Table of Contents
 Editor's page
 "Plummets" - An analysis of a mysterious...
 History of post-war Seminole settlement...
 Archaeological investigations at...
 Osteological analysis of the Pine...
 Preliminary results of excavations...
 F. A. S. chapter profile : Archaeological...
 Pendant found in Galt Island spoil...
 Back issues
 Join the Florida Anthropological...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00028
 Material Information
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title: Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Anthropological Society
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher: Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Frequency: quarterly[]
two no. a year[ former 1948-]
Subject: Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Summary: Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- May 1948-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00028
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Editor's page
        Page 226
    "Plummets" - An analysis of a mysterious Florida artifact- John F. Reiger
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
    History of post-war Seminole settlement in the Big Cypress - Patsy West
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
    Archaeological investigations at Pine Island, Broward County - Robert S. Carr
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
    Osteological analysis of the Pine Island site human remains - Amy Felmley
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
    Preliminary results of excavations at the L & L site, Dade County, Florida - Diane McKinney, James Lord, John Ayer, Barbara Tansey, and Grant Hammersberg
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
    F. A. S. chapter profile : Archaeological society of southern Florida - Barbara Tansey
        Page 279
    Pendant found in Galt Island spoil pile - Art Lee
        Page 280
    Back issues
        Page 294
    Join the Florida Anthropological society (FAS) !
        Page 295
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
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The Florida Anthropologist

Volume 43 Number 4
December 1990

Table of Contents

Editor's Page
RobertS. Carr, Guest Editor

"Plummets"-An Analysis of a Mysterious Florida Artifact
John F. Reiger

History of Post-war Seminole Settlement in the Big Cypress
Patsy West

Archaeological Investigations at Pine Island, Broward County
RobertS. Carr

Osteological Analysis of the Pine Island Site Human Remains
Amy Felmley

Preliminary Results of Excavations at The L&L Site, Dade County, Florida
Diane McKinney, James Lord, John Ayer, Barbara Tansey, and Grant Hammersberg

F.A. S. Chapter Profile: Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
Barbara Tansey

Pendant Found in Gait Island Spoil Pile
Art Lee










COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Sign at the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, ca. 1940's. ( Courtesy of Historical
Association of Southern Florida, Neg. # 1989-011-8686,Seminole /Miccosukee Photographic Archive Photo # 1632)

Published by the
Florida Anthropological Society, Inc.

Editor's Page

The opportunity to co-edit this most recent
thematic issue on current research in South Florida is
just one more indication of how The Florida
Anthropologist is reflecting regional and other areas of
interest for the journal's growing and diverse
readership. This issue features a stimulating article on
the function of so-called plummets by Dr. John Reiger,
a long time student of South Florida prehistory, who
has been considering the question for the last 12
years. His article grows out of an earlier unpublished
paper that he wrote. This matured version is a good
example of using historical and archaeological data
combined with his own lifetime knowledge of fishing
in South Florida waters.
This issue also adds to the growing body of
Seminole Indian studies that The Florida
Anthropologist has long pioneered. As early as 1952,
with Greenlee's article on Seminole social culture in
the Big Cypress, The Florida Anthropologist has
continued to contribute towards documenting and
understanding the Seminole and Miccosukki cultures
in Florida. A special issue on the Seminole in
December, 1981 (Vol 34:4), and more recently the
March, 1989 issue (Vol 42:1), are examples of recent
articles on the Seminoles. In this issue, Patsy West
contributes one of the few papers published on the
history of the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation.
An article on the salvage excavation of site
8BD1113 on Pine Island in Broward County reminds
us of the importance of the recent CARL acquisition of
adjacent areas of Pine Island that have saved many
other archaeological sites. Amy Felmley's analysis of
the Late Archaic human remains excavated at site
8BD1113 completes the current round of Pine Island
An article by members of the Archaeological
Society of Southern Florida on their recent testing of
an Everglades midden, and a profile of this veteran
F.A.S. chapter focuses on their activities in southeast
Florida. A note on an unusual bone pendant by Art
Lee of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society
completes this issue.

This issue was laid out by Sanford Langbart
using an Apple Macintosh desktop publishing
system. The body text is printed in Abobe UtopiaT.
The camera-ready copy was printed on an HP
LaserJet IIP printer and then reproduced using
standard offset printing.
This issue is co-sponsored by Florida's
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy. Anyone
interested in learning more about the Conservancy
and receiving their quarterly newsletter should write
to: Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, P.O.
Box 450283, Miami, FL 33145.

Robert S. Carr
Guest Editor


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

"Plummets"-An Analysis
of a Mysterious Florida Artifact
John F. Reiger

Since they first came to the attention of Florida
archaeologists in the late 19th century, the small,
grooved objects known as plummets, sinkers, or
pendants have intrigued their discoverers. Usually
less than 10 centimeters long, most of them have an
oblong shape, with a rounded or pointed bottom
end, and a grooved knob at the top end (Fig. 1). In
other words, they often resemble, at least superficial-
ly, a modem plumb bob (also known as a plumb or
plummet), which Webster's New World Dictionary of
the American Language defines as "a lead weight...
hung at the end of a line... [and] used to determine

how deep water is or whether a wall, etc. is vertical."
Small percentages of the prehistoric Florida "plu-
mmets" are made of fired clay,bone, or coral, but the
great majority is of shell or stone. In the discussion
that follows, the author will customarily use the term
"plummet," rather than "sinker" or "pendant," in an
effort to keep the analysis as objective as possible.
Only at the end of the paper will I attempt an inter-
pretation of their probable use.
Many of these puzzling artifacts have been
illustrated in the literature, with some of the most
numerous examples and best photographic repro-

Figure 1: Five lithic (top) and four shell plummets, the biggest of which (upper left) is 7.7 cm. long and 3 cm.
wide. Three of the lithic plummets show obvious flattening on at least one side, and the smallest of these
seems never to have had a groove or any other means of attachment. The original groove has all but eroded
away on several specimens, including the only shell plummet (lower right) not made from a columella.
Fashioned from the shoulder of a large univalve, it is being viewed from above. All of these plummets are now
in the Museum of the Historical Association of Southern Florida in Miami.


,4 .

Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

ductions being found in three articles by Clarence
Moore (Moore 1900, 1905, and 1907), as well as in
Marion Gilliland's book-length survey of Frank Cush-
ing's famous 1896 discoveries at "Key Marco" on the
northern end of Marco Island,Collier County (Gill-
iland 1975: Pls. 111 and 133). Three locations where
one can see the plummets themselves are at the
Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville,
the Museum of the Historical Association of South-
ern Florida in Miami, and the Museum of the Crystal
River State Archaeological Site, southwest of Ocala.
Perhaps the greatest difficulty in understanding
how the Florida plummets were used is the contra-
dictory and often ambiguous statements that have
appeared in both the popular and archaeological lit-
erature whenever these artifacts are described. In
Herbert S. Zim's well-known little book, A Guide to
Everglades National Park and the Nearby Florida Keys
(1960), there is a section on the original inhabitants
of the southwest coast, the so-called "Calusa," which
illustrates what Zim (1960: 65) calls a "sinker."
Although it is difficult to tell from the picture whether
the beautifully fashioned artifact is made of shell or
stone, it is obvious that the supposed sinker is, in
realty, a typical example of what others have categor-
ized as a pendant.
Debatable conceptualizations are not limited to
guidebooks intended for a mass audience. In 1980
Lewis H. Larson, the state archaeologist of Georgia,
published Aboriginal Subsistence Technology on the
Southeastern Coastal Plain During the Late Prehis-
toric Period. In discussing the fishing technology of
the south Florida coastal Indians, the author makes
the following statements:
In addition to the hooks, lines, line floats and
sinkers, nets and net floats and weights,
Gushing found a quantity of plummets ....
Indeed, these objects occur with regularity on
most of the coastal sites of south Florida, and it
may well be that they are the most numerous
artifact, other than pottery, found on these
sites... The plummet is found almost exclusive-
ly in south Florida, and seldom if ever any-
where else during the Mississippi period in the
coastal sector. Its association in large numbers
with the south Florida area, an area which was
aboriginally oriented largely toward fishing,
suggests that the plummet may well have had a
technological function in this subsistence
activity (Larson 1980:116-117).

In this passage Larson makes three debatable
conclusions. First, plummets are certainly not the
most common nonceramic artifact on south Florida
coastal sites. Over a six-year period in the late 1970s
and early 1980s, the author surface-collected thirty-
eight endangered sites in south Florida, extending
from Pine Island Sound on the Gulf coast, south
through the Marco Island-Ten Thousand Island area,
up and down the Florida Keys, and along the Atlantic
coast north to Palm Beach County. Among the many
hundreds of nonceramic artifacts, including Strom-
bus celts (Carr and Reiger 1980), Strombus hand
hammers and gouges (Reiger 1979), and Mercenaria
segment tools (Reiger 1981), I found only nine plum-
mets (Fig. 1), four of shell and five of stone.
Robert S. Carr, Dade County archaeologist, has
had a similar experience with this artifact type. In a
three-year survey of Dade County that included at
least two-hundred prehistoric sites, he found only
two shell plummets, and these were fragments
(Robert S. Carr, pers. comm., September 9, 1982).
The scarcity of plummets on most sites may
be the result of selective collecting by artifact collec-
tors-similar to the taking of decorated rim sherds
while leaving the plain body sherds behind. As the
following discussion will show, early researchers like
Frank Cushing and Clarence Moore found this arti-
fact type to be fairly common in certain areas of
some sites that they investigated. But because
Cushing and Moore purchased artifacts from local
farmers who were intensively cultivating the shell
keys, the researchers' pictured artifacts came from a
number of sites, and these illustrations give, there-
fore, a false impression of plummet abundance.
From my own experience, and Carr's, it seems
that plummets are more common on sites on the
southwest coast than on the southeast. For example,
only one of the nine plummets I found came from
the Atlantic side.
A large number of these artifacts-thirty-nine of
shell and forty-three of stone-were found or pur-
chased by Cushing and his crew at Key Marco or
nearby (Gilliland 1975: 173 and 224). According to
the major student of Cushing's finds, Marion Gilli-
land, the Key Marco muck pond in which the
Cushing team made most of its own discoveries was
probably no "ordinary village site" but "a ceremonial
center of some importance" (Gilliland 1975: 32). Gilli-
land conceptualizes all of the recovered
plummets-when made of shell-as "pendants," and


