Raphael Cosme reported to Historic City News that on Friday, March 23rd, the Cathedral Parish School held a Florida Archaeology Month Celebration that included a presentation by distinguished researcher Dr. Kathleen Deagan.
Dr. Deagan’s lecture addressed archaeology in St Augustine with a special emphasis on the Nombre de Dios Mission and Our Lady of Le Leche Shrine.
Cathedral Parish School principal, Todd De Clemente, recognized Deagan for her contribution to education in St Augustine.
In 2008, Cathedral Parish School was planning to build additional classrooms. City code requires a professional exploratory dig and catalog of finds before building downtown, city archaeologist Carl Halbirt and his volunteers dug up hundreds of early Spanish shards and other artifacts, including gold.
This excavation attracted the attention of not only the press, but CPS students as well. Current fifth grader Raphael Cosme, Jr. had a good idea of what was beneath the school. Other students joined him in the recovery of historical shards from beneath the playground surface collecting more than 400 pieces in two-year’s time, resulting in a small museum being established in the school’s library.
Members of the school’s archaeology club, founded by students in 2010, gave Dr Deagan a tour of the school’s own “archaeological museum”, featuring historical artifacts found on site during campus excavations over the years. The students of Cathedral Parish School believe they have the first archaeological school museum in St. Johns County.
CPS parents Raphael and Perla Cosme have been working with Mr. DeClemente, CPS librarian Kate Poage, and the rest of the faculty to introduce students to the role of archeology in our community. Cosme said, “St Augustine is a city of rich archaeological artifacts that every day add a new page to the nation’s history, the students are the ambassador of preserving our heritage”.
Special thanks to Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, St Augustine Historical Tours and Signs Now, for their support of this event.
Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News contributed photograph by Raphael Cosme