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Historic photo of Ponce Hall circa 1960s

Dr. Kathleen Deagan

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Description of Research

Kathleen Deagan is Distinguished Research Curator of Archaeology and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History. She received her Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Florida, and after teaching at Florida State University Anthropology Department for eight years, she joined the University of Florida faculty in 1982.

Her research has focused on the archaeology of the Spanish colonial period in Florida and the Caribbean. She has conducted excavations in St. Augustine, Florida since 1972, and has worked in Haiti and the Dominican Republic since 1979. She has directed excavations at Colombus first towns in America, the search for la Navidad, Columbus's first fort, in Haiti; Ft. Mose, America's first free black community and Florida's first Spanish fort (1565-66) in St. Augustine. She been a consultant on historic preservation and archaeology in Spain, Venezuela, Panama. Peru, Jamaica and Honduras.

Deagan is the author of eight books and more than 65 scientific papers. She was named an Alumna of Outstanding Distinction by the University of Florida in 1998, is a recipient of the Society for Historical Archaeology's J.C. Harrington Award for Lifetime Distinction in Historical Archaeology, and in 1997 received the City of St. Augustine's Order of La Florida.

Florida Museum of Natural History
Box 117800- Dickinson Hall
Gainesville, Florida 32611


B.A (Anthropology) University of Florida, 1970;  Ph.D. (Anthropology) University of Florida, 1974

CURRENT POSITION     Distinguished Research Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida;  Adjunct Distinguished Research Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida;  Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies,  Adjunct Professor of History, University of  Florida.

RESEARCH INTERESTS:   Historical Archaeology; Spanish Colonial Studies; Material culture systematics; Culture contact and change; Caribbean and Florida archaeology and ethnohistory

LANGUAGES English; Spanish; rudimentary Haitian creole

1974-79 Assistant Professor, Florida State University Anthropology Department 
1979-81 Associate Professor, Florida State University Anthropology Department
1982-85 Associate Curator, Florida State Museum, Anthropology Department
1983-1990   Chairperson, Department of Anthropology, Florida Museum of Natural History
1985-1995 Curator, Department of Anthropology, Florida Museum of Natural History
1995- Distinguished Research Curator, Florida  Museum of Natural History, University  of Florida.


American Anthropological AssociationSociety for American Archaeology (Executive Committee 1987-89; Dissertation Prize selection committee 1993-1995; Nominating Committee, 1995, 2001; Historic Landmarks Committee 2003-2008); Society for Historical Archaeology(Board of Directors, 1980-83 President Elect 1984; President 1985-86); Southeast Archaeological Conference; Florida Anthropological Society;  Archaeological Institute of America; Registry of Professional Archaeologists (ROPA); American Historical Association

HONORS AND AWARDS (Selected, since 1990)
1992   Society for Historical Archaeology: Award of Merit  for outstanding contribution to historic site preservation and public education
1993   St. Augustine Historical Society: Award of Excellence for Extraordinary Contribution   to the Historical Community
1995   Florida Trust for Historic Preservation: Individual Distinguished Service Award
1996   Charlton Tebeau Book Award for Ft. Mose: America's Black Fortress of Freedom
1996   American Association for State and Local History Award of Merit for  Ft. Mose: America's Black Fortress of Freedom
1997   Florida Anthropological Society: Ripley P. Bullen Award
1997   Named Alumna of Outstanding Achievement, University of Florida
1998   Named as Lifetime Honorary Trustee, St. Augustine Historical Society
2002   Society for American Archaeology Book Award for Columbus’s Outpost among the Taíno, LA Isabela 1493-1498 (2002, Yale University Press)(with José Cruxent)
2003   Society for Historical Archaeology: J.C. Harrington Medal for distinguished lifetime contributions to historical archaeology
2005   Waring Distinguished Lecturer. West Georgia College, Carrollton, Ga
2006   Society for American Archaeology Presidential Recognition Award for work on    the SAA National Historic Landmarks Committee.

1973-present  Director and Principal Investigator, Historical Archaeology  Field School Program in St.   Augustine, Florida.  (Annual excavations including sites of various temporal and ethnic affiliations; [ca.1500-1800] resulting in 13 M.A. theses, 5 Ph.D. dissertations, 3 books, and more than 50 journal articles.)
1982-86 Principal Investigator: Puerto Real project, Haiti (16th century Spanish town).
1983-1988 Principal Investigator: En Bas Saline project, Haiti (The Search for La Navidad in a contact period Taino village).
1986-1990  Principal Investigator, Ft. Mose archaeological project (Americas first free black town)
1989-1996 Co-Principal Investigator with Jose M. Cruxent:  Archaeological investigations of La Isabela - First European town in the New World.
1995-2001 Principal Investigator, Archaeological Study of Concepción de la Vega, Dominican Republic.
2003  Principal Investigator, The Search for La Navidad in Haiti. En Bas Saline.


