Even the ground under our feet has stories to reveal
Key archaeological finds
#1. Caravaca Cross
#2. Antique china
#3. Silver button
#4. Pre-Columbian artifacts
XF DIG 450
Last week began our biggest event of 2015! We kicked off with an invitation only garden party, hosted by the NSCDA-FL and attended by St Augustine’s mayor, various city officials, historians and members of the Aviles Street Merchants Association. Since the first ceremonial shovel of dirt, our archaeologists have set about their tasks of digging, sifting, sorting and collecting data.
Veteran Archeologist, Carl Halbirt has returned to the helm as he guides his crew of volunteers through layers of dirt to uncover St Augustine’s colonial history. Carl is very familiar with the Ximenez-Fatio house as he led the dig that produced our now famous, Caravaca Cross. The purpose of the excavation is twofold, both to discover more about our historic property (and thus by extension the City’s history) and to give the public a chance to get up close to archaeology as it happens. In an interview with Jacksonville’s First Coast News, Carl tells us that-
“When people come to St. Augustine, they only see what’s above the ground. They don’t see whats below the ground, yet most of St Augustine’s history is below the ground”
No one knows this better than Carl, who has uncovered many of our historic sites, including one of the original wooden Forts built by the Spanish prior to the Castillo de San Marcos. So far the dig has brought over 1200 people through our gates and we expect an increase in the weeks ahead, especially as we move toward spring break. Even though we have just broken through the first layers of earth (and an old driveway) already we have recovered some very interesting pieces, including a 19th century blue glass “raspberry bead,” part of a bone knife handle, and an early bullet, as well as a host of pottery shards, nails and glass pieces.
We were very excited to be featured by local news channels and you can see the features here:
As always, we encourage you to follow up to date photographs and news from the dig as it happens so look for the #XFDIG450 hashtag on Facebook.
The dig continues through March 14th, and is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11am until 3pm. For more information, contact Julia Vaill Gatlin, Executive Director at 904-829-3575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at the Dig!