interesting. The vendor tables were very interesting with a total of 13 vendors participating; the highest number that I have seen. The SWFAS attendees at this conference were: Betty Anholt, George Luer, Austin Bell, Theresa Schober and John and Linda Furey. It was a great place to meet old friends and colleagues that we hadn’t seen since the conference last year. Prior to the keynote speaker, an awards ceremony was held (see below). The Saturday night dinner was capped by a great meal and a great talk by Dr. Ginessa Mahar titled "With a Little Help from Our Friends: Investigating Florida’s Ancient Fisheries". Dr. Mahar spoke to SWFAS in
April 2016 with a talk about "Fishing Techniques of Early Florida Inhabitants". Two sold out Sunday boat excursions to other archaeological sites were offered; one to Roberts Island and another to Shell Island.


At the 71st FAS Conference, Theresa Schober was awarded the prestigious Ripley P. Bullen Memorial Award, and it was presented by John F. Furey, President of SWFAS. This award was created to honor outstanding candidates who provide ;

1. Contributions to the improvement of working relations between professional and avocational archaeologists in the State of Florida,
2. Leadership, encouragement and guidance in providing opportunities for avocational archaeologists to contribute to Florida archaeology,
3. Cooperation with and demonstrated interest in making the avocational archaeologist more aware of Florida’s archaeological heritage, and
4. Contribution to improving the image of the avocational archaeologist as a contributor to the study of Florida archaeology.

Theresa has met all of these requirements and more, and has been an integral member of both the FAS and SWFAS for many years. Many of her projects and excavations involve avocational archaeologists and she has proven herself to be a leader and a teacher. Congratulations to Theresa for receiving this great honor and recognition of all her work.