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

limits the "plummet" categorization to those made of
But even in the case of the latter, lithic artifacts,
she observes that "some are beautifully finished and
were perhaps worn on necklaces" (Gilliland 1975:
224, 229). Thus, Gilliland supports the idea that a
majority of these artifacts (taking those of shell and
stone together) were pendants.
Though Gilliland believes that all of the shell
plummets are really pendants, as well as some of the
stone ones, she does say that "many [of the stone
artifacts], however, are crudely made and were prob-
ably used as sinkers or weights" (1975: 229). But
perhaps Gilliland has failed to note what Clarence
Moore perceived over eighty years ago: "It is true ...
that many of the stone pendants of the keys [Ten
Thousand Islands] are crude, but much of the stone
of that locality is not of a character conducive to
good workmanship" (Moore 1907:459).
Indeed, what seems like crudeness in manufac-
turing is, in some cases, the result of water action on
the plummet. Those of oolitic limestone can be par-
tially eaten away, and the groove all but eliminated
(Fig. 1), by the action of water over the centuries. On
the surfaces of this kind of limestone, water can, over
a long period of time, seep in and act as a mild acid
to distort the original surface of the plummet, espe-
cially in the area of the groove and its accompanying
So poor were the lithic resources of south Florida
that the aboriginal Indians apparently used any
exotic substitute when they could obtain it. I have
seen two plummets made of heavy fossilized bone
that has the feel of petrified wood, and the literature
includes examples of hard igneous or metamorphic
stone imported from hundreds of miles away (Gill-
iland 1975: 224). Of course, the very fact that, occa-
sionally, plummets are found that are made of diffi-
cult-to-obtain materials, but with the same basic
form as those created from commonplace substanc-
es, may suggest that these artifacts were special
objects and not fishing "sinkers."
Yet another aspect of this problem of analyzing
the major use of stone plummets is our modern
tendency to assume that the more work that went
into the creation of an artifact, the more precious it
has to have been to its maker. But what seems
"crude" (i.e., unworked) to us might have seemed
attractive to the Native American. Even the "crudest"
stone plummets (Gilliland 1975: Pl. 133, B, D, and E)
appear to me to have some degree of shaping, both

in the body and the knob.
That Indians did not have to put much work into
the creation of an ornament to find it appealing can
be shown by their partiality to Oliva "beads." After
breaking off the spires and removing the interior
whorls, the Indians strung Oliva shells as beads (Figs.
5 and 6?), or at least that is what some archaeologists
assume they did with these worked shells (Goggin
1949b: 81). If these archaeologists are correct, then
the Oliva bead is just another example of how Native
Americans often liked to use natural forms, with very
little modification, for personal adornment.
As already discussed, Larson's statement that
what he calls plummets are probably the most
common artifact, other than sherds, recovered from
south Florida sites is debatable. Two other conclu-
sions in the passage quoted from his book are also
open to question. One of these is his statement that
"the plummet is found almost exclusively in south
Florida ...."
Even though I am focusing on south Florida
plummets in this article, the fact remains that this
artifact type has been found in comparable numbers
farther north in the state. As already mentioned, one
may see a number of these objects at the Crystal
River State Archaeological Site, which is in the Gulf
coastal area southwest of Ocala. This is an important
prehistoric ceremonial center, complete with temple
mounds and stelae.
In the northeastern section of the state, almost
directly across from Crystal River, was the well-
known Tick Island site, located in the St. Johns valley
between Lake Dexter and Lake Woodruff. A huge
quantity of material from Tick Island has been
illustrated in the literature, and plummets of shell
and stone are in evidence (Jahn and Bullen 1978:
Figs. 42, 48 and 50). As another example, a fairly large
number of stone plummets have been unearthed
from a burial mound in the Tampa Bay area of west-
central Florida (Bullen 1952).
Thus, it should be obvious that plummets are
not exclusively from the southern part of the Florida
peninsula. And they are not abundant artifacts,
except perhaps at special prehistoric centers like
Crystal River and Tick Island. Although the latter site
was destroyed before it could be thoroughly tested,
enough was learned to indicate that it was "a large
and important site with connections outside of
Florida" (Jahn and Bullen 1978: 6).
Larson's two debatable conclusions-regarding
(1) the abundance of plummets and (2) their


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

"range"-are minor problems compared to his third
point, which is to suggest that these shell and stone
artifacts were utilitarian objects, used primarily as
sinkers in fishing. There is much evidence to the
After examining many of these artifacts, that
early student of Florida archaeology, Clarence
Moore, summed up his findings in a 1907 article:
We gravely doubt that the grooved objects of
shell and ... stone, known as 'plumb-bobs,'
... were used as sinkers for lines or fish-nets,
though some are so coarsely made as to
seem unfitted for ornament ... Cushing,
among his wonderful discoveries at [Key]
Marco, found fish-nets with sinkers in place,
but none was in the form of the pendants
found among the keys [Ten Thousand
Islands], while [hand] lines had sinkers of
Turbinella [Xancus angulatus (lamp shell)]
shells with the whorls rudely battered off.
The pendants are not found chiefly near the
water, but distributed over such of the keys
as have aboriginal deposits of shell; some
are too handsomely made to have served a
utilitarian purpose; while one in our posses-
sion is of a coralline material so light that it
hardly sinks in water. We found in the
cemetery and mound near Crystal River ...,
in place on a skeleton, a number of stone
pendants associated with others made of
copper. We believe these pendants from the
keys served some ornamental or ceremonial
purpose-perhaps they were 'charm-stones'
(Moore 1907:458-459).

Particularly important in Moore's observations
is his statement that he found a burial at Crystal
River with stone plummets "in place." Because he
believed these artifacts were "pendants," he is
obviously implying that they were situated, in rela-
tion to the skeleton, in such a way that they had been
suspended from the body-the neck or waist-of the
living Indian.
In addition to Moore's early find, we have the
more recent discoveries at the Jones burial mound
near Tampa Bay (Bullen 1952). At this remarkable
site, "twenty burials"-including both males and
females-"were supplied with pendants..., made
either of stone or of shell," and these "pendants were
located at necks or chests and so, presumably, were
suspended from the neck in life" (Bullen 1952: 49).

While some of these artifacts have the typical shapes
of stone and shell plummets (1952: Figs. 17 and 18),
others are zoomorphic, representing a deer's head,
bird's head, or duck's bill (1952: Figs. 15 and 16).
Besides these highly suggestive finds, we may be
able to go to the plummets themselves to find a clue
to their use. Some of those the author has examined
at close range have at least one of the larger surfaces
flatter than the others (Fig. 1). In other words, it
appears that the Indian maker deliberately flattened
the "back" (sometimes both the "back" and the
"front") in order to have it lie snugly against his or
her body and not twist unduly on the cord, someth-
ing that a completely round pendant would have had
a tendency to do.
In the early 1980s, Robert Carr examined a dozen
plummets recovered from the huge piles of spoil
taken from the swimming- pool area of the Granada
site (8Dall11) in downtown Miami. At my suggestion,
he looked for a flattened "back" surface on these
objects and found this trait on over half of them.
The zoomorphic stone tablets of extreme south-
ern Florida (Allerton, Luer, and Carr 1984) also
exhibit "flatness," as well as animal-like features such
as "eyes." They sometimes have knobs and grooves
for attachment and possess some of the other attrib-
utes of plummets, such as being made of exotic
and/or delicate material. What relationship, if any,
these tablets have to plummets is presently unclear.
But if we are to argue-as Larson does-that
plummets were used as sinkers in fishing, what pos-
sible purpose could the flattened surface have had?
A possible answer to this question has been provided
recently by Karen Jo Walker, a Ph.D. candidate in
anthropology at the University of Florida. In "Art-
ifacts of a Fishy Nature: Southwest Florida's Prehis-
toric Marine Fishing Technology," a paper presented
at the Southeastern Archaeological Conference in
Tampa on November 9, 1989, she returns to the
Larson interpretation and states that plummets "are
surely line weights associated with native hook and
line fishing technology" (Walker 1989: 8). She
believes that "this form of weight would have been
attached to the line above the hook or might even
have functioned as the shank to a composite hook
form," thereby "doubling in function as shank and
sinker" (Walker 1989: 8). Perhaps, the flattened
surface I have noticed on some plummets was an aid
in the creation of a composite fishhook (Fig. 2: f) like
the ones described by Walker.


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

There are, however, some serious problems with
Walker's thesis regarding plummets. For one thing,
her conclusions are based completely on non-Florida
artifacts-from the prehistoric material cultures of
Chile (Figs. 2 and 3), Peru, and the Solomon Islands.
While the "plummets" of these distant areas are
suggestive-and do seem to be related to
fishing-their use in this activity does not automati-
cally mean that objects found thousands of miles
away, and superficially similar in appearance, were
crafted for the same purpose. This is particularly true
given the complete absence-thus far-of archaeo-
logical discoveries in Florida that lend credence to
the fishing thesis.

Figure 2: Two plummetlike artifacts from coastal
Chile, a composite fishhook (f) and a double-grooved
"lure (g). From an article by Agustin M Llagostera
in Culturas de Chile Prehistoria (1989).

There is, however, a much bigger problem with
the fishing interpretation. A close-up view (Fig. 3) of
the main component of a composite fishhook from
Chile of the kind that Walker uses as a model for her
conclusions regarding Florida plummets shows it to
have deep serrations on the bottom "left" side as well
as an indented area on the bottom "right" side. These
characteristics are, to my knowledge, never found on
Florida plummets, and because they were obviously
essential to lashing the bone point securely on the
plummet to create a composite fishhook, their com-
plete absence on Florida plummets throws the
Walker thesis into doubt. While the flattening spoken
of above might aid in the creation of a composite
fishhook, it is still difficult to see how the lashings
would have been held tightly in place without the
additional serrations and cut-out areas that do not
occur on smooth-sided, symmetrical plummets from
There is one type of plummet that Walker cites
in her paper that might have had a parallel use in
prehistoric Florida. This is a shell plummet with a
groove on both ends (Fig. 2: g) from Chile that resem-
bles a very rare form of plummet found in Florida.
Having grown up fishing in south Florida waters, the
author can imagine how effective such a white, shiny
lure might have been-if "jigged" off the bottom-in
attracting many species of predatory fishes. In other
words, it is "logical" to think that the double-grooved
columella plummets of Florida (Goggin 1951: Fig. 9,
G) would have been employed in the same way as the
shell fishing "lures" from Chile.
Unfortunately for the researcher, the logic of
comparison does not always apply in these cases.
The reality is that if shell plummets are relatively rare
on most of Florida's prehistoric sites, double-gro-
oved shell plummets are much rarer still. They are, in
fact, so scarce that of the thirty-nine specimens of
columella plummets from Key Marco and nearby
sites, none are grooved on both ends like the Chilean
specimens (Gilliland 1975: 173-175). Clarence B.
Moore, that indefatigable early student of Florida
prehistory, had a similar experience with the elusive
double-grooved columella plummet (Moore 1900:
Fig. 8).
The fact that double-grooved shell plummets are
so rare would seem to work against their use in
fishing, for notched segments of Mercenaria camp-
echiensis (formerly Venus mercenaria) clam shells
that we know were used as sinkers or "weights" for
fish nets (Gilliland 1975: 184 and Pl. 117; and Fig. 4,


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

this article) are some of the most common artifacts
on the surface of prehistoric coastal sites of south-
west Florida. Furthermore, the notched clam seg-
ments are usually found near the water-at least that
has been my experience-while the plummets,
whether of shell or stone, single-grooved or double-
grooved, are just as likely to be found away from the
water's edge.

Figure 3: Close-up view of main component of a
composite fishhook from coastal Chile showing the
serrations and indented area, apparently necessary
for attachment of the bone point. From the same
source as Fig. 2.

A C.G. McKinney, one of Clarence Moore's
informants who lived on Chokoloskee Island on the
southwest coast, "had for a long period paid close
attention to aboriginal objects found upon the key."
He told Moore
that of the very many objects known as
'sinkers' [plummets] found on the key, none
had been met with near the water, and... he
was firmly convinced that these so-called
'sinkers' had a use other than one pertaining
to the taking of fish (Moore 1905: 312).

