FPAN can help facilitate speakers for meetings of your civic group, community organization, youth club, or heritage society, and for lecture series and special events.

Most presentations last about 30-45 minutes with additional time for questions, although programs usually can be tailored for your needs. Specific topics are dependent on speaker availability, so book early! There is no charge for presentations, although donations are gratefully accepted to support FPAN educational programs.

Presentation topics are divided into two sections:

Take a look at our offerings, then submit the form below and let us know what you’d like to learn about! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, ask us and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

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Hands-On Activities for Children

FPAN staff is available to visit your classroom, camp or club and provide hands-on archaeology education activities. If interested, select from presentation list below and fill out our program request form at the top of the page. Programs are free for public schools, public libraries, local museums and non-profit organizations. Florida Archaeology Month (March) and Summer calendars fill up fast so please schedule as soon as possible in advance.

PB&J: How (and why!) Archaeologists Find Sites

A classic! Students systematically excavate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to explore the concepts of stratigraphy and survey, emphasizing how archaeologists use the scientific method in the field. If Power Point is available, this activity can include pictures of real tools, fieldwork, and sites to enhance learning. Note: We ask that the event organizer assist in purchasing some or all of the supplies necessary for this hands-on activity. Supplies include: Bread, peanut butter, jelly, m+m’s, chocolate chips, plastic knives, and straws.

Prehistoric Pottery

Students learn about the advent of pottery in Florida, and do hands-on experimentation using play-doh to explore pottery-making and -decorating technology. The lesson also teaches about how pottery can help archaeologists understand a site and its prehistoric people.

Underwater Archaeology: Exploring the Maple Leaf

TLearn about underwater archaeology by investigating one of Florida’s shipwreck sites! This presentation will discuss how underwater sites form and the excavation processes needed to do archaeology on them. Kids get to try their hands at underwater archaeology by excavating the Maple Leaf, a Civil War era shipwreck.

A Florida Shipwreck through Time

Based on the book Shipwreck: Leap through Time, this talk takes the audience through the stages of a shipwreck--from ship construction to underwater museum. The issue of piracy in archaeology is addressed, as well as expanding known submerged resources beyond maritime themes.

Kingsley Slave Cabin Archaeology

Recent excavations at Kingsley Plantation have radically changed our understanding of what life was like for the enslaved people living there. This lesson tasks students with mapping artifacts exactly where they were found in the cabin, just like archaeologists do. After mapping, they work in teams to classify artifacts. Finally, as a group we discuss explore what we can understand about this population by looking at these artifacts in context (where they were found and with what other objects).

Make Prehistoric Florida your Home

This presentation teaches children about the raw and natural resources Native Americans used to build their campsites and villages. How did they build houses and shelter? How did they construct giant mounds? What did they make their tools and clothing out of? Kids enjoy learning how ancient peoples used the natural environment to hunt, fish, build towns, and make a living in prehistoric Florida!

Presentation Topics for Adults

FPAN staff is available to come talk to local libraries, civic organizations, historical societies and any other group interested in hearing more about Florida archaeology. Below are some of the standard talks we give in the region but we are often able to custom make a talk based on your interest. Select a title from the list below to fill out the program request form at the top of the page or get in touch with us at eastcentral@fpan.us. Programs are free and subject to staff availability for scheduling.

In Search of 16th-Century St. Augustine

Walking the streets of St. Augustine can confuse the visitor in search of the 16th century, but 450-year-old sites are there—often beneath their feet. This presentation synthesizes work done by archaeologists over the past century and focuses on small objects that bring ordinary people in the 16th century to life. Those planning to partake in the city's birthday party will benefit from the presentation’s culmination of “Ten Things to Do to Prepare for the 450th.”

Archaeology Along the St. Johns River

The St. Johns River has played an ever-changing role in the lives of Floridians for thousands of years. Prehistorically, the river provided food, transportation, and a geographic connection between cultures living from the source to the mouth. Historically, the river supported missions, plantations, and military outposts. Exploration is not limited to land; famous archaeological sites on the river's bottom add to our knowledge of Florida's past.

Fantastic Archaeology: Florida Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries

Celebrate Florida archaeology by learning what archaeology is, and importantly what it is not. This educational and entertaining talk will focus on the misuse and abuse of Florida's past. Moving from historical to modern day examples we discuss the many ways “belief in nonsense can be dangerous (Kenneth Feder).”

