Tribal

Archaeology

Tribal Archaeology

The Tribal Archaeology Section (TAS) is responsible for conducting archaeological fieldwork on tribal lands prior to any development. Fieldwork generally involves the completion of Phase I and II surveys in order to determine if artifacts are present. Phase I shovel tests consist of excavating small holes at uniform intervals throughout a project’s area of potential effect (APE), helping archaeologists make sure that no sites are impacted by development. In some cases, if artifacts are found during Phase I surveys, a Phase II test unit may be needed to get a better understanding of the site. To date, the TAS has excavated over 40,000 shovel tests and 112 test units, with surveys occurring on all STOF reservations. These surveys are conducted in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and the Tribe’s Cultural Resource Ordinance.

All surveys conducted by the TAS follow the principles of Tribal Archaeology. While archaeology can be viewed as both good and bad, the archaeologists within the TAS complete their investigations to better aid and serve the Tribe. Archaeology within the THPO consists not only of excavation and archival analysis, but also includes talking to community members about the history and importance of a given area. This communication permits us as archaeologists to incorporate Tribal perspectives into the archaeological record. By utilizing all aspects, the TAS helps the Tribe document and preserve their significant areas.


“The role archaeology now plays in the Seminole Tribe of Florida would have been unthinkable 50 years ago… the practice of archaeology was something that white scholars did and that Seminoles did not do.”

Billy L. Cypress


Tribal Archaeologist Maureen Mahoney (far right) speaks with the late Neal Brown (far left), grandson of Bill Brown who built an early 20th century trading post on what is now the Big Cypress Reservation — Tribal Archaeology — Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Tribal Archaeologist Maureen Mahoney (far right) speaks with the late Neal Brown (far left), grandson of Bill Brown who built an early 20th century trading post on what is now the Big Cypress Reservation

Our Archaeologists hard at work in the field! — Tribal Archaeology — Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Our Archaeologists hard at work in the field!


Meet the TAS team!

For more information, please contact the Tribal Archaeology Section:

Maureen Mahoney

Tribal Archaeologist


Maureen received her BA in Archaeology from the University of Evansville and her MA in Anthropology from Florida State University. Maureen also received a graduate certificate of GIS from the University of West Florida. She has been with the THPO since 2009.

Maureen Mahoney, Tribal Archaeologist — Tribal Archaeology — Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Jack Chalfant

Cultural Resources Supervisor

Jack has an A.S. in Criminology from South Florida State College and is a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He shares his knowledge of Seminole culture to help educate his colleagues about sensitive aspects of archaeology. Jack has been with the THPO since 2013.

Shawn Keyte, Crew Chief — Tribal Archaeology — Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Shawn Keyte

Crew Chief


Shawn attended FGCU where he received a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Biology. He served for 12 years in the U.S. Army and is an Iraq War Veteran. Shawn has been with the THPO since 2015.

Benjamin Bilgri

Project Archaeologist

Ben received his BS in archaeology and history from the University of Wisconsin——La Crosse and his MA in professional archaeology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has been with the THPO since 2018.

Archaeologist I

Jason Oliver

Archaeologist I

Jason is currently in school to receive his BS in Anthropology with practical methods in Archaeology from the University of Central Florida. He completed his field school with the Cape Canaveral Archeological Mitigation Project (CCAMP) and began working as an archeological field technician. Jason has been with the THPO since 2022.

Mark Savany

Archaeologist I


Originally from Miami, Mark received his BA in Anthropology from Florida International University. After working many years throughout the U.S. in cultural resource management, Mark decided to come back to his home state. He has been with the THPO since 2020.

Sara Schmidt

Archaeologist I/Geospatial Tech

Sara received her BS in Archaeology with a minor in Physics from the University of Wisconsin ̶ La Crosse. In 2021, she began working as an archaeological field technician in the southeastern regions of the United States. Sara has been with the THPO since 2022.

Brooke Blaszynski

Archaeologist I/ Collections Assistant

Brooke received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Originally from Chicago, she found an interest in Southeastern Archaeology and Zooarchaeology through her senior honors thesis. Brooke has been with the THPO since 2023.

Archaeological Technician

Justin Thai

Archaeological Technician

Justin received his B.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University. His thesis involved using statistical testing to determine the boundaries of a prehistoric village using data from the Miami Circle site. Justin has been with the THPO since 2023.


Joshua Roche

Archaeological Technician


Josh received a B.A. in Anthropology and a Minor in Creative Writing from USF. Originally from Tarpon Springs, Florida Josh has spent time working overseas in Budapest and participated in a publication showcased at the EAA 2022 Annual meeting held there. Josh has been with the THPO since 2022.

Tribal Archaeology — Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office
Tribal Archaeology – Article #2
Tribal Historic PReservation OfficeCALL US (863) 983-6549info.thpo@semtribe.com Tribal Archaeology Article# 2Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit […]
Tribal Archaeology — Seminole Tribal Historic Preservation Office
Tribal Archaeology – Article #1
Tribal Historic PReservation OfficeCALL US (863) 983-6549info.thpo@semtribe.com Tribal Archaeology Article# 1Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit […]
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