■ STAFF REPORT
On Thursday, March 14, the Boca Grande Historical Society will present its third lecture of the season. Dr. Ryan Duggins, an underwater archaeologist with the State of Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, will discuss the discovery and work on a 7,000-year-old Native American ancestral burial site in the Gulf of Mexico near Venice.
While searching for teeth from a Megalodon, a species of shark that has been extinct for two-million-plus years, a diver discovered something else – a human jawbone with one tooth still intact. He sent a photo to the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, and soon Ryan Duggins and a crew of underwater archaeologists were diving in the area where the bone had been discovered.
What the group found was a bog burial site that had once been on dry land but had been covered by the Gulf since the rise in sea level after the last Ice Age. How this site has survived and the current research being done on the site will be part of Duggins’ presentation.
Duggins earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University. He spends much of his time on underwater research, including submerged landscape reconstruction, terrestrial and submerged archaeological predictive modeling, archaeological GIS applications and maritime cultural resource management.
The free lecture will be at the Community Center at 2 p.m. A brief reception will follow. Hazeltine Nurseries has generously underwritten this year’s lecture series, including Dr. Duggins’ presentation. For additional information, visit the Historical Society website – bocagrandehistoricalsociety.com – or call the History Center at 964-1600.