James Adovasio

Mercyhurst archaeologists back at undersea beach

By Jackie Smith - Erie Times News


It's take two for one Mercyhurst College archaeologist, whose underwater excavation last summer off Florida's Gulf Coast will continue today.

James Adovasio, Ph.D., provost and director of Mercyhurst's Archaeological Institute, will travel 105 to 130 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico to search for ancient tools and artifacts used by a population he believes existed more than 13,500 years ago along what are now submerged beaches.

Through Aug. 7, Adovasio and a team of about 10 people will return to the submerged ancient stream and river channels they identified in 2008, west of what today is St. Petersburg, Fla.

"We know the stuff's out there, but no one's ever tried to systematically look for it," he said.

The focus is on locations up to 135 feet underwater. Adovasio said it's a region previously untouched by other excavations.

While there, they'll search for ancient camps, submerged tree-stump forests, fossilized animal remains and any other indications of early humans having been there.


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