Topic ID #38173 - posted 3/18/2017 10:08 AM

Submerged Prehistory and Paleoindian Geoarchaeology of the Aucilla and Wacissa Rivers

Jessi Halligan

Florida State University Department of Anthropology

Underwater Field School

May 15-June 23, 2017


Who were the First Floridians?   How did they live?      How have their sites been preserved or destroyed?

Help us find out!

The 2017 field school will be held in the Aucilla-Wacissa drainage, a Florida Outstanding Waterway, ca. 45 minutes south-east of Tallahassee, Florida. This area contains dozens of Paleoindian sites (>11,500 years old) that were inundated by rising water levels at the end of the last Ice Age. The karst geology of the drainage preserved these sites within now-underwater sediment layers, giving us a unique picture of Southeastern Paleoindians.

We will be camping at primitive campsites for the duration of the field school. Class will be held M-F. Students will have weekends free for exploration and recreation.  Course fees will include food, campground fees, and all dive gear.

Each student participating in the underwater excavation MUST be an AAUS diver or must be qualified to become one upon arrival, and MUST be cleared by the FSU dive safety officer, Chris Peters ( prior to getting in the water. Diving requirements are viewable at

There are a few spaces available for non-divers. Priority will be given to AAUS divers, then non-diving FSU students and students with strong interest in geoarchaeology. Non-divers will be trained in all except the final two items below. 

ANT 4824/ANG 6824-Anthropological Fieldwork: Archaeology (9 undergraduate credits, 6-9 graduate credits)

Students will learn:

  • ·         Paleoindian material culture and theory
  • ·         Geoarchaeological basics, sampling, and recording
  • ·         Public outreach and interpretation
  • ·         Terrestrial survey and excavation
  • ·         Total station use and spatial data collection
  • ·         Archaeological sampling and recording
  • ·         Artifact identification, processing, and basic analysis
  • ·         Water screening, and basic conservation methods
  • ·         Small boat operation and safety
  • ·         Underwater excavation and recording methods
  • ·         Underwater diver survey in clear and dark water

Deadline to apply is April 7, 2017. Email course instructor, Jessi Halligan ( for an application and more information.


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