Florida Museum of Natural History

Welcome to St. Augustine...

Seventy three years after Columbus sailed to America, another Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Aviles, landed in Florida and established a colony among the Timucua Indians. He named it St. Augustine on September 8, 1565. The settlement was already forty two years old when Jamestown was founded, and has survived until today as the oldest European town in the United States. Over the two turbulent centuries between St. Augustine's founding and the departure of the Spaniards in 1763, the city was home to Spaniards, criollos (people of Spanish ancestry born in America), Indians, Africans and mixed blood people. Together they created a lively multi-cultural and multiethnic society that was unique in colonial North America.


Much of St. Augustine's history has been uncovered through archaeology in the homesites of its colonial residents, and a great deal of what we know about their often difficult daily lives comes directly from the excavated objects that people made, used, lost and discarded over the centuries. We invite you to meet some of those people, and to join us as we trace life and society in Spanish St. Augustine through their artifactual "words from the earth".

This exhibit was funded in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Historic Preservation Advisory Council. Additional funds were provided by the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.

Florida Museum
of Natural History
Historic St. Augustine
Research Institute
at Flagler College
Florida Department of State City of St. Augustine