Another reason for doubting the fishing-sinker
argument for plummets is the fact that Cushing
found many fishing weights in situ at Key Marco,
some with cordage still attached (Fig. 4). In every
case, the Native Americans made fishing weights
from Mercenaria clam segments, pierced Arca and
Cardiidae cockle shells, punctured Busycon whelks
(with the hole in the body whorl of the shell across
from the aperture), and crudely torn-out columellae
(Fig. 4). Because some net cordage was found still
attached to notched Mercenaria and pierced Arca
shells, Gilliland seems to imply that all of the non-
plummet shell weights were used in net fishing
rather than in individual, hook-and-line angling. But
in his own report, Cushing notes that:
sinkers made from the short thick columel-
lae of turbinella [Xancus angulatus (lamp
shell)]shells-not shaped and polished like
the highly finished plummet-shaped pend-
ants we secured in great numbers, but with
the whorls merely battered off-seemed to
have been used with ... hooks and lines
(Cushing 1897: 39).

The hooks were made of deer bone (barbed part)
and wood, and he describes them in detail, as well as
the "flat reels or spools" that held the line (Cushing
1897: 39). One of Cushing's field photographs in Gilli-
land's book probably shows (upside down) one of
these large hooks (1975: Pl. 89, A), which she calls a
"harpoon point with associated shank."
As one researcher argues, this rather atypical
hook-and- line method of fishing-the usual
methods were with nets, traps, and spears-was
probably used in deep-sea angling for groupers (Ep-
inephelus and Mycteroperca) and some snappers
These fish are primarily offshore... and are
solitary in habitat, thereby negating the use


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

of nets, weirs, or inshore tidal traps. They
are frequently encountered in southwest
Florida faunal assemblages and are prob-
ably the only species which cannot be effec-
tively taken with other than hook and line
(Widmer 1988: 252).

If shell and stone plummets were part of the
Florida Indians' fishing equipment, as Larson and
Walker argue, then how is it that Cushing found none
with the artifacts pertaining to fishing? What Gushing
did discover was that the Indians had a uniform
tendency to weight their nets and individual fishing
lines with pierced or notched whole or fragmentary
shells, or with unfinished columellae roughly broken
out of the shells.

The latter would have been infinitely more suit-
able for sinkers than the typical shell plummet, with
its very shallow groove and smooth sides. Sinkers
from lamp shells, like those described by Gushing for
deep-sea hand-line fishing, would have been particu-
larly good for this purpose, because these are "large,
thick, heavy shells, often ponderous," possessing
"several distinct pleats on the columella" (Morris
1975: 226).
In Gilliland's book there is a field photograph of
Gushing's showing three columellae that she
describes as "probably weights" (Fig. 4). These may,
in fact, be the exact same columellae he describes as
the sinker component of the deep-sea hook-and-line
fishing assemblies he found in the muck at Key


~ 41

Figure 4: A field photograph of some of Cushing's discoveries at Key Marco, including notched and pierced
shell net weights, and three columellae (lower left) like those Gushing found associated with single hook-and-
line angling. From Marion S. Gilliland's Material Culture of Key Marco (1975). Courtesy of Smithsonian
Institution (Neg. # FLA. 76).



Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

But whether or not they are the ones in his
report, the columellae in the photograph show why
these artifacts would have worked perfectly as
sinkers. The line would have been tied around the
recessed area between the knoblike apex and the
raised, "pleated" portion of the columella. And
heavy, thick line could have been used-unlike with
plummets-which would have been necessary to
haul large groupers or snappers out of the coral or
rocky formations around which both like to live.
We cannot say with certainty how heavy the cord
was that deep-sea anglers used, because the lines
Gushing found with the unfinished columellae and
other equipment associated with hook-and-line
fishing were so decayed "that only traces of them
could be recovered" (Cushing 1897: 39). Still, we can
probably safely assume that in order to pull in a
snapper or grouper of say six kilograms, one had to
have fairly thick cord-too thick to have fitted very
tightly around the shallow groove of a typical
One of the most common groupers "among fish-
ermen... in southern Florida and throughout the
tropical American Atlantic" is the Nassau (Epineph-
elus striatus). Also "one of the best fighting groupers,
it is difficult to keep away from holes if hooked on
light tackle" (McClane 1978: 102-103). This was
rugged fishing in which the prehistoric Indians
engaged, requiring stout tackle, far stronger than
suggested by delicately made plummets with shallow
grooves that would "reject" any but the thinnest
Because of their shape and mass, the unfinished
columella sinkers would have sunk quickly, and their
weight would have kept them down. Indeed, most
plummets I have held seem simply too light to have
been used successfully in deep-sea fishing, where
currents and line drag would have lifted them up off
the bottom and away from target species like group-
Due to their composition, oolitic-limestone
plummets would have been likely to have broken up
from hard use. But the dense Mercenaria, Arca, or
Xancus shell would have had tremendous durability;
in most cases, the cordage of the net or hand line
probably parted long before its accompanying net
weight or sinker cracked apart. The very fact that
roughly torn-out columellae from large univalves
were associated with hook-and-line fishing implies,
of course, that the finely crafted plummets made
from the same or similar columellae would not have

had an identical function.
What the Gushing discoveries at Key Marco
suggest is that Native Americans approached fishing
from a utilitarian point of view. They used readily
available, simply made, and easily replaced sinkers
or weights of a dense material that could take the
kind of punishment to which gear was subjected.
If it is unlikely that the shell and stone plummets
of south Florida customarily functioned as fishing
sinkers, then what was the purpose of these mysteri-
ous artifacts? Another possibility for their function
has been suggested to me by Irving Eyster, a south
Florida archaeologist. He envisions plummets, either
of shell or stone, to have been weights, used in asso-
ciation with the atlatl or spear thrower.
But the atlatl-weight theory is dubious simply
because plummets almost never seem to manifest
any evidence of a conscious effort by their makers to
balance the objects in the way that spear-thrower
weights are always balanced (Brennan 1975: 30 and
104). Unlike atlatl weights, which are rather heavy
and bisymmetrical, plummets are light in weight and
lack the bisymmetry, except in the case of the very
rare, double-grooved form (Goggin 1951: Fig. 9, G).
The fact that plummets are light in weight and
rarely, if ever, divided into two balanced halves
seems also to militate against the bola theory, which
has also been suggested. Bolas are much bigger and
heavier than are Florida plummets, as well as being
more rounded and bisymmetrical in shape (Brennan
1975: 137 and 139). Though the bola hypothesis is
more plausible than the atlatl-weight theory, there is
still no evidence, historical or archaeological, to
support it.
One who can help us in our understanding of
stone and shell plummets is John M. Goggin, who
has contributed so much to our knowledge of south
Florida prehistory. In his massive, but regrettably
unpublished, manuscript, "The Archaeology of the
Glades Area, Southern Florida," he devotes seven
unnumbered pages to an analysis of stone and shell
"pendants," the descriptive term he himself uses.
Though I would not call these artifacts "numerous,"
as he does, I do agree-as noted above-with his
contention that they "are... [more] common... in the
Calusa subarea" (Goggin 1949a: n.p.), which corre-
sponds, roughly, to the southwestern tip of the pen-
Goggin points out that "it is difficult to classify
the forms [of plummets] found. They occur in many
varied shapes, and few clear cut divisions can be

Volume 43 Number 4


December 1990

~ -Pi~
--"P I -

Figure 5: In 1560s Florida a Native American "king" wears what looks like Oliva beads dropped over one
shoulder and plummets dangling from his belt. From Stefan Lorant, editor, The New World (1946).

made." Nevertheless, he considers them all to be
"ornamental objects" (Goggin 1949a: n.p.).
As we recall from our earlier discussion, Clarence
Moore also came to believe that these objects were
ornamental, the most important reason for his con-
clusion being the fact that he found a cemetery with
stone pendants "in place on a skeleton." What
Moore's find does to support the argument that these
stone artifacts are pendants, Goggin's discovery of an
historical reference accomplishes for the correspond-
ing shell artifacts. In his unpublished manuscript-as
Robert Carr brought to the author's notice-Goggin
cites an observation by John Sparke, who accompa-
nied John Hawkins on his voyage to Florida in the
mid 1560s:
The function of these objects as pendants
appears to be substantiated by Sparke's
report... of Timucua Indians [on the lower St.

Johns River] wearing pieces of unicorn horn
around their necks. The spiral convolutions
of a conch columella somewhat resemble
narwhal [Monodon monoceros] horn, which
was once thought to be the horn of the
fabled unicorn (Goggin 1949a: n.p.).
Goggin's discovery of this early historical refer-
ence, along with Moore's archaeological find cited
earlier, lend important support to the plummet-as-
pendant theory. Add to this the amazing finds at the
Jones burial mound, where both stone and shell
plummets were found associated with burials in such
a way that they were undoubtedly worn, in life, as
pendants, and one is forced to reject the fishing-sink-
er argument. But even if we classify these artifacts as
pendants, does that mean that they were strictly
ornamental-especially since many are painstakingly
crafted, while others, especially the lithic plummets,


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990


e~ d

can be little more than a stone with a groove around
the smaller end (Fig. 1) ?
The answer may be that as pendants, they were
sometimes ornamental and sometimes "charm
stones" (objects that had special power to bring good
fortune)-like the "lucky" rabbit's foot I used to carry
as a child, either hidden in my pocket or hanging
"displayed" from a short, beaded chain attached to a
belt loop. Let us first look at their possible use as
As one student of south Florida archaeology,
George Luer, has brought to my attention, editor
Stefan Lorant's New World: The First Pictures of
America contains several illustrations that may bear
directly on plummets as possible ornaments. Jacques
le Moyne de Morgues, an artist who accompanied
Rend de Laudonniere's French expedition to the
northeastern coast of Florida in 1564, pictures high-
status male Indians wearing belts with a number of
pendantlike objects hanging from them (Lorant 1946:

51, 67, 71, 105, and 113; and Fig. 5, this article).
These pendants always appear as worn from the
waist-they are not worn from the neck. Instead,
what looks like strings of Oliva beads, along with
some other smaller beads, are shown hanging over
one shoulder and across the torso down to the hip
(Fig. 5). Among men, only the "chief" and his attend-
ant (Lorant 1946: 113) are pictured as wearing the
ornaments (and symbols of status?) on his person.
The contemporary narrative describes Chief
Saturiba and his queen on an evening stroll:
He was clad in a deerskin so exquisitely
prepared and painted with so many colors
that I have never seen anything more lovely.
Two young men walked by his side carrying
fans, while a third one, with little gold and
silver balls hanging at his belt, followed
close behind him holding up his train
(Lorant 1946:113).
Before the Spanish treasure ships began

Figure 6: Young women dance before the king and his new "queen." On their belts they wear what look like
plummets. From same source as Fig. 5.



