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Little Salt Spring Archaeology Subject of Two Lectures in January

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University of Miami Underwater Archaeologist to Speak in Venice, Sarasota

The public is invited to view artifacts as old as 10,000 years before the present at "Little Salt Spring: Underwater Portal to America's Prehistoric Past" a talk given by Dr. John Gifford, University of Miami Associate Professor of Marine Affairs and Policy.

There will be two opportunities to see Dr. Gifford's presentation. Limited seating for this free presentation is on a first come, first served basis.

  • 7 pm, January 10, 2012, at the State College of Florida in the Selby Room (Bldg. 800), located at 8000 S. Tamiami Trail/US Highway 41, Venice.
  • 6 pm, January 11, 2012, in the Geldbart Auditorium of Selby Library, 1331 First Street, Sarasota.

Dr. Gifford and science divers from UM and The Florida Aquarium, Tampa, have recovered the artifacts in underwater excavations at Little Salt Spring, a University of Miami-owned 200-foot deep sinkhole in North Port. On display will be bones from an extinct giant land tortoise, tools made of antler and bone, and a possible prehistoric "calendar" incised on an antler fragment, similar to artifacts excavated from Upper Paleolithic sites in Western Europe.

Gifford's talk will update the latest results of underwater research at Little Salt Spring and will include video of excavations on the natural ledge 90-feet below the spring's surface. "From Little Salt Spring, we have the largest collection of the oldest wooden artifacts anywhere in the world," Gifford said. "These will increase our understanding of the way people lived in the southeast United States 10,000 years ago."

The University of Miami's Department of Anthropology is seeking to build a Research and Educational Outreach Building at Little Salt Spring, North Port, to allow continued underwater archaeological excavations and to provide better access to the spring by the public. Donations will allow continued underwater archaeological excavations by University of Miami faculty and students and the sharing of their discoveries with the public.

To make a tax-deductible donation in support of this project, please make checks payable to: Anthropology Research Fund, University of Miami, Department of Anthropology. Mail checks to: Dr. Traci Ardren, University of Miami, Dept. of Anthropology, Little Salt Spring Research, P.O. Box 248106, Coral Gables, FL 33124

To discuss a major tax-deductible donation toward the Little Salt Spring Endowment or to the design, construction and furnishing of the Research and Educational Outreach Building, contact Dr. ArdrenK/a> at 305-423-0835.

To schedule an appointment to visit Little Salt Spring, contact Steven Koski at 941-423-0835.

To view an oral history slideshow featuring Steven Koski and Little Salt Spring, visit this link.