In Memorium: Jack Harvey

For his many contributions to Florida archaeology and to SWFAS, Southwest Florida Archaeology Society nominated Jack Harvey for a 2017 Certificate of Achievement from The Florida Anthropological Society, which was awarded posthumously.


Jack Harvey was a microwave engineer and then a software developer for Wall Street applications. He retired and moved to Naples, FL around 2003, where he discovered the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society (SWFAS). Jack’s favorite hobby was the study of geology and felt that archaeology was the “closest thing” to geology he could find in the Naples area. Jack was a SWFAS member since 2003 but he soon became a fixture at the SWFAS sponsored and staffed Craighead Archaeological Laboratory at the Naples County Museum and became one of the “Lab Rats”. At that time, the “ Lab Rats”, who were SWFAS volunteers in the Craighead Lab, were processing material from many sites and it was a very busy time in the lab’s history. Jack found his areas of expertise, computing and system organization and procedures, to be very useful to the Craighead Lab and “Lab Rats”. His background in computers enabled the lab to computerize and become up to date. Ever the engineer, Jack organized systems, developed procedures, standardized forms and computer systems for the Craighead Archaeological Laboratory and worked tirelessly on inputting and organizing data from materials excavated at various sites, as well as photographing artifacts both at the sites and at the Craighead Lab. In 2003 he supported work on the Old Marco Inn site (8CR048) laboratory materials that had been excavated in January 1983 but never analyzed. In 2004 Jack continued to become more active in SWFAS and, working under the direction of Art Lee with the other “Lab Rats”, he continued with his support of the Horse Creek Camp Site (8CR223) data, and contributed to the final report of this excavation through data analysis and typesetting the report itself. In 2005 Jack worked on the Strader site (8LL709) laboratory materials, as well. In 2008 Jack supported the excavation efforts at Marco Island on the new sewer system and provided a summary report with photos in November, 2008. Throughout this time, Jack found that he enjoyed working in the SWFAS supported Craighead Archaeological Laboratory at the Naples County Museum.


Mr. Harvey was also involved with the SWFAS Newsletter and created a series of 31 original articles entitled Geology Rules between June 2005 and December 2008. These were published in the SWFAS Newsletter and proved to be Jack’s way of explaining geology and its relationship to archaeology with his humorous approach in his explanations and, especially, the titles he created. In April, 2009 he developed a new series of original articles entitled Digital Archaeology and published 16 of these in the newsletter through October, 2011. These had a definite archaeological theme, and again, he was able to insert his great sense of humor into them. He funneled his energy and creativity into his work at the Craighead Archaeological Laboratory and made SWFAS a better organization.


Jack had been struggling with cancer for some time and eventually was unable to continue working at the lab and moved back North with his family where he lost his struggle in October, 2016. He is missed very much by his fellow Lab Rats and everyone in SWFAS. His originality, creativity and wit will not be forgotten.