Joe Mankowski shows some of the pottery and shell tools found. In "The Big Sift," volunteers are helping professional archaeologists find Native American artifacts in material scooped from ancient settlements. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent
For people apparently a lot of them who harbored fantasies of being an archaeologist, the lure was irresistible. The call went out for volunteers to assist in the “Big Sift,” culling through material unearthed in ancient Native American middens on Marco Island, and citizens responded by the score.
“We had over a hundred people out here the first day,” said Joe Mankowski, supervising the dig on Addison Court. Joseph Mankowski, M.A., RPA, is an archaeologist, and the president of Advanced Archaeology, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale. The Big Sift began on Monday, and will continue through next week, with the volunteer program concluding on March 22.