Who'll Mind the Middens?
|Davenport shows off an ancient smoke-house|
The job sounds glamorous, but Davenport doesn't get to put on his pith helmet too often. "Ninety-five percent of the job is paperwork," he confessed by phone yesterday from his desk at the Parks and Rec Department, "insuring compliance, that kind of thing. And actually, there's another hearing July 13th. The county is still working to preserve the position, so nothing is final yet."
Davenport has occasionally found himself in the middle of local hot-button development issues, refereeing questions like whether Lake Worth Beach might be the site of prehistoric Indian remains. When he isn't shuffling paper, he's out supervising excavation of Indian mounds, ancient battlefields like Riverbend off Indiantown Road, 2000-year-old shell middens in Jupiter's Dubois Park, and sites such as the Okeechobee lakebed, parts of which were exposed in 2007 during the drought. An anonymous caller phoned Davenport and said he'd found human remains in the lake. Somehow, Davenport says, the mysterious caller knew the body parts were Native American. "But before I could ask him any questions, he hung up."
"We found 33 new sites out there when the water retreated, ranging from Native American
|Big find at Lake O: A steam-powered dredge|
Or before Davenport's job is history.