In late 2012, the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) responded to a request for archeological assistance from the Castillo de San Marcos (CASA) in St. Augustine, Florida. CASA maintenance workers had been given clearance to bury a temporary power and water line along the sea wall in order to install a temporary bathroom outside the fort as part of ongoing restoration efforts inside the fort proper. The maintenance works, hand digging the trench, to a were able to follow preexisting utility lines along the sea wall until coming into contact with the walkway leading from the fort entrance to the sea wall. Upon reaching the walkway the crew encountered an undisturbed refuse midden.
At this point SEAC was called in to examine the midden, determine its significance, and mitigate damage to the resource. A 1x1 meter excavation unit was opened next to the trench in undisturbed soil. The excavation unit was excavated to a depth of 150 centimeters, exposing a refuse midden with clear stratigraphic levels indicating every phase of occupation during the forts 340 year history. Artifacts recovered included British infantry buttons, Spanish Real, pipe stems, historic ceramics, prehistoric pottery, and faunal remains. Further analysis of the artifacts and their stratigraphic relationship to each other will shed light on CASAs long and rich history as the premier defensive structure in America’s Oldest City.