At Phillippi Estate Park, artifacts to be presented from the remains of an encampment used by people during the Manasota Period, 500 B.C. to 800 A.D.
Archaeology will again be in the spotlight at Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota when the park hosts an archaeological “show and tell” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 16, Sarasota County has announced.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network will present artifacts from the Prodie Shell Midden, the remains of an encampment along the Phillippi Creek used by people during the Manasota Period (500 B.C. to 800 A.D.), a county news release says. That midden is on the site of what is now a 60-acre county park, the news release points out. “Visitors will have an opportunity to see and learn about conch hammers, pottery shards, fishing net weights and other tools left behind by the Manasota culture,” the release notes.
“The Prodie Shell Midden is an example of the everyday life of the people that once called this wonderful place their home,” said Jeff Moates of the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the University of South Florida Department of Archaeology in the release. “It’s great to see it preserved and now commemorated and celebrated by the community. Knowing these places exist can really enrich a community and provide a wonderful sense of place.”
The event is free and open to anyone interested in archaeology, but it is especially geared toward children and is being held during the Sarasota County School District’s spring break, the release points out. It will coincide with the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, held at the park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday from October to April.
Sarasota County hosted a two-day archaeological excavation in January at Phillippi Estate Park in conjunction with the Florida Public Archaeology Network and New College that drew more than 500 spectators and participants, the release continues.
“It’s exciting to see so many people come out and experience firsthand the rich history that is found right here in our county park,” said Priscilla Brown, Phillippi Estate Park manager, in the release.
The Friends of Sarasota County Parks has provided a $5,000 grant for interpretive heritage signage that will be placed around the Prodie Shell Midden, featuring pictures of Manasota Indians and drawings of artifacts recovered from the excavation in January, the release notes. “Those educational panels are planned to be on display when Phillippi Estate Park hosts a centennial commemoration of the Edson Keith Mansion in November,” it adds.
The 100th anniversary celebration will also include the opening of the renovated Edson Keith Farmhouse, which will serve as an interpretive center showcasing the Manasota artifacts as well as artifacts from the Edson Keith period that will show how ordinary people lived 100 years ago, the release continues.
Phillippi Estate Park is located at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.
For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.