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Archaeology Month 2023

Secretary of State Cord Byrd invites the public to attend upcoming public programs to celebrate Florida Archaeology Month, which takes place each March. This year’s events highlight what we know of Florida’s rich history through the process of archaeological research and the legacy and ongoing work by the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR) at Mission San Luis, Tallahassee’s only National Historic Landmark. 

“Florida Archaeology Month is the perfect opportunity to showcase the decades of work by archaeologists to protect, preserve, and promote sites like Mission San Luis,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “This year, our public programs will discuss how the journey of an artifact from excavation to exhibition—a process that involves every section of our Bureau of Archaeological Research—informs our knowledge about Florida’s rich history and culture.” 

The Department of State will be celebrating Archaeology Month with a series of events throughout the month of March. See a list of events below.


Listing of Florida Archaeology Month 2023 Events:


Signature Event:

Saturday, March 25, 2023

On March 25, BAR will be conducting testing and excavation at Mission San Luis. An archaeologist will be available at the excavation site to explain how archaeological research is conducted. In addition to the excavation, two different guided tours will be offered throughout the day. These special guided tours are included with the normal fee for site admission. The first tour, starting 11:30 a.m., is a guided walk led by BAR Senior Archaeologist Jerry Lee focusing on how archaeology assisted in accurately reconstructing the historic buildings on the site. The second tour, led by Dr. Sam Wilford, BAR Collections & Conservation Supervisor, and Marie Prentice, BAR Collections Manager, will be offered at three separate times—10:15 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3:15 p.m.—and is a guided tour of the BAR Collections facility highlighting the process of curating artifacts and making them available to researchers and to the public through the Artifact Loan Program. Guests are also encouraged to visit the gallery in the Mission San Luis Visitor Center to view an exhibit showcasing the final phases of displaying and interpretating artifacts for the public. Mission San Luis is located at 2100 West Tennessee Street, in Tallahassee, Florida.


Other Events:

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

On March 1, BAR Senior Archaeologist Jerry Lee will lead a guided tour at Mission San Luis. The tour will highlight decades of research, findings, and ongoing archaeological work at the site. The tour begins at 11:00 a.m. and is included with the normal fee for site admission. Mission San Luis is located at 2100 West Tennessee Street, in Tallahassee, Florida.


Saturday, March 11, 2023

On March 11, BAR Senior Archaeologist Brandon Ackermann will be on-site at The Grove Museum during the annual Grove Day celebration. He will discuss recent ground-penetrating radar (GPR) testing on the site and findings from his research. Grove Day also features programs throughout the day about the site’s history and a variety of family-friendly activities, entertainment, and food trucks. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The Grove Museum is located at 902 North Monroe Street, in Tallahassee, Florida.


Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Museum of Florida History is partnering with the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library system to offer their popular Second Saturday Family Programs at local branch libraries. On March 11, the Museum Educator-led program will take place at the Lake Jackson Branch Library, 3840 North Monroe Street, in Tallahassee, Florida, starting at 11:00 a.m., and includes an archaeology-themed program and activities for families with children ages 8 and under.


Saturday, March 18, 2023

On March 18, Dr. Paulette McFadden, BAR Public Lands Archaeology Supervisor, will present on her extensive archaeological research in the Horseshoe Beach area of Dixie County, Florida. Dr. McFadden’s presentation begins at 3:00 p.m., is free, open to the public, and will be held at Horseshoe Beach Town Hall, 18 5th Avenue East, in Horseshoe Beach, Florida, 32648.


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Much of the state’s fascinating archaeological record exists underwater, which BAR is tasked with managing and protecting. BAR Underwater Archaeologist & Diving Safety Coordinator Melissa Price examines the challenges inherent in managing coastal archaeological sites in a storm-prone state, discusses the state’s ongoing research at Dog Island, and highlights the importance of protecting archaeological sites. This program is part of the Museum of Florida History’s History at High Noon Lecture Series and will take place at Mission San Luis, 2100 West Tennessee Street, in Tallahassee, Florida, starting at 12:00 p.m.


Ongoing Exhibits:

March 1, 2023 – March 31, 2023

Florida is home to the highest known concentration of prehistoric canoes in the world. The Lake Munson Canoe was discovered about 5 miles south of the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee and has been conserved and preserved by BAR. The artifact and a temporary exhibit interpreting this beautifully preserved vessel is on display at the R.A. Gray Building, 500 South Bronough Street, in Tallahassee, Florida.


Additional Resources:

The Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research has artifacts loaned to museums and institutions across the state of Florida and beyond!