Thursday, November 11, 2010
The City of St. Augustine has established a program for aspiring archaeology students. This program gives students aged 16- 20, a hands-on approach to archaeological methods and research. "We do not advise or interfere but leave the research and the dig work entirely in the hands of the students." says Harley Colbirt, city archaeologist "These are bright young people who have already had class room training, so the fieldwork is a way to put their scholastics to work."
What may appear to be a mundane find over on the NW side of the Plaza may be significant according to seventeen year old Beth Mandeson . "At first we weren't sure what these 'thingies' were but someone said that in the olden days these were called "pull tabs" or "pop tops"and came off beer and soft drink cans. That made sense".
The student's research indicates that there may be a tie in with these items and the Catholic Church just across the street. The hypothesis is that, while Mass was going on, some husbands loitered over here in the Plaza sipping beer while their families were inside the Cathedral. In the 1960's ,Catholic Mass was still said in Latin and was interminably long .It is difficult to determine whether these six "pull tabs" were the result of one session of beer drinking or six separate incidents.According to research, we can date these aluminum pieces to sometime in the '60's since removable pull tabs became obsolete sometime in the 70's. "People were swallowing them or cutting themselves with the sharp edges"."We found that out on Wikipedia", said participant Stacy Gurlick of Green Cove Springs.
"What's cool," says Randy Phillippi of Spuds Florida, is that you have history right under your feet here in St. Augustine."" Some dude, older than my grandpa, was just hangin right here with a quaff, while his old lady was in church,and here I am now,standin' here drinkin' a beer."
Anyone interested in this program may call the City of St. Augustine Archeological program at 904- 825-1088
Posted by Karl at 9:56 AM