FLORIDA ARCHAEOLOGY MONTH
Every year in March, Florida celebrates Florida Archaeology Month (FAM). FAS chapters, archaeologists, heritage professionals, museums, historical societies, and interested members of the public come together to promote and celebrate Florida’s archaeological sites and knowledge about the past through events, workshops, lectures, and public archaeology days.
FAM 2019: Shared Collections—Shared Stories
A major highlight during the month-long celebration is always the new FAM poster, developed every year to illustrate a unique theme within Florida Archaeology. For the 2019 poster and theme, the FAM team drew from the vast network of archaeological collections on display throughout the state.
Perhaps one of the most celebrated examples of pre-contact Native American artisanry in Florida, the small figure known as the Key Marco Cat has a story to tell. Archaeologist Frank Hamilton Cushing uncovered the cat and many other objects in 1896 from a peat-filled pond on Marco Island that had once been within a thriving coastal settlement. With both feline and human features, the Key Marco Cat embodies ancestral Calusa belief systems and transcends our everyday ideas of art.
On January 26, the Marco Island Historical Museum opened a new exhibit featuring the return of the Key Marco Cat. The exhibit explores the lifeways of the people who made the objects, the subject of Cushing’s findings. To see the Cat in real life (*IRL) head down to Marco Island for a visit to the historical museum and learn all about the Calusa, their ancestors, and Cushing’s excavations.
Special thanks to the Marco Island Historical Museum and Society for their collaboration.