The Division of Historical Resources (DHR) has engaged many public and community partners in its documentation of the site and simultaneous effort to protect and preserve it. The highest priority of all is to protect and preserve the site while respecting tribal beliefs and customs surrounding this ancestral resting place.
DHR has conducted every step of this discovery and planning process in communication with the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office. They provided guidance and input for dealing with Native American remains. Their input has been invaluable.
BAR archaeologists received assistance from:
Dr. Heather Walsh-Haney and her team from the Forensic Studies program at FGCU accompanied BAR staff into the field to identify and classify human and animal remains recovered during the project. They are also conserving recovered skeletal remains at their laboratory.
Archaeologists from (SEAC) assisted BAR in the field and carried out underwater excavations, coring, and surveys.
FPAN staff worked with BAR during excavations and surveys on MKO. They also provided a research vessel to complement BAR's fleet.
Steven Koski, County Archaeologists at SCHR, assisted BAR in the field and provided invaluable feedback on other prehistoric sites in the area. Additionally, his experiences with similar archaeological sites allowed us to start reconstructing the landscape as it was 7,200 years ago.
NOAA provided equipment and a survey vessel during the initial remote sensing surveys at MKO.
BOEM provided logistical assistance and has plans to participate in future investigative efforts.
BAR works closely with FWC to ensure protection of the MKO archaeological site. A BAR archaeologist carried out law enforcement training to inform FWC officers about cultural heritage laws and protection of archaeological sites. Several FWC divers also joined BAR for a guided tour of the site to better understand the nature of submerged archaeological sites. FWC also collected remote sensing data, assisting BAR in its mission to accurately survey the site.
Deputy Mike Watson from SRCO visited the MKO archaeological site on multiple occasions. He, and other deputies, also received training from a BAR archaeologist in the protection of archaeological sites. Watson also joined us for tour of the site.
The Venice-based Gulf Coast Community Foundation has helped engage local partners in and around Sarasota County to involve community stakeholders, plan for educational opportunities, and assist in site protection.