Dr. Wentz talks about The Windover Site


Historic City News has learned that The St. Augustine Archeology Association in conjunction with The Florida Public Archeology Network will present its February lecture Dr. Rachel K Wentz talking about The Windover Site: A Glimpse of Life in Florida 7,000 Years Ago.

The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 7:00 PM in the Flagler Room of Flagler College.

The state of Florida has produced some of the oldest human skeletal remains in North America. The Windover site, a mortuary pond located in east-central Florida near present-day Titusville, was first discovered in 1982 during construction within the Windover Farms suburban housing development. Mortuary ponds are shallow ponds into which burials were placed. Similar sites have been discovered throughout Florida but Windover represents the largest sample of its antiquity in North America. The well-preserved remains of over 168 individuals were excavated and date to around 7,000 years ago.

The excavation of Windover spanned three field seasons (1984-1986). One of the most fascinating aspects of preservation from Windover was the recovery of human brain tissue from over ninety crania. The state of preservation at Windover has permitted cellular and molecular analysis and provides a rare glimpse into the lifestyle of the people of Florida’s Archaic period. Along with exceptionally preserved skeletal remains were beautifully crafted artifacts buried alongside many of the individuals. These included bone and wooden tools, ornamental shells, and beautifully woven textiles, which were wrapped around the individuals before they were placed in the pond.

This presentation will examine the life and death of people from Windover. Dr. Rachel Wentz specializes in bioarchaeology – the examination of health and illness through the analysis of human skeletal remains in archaeological contexts. Her research has shown that the people from Windover suffered from many forms of illness and injury, including fractures, infection, arthritis, and nutritional deficiencies. Come learn more about what life was like for these early Floridians.

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