Excavation Efforts Now Under Way At ‘Old Vero Man’ Site

Activity has resumed at the "Old Vero Man" Site in Vero Beach, an archaeological project that is overseen by FAU's Harbor Branch and Department of Anthropology.

Archaeologists and students work at the "Old Vero Man" site on the Treasure Coast.

By carin smith | 3/2/2016

Archaeologists, students and volunteers are once again busy searching for clues into Vero Beach’s ancient past at the Old Vero Man Site, one of the oldest and largest archaeological digs of its kind, located on the Treasure Coast. The project is now being led by FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) and FAU’s Department of Anthropology within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, in partnership with the Old Vero Man Ice Age Sites Committee (OVIASC).

Excavation efforts have been led by renowned archaeologists James M. Adovasio, Ph.D. and Andy Hemmings, Ph.D., who continue to manage the dig under the new partnership agreement and are now housed at HBOI.

"This project aims to gain a better understanding of what the first Floridians were doing on the rapidly changing landscape of the late Ice Age," said Adovasio. "With each opportunity we have to excavate the site, using state-of-the-art data recovery, documentation and analytical methods, we are able to collect more insight into this local mystery."

The Old Vero Man site has been called one of the most important finds in the history of North American archaeology, after construction efforts on a drainage canal in 1913 exposed the well-preserved remains of Late Pleistocene flora and fauna in association with human remains and artifacts. The project has been overseen since 2010 by the OVIASC. The group conducts regular tours during active digs, coordinates volunteers who assist archaeologists on-site and works to raise funding for the project.

Other collaborators on the project include scientists in HBOI’s ancient DNA lab who will process some of the recovered bones, and Indian River State College will be providing ancient DNA soil analysis and student volunteers.

For more information on tours and volunteering, contact OVIASC at 772-257-9018 or visit www.oviasc.org.