University of West Florida Luna Settlement Project
Facebook community for the University of West Florida archaeological project at the Luna Settlement See also the following links.
page for the UWF Luna Settlement Project, where pictures and other updates from fieldwork are posted. Blog: http://lunasettlement.blogspot.com/
About the Luna settlement: http://uwf.edu/jworth/spanfla_lunasettlement.htm
About the Luna expedition:
The 2023 UWF terrestrial archaeological field school is a wrap! Students and staff successfully completed excavating and fully documenting all five excavation units opened 8 weeks ago, and backfilled four out of the five (with the last one to be backfilled on Monday). It was a hot summer field season, but we gained a lot of data and learned many new things about the Luna Settlement site, and had some great field experiences. Here's a photo blast of our last week and a half on site.
Here's a really nice article that features some photos and discussion of ongoing UWF work at the Luna Settlement site.
Think you found an archaeological relic? Here’s what to do While swimming in the waters off Pensacola Beach last month, a couple found a historic-looking saber sword not far from the shore. Their finding went viral online, with many questioning if the sword is authentic or a replica. Experts say the real lesson is what to do when you find relics.
A few midweek photos of Week 7 at the Luna Settlement, including ongoing work and some of our recent finds. The crew is braving intense heat and humidity to try and finish up our excavation units by the end of next week. Check out photos of the UWF Maritime Archaeology field school vessels visible from the Luna Settlement site on the water today.
Despite only getting three half-days of actual fieldwork at the site in, Week 6 wasn't a total loss. Here are some pictures of fieldwork and finds, as well as rain-day visits to local museums.
Week 6 is proving to be a rainy one!
Week 5 has come and gone, with just 3 days in the field after the extended holiday weekend, but with some pretty intense heat and humidity during that time. Here are a few shots of ongoing work and finds.
A photo blast from Week 4 at the Luna Settlement, including action shots of ongoing excavations and a range of artifacts found this week.
Some images of the last half of Week 3 at the Luna Settlement. We're well within the Luna-era deposits and have high hopes of learning new and interesting things about the life of the short-lived Spanish colony.
Week 3 mid-week update; we're well into the Luna-era deposits now in all excavation units, and not only are we finding lots more ceramics, nails, and other debris of daily life for the colonists at the Luna Settlement, but we're also starting to find features, including shell-midden deposits that may be aligned along the outside of possible structure walls (but it's all tentative until we get more archaeological data over the next days and weeks).
Bailing operations after night’s round of torrential rainstorms, in advance of the three-day weekend. No digging today, though.
We've finally gotten into the Luna-era levels in Week 2, and students are already finding a range of 16th-century Spanish artifacts and sherds of Native pottery likely used by the settlers as they struggled to survive after losing most of their fleet and food supplies on board in 1559. Here's a photo blast of our ongoing work.
More progress so far in Week 2 at Luna. All our units are in Level 2, and starting to find more traces of the Luna expedition in the form of Spanish and Native ceramics. The summer heat is intensifying, however. Here are some shots from this week's fieldwork so far.
Week 1 of the 2023 UWF terrestrial field school is complete, and despite a couple of drenching rainouts on Thursday and Friday afternoons just before closing time, the student crew has made great progress in both learning and doing archaeology. Here are a few pictures showing some of our early finds as our excavation units gradually progress downward.
The rest of the students have arrived, and we are well into our first week of the 2023 UWF field school at the Luna Settlement site. Weather has been pleasant so far, progress is good, and it looks like we've got a great team to continue our research over the next eight weeks. Stay tuned as we proceed downward in our excavations.
Supervisor week is underway for the 2023 UWF terrestrial archaeological field school at the Luna Settlement, and we are gearing up for an 8-week summer field season starting this coming Monday. Our supervisory team includes two co-PI's, two co-field directors, and four graduate supervisors, all getting ready for the students taking the undergraduate section of both terrestrial and combination terrestrial/maritime archaeology. This summer we'll be following up on previous fieldwork at the site, continuing to search for more evidence of structures and activity areas at the heart of the 1559-1561 colonial settlement overlooking Pensacola Bay. Stay tuned for more updates as we once again venture into the sixteenth century!
Applications are live for the 2023 UWF summer archaeological and forensic field schools, and this year we are pleased to announce that we will be running an 8-week-long terrestrial archaeological field school at the Luna Settlement site from June 5th through July 28th, where we will be conducting further excavations in the heart of the 16th-century settlement as part of a Special Category Grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Concurrent to this will be both a maritime and combination (terrestrial/maritime) field schools also focusing on the Luna expedition, with the maritime section focusing on exploring the Emanuel Point III shipwreck site offshore from the Luna Settlement. The link to the main UWF field schools page is below, and applications to the undergraduate and graduate level sections are on this page.
Field Schools | University of West Florida This page includes information about our 2023 field school offerings.
The maritime field school is just getting geared up for a month of fieldwork in the area where Luna’s fleet wrecked in 1559. Follow along for the potential of even more discoveries!
The 2022 Luna Settlement field school is a wrap! Thanks to careful planning, hard work, and discipline by our team, all four excavation units were finished and documented by Friday of Week 5, and yesterday the last two units were backfilled. It was a successful year, and we look forward to learning more about what was found during our fall lab class. Many thanks to our student supervisors and crew, but especially to our excellent field directors Abby Stone and Kate Ganas, and co-PI Dr. Danielle Dadiego, for their great leadership and diligent work. Here are some photos from our final week as well as some followup activities.
Week 4 of 5 in our 2022 excavations, and good progress being made in all units being dug, despite seriously oppressive heat and humidity all week long. Here are some photos of our work this past week.