December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

sailing-and occasionally sinking-in the shallow
waters off the coast of Florida, the Indians presum-
ably had little, if any, access to precious metals. The
custom of wearing "little balls" hanging from a belt
probably preceded the acquisition of gold and silver,
as shown by the already cited discovery by Moore of
a burial with plummets of stone and raw copper, the
latter, no doubt, having been imported from a great
distance away. In the absence of metals, precious or
otherwise, of what material were the pendants made?
Is it not likely that the prehistoric pendants were
shell and stone plummets?
In another portion of the contemporary narra-
tive, we learn how "the king receives the queen." She
is brought to him, where he is seated above all others
"on a large platform of round logs especially erected
for the purpose." Below him sit "his principal men,"
and on her arrival, the new queen is seated on the
same high platform on which the king sits, but to his
After "he congratulates her and tells her why she
was chosen... a dance is performed before them by
young girls, dressed for the occasion..." (Lorant 1946:
111). "Below the navel they wear a broad girdle with
something like a purse hanging down in front of
them," and "all around this girdle are hung little balls
of gold and silver that dangle down upon their thighs
and tinkle when they dance" (Fig. 6). As they dance,
"they chant the praises of the king and his bride,
raising and lowering their hands in unison" (Lorant
1946: 111).
Would not the plummets of stone and shell, par-
ticularly the latter, also have "dangled" and "tinkled"
with a pleasing effect? And the thin cords required by
the shallow grooves found on most plummets would
have been sufficient for "respectful" dancing,
something that cannot be said of trying to haul a
large grouper out of his hole in the coral!
It is my thesis, then, that plummets of either
shell or stone were not ordinarily related to fishing.
They functioned, I believe, mainly as pendants,
hanging from the neck or waist of high- status indi-
viduals or of those "commoners" performing for, and
showing respect to, high-status individuals.
Actually, the young women dancing before their
king and new queen (Fig. 6) may not have been
commoners at all, but the relatives of the king or the
king's "principal men [seated]... below him on long
benches on both sides of the platform" (Lorant 1946:
111). In any case, shell and stone plummets were
probably related to the hierarchical nature of Indian

Figure 7: California "charm stones," some of which
never possessed a groove or any other means of
attachment. Note the striking similarity to Florida
plummets. From Charles Miles, Indian and Eskimo
Artifacts (1963).

"society" in prehistoric Florida (before gold and
silver were readily available), as well as to ornamen-
tation and ceremony, particularly the dance. One is
tempted to liken them today to jewelry worn only on
special occasions by individuals who want to show
off their wealth and the prestige that results from
Such an explanation would fit in well with both
the internal and external evidence pertaining to
plummets. The "internal" evidence suggests



* #~

Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

these objects were not designed-like the broken-
out, "unfinished" columellae found by Cushing at
Key Marco-for the rugged uses required of sinkers
employed in deep-sea, hook-and-line fishing for
large groupers and snappers.
At the same time, the "external"
evidence-Moore's discovery of stone plummets "in
place on a skeleton" of what was presumably a pres-
tigious individual; the finds made at the Jones burial
mound of many plummets of both stone and shell
that were obviously worn as pendants in life; Gog-
gin's reference to Sparke's observation that the
Indians who met (probably a formal meeting) John
Hawkins and his men apparently wore columella
pendants; and 16th-century pictures, with contem-
porary narratives, from Lorant's book describing
high-status individuals wearing pendants of precious
metals-all suggest the use of plummets as pendants
worn on special occasions by high-ranking persons.
Indeed, the plummets were probably, in and of
themselves, "status symbols."
Even if we accept the thesis that plummets func-
tioned mainly as pendants that conveyed status and
beauty, delighting the eye and-in some cases-the
ear, were these the only attributes symbolized by
these objects? Could Clarence Moore have, in fact,
been correct when he hypothesized that "perhaps
they were 'charm- stones'" (Moore 1907:459)?
"Regarded as fetishes, amulets or medicine
objects, with those that are quite phallic in
appearance tending to confirm the fetish or hunting
medicine interpretation" (Brennan 1975: 113), pre-
historic "charm-stones" have long been considered
almost unique to California (Brennan 1975: 113). In
appearance, they are strikingly similar to Florida
plummets (Fig. 7), and like some finished plummets,
charm stones can, on occasion, lack a groove, hole,
or any other means whereby a line could be attached
(Fig. 1; Miles 1963: 157).
Like my boyhood, "lucky" rabbit's foot that I
used to carry hidden in my pocket or hanging "di-
splayed" from a short, beaded chain attached to a
belt loop, plummets might have served also as
objects that brought one good fortune, particularly in
fishing and hunting. The fact that some well-made,
apparently finished Florida plummets were designed
without a groove or hole seems to support the charm
stone hypothesis if, for no other reason, than
because one cannot imagine what other purpose
they might have had! Perhaps, they could have been
painted with eyes, a nose, a bill, or other head

If plummets were sometimes seen as charm
stones, one wonders what percentage of the total
number of plummets existing in a village at any one
time were conceptualized in this way. Did the plum-
mets have-as I think is likely-several simultaneous
functions? Why could they not have been status
symbols, ornaments, and charm stones, all at the
same time?
For now, the charm-stone hypothesis must
remain just that-a theory. We do not have the
archaeological or historical evidence to upgrade it
into a full-fledged thesis, as I believe we do with the
conclusion that plummets functioned mainly as
pendants rather than fishing sinkers. One day, an
archaeological or historical source may come to light
that will confirm or deny the charm-stone hypothe-
sis. In the meantime, Florida plummets-we can
now, with confidence, call them pendants-still
retain at least some of their mystery.


Robert Carr and George Luer directed me to key
historical sources, and provided invaluable editorial
assistance. Karen Jo Walker, Irving Eyster, and John
Beriault also helped by sharing their ideas.
Permission was granted to reproduce illustra-
tions from Cultures de Chile Prehistoria; The New
World: The First Pictures ofAmerica; and Indian and
Eskimo Artifacts of North America. I am grateful to
the authors, editors, and publishers involved, as well
as to the Smithsonian Institution, for permission to
reproduce the plate in The Material Culture of Key
Marco, Florida.
Finally, I would like to thank Sue Brisker and
Pamela Kraft for typing the manuscript.

References Cited

Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S.Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related
Objects from Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 37: 5-54.

Brennan, Louis A.
1975 Artifacts ofPrehistoricAmerica.
Stackpole Books, Harrisburg,

Bullen, Ripley P.
1952 Eleven Archaeological Sites in
Hillsborough County, Florida. Florida


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

Geological Survey, Report ofInvestigations,
No. 8. Tallahassee.

Carr, Robert S. and John F. Reiger
1980 Strombus Celt Caches in Southeast
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 33: 66-

Cushing, Frank H.
1897 Exploration of Ancient Key-Dweller
Remains on the Gulf Coast of Florida
(reprint with different pagination).
Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society 35: 1-120.

Gilliland, Marion S.
1975 The Material Culture of Key Marco,
Florida.University Presses of Florida,

Goggin, John M.
1949a The Archaeology of the Glades Area,
Southern Florida. Unpublished
manuscript in library of Southeast
Archaeological Center, Tallahassee.

1949b Cultural Occupation at Goodland Point,
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 2: 65-

1951 Archaeological Notes on Lower
Fisheating Creek. The Florida
Anthropologist 4: 50-66.

Jahn, Otto L. and Ripley P. Bullen
1978 The Tick Island Site, St. Johns River,
Florida. Florida Anthropological Society
Publications,No. 10.

Larson, Lewis H.
1980 Aboriginal Subsistence Technology on
the Southeastern Coastal Plain during the
Late Prehistoric Period. University Presses
of Florida,Gainesville.

Llagostera, Agustin M.
1989 Caza y Pesca Maritima in Jorge L.
Hidalgo, et al., editors, Culturas de Chile
Prehistoria Desde Sus Ortgenes Hasta los
Albores de la Conquista. Editorial Andres
Bello, Santiago de Chile.

Lorant, Stefan, editor.
1946 The New World: The First Pictures of
America. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New
York (Authors Edition, Inc., Lenox,

McClane, A.J., editor.
1978 McClane's Field Guide to Saltwater

Fishes of NorthAmerica. Holt, Rinehart
and Winston, New York.

Miles, Charles
1963 Indian and Eskimo Artifacts ofNorth
America. Bonanza Book, New York
(Contemporary Books, Chicago).

Moore, Clarence B.
1900 Certain Antiquities of the Florida West-
Coast.Journal of the Academy of Natural
Sciences 11:351-394.

1905 Miscellaneous Investigation in Florida.
Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences

1907 Notes on the Ten Thousand Islands,
Florida.Journal of the Academy of Natural
Sciences, 13:458-470.

Morris, Percy A.
1975 A Field Guide to Shells of the Atlantic
and Gulf Coasts and the West Indies.
Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

Reiger, John F.
1979 The Making of Aboriginal Shell Tools:
Clues from South Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 32:130-138.

1981 An Analysis of Four Types of Shell
Artifacts from South Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist 34: 4-20.

Walker, Karen Jo.
1989 Artifacts of a Fishy Nature: Southwest
Florida's Prehistoric Marine Fishing
Technology. Paper presented at
Southeastern Archaeological Conference,
Tampa, November 9, 1989.

Widmer, Randolph J.
1988 The Evolution of the Calusa: A
Nonagricultural Chiefdom on the
Southwest Florida Coast. University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Zim, Herbert S.
1960 A Guide to Everglades National Park
and the Nearby Florida Keys. Golden
Press, New York.

Dr. John F. Reiger
Department of History
Ohio University-Chillicothe, OH 45601


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

History of Post-war Seminole Settlement in the Big Cypress

Patsy West
Patsy West


.--. .

Figure 1. The Glade Cross Mission in Ca. 1905. Bishop Grey in back row,
Billy Fewell seated in front row. (W. Stanley Hanson Photo Collection,
Seminole/Miccosukee Archive)

The Big Cypress has a long history of prehis-
toric and historic occupation, including Seminole
habitation during the past two centuries. Seminole
camps are located on islands,areas of higher eleva-
tion covered with pine trees or oaks. The surrounding
area was under water for months at a time, then
during the dry season the land became drier except
for flag ponds and bogs of sawgrass and cypress
heads. Not surprising, most of the islands in the Big
Cypress used by the Seminoles are also sites of pre-
historic settlement. For the Seminoles, these sites
encompass a century of transition that included
Second and Third Seminole War military actions,
post-war settlement and trading activity, and early
missionizing projects among the Seminoles. It was in
the Big Cypress that the first Florida lands were pur-
chased for a Federal Seminole reservation.
The Big Cypress area was home to a large
number of Mikasuki Seminole camps prior to and
during the Second Seminole War. The powerful
medicine man and spiritual leader Sam Jones, known
as Arpeika of the Panther clan,and who played such
an important role in the Second Seminole War,
settled in the Big Cypress as early as 1828 (U.S. House

1898:ccxxviii). After the end of the war in 1842, these
camps were repopulated in the few years of peace
before the outbreak of the Third Seminole War,which
began when the U.S. Army ordered Lt. Hartstuff to
make a survey of the area. The Third Seminole War
began at Billy Bowleg's Big Cypress camp in April,
1855 when Hartstuff's soldiers cut Billy Bowlegs'
bananas from his garden. In the resulting skirmish,
Hartstuff was wounded and two soldiers died. Sam
Jones survived two wars and lived in the post- war Big
Cypress until his death at a very elderly age in 1867
(Taylor 1989).
The postwar successor of Sam Jones as leader
of the Mikasuki-speaking Seminoles was Old Tiger
Tail, a clansman of Jones. He lived at the headwaters
of the Okaloacoochee Slough when he was not resid-
ing at his wives' other camp in the area of North
Miami on Snake Creek (West 1990).
Tiger Tail's Big Cypress island and others
nearby encompassed cattle, agriculture fileds, and
Corn Dance grounds, were among the most sig-
nificant sites associated with the Big Cypress Semi-
noles in ca. 1860-1880. By the 1890s smaller settle-
ments had been noted farther south. The family of