RESEARCH GRANTS: (Selected, since 1990)
1989-91  National Endowment for the Humanities:  Historical Archaeology at La Isabela
1990   Jessie Ball duPont Educational and Charitable Organization   Ft. Mose Traveling Exhibit
1990   Florida Endowment for the Humanities Ft. Mose exhibit unit.
1990   Florida Bureau of Historic Resources: Ft. Mose exhibit
1991   National Geographic Society: Archaeology at La Isabela,
1991-2001   Florida Department of State    Archaeology at Florida's first Spanish fort and settlement,
1994   Florida Department of State Publication of "Ft. Mose, Americas Colonial Fortress of

1994-96   National Endowment for the Humanities: Analysis and interpretation of archaeological collections from La Isabela, Dominican Republic
1995-1999 U. S. Agency for International Development and USDA: Archaeological Research at Concepcion de la Vega, Dominican Republic
1997  National Geographic Society: Excavations at Florida's First Spanish fort 
1999-2002 : Florida Department of State, St. Augustine Foundation, Inc. Excavations at Florida’s first Spanish fort
2003  National Endowment for the Humanities: Creation of an on-line digital type collection for the Florida Museum of Natural History historical archaeology collections.
2003  Discovery Communications, Inc.  The search for La Navidad in Haiti.
2005  Florida Department of state special Category Grant: Archaeology at the Fountain of Youth.

1990-97  Florida Museum of Natural History Curator, "Fort Mose: America's Black Fortress of Freedom"
1992-94 National Science Foundation: Curation of archeological  collections from St. Augustine.
1999-2000 Florida Museum of Natural History: Script and object consultant, “Down like Lead: 400 Years of Florida Shipwrecks”
1999-2001 Florida Department of State Special Category Grant: Curation and virtual exhibit of St. Augustine’s Archaeological Collections
2002 Florida Museum of Natural History Curator: America’s ancient city- A history of Spanish St. Augustine through its artifacts (an on-line virtual exhibit:

1991, 1993, 1995 UNESCO and the Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Panama (Panama). Review and development of long range plan for historical archaeological programs and potentials in Panamá
1994-2004 Jamestown Rediscovery , Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities: Advisory Board,Archaeological Excavations at Jamestown
1997  Instituto del Patrmonio Cultural de Venezuela, Caracas: Development and implementation of workshops in the identification of historic ceramics
1999-2002 Advisory Board, College of Charleston Center for the Study of the Low Country and the Atlantic World.
2002-03 Discovery Channel: Development of a program on new technologies in search of Columbus
2006-07  Member, Advisory Panel: National Park Service “Preserve America” Program. Washington, D.C
2000-04 Chair, The Florida Humanities Council
2000-04 National Register Review Board (for Florida)
2002-2005 Member, Florida Historical Commission
2000-04 University Press of Florida Editorial Advisory Board
2000 - present  Board of Directors, Historic St. Augustine Research Institute at Flagler College

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS  (8 books and 64 articles in scholarly journals and anthologies)
1983   Spanish St. Augustine:  The Archaeology of a Colonial Creole Community.  New York, Academic Press.
1987   Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, 1500-1800.  Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press (Vol I: Ceramics and Glassware). (Updated edition re-issued in 2002).
1995  (editor and contributor of 4 chapters)  Puerto Real: The archaeology of a sixteenth century Spanish town in Hispaniola. University Presses of Florida
1995   Ft. Mose: Colonial America's Black Fortress of Freedom. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida (with Darcie McMahon)
1998  Rethinking modern history. Archaeology (1998 Special 50th anniversary issue) 51(5):54-60.
1998  Transculturation and Spanish-American ethnogenesis: The archaeological legacy of the Quincentennary.  in Studies in culture contact: Interaction, culture change and archaeology.
edited by J. Cusick, Southern Illinois University Press.
1999  (with Jane Landers)  Fort Mose: The Earliest Free African-American Community in the United States. in I, too am America”: Archaeological studies of African- American life. edited by T. Singleton. Richmond:  University of Virginia Press. Pp. 261-83.                    
2002a Columbus’s Outpost among the Taíno, LA Isabela 1493-1498 (With Jose M. Cruxent). Yale University Press, New Haven
2002b Archaeology at La Isabela, America’s First European town (With Jose M. Cruxent). Yale University Press, New Haven
2002c Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, 1500-1800.  Volume 2 Portable, Personal Possessions.  Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press (Vol I: Ceramics and Glassware).               
2002d (with Stanley South)Historical Archaeology in the Southeast, 1935-2000.  In Histories of Southeastern Archaeology. edited by S. Tushingham, J. Hill and c. H. McNutt. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. pp.35-50.
2003  Transformation of empire: The Spanish colonial project in America. Historical Archaeology 37(4):3-13.
2004  Reconsidering Taíno social dynamics after Spanish conquest: Gender and class in culture contact studies. America Antiquity69(4):597-626.
2005  The St. Augustine Archeological Field Schools, 1950-2005 El Escribano 42:1-22.
2005   La Isabela En El Paradigma Inter-Atlántico: La Colonia Española De La Isla Española (1493-1550) Desde La Perspective Arqueológica.. In Actas del XV Coloquio de Historia Canario-Americana. edited by Francisco Morales Padrón. Casa de Colon: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (España) pp.1987-99.
2007 Eliciting Contraband Through Archaeology: Illicit Trade In Eighteenth-Century St. Augustine. Historical  Archaeology 40(3).
2007   (with A. Thibideau, D. Killick, W. Lyman J. Cruxent and J. Ruiz) The Strange Case of the Earliest Silver  Extraction by European Colonists in the New World. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  # 06-07297. March 23 2007