The Southeast Florida Archaeological Society “SEFAS” is dedicated to: the greater understanding of archaeology, the protection and preservation of Florida’s archaeological resources and the information they contain, and the encouragement and support of archaeological research, publication and education. One very important part of the SEFAS mission to raise public awareness of archaeological resources and to disseminate information to the public on archaeology and anthropology through lectures, special events and other related activities.
SEFAS works with professional and amateur archaeologists and participates in the rescue of cultural materials from sites being disturbed or destroyed, assisting in the identification, documentation and preservation of archaeological sites in Southeast Florida.
The Southeast Florida Archaeological Society was organized in 1996 by Sarah "Sally" McKeige, incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in 1998 and is a chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society which was founded in 1947.
SEFAS is funded by membership dues and tax deductible contributions from those interested in the protection and preservation of Florida’s archaeological resources. Strategic plans include fund raising events and seeking grants for projects.
Some of the benefits of SEFAS membership are:
• Monthly meetings October through April, offering activities or lectures
• Monthly newsletters, published October through April
• Periodic trips to historical or archaeological sites
• Participation in site surveys, mapping, excavation, artifact analysis and preservation
• Participation in educational opportunities for members and the public
Steven H. Koski presenting
Evidence of Florida’s Earliest Inhabitants: Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Spring, Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Human Occupation at a Time of Environmental Change
Warm Mineral Springs and Little Salt Spring are national treasures of unprecedented significance. They are sinkholes and springs that have been visited by people since the late Pleistocene, 10,000-14,000. Warm Mineral Springs, owned by the City of North Port, is the only natural geothermal spring in the state and known for its mysterious healing waters. It was developed as a commercial spa in the 1950s. Little Salt Spring is a 112- acre archaeological and ecological preserve owned by the University of Miami. Both sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are potentially eligible for National Historic Landmark designations. The sites are known for their fascinating history of discoveries dating to the earliest arrivals of people to Florida and are archaeological portals to Florida’s past. They also play an important role in our cultural heritage.
Steven H. Koski is the Sarasota County archaeologist for the SC Division of Historical Resources (2015-present), and is responsible for the administration of Sarasota County’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. He is an underwater archaeologist specializing in submerged prehistoric sites. He received his BA in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and completed graduate studies in an MA program at Arizona State University. His research interests include the early prehistory of Florida, coastal adaptations, and Paleoindian and Archaic period settlement and subsistence systems. Mr. Koski worked as an assistant underwater archeologist at Warm Mineral Springs (1986 – 1989) and is the former Research Associate at Little Salt Spring for the University of Miami (2004 – 2013), where he worked with the director of research Associate Professor Dr. John Gifford (retired) since 1992. He maintains a par-time position as site manager at Little Salt Spring with the University of Miami, and is assisting in a revived research initiative planned for 2023 with Dr. Fredrick Hanselmann, Director of the Underwater Archaeology Program, Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society, Exploration Sciences Program at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Sciences, University of Miami.
Lecture Locations for 2022-2023 will be at the The Hobe Sound Public Library from 10:30-12:30.
Address - Hobe Sound Public Library 10595 SW Federal Hwy, Hobe Sound, FL 33455