UWF Archaeology

Courtesy of Dr. John Worth

 

 

           During the evening of Tuesday, September 19, 1559, some 458 years ago, strong winds from the north heralded the arrival of a great hurricane in Pensacola Bay.  The storm was not the first to assail the bay, nor would it be the last, but the 1559 hurricane did manage to change the course of human history by destroying a fleet of Spanish colonial ships riding at anchor off the newly-founded settlement called Santa María de Ochuse.

Recently I came across a fascinating article on the discovery in France of spectacular ruins. Developers working on a new subdivision uncovered an ancient Roman suburb that was remarkably preserved.

According to The New York Times article, the ruins included shops for metalworking, grocery stores, a warehouse full of wine jugs, a couple of houses with expensive floor mosaics and more.

John Worth / UWF Archaeology Institute

University of West Florida archaeologists spent the summer uncovering more details about Tristan de Luna’s 1559 Settlement in Pensacola. Much of the story of the ill-fated Spanish colony is being told through the artifacts that have been discovered.

UWF

January 1 marks a change at the top at the University of West Florida, when Judy Bense steps down as president after eight years.  Her latest honor is being named UWF’s second President Emeritus, joining the school’s first president, Morris Marx.

“It is a signal that you are liked, and that they want to have you keep that title, because you keep that title until you die,” said Bense. “There are some rights and privileges, so we’re working on fun list – one is a parking space.”

UWF Archaeology

There is a rich history surrounding the voyage of Tristan de Luna to what’s now Pensacola. And it’s getting richer with a new discovery by the University of West Florida’s Archaeology program.

Outgoing UWF President Judy Bense making the announcement, at the T.T. Wentworth museum in downtown Pensacola.

“I am absolutely thrilled to tell you that we have discovered a third Luna shipwreck in Pensacola Bay,” said Bense to a round of applause.

University of West Florida

It was nearly a year ago that the location of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 Settlement was discovered. Since then, University of West Florida archaeologists have ramped up their research of the Spanish colony that was doomed by a hurricane that struck on this day, September 19, 457 years ago.

During the past year, there’s been a lot of activity at the site, including the 2016 UWF Archaeology Summer Field School.  

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is wrapping up its 2016 Summer Archaeology Field School.

In addition to their work exploring the Luna shipwrecks at Emanuel Point, UWF staff and students have spent the past 10 weeks looking for more clues about the recently discovered 1559 Luna Settlement site. Earlier this month, WUWF checked in to see how the project was progressing.

University of West Florida

It’s been about six months since University of West Florida archaeologists revealed the discovery of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 settlement on Pensacola Bay.

Earlier this week, property owners in the settlement area were updated on their findings and briefed on the next phase of their research.

Work at the site of the Luna settlement, also known as Santa Maria de Ochuse, is continuing as part of a 10-week terrestrial field school that began May 23 and will continue through July 29.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

While ancient Rome’s upper class is well-chronicled in history books, little is known about the swath of less well-to-do citizens who accounted for the bulk of the empire’s population.

“People without history is often what we call them in anthropology,” said Dr. Kristina Killgrove, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of West Florida.

University of West Florida

In 1992, archeologists found the first remains of the shipwrecks of Don Tristan de Luna’s fleet on the bottom of Pensacola Bay. De Luna, of course, was the man who first settled what would become Pensacola. But the exact location of the settlement was always a mystery. Was is the operative word.

Arcadia Mill Archaelogical Site

After being closed for renovation for the past six months, the Arcadia Mill Archaeological Site will hold a Grand Reopening this weekend. The celebration is part of Florida Archaeology Month festivities.  

The historic Arcadia Mill was one of the largest early American industrial complexes in Florida, with operations that included a water-powered sawmill, lumber mill, bucket and pail factory, and cotton textile mill.