Spanish Mission on Millhopper Road
These artifacts were collected from a Spanish mission site off Millhopper Road in Gainesville.
Florida Museum of Natural History photo by Jeff Gage

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer behind-the-scenes tours of its archaeology collections at Dickinson Hall March 23 and other activities for all ages in celebration of Florida Archaeology Month.

“These programs will give our community multiple opportunities to engage with different sides of Florida archaeology,” said Amanda Harvey, museum education assistant.

The museum’s Randell Research Center in Pineland will host its eighth annual Calusa Heritage Day Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a variety of activities including tours, demonstrations and presentations. Florida Museum archaeology curator emeritus Jerald T. Milanich will give the keynote address, “Ponce de Leon’s 1513 Voyage to Florida.” Admission is $5 for adults and free for children and Randell Research Center members. For more information, visit or call 239-283-2062 or 239-283-2157.

Tuesday, the Museum will host its third Science Café this spring, “Prelude to La Florida: The World of Ponce de Leon in the Spanish Caribbean, 1493-1513,” with Kathleen Deagan, Florida Museum distinguished research curator of historical archaeology. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. at Chef Brothers Custom Catering, 5240 NW 34th St., across from the YMCA. To help plan for this free program (participants purchase their own food and beverage), please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing or calling Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062.

The museum is offering a guided tour and presentation by Florida archaeology collections manager Donna L. Ruhl March 19 to explore the temporary exhibit, “Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas.” The museum will display the exhibit through the end of the year before it begins its national traveling tour. The guided tour will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. with Ruhl’s presentation from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The special behind-the-scenes tours of the museum’s Florida archaeology collections at Dickinson Hall will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. March 23. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to view the collections, which normally are not open to the public, and speak with researchers who study and work with the artifacts.

For more information on any of these events email or call Amanda Harvey at 352-273-2062.


Source: Amanda Harvey,
Writer: Kate Schofield,
Media contact: Paul Ramey, APR; 352-273-2054,