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Little Nancy and Little Billy was located at ten miles
southeast in 1892. Although a Corn Dance ground
was described in the area, it appears that there were
no permanent structures at this site (Kersey 1974:59),
suggesting perhaps that Old Tiger Tail's attempt to
settle the Mikasukis in the more formal settlements
with associated ceremonial grounds, such as those
which had existed at Big Cypress and Pine Island
(West 1989; 1990), had deteriorated since his death in
In 1891, the Women's National Indian Asso-
ciation (WNIA) resolved to establish a Seminole
mission, following a visit to Seminole camps in the
Big Cypress by Amelia S. Quinton, President of the
organization's missionary committee. The mission
was to "provide educational and individual training,
as well as general missionary activity" (Kersey
1974:43). Four hundred acres were purchased "45
miles southeast of Ft. Myers" or 3 miles east of Lake
Trafford in today's Immokalee area at what was then
called "the Allen Place" (Kersey 1974:43). Dr. J. E.
Brecht and his wife were hired in 1891 as missiona-
ries. This event took place before the establishment
of a reservation or even a Seminole Agency. Through
the efforts of the WNIA, the Indian Service purchased
80 acres adjoining the mission for a field service
station and a special agent was appointed. The
Federal appropriation for the Seminoles was used to

set up a sawmill and purchase stock. However, the
sawmill burned in 1892.
In 1893-1899, when Dr. Brecht took over as
Agent, the nearest Seminole camps were 20-40 miles
away. After 1894, the trend in Washington was to
select and purchase lands for the Seminoles (Kersey
1974:51). The mission continued to exist under the
auspices of the Episcopal Church with the support of
the Rt. Reverend William Crane Grey, the first Bishop
of the Missionary Jurisdiction of South Florida (1893-
In 1893, Brecht's improvements consisted of
a dwelling, schoolhouse, barn, and fenced lands. It
was Bishop Grey who named the mission, "Immok-
alee," Mikasuki for "home." A town later evolved
which retained the name "Immokalee" and in 1989 a
small Seminole reservation was dedicated in the
Immokalee area where Seminole families have con-
tinued to live.
It was noted that there were camps "...near
Sam Jones' Old Town deep in the Big Cypress"
(Kersey 1974:56). In 1896, the trader Bill Brown estab-
lished a store in the Big Cypress. In 1901 he bought
the property and business of a Baptist preacher and
trader, J.A. Wilson. Wilson's became the site of Bill
Brown's Boat Landing (Kersey 1975:61), a year-round
trading post at the head of canoe navigation on the
western edge of the Everglades. This post, consisting

Figure 2. The Episcopal Hospital at Browns Landing, Ca. 1910. (Seminole/Miccosukee Archive)



Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

of a store, a barn, and a house for Brown's family,
was located in what is today the Big Cypress Semi-
nole Reservation (Kersey 1975:61).
The Episcopal Church purchased 640 acres
of land within three miles of Brown's Landing and
some 35 miles southeast of Immokalee. Here in 1898
was established the Glade Cross Mission (Figure 1)
which again received its name from Bishop Grey
(Kersey 1975:56).
A dwelling called Everglades Lodge was built
as a home for the missionaries who spent a
few months each year at this post; there was
also a store, a small hospital and outbuild-
ings, as well as ditched and fenced fields for
growing corn, sugar cane, and citrus.
(Kersey 1975:62).
Grey learned from the missionaries that the
Indians readily accepted medical aid and he decided
to establish a medical missionary at Glade Cross
Mission. In 1905, he hired Dr. William J. Godden, "an

English pharmacist who had settled in St.
Petersburg." Godden continued his work until his
death on the job in 1914 (Kersey 1975:63).
In February 1908, the Boat Landing was
purchased by Bishop Grey to prevent it from falling
into the hands of a whiskey vendor (Kersey 1975:64).
The small hospital was moved to the Boat Landing in
1910, just in time to have it nearly destroyed by a
hurricane. [I believe that Brown's buildings were
destroyed in the Hurricane of 1910, as the mission
buildings in the inland location were photographed
in 1914 and conform to Spencer's (1913:3) descrip-
tion of "the only buildings on the Reservation"].
In 1910, Godden asked for the establishment
of an industrial farm. One hundred sixty acres of
hammock on the western edge of the church section
were proposed for the farm, and in 1913 all of the
buildings were moved there (Kersey 1975: 65).
As for the Big Cypress Seminoles themselves,
Parkhill noted in 1909: "The cultivated fields of the

Figure 3. The Glade Cross Mission showing outbuildings and wagon, 1914. (W. Stanley Hanson Photo
Collection, Seminole/Miccosukee Archive)


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

~ 1


:JI ;

"~ f t~

Figure 4. Sallie Cypress and children and her father Billy Fewell. Big
Cypress Reservation, Ca. 1927. (W. Stanley Hanson Photo Collection,
Seminole/Miccosukee Archive)

Indians are usually located in rich hammocks while
they live in the pine woods near by" (1909:5).
Lorenzo T. Creel observed in his 1911 report of a tour
of the camps: "The Big Cypress Indian have 29 head
of stock and 10 yoke of oxen. All have a few hogs"
By the Executive Order of 1911, certain lands
in Hendry, Broward, and Martin Counties were set
aside for the Seminoles. The Hendry County Reserva-
tion of 17,000 acres was proposed with the expecta-
tion that the Seminoles in the area might enjoy the re-
establishment of a trading post on the reservation
land. In order to oversee this project, the Agent was
transferred from Miami to Ft. Myers.
In the 1913 Seminole Agency Annual Report,
Agent Spencer noted that there were "...no buildings
of any sort on the reservation lands except some
small structures owned by the Prot. Episcopal
Church and situated on land leased by them"
(1913:3). (see Figure 3)
Spencer noted, "These buildings are not used
at the present time owing to the fact that no one has
been appointed to succeed the late Dr. Godden."
(1913:3) These buildings were described in the 1915
Annual Report as "a comfortable house, a store build-
ing, and three Indian shacks..." (1915:3). (see Figure
3) Spencer also noted:
"The Billy Fewell" camp is the only one
located on Reservation lands but owing to
the fact that he is a sub-chief and has moved

onto the reservation for the purpose of
learning to farm like the white man, I feel
that it will not be long before other camps
will follow his example (1915:3).

[Billy Fewell was an unusual case. He had been bap-
tized previously and asked Bishop Grey for confirma-
tion on Christmas Day, 1912 (Kersey 1974:65). Atypi-
cal of the general Seminole population, Fewell was a
strong nonconformist throughout his life. (see Figure
In the early fall of 1918, an industrial station
was begun in the Big Cypress "...where liberal day
wages is [sic] paid the Indians for work in cutting
posts, building shelter houses, erecting fences, clear-
ing and putting new land in cultivation, hauling
supplies, etc. This is intended to furnish a means of
subsistence independent of wild game" This
program was in the hands of, "a white man who grew
to manhood among the Seminoles and speaks their
language" (Spencer 1919:5-6). This man was Frank
Brown, son of the previous trading post operator Bill
Brown. Kersey noted: "Brown moved his wife and
children into one of the cottages that had formerly
been part of an Episcopal Mission on the N.W. corer
of the reservation land and supervised the construc-
tion of the first permanent BIA Station for the Semi-
nole Indians in Florida" (Kersey 1975:65).
"On the northwest corer of the reservation a
four room dwelling for the caretaker was erected,


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

along with a warehouse, small office building, garage,
stable, and an Indian council house" (Kersey
However, the Hendry County Reservation
project was insufficiently funded by the Government,
and closed on June 30, 1926. The Broward County
Reservation opened, originally for "sick or indigent
Indians." The Seminole Agency Headquarters was
again moved, this time from Ft. Myers to Dania to be
closer to the new Reservation project.
The Hendry County Reservation, as the Big
Cypress Reservation was then called, was let out on a
grazing lease. The leasee agreed to, "...keep all build-
ings and fences in repair, prevent hunting on the
lands, and give the Indians all privileges heretofore
enjoyed" (Spencer 1926:2).
In the 1933 Annual Report Agent James L.
Glenn noted: "The Federal Government has provided
its largest reservation in Hendry County. It consists
of 23,040 acres, and is 35 miles from markets, high-
ways, and other modern public- facilities. Its chief
assets are hunting and grazing"(Glenn 1933).
W. Stanley Hanson noted in 1933 that the Big
Cypress Indians "...range from Fort Myers south to
Shark River, with occasional camps in Broward and
Dade Counties [the Reservation and tourist related
camps], but the larger number reside thruout [sic]
the Big Cypress area in Hendry and Collier
Counties..." (Hanson: n.d ). Very few resided within
the bounds of the Big Cypress Reservation.
In 1937, Hanson, a close friend of the late Dr.
Godden, founder of the Seminole Indian Association
in 1913, became caretaker of the Hendry County
Reservation. Hanson had attempted to gain the posi-
tion of Seminole Agent for years, was very qualified
for the job, but was the victim of the prejudices and
politics of the day. He spoke the language and was
the Mikasuki- speaking Seminoles' liaison in most of
their notable dealings with the dominant culture. He
was sometimes consulted concerning the Seminoles'
councils and as such became known as the "white
medicine man of the Seminoles." He guided most of
the governmental inspectors and anthropologists
who visited the Big Cypress in the 1930s and 1940s.
Because of his great friendship with the
Indians, he was responsible for populating the
Hendry County Reservation. Prior to his employment
as caretaker in 1937, nine adults and five children
lived on the Reservation. Because of Hanson's
encouragement, by 1942 the number had grown to
over 150 (Christian Science Monitor, April 18,

By 1940, the Hendry County Reservation
contained 35,463 acres. "About 100 Indians usually
live on the Hendry Co. Reservation" (Parkhill 1940:1).
Shortly after a school was established at the Brighton
Reservation"...the Indians living on the Hendry
County Indian Reservation, recognizing the advan-
tage to be gained by having their children educated,
requested that a school be established on their reser-
vation. There are now two educational employees
stationed on the Big Cypress Reservation and the Big
Cypress Day School will be put into operation in the
fall. The Indians on this reservation have taken an
active part in getting the school building ready for
occupancy" (Parkhill 1940). This school was run by,
"...an educated Western Indian and his wife, Mr. and
Mrs. Paul E. Burney" (Christian Science Monitor,
April 18, 1942:12).
The cattle enterprise at Big Cypress got
underway in the Fall of 1941 with 150 head of cattle
(Collier 1941). Pete Townsend, a Florida cattleman,
aided the Seminoles with their herd which included
"some select Brahman bulls" (Christian Science
Monitor, April 18, 1942:12). The Christian Science
Monitor related: "...At the reservation these Semi-
noles have electric lights, hot and cold showers,
comfortable houses if they prefer them to their own
thatched roofed huts, and motion pictures" (Chri-
stian Science Monitor, April 8, 1942:12).
A 1942 report noted that the school "...has
made very satisfactory progress during its first years
of operation. Work similar to that at the Brighton
school is carried on at this school and classes for the
children and adults are well attended..."("Seminole
Indians of Florida,"Nov.1, 1942:2). The Burneys even
held evening classes which were attended by the
CCC:ID (Indian Department of the CCC) workers
who were building roads across the "prairie region".
(Christian Science Monitor, April 18, 1942:12) An
Agency report noted: "A highway is under construc-
tion north of the sub-agency located at Big Cypress
to intersect Highway #25 west of Moore Haven" (Par-
khill 1940).
Some of Hanson's work towards improve-
ments on the Big Cypress Reservation in 1941
through 1945 are described in the following excerpts
from his untitled report of conditions on the Big
Cypress Reservation:

Headquarters at Big Cypress reser-
vation is located in the southwest quarter


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

S.12, T48S, R.33E. From this point a truck
trail has been constructed heading in an
easterly direction, crossing Sections 12 and
13, 28-17-16-21 and 22, in T48S, R34E, a
distance of five miles, terminating in the
northwest quarter of Section 22. At this
point a spur road has been built four tenths
mile north to the site of the old boat
landing, in the southwest quarter of Section
15. The old Boat Landing is one of the his-
toric points on the reservation, originally
the first high land on the western rim of the
Everglades. It was formerly used by the
Seminoles crossing the Glades to and from
the lower east coast, before the State drain-
age operations lowered the water level of
the area, and it was here Brown's store was
located as a trading post with the Indians in
From the present terminus of Guava
Camp road it is approximately one and a
quarter miles to Guava Camp. This was the
camp of Sally and Whitney Cypress. The
extension as planned, would follow a south-
eastern direction to the Guava Camp
located in southwest quarter Section 23.
From the Guava Camp this road should
eventually extend to the patrolman's camp,
located in the southeast comer Section 35.
Distance of approximately two miles. This
would allow travel at all seasons of the year
to the extreme southeastern portion of the

The Godden Road

This road branches off from Guava
Camp road, one mile from Headquarters, in
the northwest corner of Section 18, and
passes southeasterly across Sections 18 and
19, to the southeast corner of Section 19;
thence south across sections 30 and 31, to
approximately the southeast corner of
Section 31. The right of way for this road has
been cleared a width of fifty-feet the entire
distance, except in several instances where
cypress stands are crossed, and here the
cypress trees have been cut down.
The U.S. aeroplane beacon is
located on this road, 1.1 miles SE of junction

with this road. This road passes the site of
the old Episcopal Indian Mission estab-
lished by the late Dr. Wm. Godden, who
died at the Mission in 1914. Our recent work
has extended the Godden road another
quarter mile beyond the Beacon, and it is
continuing at this time.
Both the east and south road are
greatly needed as a means of getting to
important sections of the reservation in
patrol work and in our fencing operations.

West Road

When it is practicable to do so, a
road leading west across the reservation
should be made. We are unable at this time
to cross our reserve to protect game or
fences. A truck trail eight miles in length
would be required to reach the extreme
western part of our holdings. There is con-
siderable pine and cypress in this western
portion of the reservation. This is the best
hunting section for deer and turkey. We
cannot protect this area, as it is impossible
to cross the cypress strand with horses or
cars until a trail is made.


The present location of reservation
headquarters is located in Section 12, T.48S,
R.33E. This location was originally selected
on account of the "island" hammock, which
enjoys a slight elevation over the surround-
ing land. The original hammock of approx-
imately eight acres has been cleared and
fenced. More land can be added at small
expense when required, and certain por-
tions of the headquarters clearing should be
raised several inches.
There has never been any plan for
development here, which is vital in the
placing of buildings and planting of trees,
and early attention should be given to
working plans.

[By 1943 there was a recreation building. Hanson had
planted Cajaput trees (perhaps along the drive)
(Hanson, Diary, Jan.6, 1943). Improvements were the


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

dwelling for the caretaker, a small office building,
warehouse, garage, Indian Council house, and school
building. (Hanson, July 1948) Presumably these were
the same core of buildings erected ca. 1919. By 1947,
the school had been abandoned (Freeman 1947).]

Main Driveway

A 100 foot fenced driveway into the
reservation headquarters from entrance
gate has already been planted with orna-
mental shade trees, set 50 feet apart on each
side, and clumps of giant bamboo have
been established on each side of entrance
gate. In a few years this bamboo should
attain a height of 60 to 70 feet, and be a
pleasing attraction to the reservation.
The present 12 foot truck trail into
headquarters should be widened to a practi-
cal width for use and safety. Distance from
entrance gate to headquarters is 3 miles.


The reservation should be properly
posted at its outlines, in accordance with
State law. Baked enamel signs, 4 x 12 inches
in size; colors, black letters on white base,
(which outlasts any other color in this

climate) should be provided. The simple
ING. are suggested. (Hanson n.d.)
By the 1950's the Big Cypress Reservation
needed drainage programs to reclaim more acreage
before it could support larger cattle or agriculture
There was no paved road to the Big Cypress
Reservation until the 1950's (Garbarino 1972:2). As a
result Big Cypress was virtually cut off from the rest
of the area during the rainy season and remained
isolated from the tourist sections of Florida. The road
was paved from Clewiston in the late 1950's. There
was no direct contact with Ft. Lauderdale until Alliga-
tor Alley was completed in the early 1970's. Travel
distance was then cut in half from Big Cypress to the
Agency Headquarters in Hollywood.
Although the Indians bought cattle earlier, it
was not until the U.S. Government established a
revolving credit plan and cattle loans for individuals
that any large herds were pastured at Big Cypress
according to Garbarino (1972:3). It was not until the
Seminole Tribe became Incorporated in 1957 that
the Indians could elect representatives"...to make
decisions on expenditure and improvements and to
have a voice in the general direction of the cattle
industry" (Garbarino 1972:4).
Hanson recalled: "The Seminole of the Big
Cypress have had hogs for many years, and the sale

c ,JI

^ fJL
%; ^^/' I'st

Figure 5. Building the Entrance Gate at Cypress Reservation Agency
Headquarters, Ca. 1937. (W. Stanley Hanson Photo Collection,
Seminole/Miccosukee Archive)

Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990


of swine was formerly a lucrative business."
However, he also noted that in the early 1940's: "Hog
stealing by certain white men has about discouraged
the reservation Indians from raising swine" (Hanson
1941:7). By 1964, no one at the Big Cypress Reserva-
tion kept many hogs except the medicine man Josie
Billie, who was by tradition often paid for his services
in hogs (Garbarino 1972:22).
Ten cement block houses were built at Big
Cypress in 1960 (Garbarino 1972:16). These were
owned by the cattlemen's families, because cattle
was the security on the house mortgage (Garbarino
1972:18). Other units which were more suited to
Seminole lifestyle, were built by the housing depart-
ment of the Agency. "The units are wooden, raised
on a poured cement base, and almost continuous
window areas circle each unit at a height of about 4
feet" (Garbarino 1972:18).
Garbarino noted: "The north boundary road
leads to the highest elevation on the reservation, 21
feet above sea level. It passes an area that was
planted in 1963 with slash pine, which the Indians
hope will grow to commercial timber." (Garbarino
Garbarino also noted, "In 1964 the number
of members in a camp ranged from 1-13. The physi-
cal elements of the camp have changed very little
since MacCauley [in 1880]." However she concluded,
"...the small birth chickee and the seclusion chickee
for menstruating women are no longer present"
(Garbarino 1972:69).
By 1965, "...Some of the camp owners had
moved closer to the school, clinic, and agency radio
building. The clustering of camps and the 10 new
cement block buildings now form a nucleus which is
a center of population concentration. However, old
camps are still remembered and the past inhabitants
are still considered owners, 'That's so and so's old
camp,'they say" (Garbarino 1972:34).
Most family camp sites have a CBS or other
modern structure built on a raised mound of fill.
These structures have indoor kitchens and
bathrooms, however most families continue to have
at least one and sometimes several thatched chickees
in the household's hammock area.
"Until 1967 there were no phones at Big
Cypress and the only means of communication with
the outside was a two-way radio to Hollywood..."
(Garbarino 1972:34).
In the 1970s, about 2,000 acres of Big Cypress
land was leased to outside commercial agricultural

interests for vegetable and citrus cultivation. Some
Seminoles worked seasonally for these companies.
An advantage of these leases was that the cleared and
drained acres could be turned into pasturage for
Seminole cattle at the end of the agreement.
In 1990, cattle continues to be big business in
Big Cypress, but the most current endeavor is the
development of a Seminole owned citrus business, as
that industry expands southward due to the major
freezes of the past several years.
The expanding citrus industry threatens
many of the traditional Seminole sites, and in 1990,
the Seminole Tribe of Florida invited the Archaeolog-
ical and Historical Conservancy to Big Cypress Reser-
vation to conduct the Seminole Heritage survey to
locate and assess archaeological and historic sites so
that appropriate planning could help preserve the
most significant of these sites (Carr and West 1990).

References Cited

Carr, Robert S. and Patsy West
1990 Seminole Heritage Archaeological and
Historical Survey; Phase 1: Northern Big
Cypress. Archaeological and Historical
Conservancy Technical Report #20, Miami.

Christian Science Monitor
1942 "Where Orchids Cling" April 18, 1942.

Collier, John
1941 "Letter to Big Cypress Cattlemen", October 24,
1941. W. Stanley Hanson Papers,
Seminole/Miccosukee Photo Archive, Ft.

Creel, Lorenzo D.
1911 Report of Special Agent of the Seminole
Indians in Florida, Report to the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Freeman, Ethel Cutler
1947 "The Seminoles of Florida" The American
Eagle 41:50 April 3, 1947, Estero.

Garbarino, Merwyn S.
1972 Big Cypress: A Changing Seminole Community.
Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, New York.


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Glenn, James L., Special Commissioner
1933 Office ofIndian Affairs, Annual Report,
Narrative Section, SeminoleAgency. Dania,
Florida. Washington D.C.

Hanson, Julia
n.d. "The Seminole Today" Report on W. Stanley
Hanson Papers, Seminole/Miccosukee Photo
Archive, Ft. Lauderdale.

Hanson, W. Stanley
n.d. Untitled Report of Conditions on the Big
Cypress Reservation [ca.1941-1945], by W.
Stanley Hanson, Caretaker. W. Stanley Hanson
Papers, Seminole/Miccosukee Photo Archive,
Ft. Lauderdale.

1933 Untitled typescript on Big Cypress
Reservation. In W.Stanley Hanson Papers,
Seminole/Miccosukee Photo Archive, Ft.

1943 Diary, January, 1943 W. Stanley Hanson
Papers, Seminole / Miccosukee Photo Archive,
Ft. Lauderdale.

Kersey, Harry A., Jr.
1974 A History of the Seminole and Miccosukee
Tribes 1859-1970 U.S. Department of
Commerce, National Technical Information
Service, Washington D.C.

1975 Pelts, Plumes, and Hides: White Traders among
the Seminole Indians 1870-1930. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Parkhill, [Deaconess] Harriet Randolph
1909 "The Mission to the Seminoles", Sentinel Press,

1918 Annual Report to the Commissioner.
Hollywood, Florida.

1940 Seminole Indians of Florida. Typescript, Oct.
1, 1940. Dania, Florida.

Taylor, Robert
1989 Unforgotten Threat: South Florida Seminoles
in the Civil War. Paper read at the 97th Annual
Meeting of the Florida Historical Society,

Spencer,Lucien A., Special Commissioner
1913 Office of Indian Affairs, Annual Report,
Narrative Section, Seminole Agency, Dania,
Florida. Prepared by Lucien A. Spencer,
Special Commissioner. Washington D.C.

1915 Office ofIndian Affairs, Annual Report,
Narrative Section, Seminole Agency. Dania,
Florida. Prepared by Lucien A. Spencer,
Special Commissioner. Washington D.C.

1919 Office ofIndian Affairs, Annual Report,
Narrative Section, Seminole Agency. Dania,
Florida. Prepared by Lucien A. Spencer,
Special Commissioner. Washington D.C.