A photo blast from Week 3 of our excavations. Good progress in (generally) clear but hot weather, but only two weeks left to finish everything up and get the excavations backfilled.
Week 2 of field school is a wrap; fortunately, the weather was great this week (if hot and humid). Lots of progress in our 4 excavation units at the heart of the Luna Settlement, and we're ending the week just as the students are getting into the Luna-era stratum below the predominantly 20th-century layers above. Here are some pics of some of our fieldwork and finds this week. Three more to go!
Rain and storms have unfortunately dominated Week 1 of our five-week field school. With first day orientation and the extended Memorial day holiday, we only managed a single (though productive) day of excavation. Here are some photos of our rainy day activities.
First day in the field for the 2022 UWF Luna Settlement terrestrial archaeological field school. Weather was fantastic despite predictions. We're beginning excavation units in new areas within the core-area of the site and looking forward to adding more to what we have already learned about the 1559-1561 expedition's base camp.
Supervisor week for the 2022 UWF Luna Settlement archaeological field school is underway, with the main group of students taking the undergrad section set to arrive next week. We’re looking forward to a great summer of discovery at the site, with our 6th field school since the site’s identification late in 2015.
We're back! Here's the page with links to applications for the 2022 UWF archaeological field schools, including a 5-week terrestrial field school at the Luna Settlement.
General Information | University of West Florida UWF's field schools allow students to gain hands on experience in Forensic Anthropology, Terrestrial and Maritime Archaeology. Information about our 2022 field schools will be coming soon!
Here's a brand-new video on the Luna expedition and settlement, and our fieldwork this summer. Thanks to Mike Thomin and Florida Public Archaeology Network - Northwest Region for a great video production.
2021 Luna Settlement Terrestrial Field School #FieldWorkFridays The University of West Florida 2021 Luna Settlement Terrestrial Field School took place at the archaeological site of the 1559-1561 Tristán de Luna settlemen...
A new blog post detailing the naming of Pensacola and Mobile Bays during the Luna expedition, particularly the connection between today's date (the 462nd anniversary of their entry into Pensacola Bay) and the name Luna chose for the bay.
Last day of the 2021 Luna Settlement field school. All eight units begun were completed, documented, and backfilled during our 8-week summer session, thanks to a wonderful student crew that didn't let the heat or occasional downpours stem their enthusiasm. All in all it was a very successful year, and not only have we added to the growing assemblage of artifacts from Luna's 1559-1561 expedition, but we found a number of postholes that likely relate to structures erected at the settlement site. Great progress in this, our 5th summer field school at the amazing Luna Settlement.
Six weeks down, and just two more to go for this year's field season, and we're still making great progress with bringing all our excavations down into (mostly) sterile sand. Pictures of our most recent progress and finds are below.
The Luna Settlement field school is making great progress in Week Five. Here are more photos of our hard-working student crew and some of their finds since the middle of last week.
We're in the middle of week four, and there's so much activity and finds that a mid-week photo-blast was warranted. Many thanks to Emily DeSanto for sharing a number of great shots of students with their finds.
An interesting find made by grad student supervisor Kate Ganas today: two cotter pin-like iron pieces joined together at the loop to form a sort of hinge. We’ve found other examples of these wrought iron objects elsewhere at the Luna site, including in pit features, but this clearly shows they were used in conjunction with each other as hinges. Though initially we wondered whether they might be improvised door hinges, they are remarkably similar to pre-modern trunk lid hinges or furniture hinges called snipe hinges or gimmal/gimmel hinges. In any case, their presence may suggest some sort of structure in which trunks or furniture might have been housed.
Week three is a wrap, and we're making great progress in all excavations. Students are putting the skills they have learned and are continuing to learn into practice, and we're continuing to discover more evidence of the activities of the inhabitants of the 1559-1561 Luna Settlement. Some excavation units are already right in the Luna layers, while others are just getting down to that level, but despite both intense heat and humidity as well as the occasional drenching downpours, some great archaeology is being done.
Really large sherd of Spanish olive jar found today by grad supervisor Sienna Williams from within a pit feature.
Another successful week of fieldwork at the Luna Settlement. All excavation units are making great progress under the leadership of our co-field directors and grad student supervisors. Students are continuing to learn and refine their fieldwork skills, and more traces of mid-16th-century material culture and a few possible pit features are appearing. Excited to see what the next weeks will bring!
Week 1 of the 2021 Luna Settlement field school is a wrap. We're making great progress, and already finding artifacts and pit features associated with Luna's expedition in the excavation units that we're continuing from previous years (and the new units are rapidly moving down through topsoil toward the 16th-century deposits). Students and crew are learning and doing great work as we learn even more about this important site. Stay tuned for more updates after the holiday weekend!
A successful first day on site with the entire field school crew. Lots of backdirt removal, sandbag filling, staking in units, total station leveling, and learning to shovel-toss dirt into wheelbarrows. Looking forward to breaking ground tomorrow into pristine 16th-century deposits once again.
The 2021 field season at the Luna Settlement is upon us! Field directors and grad student supervisors are busy gearing up￼ for the rest of the students to arrive next week, including laying in new excavation units on this gorgeous but windy day. We are all looking forward to a great summer field school over the next weeks￼. Keep an eye out for more posts as we finally get back into the ground after a year’s absence!
Here is Part 2 to the blog post last week, tracing the Luna Settlement's history and evolution after the hurricane of 1559 until its abandonment in 1561.
Santa María de Ochuse, Spain’s First Colonial Settlement on Pensacola Bay, Part 2: After the Hurricane by John E. Worth © UWF Division of Archaeology and Anthropology The devastation wrought by the hurricane of September 19-20, 1559 was ma...
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