UNF Public Archaeology Program

Archaeologists at work

Archaeologists and volunteers work to excavate the stories of our past.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
History Lesson
Year Accomplished:

"Our partnership with the University of North Florida provides us with the opportunity for significant public programming. We look forward to another season of archaeological discovery." - Barbara Goodman, Superintendent, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. The National Park Service, Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and the University of North Florida, Department of Anthropology were honored by the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission (JHPC) for their cooperative Public Archaeology program hosted in the summer of 2011. As a part of National Preservation Month celebrations, the annual JHPC awards recognize efforts in historic preservation and cultural resource management that promote the history of Jacksonville, Florida. The 2012 public field school consisted of two, one-week sessions from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Participants had the option of attending one or both weeks. The session dates were Monday, June 25th through Friday, June 29th and Monday, July 9th through Friday, July 13th. The sessions were open to the public. The University of North Florida (UNF) has completed ten seasons of cooperative archaeological field schools within the Timucuan Preserve. The 2011 field season included a new opportunity for the public to join in the archaeological research. Through the UNF Continuing Education Program members of the public were invited to aid in the excavation of a Spanish mission site at the Cedar Point area of the Preserve. Participants received firsthand experience in excavation techniques, the field identification of artifacts, and mapping archaeological materials and features. The site location is where the former Spanish Mission Santa Cruz y San Buenaventura de Guadalquini once stood. A mixture of various Native American groups, including Mocama speaking people Colones, Yguajas and Asajo (Yamassee), established the mission on the southern end of Black Hammock Island in 1684. These native groups had fled their previous mission site, also called Santa Cruz, located on St. Simons Island in Georgia. A census taken in 1689 indicated there were 60 families (300 people) living at the mission at Cedar Point. In 1702 Carolina raiders lead by Colonel James Moore razed and burned both the Santa Cruz and San Juan missions en route to a siege on St. Augustine. For more information, please contact: Shauna Allen, Chief of Resource Stewardship and Partnerships, shauna_allen@nps.gov