Prehistoric Weaponry and Tools

We often don’t think of prehistoric peoples in Florida as being technologically advanced, but archaeological and historical data shows that native peoples were incredibly sophisticated in their tool use. This presentation can be tailored for all group levels, children to adult. Learn how Florida’s native people utilized their environment to make tools and what kinds of weapons they produced. This presentation also discusses how and why we know about these tools through archaeological investigations and historical document research.

Timucuan Technology

As Florida turned 500 we looked to how people met their basic needs before Spanish arrival. Tools made from plant and animal sources were used to hunt, provide shelter, and strengthen ties between the people who spoke the Timucuan language. Drawing from biotechnology plans developed for the Timucuan Technology activity guide, this presentation is available as a general discussion of tools or specialized lectures by material type: plants, animals, shells, pottery, or pyrotechnology.

Archaeology in Florida State Parks

When people first realize archaeology happens in Florida, it often surprises them to hear of how many active permits are issued to do work in state parks. Some of the digs are by field school where students learn the ABCs of excavation, while other digs are done in advance of construction or improvements to a park. This lecture emphasizes visitation of the many parks that feature archaeology interpreted for the public including Ft. Mose, Hontoon Island, Crystal River, Bulow Sugar Mill, Ft. Clinch, De Leon Springs, and many more.

Space Archaeology

One of the greatest impacts on archaeology in the 21st century is the use of satellites to discover and document archaeological sites. Data collected from space is changing the way archaeologists investigate landscapes and spatial relationships; this data is also being used to track the destruction or loss of archaeological sites. This talk will discuss the advent and growth of space archaeology as a discipline within archaeology as well as provide case studies of researchers who are currently pushing the boundaries of archaeological research from beyond the confines of our planet.

Historic Cemeteries as Outdoor Museums

We encourage families and classes to get into the cemeteries within their communities and put archaeological principles to the test. This presentation can be brought via Powerpoint or introduced on-site at an actual cemetery. Iconography, dating of headstones, and change of style over time (seriation) are emphasized along with lessons in cemetery preservation.

14,000 Years of Florida Prehistory

This lecture discusses the chronology of Florida’s prehistoric Native Americans, and discusses their major technological achievements through time. 14k Years of FL Prehistory presents the four archaeological time periods in the southeastern United States, and how archaeologists use them to differentiate among different culture groups. This presentation is perfect for those looking for a broad overview of prehistoric archaeology in Florida.

Ancient Graffiti

To some, graffiti is a nuisance. To others, graffiti is art. To archaeologists, graffiti can provide valuable insight to otherwise intangible aspects of past cultures. This presentation can be suited for all ages and discusses the role of graffiti in cultures past and present.

Visualizing the Past: Technology Archaeology

Over the past several decades new technology has been increasingly used by archaeologists to investigate the past. This presentation highlights the many geophysical and remote-sensing tools archaeologists are using to conduct research: ground-penetrating radar, geographical information systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, photogrammetry, and satellite archaeology are a few of the topics covered. Case studies showing these tools in use are also discussed.

Grit Tempered II: Famous Women in Florida Archaeology

In 1991 the book Grit Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists in the Southeastern United States was published to highlight to contributions of women who made archaeology what it is today. Since that time, the tradition of strong women archaeologists has continued. This talk presupposes a Grit Tempered II sequel and nominates five phenomenal Florida women for consideration: Kathleen Deagan (St. Augustine), Judy Bense (Pensacola), Bonnie McEwan (Tallahassee), Rebecca Saunders (Amelia Island) and Nancy White (Gulf Coast). Come learn more about these women, their enduring impact on how we understand our past, and the sites that made them famous.

Prehistoric Pottery 101

Did you know that some of the oldest pottery in North America started in Florida 4500 years ago? Learn all about how native Floridians made pottery, the common identifiers and types in your area and how archaeologists learn about people of the past through potsherds!

Heritage Monitoring Scouts (HMS Florida)

Worldwide heritage sites are at risk from impacts due to climate change: erosion, sea level rise, and major storms to name just a few. HMS Florida is a public engagement program that focuses on tracking changes to archaeological sites over time. This presentation will provide context for climate change issues in Florida, discuss how those changes impact archaeological sites, and lets the public know what they can do to help heritage at risk.