Uncovering History at Manatee Mineral Spring
Fences are up around the Manatee Mineral Spring Park as part of a major archaeological investigation project to recover the histories of the site before it is impacted by Bradenton’s RiverWalk extension.
Reflections of Manatee applied to the City to carry out the project and the Council agreed to fund it. Dr. Uzi Baram, Professor of Anthropology at New College of Florida, is leading a crew of trained archaeologists with a research design that is best able to recover the nuanced history of this multi-component archaeological site. They are looking for any material remains of the Angola maroon settlement, the early village of Manatee, or Branch Fort. With a large site and limited time, they are using some heavy equipment with a very skilled operator to remove the layers of fill that have been added over the years, letting the archaeologists work meticulously on the historic layers below.
The area is fenced, so the public will have to watch from a safe distance. The park’s informational signs, picnic table, and the riverfront are all still accessible. Reflections Visitors Center remains open each week Wednesday-Saturday 10am -1pm with displays and information.
There will be an “open house” on January 20th, 10am-12pm, with a chance to get in closer and also see some of what has been found.