Last year, an archeological site on the Aucilla River made international news when an artifact was found in sediment radiocarbon dated to 14,550 years ago. This makes it one of the oldest sites in North America, further evidence that people were here earlier than once believed. We catch up with the research team behind that find. Our area is a hotbed for underwater archeology; in fact, our many waterways might be our greatest archeological asset.
Special thanks to Shawn Joy, Morgan Smith, and Matt Vinzant of Karst Underwater Research for letting us use their underwater footage. Morgan’s research is sponsored by the Felburn Foundation, Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University, and the PaleoWest Foundation. He would like to thank the Silver River State Park, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Rob Diaz de Villegas WFSU Public Media
“Ocala famous, baby!” Shawn says as he and Morgan look over the cover of the Ocala Star Banner. In one photo, the two of them are beneath the Silver River in scuba gear, under the headline “Unearthing History”. Excavating a submerged mammoth kill site might be as glamorous as prehistoric archeology gets, and it looks good on the newsstand. Continue reading