City website devoted to archaeological work


Few cities in the nation can rival St. Augustine’s buried archeological heritage and now Historic City News has learned that there is a way to experience the excitement of discovery without getting dirty.

The City of St. Augustine has launched a new website featuring the extensive work and research literally uncovered by the city’s Archaeological Division through the city’s archaeological preservation ordinance. The city adopted the ordinance in 1987 and over the past 22 years more than 600 locations within the city limits have been investigated.

The website address is digstaug.org/ and it is hoped that it will become a valuable tool for historians in general, and, archeologists in particular, as it provides a greater understanding of archaeology as a discipline.

The website has information on the methods used by the division to investigate a site, questions which property owners or contractors might have if an investigation is required, location of archaeological zones in the city limits and detailed information about St. Augustine’s unique archaeological heritage. Images of the artifacts found throughout the city are highlighted along with their description.

“With the upcoming 450th anniversary it’s great to have this website available for the public and educators to learn about the city’s archaeological heritage,” said Mark Knight, Director of the city’s Planning and Building Department. The Archeological Division is part of the Planning and Building Department.

This website was made possible through a generous grant from the St. Augustine Research Institute to the City of St. Augustine’s Archaeology Program Division. Carl Halbirt, the city’s archeologist, stated that the Research Institute saw value in such a resource.

The Institute is a collaboration between Flagler College and the University of Florida that brings together scholars of diverse backgrounds and interests to encourage, coordinate, and disseminate active academic research related to the history, archaeology and historical architecture of St. Augustine. It is supported by grants from the St. Augustine Foundation, Inc.; a nonprofit organization affiliated with Flagler College.

The City’s Archaeology Program would not be possible without the support of the City Commission and Administration. The municipal government is committed to preserving St. Augustine’s archaeological heritage from the destructive forces of urbanization through its Archaeological Preservation Ordinance. Toward this end, both broadcast and print media support has been a vital component in the dissemination of information within the community and engendering public awareness and cooperation. This cooperation is evident in both the interest property owners have shown while an excavation project is in progress and by the actions of community residents who volunteer their time to assist the City’s Archaeology Program.

The website makes special recognition of the following participants: Dr. James Cusick, Research Associate, for the idea of a city archaeology website and assisting in the preparation of the grant application; Old City Web Services for their continued interest and professionalism throughout the process of development; and to Clara Waldhari who reviewed and edited website content.

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