Sarasota resident and former New College anthropology professor Uzi Baram has been named director of archaeology at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
His focus is the interpretation and representations of the archaeological and cultural histories at Selby Gardens’ two campuses. Baram will also manage the archaeological resources and guide educational efforts to connect people with the region’s history.
Awarded the 2019 Archaeological Conservancy Award by the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County, Baram taught for 25 years at New College. His professional career has focused on exposing and documenting local history through community-based projects. Much of his work has concentrated on nearly erased history in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
“With the adoption of the Historic Spanish Point campus, we knew that we had to enhance our team to help protect and share the amazing archaeological record there going back 5,000 years,” said Selby Gardens President and CEO Jennifer Rominiecki in a news release. “Uzi is a tremendous addition to the Selby Gardens staff, and his expertise is just what we need to properly manage and increase understanding of the rich archaeological resources of our two campuses and the wider region.”
Baram is known locally for the community-based effort that revealed the early 19th-century settlement of Angola, a community of people of African heritage along the Manatee River. Other public archaeology projects he has organized include archaeology at Philippi Estate Park, educational programs on the Cuban fishing ranchos of Florida’s Gulf Coast, and surveys of the Rosemary and Galilee cemeteries in Sarasota.
Beyond his Florida research, Baram is known for his work in the eastern Mediterranean and for understanding archaeology as heritage.
“Uzi brings a wealth of knowledge and a practice of engagement that is essential to understanding and preserving our regional history,” said John McCarthy, Selby Gardens’ vice president for regional history, in the release.
Baram earned his master's degree and doctorate in anthropology from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from State University of New York at Binghamton.
Baram has lived in Sarasota since 1997.