Save date for Anthropology event

February 24, 2018
Storer Auditorium, University of Miami
Co-Sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Department of Geological Sciences, Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, Florida Public Archaeology Network


About | Keynote Speaker | Invited Speakers

Afternoon Panelists | Registration | Conference Hotel


Join us for a one day public symposium on Little Salt Spring. Through a variety of scholarly presentations, a pop-up artifact exhibit, and discussion panel we aim to explore the role of Little Salt Spring within the broader spectrum of knowledge of the first peopling of the Americas and address the site’s pertinence to climate change in the past, present, and future.

Leading figures in the study of America’s earliest human occupation will present new research findings from Little Salt Spring and related archaeological sites.  An afternoon forum will bring together leaders within the south Florida archaeological community to discuss future research and preservation of Little Salt Spring and other underwater cultural resources.  This conference is open to the public and co-sponsored by the University of Miami, the Florida Public Archaeology Network, and HistoryMiami.


Waters photoDr. Michael R. Waters, Director of the Center for the Study of First Americans, Texas A & M University

Forging a New Understanding of the Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas 
Archaeological and genetic evidence accumulated over the last few decades show that the 80-year-old Clovis First model no longer explains the exploration and settlement of the Americas by humans at the end of the last Ice Age.  Evidence from archaeological sites in North and South America are providing empirical evidence that people occupied the Americas by 15,000 years ago.  Studies of modern and ancient genomes confirm this age estimate and tell us who these people were and where they came from.  This archaeological and genetic evidence is rewriting our understanding of the First Americans.

Professor Waters holds the Endowed Chair in First American Studies at Texas A & M, is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, directs four research projects on early Americans and is the author of the key textbook on geoarchaeology. Dr. Waters will address the importance of Little Salt Spring and other early archaeological sites for understanding the origin of human occupation of North America.


Dr. Lee Newsom, Flagler College, Emerita, Dept. of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University

                MacArthur Fellow and author of recent publications in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on plant remains from LSS

Dr. Jason O’Donoughue, Bureau of Archaeological Research, Division of Historical Resources

                Author of the recent book, Water from Stone: Archaeology and Conservation at Florida's Springs

Jessi Halligan photoDr. Jessi Halligan, Florida State University

A View from the Blackwater Aucilla: How Florida’s Underwater Paleoindian Sites Are Providing Insights into the First Americans
The Paleoindian record of Florida is a study in contrasts. Well-preserved paleoenvironmental data and numerous bone and ivory artifacts from freshwater submerged sites provide clues about the earliest inhabitants and their lifeways. Much of Florida’s Paleoindian record was submerged by sea level rise, so we know little about any early coastal adaptations while sites on land suffer from problems common to the Southeast: poor preservation and destruction from development. However a century of research has demonstrated that Florida’s underwater sites can provide important information about the first Floridians, the first people in the Southeast, and the first Americans.

Dr. Andrew Hemmings, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University

                Field Director of excavations at the Old Vero Ice Age Site, a location of early human and paleofauna co-occupation under investigation since 1915.


Steve Koski, moderator, University of Miami and Sarasota County

Traci Ardren, Department of Anthropology, University of Miami

Sara Ayers-Rigsby, Florida Public Archaeology Network

Paul Backhouse, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Seminole Tribe of Florida

Fritz Hanselmann, Underwater Archaeology and Exploration program, University of Miami

Jeff Moates, Florida Public Archaeology Network

Lawry Reid, Friends of Little Salt Spring, Warm Mineral Springs/Little Salt Spring Archaeology Society

Pop-up Exhibit at the conference-
See some of the artifacts recovered from over 25 years of research at Little Salt Spring including an antler calendar, lithic spear points, and shell ornaments.


This conference is open to the public but registration is required.  Limited seating is available.  Registration includes entrance to all the presentations, the panel, the exhibit, and lunch.

Conference Refund Policy: Refunds will be made ONLY if written notice of cancellation is received prior to December 29, 2017. After this date, NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED. Refunds will be processed after completion of the conference.

Privacy Policy: No information provided while registering for the conference will be sold or made available to companies or organizations not affiliated with the University of Miami.



The Hampton Inn—Coconut Grove will offer conference registrants a special University of Miami rate of $144./night.  Please call the hotel to make your reservation and request the UM rate.  The hotel is located 4 miles from campus at 2800 SW 28th Terrace, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133.  Make your reservation by calling 305-448-2800.