Archaeological field school on the Big Cypress Reservation

This coming May, the Florida Gulf Coast University will be teaming up the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to host an archaeological field school on the Big Cypress Reservation. An archaeology field school is an archaeology dig that is organized to train the next generation of archaeologists.

"Moriah Joy and Ryan Hesse at the Field School Site."

This year, students will be learning how to excavate at the Waxy Hadjo’s Landing Site. Originally discovered in 2001 by Willard Steele, the site shows remnants of multiple periods in time. The site’s occupation spans from prehistoric (where a mammoth skeleton was found in the area a few years back!) all the way to the nineteenth century where there is believed to be remnants of a Seminole Village, to modern times where it is still used as a cow pasture. Many exotic materials were found during this survey, showing evidence of the importance of this geographic point at where people and trade goods often passed through. We are hoping to focus our research on evaluating the Waxy Hadjo’s Landing Site for possible inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places and will look to engage Tribal members with outreach throughout the project.

Students will be participating with the THPO as part of the Council Approved THPO Internship Program.  The THPO’s staff will also play a major role in the field school and will be very instrumental in the execution of the project. Such members include, most notably Dr. Paul Backhouse, Juan Cancel, Cori McClarran and Ryan Hesse.

This year’s field school is full; however, if you are interested in future field schools or other opportunities with the THPO, please contact:

Tribal Historic Preservation Office   

34725 West Boundary Road

Clewiston, FL 33440

(863) 983-6549 telephone

(863) 902-1117 fax


Author: julielabate

My name is Julie Richko Labate and I am the Tribal Archaeologist here at Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki. The Tribal Archaeology Section, or TAS as we like to call ourselves, works with the Tribal Historic Preservation Office, or THPO, to protect and preserve artifacts and important archaeological sites. We are responsible for the pre-emptive cultural survey of areas undergoing development on all Seminole Tribe of Florida Reservations.

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