Tarpon Springs historian Phyllis Kolianos on ‘A Land Remembered’

With help from a book about biblical archaeology, Phyllis Kolianos plans to dig into the Holy Land.
[ Piper Castillo, Times Staff Writer ]
Published Jan. 31, 2020

We recently dropped by the Historic Train Depot in downtown Tarpon Springs to visit with historian Phyllis Kolianos. The building is home to the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society, and Kolianos, 74, is the organization’s archivist. Kolianos is an archaeologist and the former environmental education manager for the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center in St. Petersburg. On Feb. 20, she will be back at the center to discuss the Anclote River as part of her work with the Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society. For information on the program, visit

What’s on your nightstand?

I’m going to Israel soon. For the trip, I have out an older book, The Bible and Archaelogy by J.A. Thompson. It told me a lot about the archaeological evidence of the different eras of the Bible. It is fascinating the way excavations tell stories about periods of time.

As a lifelong Floridian, can you name a book you recommend for people to gain knowledge on the state?

I immediately think of the novel A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith. It is a wonderful story. I have read it a couple of times. I was amazed at learning about the cattle industry. I didn’t realize the extent of it here in Florida, but the state was a major source for beef production.

Piper Castillo, Times staff writer. Contact her at (727) 445-4163 or Follow @Florida_PBJC.