Promoting archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the diverse cultures of the human past


The Archaeological Institute of America - Jacksonville Society

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is the world's oldest and largest archaeological organization. The AIA is a nonprofit founded in 1879 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1906. There are more than 100 local societies, like this Jacksonville Society, in the United States, Canada, and overseas. Members include professional archaeologists, students, and enthusiasts, all united by their passion for archaeology and its role in furthering human knowledge.

The AIA promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity.

The AIA supports archaeologists, their research and its dissemination, and the ethical practice of archaeology.

The AIA educates people of all ages about the significance of archaeological discovery and advocates for the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage.

Professional archaeologists who are AIA members, have conducted fieldwork worldwide. The Institute has founded research centers and schools in seven countries and maintains close contact with these institutions. AIA Members are dedicated to the greater understanding of archaeology, the protection and preservation of the world's archaeological resources, and the support of archaeological research and publication.



Our speaker presentations take place at noon, in Building 51 at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, (1 UNF Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32224)  AND/OR on Zoom.  The lectures are free and open to the public. After the lecture,  complimentary refreshments may be served in the Physical Anthropology Lab. On Saturdays, parking is free and the staff/faculty/vendor spaces are open to everyone.



Dr. Charles Cobb from the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida

Following the Metal Wake of Spanish Expeditions in the Southeast

Many of the artifacts from 16th-century Spanish explorations found on Native American sites in the American Southeast have been documented from burial contexts. This has given rise to the received wisdom that these objects were usually gifts distributed to Indigenous elites. Over the past decade, archaeological research at sites in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia has challenged this perspective. Systematic-metal detecting surveys have revealed that objects of European origin are far more abundant than previously realized and are often found in domestic contexts. This work is opening up new interpretations about how Native Americans acquired European goods, as well as how they modified these objects in ways that aligned with Indigenous worldviews.

Charles Cobb has been the Curator of Historical Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History since 2014. He also is Director of the Museum’s Randell Research Center located on Pine Island in southwest Florida. He received his PhD in 1988 from Southern Illinois University and was subsequently a faculty member in anthropology at SUNY-Binghamton and University of South Carolina before his arrival at the University of Florida. Cobb has a long-term interest in the history and archaeology of Indigenous cultures of the southeastern United States, with a particular focus on interactions between Native Americans and European colonials. Since his arrival at Florida, he has been developing an online digital database of Florida Museum artifact collections from St. Augustine and Franciscan mission sites. Meanwhile, his field projects have had two emphases: first, addressing the impacts of Spanish expeditions on Native American societies during the 1500s A.D.; second, investigating the widespread abandonment of Indigenous towns in the mid-South during the 1400s A.D. Since 2015, his fieldwork has been carried out in collaboration with the Chickasaw Nation.


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Germany Repatriates Artifacts to Mexico

BERLIN, GERMANY—According to a report in The Art Newspaper, 75 artifacts were repatriated to Mexico in a ceremony held at Mexico’s embassy in Berlin. All but one of the items had been collected by a German national who had been working near Mexico’s Gulf Coast some 120 years ago. The artifacts were then donated to the Museum Schloss Salder in 1963, where they were identified as Huastecan. The remaining artifact, a 4,000-year-old stone mortar tripod, was seized by customs officials in Leipzig. “Their restitution not only guarantees their preservation and study, but also returns a fundamental part of their historical memory to our Indigenous communities,” commented Francisco José Quiroga Fernández, Mexico’s ambassador to Germany. To read about a Maya nose ornament recently uncovered at the site of Palenque, go to "Around the World: Mexico."

Possible 1,400-Year-Old Temple Excavated in Eastern England

RENDLESHAM, ENGLAND—In the eighth century, an English monk and historian known as The Venerable Bede wrote of a king’s village at “Rendlaesham,” and of a temple equipped with both Christian and pre-Christian altars. BBC News reports that the site of a possible 1,400-year-old temple has been uncovered at Rendlesham in eastern England, which is located near Sutton Hoo, the archaeological site where East Anglian king Raedwald is thought to have been buried in A.D. 625. The possible temple structure measured more than 30 feet long and 16 feet wide, and had been built with substantial foundations. The excavation also uncovered evidence of a ditch that may have surrounded the royal village, traces of two other timber buildings, and a mold used for casting fine pieces of decorative horse harnesses similar to those unearthed at Sutton Hoo. “The possible temple, or cult house, provides rare and remarkable evidence for the practice at a royal site of the pre-Christian beliefs that underpinned early English society,” explained archaeologist Christopher Scull of University College London. To read more about excavations at Rendlesham, go to "The Ongoing Saga of Sutton Hoo."





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