The Mercyhurst University Archaeology Department started a dig on Jan. 6 in Vero Beach, Florida.
One hundred years ago, very close to where the Mercyhurst team is commencing its dig, scientists found evidence of extinct animals such as mammoths, saber-tooth cats and ground sloths.
They also found a human who is known today as “Vero Man.” “Vero Man” has been a controversial topic for scholars because it is unclear whether the bones were from the period of the Ice Age like the extinct animals, or if they are from a more recent time. The Mercyhurst team hopes to find information that will clear up this scholarly uncertainty.
This team has been put together by the chief field assistant for this Vero Beach dig, Anne Marjenin. Marjenin is currently the director of the Archaeology Processing Lab at Mercyhurst. She has put together a wide variety of excavators for this dig including current Mercyhurst students and alumni, students from other institutions, and a number of volunteers from the Vero Beach area.
“We know, without a doubt, that we will recover material informing on the geology and past climate of Florida (which also applies to much of the southeastern United States) and will almost certainly recover ecofacts informing on the biota of the area as well as artifacts indicating human use/occupation of what used to be inland Florida,” said Director of Mercyhurst Curation and Conservation Jeff Illingworth.
The dig at Vero Beach is looking to be very promising and revealing. Once the team of excavators discovers artifacts during this dig they will be sent back to Mercyhurst University for analysis. After being analyzed the artifacts are going to return to Vero Beach to be displayed.
The archeological dig in Vero Beach, FL., will continue for the first five months of 2014.