GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History Distinguished Research Curator of Archaeology Kathleen Deagan was honored during a ceremony Tuesday (Sept. 18) in St. Augustine with the prestigious Order of La Florida award.

Considered the city’s highest honor, the Order of La Florida is awarded for outstanding community service to residents who have tirelessly devoted their time and talent over a long period of time. Created in 1975, the award may only be held by eight living people at any given time, and they must be at least 55 years old. Only 14 people precede Deagan in receiving the award.

University of Florida Distinguished Service Professor of History Michael Gannon also received the award.

“I have always just felt incredibly lucky to be working as an archaeologist in St. Augustine,” Deagan said. “I don’t think there is a community anywhere that has more pride and involvement in its past, so I am truly and deeply honored to receive this award.”

Deagan began working in St. Augustine in 1972 and continues her research there today. For the past 30 years, she has followed the cultural transformations in Latin America due to the multicultural society of Spaniards, American Indians and Africans.

Deagan’s efforts have produced one of the largest systematic, contextually controlled bodies of historical archaeological data in the country, and her work has provided the basis for dozens of journal articles, 12 books, 13 doctoral dissertations and 21 master’s theses.

Writer: Jessica Thurmond
Media contact: Paul Ramey, (352) 273-2054,