The FAC board’s letter to the Division of Historic Resources regarding the Artifact Amnesty Survey has been archived in the documents section of the website. The letter can be accessed through the documents page at http://flarchcouncil.org/documents.htm
The Board of the Florida Archaeological Council met August 20, 2015 and voted unanimously to oppose the proposed artifact amnesty program. We are currently composing a letter to DHR outlining our concerns. In the meantime, we want to encourage you each to complete the questionnaire distributed by Florida Department of State by the September 4 deadline. The number of responses is being tracked by DOS and will influence the ultimate decision made by the State of Florida, so your input is vital.
The Florida Division of Historical Resources, following a mandate introduced at the very end of this year’s legislative session, has posted a survey to study the feasibility of having a time-limited Artifact Amnesty program for artifacts taken from State Lands and State-Submerged Lands without a permit. The background for this action, as we understand it, is that a a few Florida citizens are concerned about the severe consequences if they are caught with artifacts collected in violation of Florida Statutes Chapter 267. The consequences came to the public’s attention after Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) successfully prosecuted numerous individuals for collecting prehistoric Native American artifacts from Florida rivers. There has also been mention of linking this proposed amnesty program to reinstatement of the failed and discontinued isolated finds program, so that collecting Native American artifacts in Florida rivers would be legal again. Some advocates would even like to make hobbyist collecting on all state lands legal. The FAC Board believes that, as representatives of professional archaeologists across the state, we must oppose these moves in order to insure the continued preservation and wise-management of archaeological sites on state lands and state submerged lands.
Dr. William Lees, Executive Director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, has crafted an excellent statement on behalf of FPAN, which I attach here for your information with his permission. Alternatively, you can visit the FPAN web page. Please read this material and give some thought to your answers, especially to question 6, before you complete the survey.
The DHR survey, entitled “Artifact Amnesty Feasibility Study Questions, August 2015,” may be found at:
It is open to anyone, and may be taken only once per e-mail address. The questions in the survey are:
1.Did you know that it is illegal to remove, without authorization, any specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority?
2. Do you think it should be illegal to remove, without authorization, any specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority?
3. Do you support the implementation of a one-time amnesty program of limited duration for persons who possess specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value collected from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority?
4. If you were in possession of any specimens, objects or materials of historical or archaeological value from land owned or controlled by the state or on land owned by a water authority, would you return them during an amnesty program?
5. Do you think other people would participate in an amnesty program?
6. Please list the positive and/or negative impacts you feel that an amnesty program could potentially have on the stakeholders and historic resources
of the state.
The 2015-2016 Board Meetings are scheduled for the following dates.
August 20, 2015 – 3 pm edt, teleconference
November 12, 2015 – 3 pm est, teleconference
February 18, 2016 – 3 pm est, teleconference
May 2016 – to be announced
The Florida Legislature is discussing the possibility of eliminating the Conservation and Recreation Lands Trust Fund in its deliberations to implement the 2014 Amendment 1 to the Florida Constitution that was designed to require continued funding for purchase of state lands and waters (including historic sites). The current push in the legislature seems to be directed toward purchase of new state lands and waters, and away from funding management and interpretation of these properties. The CARL funds currently pay for most of the programs in the Bureau of Archaeological Research including underwater and terrestrial archaeology programs, state lands survey, conservation labs, collections facility, and San Luis. The Museum of Florida History is also funded through CARL, as are other programs in a variety of state agencies. Compliance Review is funded from Federal sources, and is not threatened at this time.
The Florida Archaeological Council has sent a letter to Senator Charlie Dean, the Chair of the Florida Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee, regarding this issue. We encourage anyone interested in historic preservation to write to their legislators and express your concern that important programs focused on identification, management, and public interpretation of state historic and prehistoric sites are at risk.
Each year, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation announces Florida’s Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites as part of the Annual Statewide Preservation Conference. The Most Endangered Historic Sites program is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the urgent need to save Florida’s neglected or threatened historic resources. We do that to empower local preservationists and preservation groups in their efforts to preserve Florida’s rich history.
The 2015 Eleven Most Endangered Historic Sites will be announced on May 7, 2015, at the Opening Session of the Florida Trust’s 37th Anniversary Conference in Miami, Florida.
The deadline for submitting nominations is February 28, 2015.
Each year the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation solicits nominations for outstanding examples of preservation of architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources in Florida. The winners of awards in a variety of categories are announced and celebrated each year at the Florida Trust’s annual conference.
Those interested in nominating an individual or project for award recognition can view complete information by downloading the 2015 Call for Nominations. The announcement includes a description of all categories and the process for submitting nominees.
The Awards Recognition Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 8, 2015, during the 37th Annual Conference in Miami, Florida, followed by a ticketed reception honoring the award winners.
The deadline for submitting nominations is February 28, 2015.
The Florida Anthropological Society has a (relatively) new tumblr. Check it out at:
August 14, 3 pm edt/2 pm cdt
November 20, 3 pm est/2 pm cst
February 26, 3 pm est/2 pm cst
May 29, TBA, Bradenton/Sarasota
August, November, and February meetings are teleconferences.