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UNF students unearth artifacts from lost indigenous town

University of North Florida students dig for artifacts at Big Talbot Island State Park.

Fascinating things are coming to the surface at Big Talbot Island State Park.

About 20 University of North Florida Archaeology Lab students are excavating what is now believed to be the lost indigenous village of Sarabay, which existed about 450 years ago and is mentioned in French and Spanish documents.

UNF Archeology Lab Director Keith Ashley called into First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross on Wednesday to announce that they may have uncovered the site of a large indigenous building, which could be a council house.   

“You know if this is the case, this would be the first one that’s found in northern peninsula of Florida associated with the Timucua … one was found in the Tallahassee area associated with the Appalachee, but this would be the first one kind of from the Timucua culture.”

The Timucua were Native American people living in the northeast and north central portions of what is now Florida. Their presence dates from around 3000 BC.

It’s the third summer that UNF students have excavated, and they’ve found 10,000 indigenous pieces of pottery, a hundred pieces of Spanish pottery and other artifacts.

You can hear the full interview with Keith Ashley here.

Michelle Corum joined WJCT as "Morning Edition" host in 2012 and has worked in public broadcasting as an announcer and reporter for public radio stations in Lawrence, Kansas, and Interlochen, Michigan. She also manages WJCT's Radio Reading Service for sight-impaired listeners.