Ancient History
Things to See & Do in Florida
Crystal River Archaeological State Park
National Historic Landmark, this 61-acre, pre-Columbian, Native American site has burial mounds, temple/platform mounds, a plaza area, and a substantial midden. The six-mound complex is one of the longest continuously occupied sites in Florida. For 1,600 years the site served as an imposing ceremonial center for Native Americans. People traveled to the complex from great distances to bury their dead and conduct trade. It is estimated that as many as 7,500 Native Americans may have visited the complex every year. Although primarily an archaeological site, the park sits on the edge of an expansive coastal marsh. Anglers may catch saltwater and freshwater fish. As part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, the park offers bird-watchers the chance to observe a variety of birds. The park has a boat tour of the river every Friday, weather permitting.
Holy Land Experience
The Holy Land Experience is a living, biblical museum that takes you 7000 miles away and 2000 years back in time to the land of the Bible. The structures and exhibits characterize the style, architecture, and settings that existed in the Holy Land 2000 years ago. The Garden Tomb, Qumran Dead Sea Caves, Great Temple and Plaza, Jerusalem Model, and Wilderness Tabernacle are all intricately detailed, both inside and out, to provide you with a clearer understanding of their biblical significance.
Madira Bickel Mound State Archeological Site
This ancient Native American site was the first in Florida to be designated a State Archaeological Site. Karl and Madira Bickel donated the mound and surrounding property to the state in 1948. The flat-topped ceremonial mound-composed of sand, shell, and village debris-measures 100 by 170 feet at the base and is 20 feet in height. Archaeological excavations have disclosed at least three periods of Native American cultures, the earliest dating back 2,000 years.
Mound Key Archeological State Park
Framed in forests of mangrove trees, the shell mounds and ridges of Mound Key rise more than 30 feet above the waters of Estero Bay. Prehistoric Native Americans are credited with creating this island's complex of mounds with an accumulation of seashells, fish bones, and pottery. Mound Key is believed to have been the ceremonial center of the Calusa Indians when the Spaniards first attempted to colonize Southwest Florida. In 1566, the Spanish governor of Florida established a settlement on the island with a fort and the first Jesuit mission in the Spanish New World. The settlement was abandoned three years later after violent clashes with the Indians. The only access to the island is by boat; there are no facilities. Interpretive displays can be found along a trail that spans the width of the island.
Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Explore the Health in Motion exhibit, learn about the whales, dolphins and manatees of northeast Florida, and check out the daily animal encounters with a naturalists.
Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve
The 46,000 acre Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve was established to protect one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast, and to preserve historic and prehistoric sites within the area. The estuarine ecosystem includes salt marsh, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks, all rich in native vegetation and animal life. Archaeological evidence indicates 6,000 years of human habitation in the area. The arrival of Europeans over 400 years ago resulted in exploration, colonization, agriculture, and commerce under the flags of France, Spain, Great Britain, the Confederacy, and the United States. The Preserve features the Fort Caroline National Memorial, Kingsley Plantation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Area.
Halifax Historical Museum
Since 1986 the Halifax Historical Museum has been housed in the former Merchant's Bank Building located in the heart of the downtown historical district of Daytona Beach. The focus of the museum is to present the history of the greater Daytona Beach area with artifacts dating from 5,000 B.C. including the local Native Americans, the Spanish and British colonial eras, early pioneer families, beach auto racing, World War II and vintage toys. The Museum offers a research facility with old city directories, documents and maps as well as an extensive photographic and postcard collection.
Museum of Arts and Sciences
The Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS) is the primary art, history and science museum in Central Florida. Located on a 90-acre Florida nature preserve, the 86,000 square foot facility is host to over 30,000 objects including the finest collection of American Art in the southeast, the largest collection of Cuban art outside of Cuba, a significant Chinese art collection, and Florida's prehistoric Giant Ground Sloth. Also on display, is Coca-Cola entrepreneur Chapman Root’s lifetime collection of Americana, including two private rail cars. The museum’s theater, planetarium, and children’s center make for a truly interactive experience.
Museum of Science and History (MOSH)
Homeschool programs will consist of a 45-minute interactive educational show as well as a suggested “Try This at Home” experiment or activity. All groups will have time before or after programs to explore museum exhibits.
Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science
The mission of the Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science is to operate and maintain a museum for the education of the public about regional cultural heritage and to preserve historic artifacts and natural history specimens that support this educational mission. The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science is located in Cocoa, Florida. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood the museum boasts two wings of indoor exhibits and a 22-acre nature preserve backing up to the Eastern Florida State College Planetarium. Through curation and display, they invite visitors to explore the unique history of Brevard County. From Ice Age fossils to the Space Age Hubble telescope, they have something for everyone. The Brevard Museum is also home to the Florida Historical Society Archaeological Institute whose mission, in hand with the museum, is to educate the public about Florida archaeology through research, publication and outreach.
Teaching Tips & Ideas
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: History
A look at teaching history across several grades using the classical method of education and a rotation of history every four years.
Knowledge Quest
Knowledge Quest offers historical outline maps and timelines designed for the interactive study of world history and geography.
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