1926 Office of Indian Affairs, Annual Report,
Narrative Section, SeminoleAgency. Dania,
Florida. Prepared by Lucien A. Spencer,
Special Commissioner. Washington D.C.

1898 United States House of Representatives, Report
of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Exec.
Doc. 5, 55th Congress 3rd Session. Exhibit G.
Report of A.J. Duncan, United States Indian
Inspector, to the Honorable Secretary of the
Interior in regard to the Reservation of Lands
for use of the Seminole Indians in Florida, CC-
ccxxxviii. Washington D.C.

West, Patsy
1989 Seminole Indian Settlements at Pine Island,
Broward County, Florida: An Overview. The
Florida Anthropologist 42(1):43-56

1990 The Life and Times of Old Tiger Tail,
Unpublished report on file with the author.
Seminole/Miccosukee Archive. Ft. Lauderdale.

Patsy West
Seminole/Miccosukee Archive
1447 SW Grand Dr.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

Archaeological Investigations
at Pine Island, Broward County
RobertS. Carr


My first visit to Pine Island was in the
summer of 1974, when I conducted a cursory
archaeological survey of Broward County in coopera-
tion with the Broward County Archaeological Society
while working for the State of Florida's Division of
Archives, History, and Records Management (since
renamed the Division of Historical Resources). Pine
Island, with its natural high elevations seemed like
an appropriate target during this initial survey. I
headed to the "ridge" and my first view of this
island's beauty was a profoundly pleasant shock to
my senses. I saw the largest pine trees I had ever seen
in southern Florida, primary growth perhaps not
unlike what the prehistoric Indians might have seen.
There were also oaks and hardwood hammocks, and
a wonderful paucity of evidence of modern man.
Somehow, an entire one mile section of land sur-
rounded by Broward County's spreading urban
sprawl had escaped development. The Belcher family
owned this property and maintained much of the
drained lowlands surrounding the ridge in citrus cul-
tivation. At that time, offers by realtors and develop-
ers had found little interest with the family, and as Ft.
Lauderdale housing chugged westward it had
bypassed this land leaving the citrus to be picked, the
Belchers' house sitting quietly on top of one of Pine
Island's highest hills, and a small African-American
community of grove workers living in shotgun shacks
just west of the Belcher house.
This idyllic scene represented the end of a
period of southern ambiance in South Florida when
large land holdings, agriculture, and a self sufficient
community could be tucked far away from the 7-1 's
and asphalt roads without bringing attention to itself.
Its final curtain call appeared to come in 1985, when
a deal was struck between the Belchers and Sea
Ranch Properties Inc. to acquire the property for
development. However, the ridge with its splendid
natural beauty and lingering habitats, had not gone
unnoticed by environmentalists, historic preserva-
tionists, and the planning departments of Broward
County and the Town of Davie. Through a well-
orchestrated political and educational campaign, the
ridge portion of the Belcher property was acquired

from Sea Ranch Properties through Florida's Conser-
vation and Recreation Lands (CARL) program for 7.2
million dollars.
The Belchers moved out and the families of
the Pine Island African-American community soon
joined the small exodus. Bulldozers leveled the
shotgun houses (perhaps one or two should have
been preserved), and Pine Island passed from private
to public ownership.
The 100 acre preserve which was acquired
had the shape of a snake-like ridge extending east
from Pine Island Road then curling northward with
spurs to the west and south. Omitted from the initial
purchase was a small segment adjacent to Pine
Island Road (retained by Sea Ranch Properties as a
green space entrance to the Forest Ridge Develop-
ment) and the Westridge parcel which was acquired
by the Town of Davie.
The threat of development on Pine Island is
now passed, and this scene of natural beauty with its
rich prehistory and many archaeological sites has
entered into a new era of public custodianship for all
to savor and enjoy.
This paper presents the results of recent
archaeological investigations on Pine Island, an area
previously little known to archaeologists and
scholars. The paper will demonstrate that the Pine
Island group afforded humans a unique upland
habitat in the eastern Everglades where they could
live and harvest a variety of resources.

Natural Setting

Pine Island is one of several sandy ridges
approximately 10 miles inland from the Atlantic
Ocean. The ridges extend generally east-west across
a 4-mile length segmented by various gaps and chan-
nels. These upland ridges were once islands in a
"matrix of wet prairie" (sawgrass, etc.) prior to
artificial, man-made drainage (Hardin 1986).
Geologically, the ridges are unique upland
features in the eastern Everglades. They have the
highest elevations in southeast Florida, including a
rise measuring 29 feet above sea level. Unlike the
Atlantic Coastal Ridge, the Pine Islands have no
underlying bedrock and may have their origin as


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990




N 0 900 1800
S- 4 .." -Pinelands
Sf Hammocks

Basedon 1898Fries' survey
4 A- 4 I

A4 -' A A

4~4 -4
on 1848 ais sure y


Volume 43 Number 4


December 1990

Pleistocene wind blown dunes. Soil types include
Pomello fine sand on the ridge surrounded by Sanibel
and Okeelanta mucks (Broward County Soil Survey
The ridges support subtropical hammocks,
including some tropical flora that may represent their
northern range (Hardin 1986:37). Dominated by the
South Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottivar. densa), the
understory includes coontie (Zamia pumila), which
was once an important food source to the Seminoles,
and possibly to the Tequesta. Other natural floral
communities include Coastal Scrub and Maritime
Hammock. In total, Pine Island's mosaic of habitats,
including wetlands, offered diverse subsistence
resources to its human inhabitants (Figure 1).

Cultural Setting

Pine Island is situated in the Everglades area
(Griffin 1988) in a geographic area commonly
associated with the Tequesta Indians of the 16th and
17th centuries. The Everglades area as defined by
Carr and Beriault (1984) and Griffin (1988) is the most
recent revision of Goggin's older Glades Culture area
classification in which he viewed a distinctive South
Florida adaptation by prehistoric peoples. He viewed
the Indians of the Everglades as being: "non-
agricultural, living on hunting, fishing, and the
gathering of wild vegetable foods. Apparently small
bands were most typical and probably 20 to 30 people
would comprise the average village or camp" (Goggin
1952:3). Archaeological investigations in southeast
Florida during the last decade have dramatically
expanded our knowledge of the area's prehistory. As
recently as 1980, some scholars were viewing the
region's prehistory as beginning about 500 B.C.
(Milanich and Fairbanks 1980). The discovery of the
Cutler Fossil Site (8DA2001) in Dade County in 1986
pushed the date of human habitation in southeast
Florida to ca. 8000 B.C., based on radiocarbon dates
and Bolen points from the site's cultural horizon
(Carr 1986).
Firm evidence of Mid-Archaic habitation in
the area has yet to be uncovered; however, evidence
of Late Archaic activities on both the coast and within
the Everglades has been abundant (ie. Mowers and
Williams 1972, Carr 1981, Masson et al. 1988, ). The
Late Archaic Period, circa 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C. may
have been a time of major migrations of Florida's
Native Americans, who was apparently already well
adapted to a wetlands economy, into the area. The

recovery of central and north Florida chert points
and partially fiber-tempered pottery from the Late
Archaic horizon of many South Florida sites suggest
either active trade with areas to the north or the
actual movement of people from expanding popula-
tions in north-central Florida, possibly from the
lower St. Johns River region. These emigrations could
have been the result of increased populations in
northeast Florida that had maximized the carrying
capacity of the local subsistence resources. Evidence
of Late Archaic habitation was discovered on Pine
Island during one of Carr's surveys (1988) and during
the 1988 salvage excavations of the three graves at
8BD1113, which is presented in this paper (also see
Felmley this issue).
The Glades I through III periods were defined
by Goggin based primarily on ceramic typology
changes, particularly with the inception of decorated
pottery during Late Glades I (ca. 500 A.D.) and by
numerous ceramic decorated types through the
Glades II and Glades III periods. The latter includes
the Glades IIIc period which classifies the European
contact period (ca. 1513-1763) that is characterized
by the introduction of European goods.

Previous Research

The Pine Island group has the distinction of
containing the first archaeological site in the Ever-
glades subjected to a scientific investigation. In 1908,
M.R. Harrington canoed from the mouth of the New
River to Pine Island, where he made a short visit to a
black dirt midden and made a small collection of arti-
facts which reposes in the Museum of the American
Indian (Harrington 1909:140). Subsequently, another
investigation of this site was conducted by W. C.
Orchard for the Museum of the American Indian in
1938 (Goggin and Sommer 1949:92-94). Archaeolo-
gist John Goggin, the principal pioneer of archaeo-
logical work in south Florida, recorded this site as
8BD12, which apparently is the same site visited by
the Broward County Archaeological Society in the
1960's and inadvertently redesignated as 8BD76.
In the summer of 1974 the author, while
employed by Florida's Division of Archives, History
and Records Management, conducted a cursory
archaeological survey of the Pine Island group and
recorded 4 sites on Pine Island (8BD95, 8BD96,
8BD97, and 8BD98), and visited several sites on the
ridges to the west of Pine Island.


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

In 1986, Section 20, T50S, R41E,
which encompasses a major portion of
Pine Island, was acquired by Sea Ranch
Properties Inc. The author was hired to
conduct an archaeological assessment t
of the property (Carr and West 1986). /.
Carr's survey was augmented by the
historic research of Patsy West, who
researched the late nineteenth century
Seminole use of the island (West 1985,
1989) and located several survey maps
contemporary to Seminole occupation 3
that were pivotal to the locating of the
sites of Pine Island's Seminole villages.'
Other important historic investigations .. 4
were the studies of a Seminole War -
period Pine Island skirmish by Cooper I/
Kirk (Kirk 1977) and by Willard Steele
and Ken Hughes. Steele and Hughes io I i
had independently researched the U.S. o
military attack on Pine Island to
attempt to locate the sites of the
engagement and the 1838 Indian
village (Hughes and Steele, personal 'I __
communication 1986). Carr's 1986
survey resulted in a total of seven sites
being located and assessed. Six of these 8BD1113
were prehistoric, and the seventh was
historic. In 1988, Carr did a survey on a 20
separate private outparcel of the ridge
and conducted a more extensive eval-
uation of sites 8BD98 and 8BD1119,
which resulted in the discovery of
materials dating from the Archaic
Period through the nineteenth century
Seminoles (Carr 1988). These discover-
ies helped stimulate the CARL acquisi- J ;
tion of Pine Island and the purchase of --
a separate parcel by the Town of \
In 1989, plans to widen Pine
Island Road and the construction of a TREE TOPS ________
proposed entry feature for the Forest PARK
Ridge development were determined to _
affect adversely site 8BD1113. Since ,
much of the site was situated within I. .
the Pine Island Road right-of-way, and *'
the rest of the site was situated within -
property owned by Sea Ranch Proper- Figure 2. USGS Map of Pine Island. (USGS Cooper City, 1983)
ties, more extensive archaeological
testing of site 8BD1113 was required by


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Broward County to help offset the adverse impact of
these developments. The Archaeological and Histori-
cal Conservancy (AHC) entered into an agreement
with Broward County and Sea Ranch properties to
conduct these studies. This testing was followed by
the archaeological monitoring by the AHC of road
construction and tree removal which led to the dis-
covery of three Native American graves. These inves-
tigations are discussed in detail in this report and the
biological analysis of the human burials are reported
elsewhere in this volume (see Felmley this issue).
Other archaeological assessments on the
Pine Islands include a survey within the proposed
widening of SW 100 Avenue (Carr 1989), and more
recently, archaeologists from Florida's Department
of Transportation, located and tested site 8BD2117
within the proposed Flamingo Road right-of-way
(Browning 1990).

