This month, two archeologists with the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida will present artifacts, photos, and data that were excavated from the historic 19th-century Fort Jefferson ( http://drytortugasinfo.com ). Located on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas, some 68 miles west of Key West, Fort Jefferson has long been recognized for its historical importance during the Civil War and the 19th and 20th centuries. Now, the fort is also beginning to be recognized as a prime archaeological site due to recent findings that tell a story of seafarers living on the remote and primitive islands of the Dry Tortugas.
The archaeological findings are not the type of artifacts from wrecked ships carrying treasures, but simpler items such as pieces of broken or other items used on a day-to-day basis by island residents. To the archaeologists presenting the findings on January 14th in South Florida, the findings tell the story of people living in the harsh environment of the saltwater-free islands during the first half of the 1800s.
Now a recognized national park and historical monument, travelers to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson can take part in a daily 45-minute historic guided tour of the fort. The guided tour explains the fort and the island’s role in US and Caribbean history. While excavated artifacts will not yet be on display in the fort itself, the findings are likely to add information on the day to day life in the Dry Tortugas when they were first discovered.
The Dry Tortugas Information Center is the leading tour center for trips out to the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson. They provide guests with two ferries that transport up to 200 travelers daily. Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson day trips include breakfast, lunch, snorkel gear for an unforgettable Key West snorkeling ( http://drytortugasinfo.com ) experience, and the informative guided tour of the fort. For information on pricing and tickets, visit DryTortugasInfo.com or call 1-877-243-2378 1-877-243-2378 .
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dry_Tortugas_Lighthouse_2005.jpg