News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2014
Media Contact:
Cathy Guerra

Free lecture at the Deering Estate at Cutler: ''Archaeology close to home - Biscayne National Park Updates: Maritime archaeology & Totten Key after Hurricane Sandy''

(MIAMI, January 23, 2014) – In partnership with the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida, the Deering Estate at Cutler presents a free lecture on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. Lectures are held in the Visitor Center Auditorium at the Deering Estate at Cutler located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Topic: “Archaeology Close to Home – Biscayne National Park Updates: Maritime Archaeology & Totten Key After Hurricane Sandy”

Presenter: Joshua Marano, Archaeological Intern with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) at Biscayne National Park.
Visitor Center Auditorium; FREE & open to the public.

Though Biscayne National Park is the current home of over 70 known historic shipwrecks, most were stripped of diagnostic cultural materials in the decades before the establishment of the park. The remains of HMS Fowey exist as one of the few examples of a submerged archaeological site within the park that presently contains a substantial material culture assemblage associated with a known archaeological site. The HMS Fowey was a military craft that sank while in the service of the British Crown, the government of the United Kingdom maintains sovereignty and ownership of the wreck. The shipwreck is the subject of the NPS’s only currently existing Memorandum of Understanding concerning the management of a foreign owned shipwreck in federal waters. Biscayne National Park has partnered with members of the NPS’s Submerged Resources Center (SRC) and Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) to determine the best management practices for BISC-20. Biscayne National Park is currently conducting an exploratory archeological investigation at BISC-20 in order to provide accurate data regarding the current condition of the site as well as the full extent of the in-situ portion of its main central component. The discussion will focus on the results of this investigation. 

Hurricane Sandy caused significant shoreline erosion and archeological site damage at the "Totten Key Complex" (BISC-48) on Totten Key in Biscayne National Park. The archaeological site is a Tequesta Indian settlement dating to pre- and post-Spanish Contact. The site includes a long shoreline earthen midden and a stone burial mound (the only known Native American burial site in the park and the only stone burial mound known in the continental US). Neither the earthen midden, nor the burial mound, have been the subject of any professional archeological investigations in the past and very little is currently known about them. The earthen midden is a shoreline feature and the extraordinarily high tides associated with Hurricane Sandy caused substantial erosion of the site. It has also left the eroded edge of the midden in increased danger of further loss, as it has destabilized what remains. The full extent of the site is unknown and it is therefore unknown how much is left of the site. Complete loss could happen during the next storm event.

Joshua Marano, a recent graduate from East Carolina University’s Program in Maritime Studies, earned a MA degree in maritime history and nautical archaeology where his research focused on the application of social theory to maritime archaeology.  Mr. Marano is currently working as an archaeological intern with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) at Biscayne National Park.

About the Deering Estate at Cutler
The Deering Estate at Cutler, a Miami-Dade County Park, is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue in Miami. This 444-acre natural and archeological preserve and historic site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a center for education, culture and recreation. Historic house tours are offered daily at 10:30 am & 3:00 pm. Natural areas tours are offered daily at 12:30 pm (October – May). EcoAdventure Tours are also offered throughout the year for an additional fee. For more information on the Deering Estate's educational and cultural programs, please visit

About the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
The Archaeological Society of Southern Florida (ASSF) was established in 1949. The ASSF operates as a non-profit, volunteer organization which acts as a support mechanism for the office of the Miami-Dade County Archaeologist, serves as a focal point for local archaeology enthusiasts and professionals in the field, and helps to promote knowledge and appreciation of native archaeological and historical sites in the South Florida area.