Months ago archaeologists from the University of West Florida in Pensacola discovered what they believe to be the site of the Luna settlement. The research indicates that this Spanish settlement is likely the oldest established European colony in the United States. It is currently believed to predate the settlement in St. Augustine, Florida, which for years was known as the earliest European settlement in the United States.
Matt's grandparents' home, on the bay in Pensacola, happens to be smack dab in the middle of what is believed to be the original colony site, and the generous and exuberant archaeology team from UWF graciously allowed several homeschooling families to tag along with us for an official dig.
We started at the UWF archaeology headquarters with a brief presentation on what archaeology is and what archaeologists do. Jack has been taking an archaeology class this past year, and his archaeology teacher and her kids were with us.
Then we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the actual dig. Matt's grandmother passed away in August, and a waive of emotion hit me as we pulled up to their driveway.
The archaeology team had two plots marked off in the backyard, so half the kids dug in one area and the other half in another.
We were part of the group that found a lot of glass.
We also found a piece of a Spanish olive jar.
It may look insignificant, but when one of the archaeologists remarked, "We're the first people to hold this in 450 years," I was completely in awe.
After lunch we traveled to a small archaeology museum on the UWF campus.
Our junior archaeologists had a great time. And so did their mommas.