Archaeology research project takes off

The Mercyhurst Archaeology Institute has finalized plans to begin a digging project starting in January in Vero Beach, Fla.

The project, which will involve students from the Archaeology Institute as well as volunteers from the community, aims to discover plant, animal and human remains that may not be found in any other archaeological sites in the world, according to a Mercyhurst announcement.

According to the TCPalm, a local publication in Florida, the Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee (OVIASC) is paying $450,000 for the excavation. Mercyhurst is covering around $200,000 in costs, plus charging a reduced rate for analytical work provided by members of the institute.

Vero Beach is a site of interest for archaeologists as previous excavations, although limited, resulted in the discovery of various remains that could be dated to up to 15,000 years ago, some being from the Ice Age.

It is estimated that Vero Beach attracts 40,000 to 50,000 visitors per year, which makes the site a very coveted region to conduct research on.

Because of the tourist traffic, it was necessary for the dig area to be covered so the artifacts or findings are protected from the public and the environmental conditions in the area.

The Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute will be working with OVIASC on the dig, hoping to find remains that will provide insight on the forms of life centuries ago.