Florida’s Premiere Anthropology Conference Comes to USF St. Petersburg

(May 7, 2018) – After 15 years, Florida’s Anthropological Society Conference returned to St. Petersburg. And for the first time, USF St. Petersburg helped host the state’s premiere anthropology conference May 11-13, bringing together more than 200 archaeologists, academics, students and members of the public.

Saving local prehistoric sites, impacts of sea-level rise, new insights into Spanish-colonial Florida and assessing the large-scale influence of humans on Tampa Bay’s environment – dubbed the TampAnthropocene – were just some of key topics  discussed this year.

“One of the missions of this conference is to provide a bridge between professionals and the public when it comes to these issues,” said Jeff Moates, Director of the west central regional center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. “This is one of the only professional conferences that is open to the general public to attend, sit in on presentations and interact with the archaeologists.”

Through panel discussions and field trips, participants explored the unique indigenous and cultural history of the Tampa Bay region and visited one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the southeast, Weedon Island Preserve.

“Tampa Bay is unique in that it has a long history of indigenous occupation going back at least 10,000 years with people successfully living off the land,” said John Arthur, Associate Professor of Anthropology at USF St. Petersburg. “They never had to farm; terrestrial, bay and river resources provided them all the supplies they needed to survive and thrive here for long periods of time.”

Hosted by the USF St. Petersburg Anthropology Program and the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education (AWIARE), the annual conference is a critical venue for students, cultural resource managers and researchers to interact and learn about the latest anthropology research taking place in Florida and across the southeastern U.S.

For more detailed information about the conference, including field trips, panel discussions and schedule, visit: http://fasweb.org/annual-conference/