Investigations at Site 8BD1113

During the 1986 survey a total of seven
archaeological sites was located on Pine Island (Carr
and West 1986). Two of these (8BD1114 and
8BD1118) were small prehistoric activity areas, possi-
bly food procurement sites characterized by small to
moderate quantities of faunal bones or pottery
sherds, and three (8BD1113, 8BD1116, and 8BD1117)
were larger activity areas characterized by black dirt
midden horizons indicating a more prolonged use as
reflected by larger quantities of animal bone refuse,
pottery sherds, and artifacts. These more intensely
used sites suggest small camps that were subject to
repeated use through time.
The East Midden (8BD1113) is located on the
eastern arm of the Pine Island Ridge and was
discovered during the 1986 survey (Figure 2). The site
had been previously disturbed to an unknown extent
by the 1940's construction of Pine Island Road and
an adjacent canal. The road and canal extend north-
south and bisect the ridge leaving a small isolated
segment about 15 meters long east of the canal
within the Rolling Oaks Golf Course. During this
study, the site boundaries for 8BD1113 were
determined only west of and adjacent to Pine Island
Road (Figures 2 and 3). The ridge at this location is
about 25 meters wide and the crest of the ridge rises
about 2 meters above the adjacent lowlands. All of
this site was outside the area of public acquisition.
In November, 1988, in response to the
proposed widening of Pine Island Road and the

construction of a new entrance feature for Forest
Ridge development, archaeological testing was
initiated on the East Midden site. Surveyor Ted Riggs
established a cardinal base line grid across the site
and set a bench mark on top of the concrete bridge
crossing the canal into the golf course. A transit
survey resulted in elevations being determined
across the site indicating the highest elevations (up
to 6.75 feet above sea level) were on the northern side
of ridge, and that the center of the ridge in the
vicinity of the Belcher House entry road was about 2
feet lower-probably because of the impacts of
constructing and using the road. South of the road,
elevations again increased, rising up to 6.38 feet
(which may have been due to spoil from the entry
road construction).
Posthole tests along the grid revealed that,
despite these alterations, substantial quantities of
prehistoric midden remained in place. An attempt to
locate the densest midden concentrations was done
by weighing recovered faunal bone from each test
hole and creating a density contour map (see
Figure 3). After midden boundaries were determined,
three two-meter square units were excavated under
the direction of David Allerton. Excavations
confirmed earlier testing and revealed a midden
stratum 30 to 47 cm thick located about 30 to 40 cm
below the present surface. Each of the units was dug
in one meter quadrants in 10 cm levels. Natural
levels were not used but were recorded in profile
drawings and photographs. All soil, except for certain
test units, were subject to sifting through 1/4" mesh
screens. Other sample units were subject to 1/16"
window screening.
These three units, S-110, X-114, and Y-86
were designated using their southwest stake
(Figure 4) and were excavated over a two week
period. Unit S-110 was dug to a depth of 1 meter in
the northwest quadrant. Samples of recovered
material are shown in Tables 1 and 2. Other units
were dug to various depths, but unit Y-86 was
determined to be in an area of road disturbances.
After the completion of these tests, three trenches
were dug with a backhoe to a 1.5 meter depth to
allow for recording stratigraphic profiles and to
determine if deeper cultural horizons existed. No
systematic samples were recovered from these


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990






















Volume 43 Number 4 Tii~ FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December 1990


0 0

O* O

O *0 O

0 0 a0
0 0 0so
o o o o so -
..** . . . .
..... ..... Ao 0.
ntry oad Rood0a
Oo O*

o 0 o0 0 0 *
O O O 0 O O
0 o o 00 0

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0 0



O-Post Hole:Sterile
*-Post Hole:Faunal Bone Present

Contours Reflect Increments of 50 Grams t
IFaunal Bone Weight! -
0 8


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4



4 -- Human Burial
* Excavation Unit
x Pottery Clusters
Test Trench
-m Pine Island Boundary


Volume 43 Number 4 Tm~ FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4


December 1990

Unit S-110 NE Quadrant Test Results

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total

Faunal Bone


Shark Teeth

Human Tooth

Table 2


Faunal Bone


Shark Teeth

Human Tooth

Worked Bone

49.2 788.0 39.4 95.4 114.5 197.0

8 87


1 l Q T

Unit X-114 (All Quadrants) Test Results

1 2 3 4 5 6 7




80.9 8107.14 4463.6 1109.9 130.74 11.8


Note: Faunal bone weights are in grams. All other materials are by number of specimens.

Volume 43 Number 4 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December 1990

Table 1


1262.1 g




13968.78 g






December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

1988 Test Results

Three 2 meter square test units were excavat-
ed which revealed midden refuse. The midden zone
appeared concentrated on the northern side of the
ridge and occurred in a roughly 30 to 50 cm horizon
about 30 to 40 cm below the present ridge surface.
Some faunal bone refuse and artifacts occurred in
the upper three levels, possibly as a result of distur-
bances from bioturbation and animal burrows. Like-
wise, cultural material occurred beneath the midden
zone to a depth of 90 cm before sterile soil was
encountered. Some of these deeper artifacts and
faunal bones probably represent downward migra-
tions from natural disturbances, but other material is
undoubtedly the result of earlier prehistoric activities
on the site.
The principal cultural material recovered was
faunal bone. The volume of bone was more than
95% of all the recovered materials. Artifacts were
generally scarce with pottery sherds being the most
prominent. However, less than 150 sherds were
recovered from the three test units. Most of the
recovered pottery was sand-tempered plain except
for three incised sherds. Two were anomalous deco-
rations, although one appeared as a crude example
of Dade Incised recovered from level two of Test Unit
S-110. One sherd of Key Largo Incised was pulled
from the south wall profile of Trench 3. These deco-
rated pottery types suggest an age of the midden
concentration ranging from the Late Glades I (ca.
A.D. 500) through the mid to late Glades II Period (ca.
A.D. 1000). Other artifacts included 30 shark teeth,
both drilled and undrilled, which are presumed to all
represent artifacts as opposed to refuse from shark
carcasses having been brought to the site from the
coast. In fact, marine shell refuse and shell artifacts
were conspicuously absent from the recovered speci-
mens. Only a single oyster shell and the eroded frag-
ment of a Strombus shell were observed. Examples of
recovered materials are shown for one of three quad-
rants in unit S-110 and for all of unit X-114 in Table 1.
Faunal bones are well preserved but have not
been subjected to biological analysis; however, fine
screened fractions are available for future research. A
cursory review of faunal bone suggests high percent-
ages of fresh water fish, turtle, and snake. Some
mammal bone including deer is also apparent.
Human remains were confined to two
human teeth recovered from two of the test units. No

human burials were encountered in this phase of

Pine Island Road Monitoring

On August 29, 1989, a large oak tree was
removed from the Pine Island Road right-of-way
within site 8BD1113. Broward County required
archaeological monitoring of the tree removal and
the Pine Island Road widening although a temporary
entrance road to the Forest Ridge development had
been constructed without archaeological monitor-
ing. A root cutting trench cut around the tree was
inspected by AHC archaeological technician Mark
Duda. He discovered human femur bones exposed
in the south trench wall in the vicinity of grid coor-
dinate X-92. This burial (BU-1) was then uncovered
by trowel, which revealed an extended burial
(Figures 6, 7). Additional shovel shaving within the
proposed road right-of-way over a two week period
revealed two additional graves and five areas of
pottery concentration suggesting isolated broken
bowls or bowl fragments, but none with any appar-
ent relation to the graves. A total area of 10 meters by
10 meters was shovel shaved by AHC archaeologists
and volunteers from the Broward County Archaeo-
logical Society and the Archaeological Society of
Southern Florida.
Burial BU-1 was located 30 cm below the
newly constructed temporary driveway road. Prior
disturbances from this entrance road constructed by
Sea Ranch Properties may have removed up to 50 cm
of soil from above the grave. When the burial was
completely exposed it was determined that it was
fully extended lying on its back with the hands
resting on the upper femurs. All skeletal elements
were present except for the lower legs and feet which
had been destroyed by the root cutting backhoe
trench. Bone preservation was moderate to good,
and this burial was mapped, photographed, and then
removed. The burial axis, as well as that of the other
two recovered bodies, was north-south, with the
crania at the south end. The crushed rock fill and
asphalt from the newly constructed entry road was
removed by heavy equipment and the area shovel
shaved. This work led to the discovery of two addi-
tional graves BU-2 and BU-3. Burial BU-2 was badly
disturbed probably from the grading that had pre-
ceded the road paving. All parts of the skeleton, par-
ticularly the cranium, were crushed and scattered.
The general position of skeletal elements suggested


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

Figure 5. Excavation of the Pine Island Cemetery (looking West).

an extended burial, but the position of the hands
indicates the individual was interred lying on its
Burial BU-3 was intact and in a moderate to
good state of preservation. This burial was lying on
its back with the face of the cranium facing east.
A biological analysis of the burials was done
by Amy Felmley at Florida Atlantic University (see
Felmley this issue). In accordance to the wishes of
the Seminole Indian tribe, the skeletal remains will
be reinterred on Pine Island later in 1991.
The five pottery sherd concentrations recov-
ered from the excavation area were of two types:
sand-tempered plain and St. Johns Plain. The sand-
tempered plain pottery included some very crude
gritty ware. In one example, the surface of the vessel
was characterized by coarse large-grained quartz
sand that was confined to the interior and exterior
surfaces. No sand quartz was visable within the
vessel interior wall. It appears to this observer that
this vessel's surface treatment suggests that there
was the addition of sand tempering to the vessel's
walls after the clay vessel had been shaped.
The St. Johns pottery was plain and of the
early type previously identified in the Late Archaic
horizon at other Everglades sites (Coleman 1972).
One St. Johns Plain pottery sherd was charac-

terized by a vessel rim shaped in a "V" taper creating
a bit-like edge to the bowl's lip. This type of rim
shape was also observed in other sand-tempered
plain sherds.
A Late Archaic Period interpretation for this
pottery is reinforced by the several sherds recovered
(pottery concentration #1) with many fiber holes
visable from the addition of plant material to the wet
clay. This type of fiber-tempering has been observed
in other southeast Florida sites such as the Atlantis
site, (8DA1082) and has been described in the litera-
ture as "semi-fiber" tempered or, incorrectly, as
Norwood type pottery by other investigators
(Mowers and Williams 1972).


The East Midden site (8BD1113) is, in
minimum, a dual component site, with a Late
Archaic cemetery (ca. 1500-500 B.C) and a black dirt
midden from the Glades I (Late) Glades II Period
(ca. A.D. 500-1000). The site was, more or less, spor-
adically used from the Late Archaic through the
Glades II Period as a small camp for the gathering
and processing of local food resources. The general
scarcity of artifacts such as pottery and shell or bone
tools argues for low intensity habitation and high


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

preserved grave goods and because the leaching of
organic compounds from the bone prevented it from
being useful for radiocarbon date determinations.
There is no evidence that the graves are coveval with
the age of the concentrated midden zone which
appears to date from the Late Glades I through
Glades II Period (ca. A.D. 500-1000 ) as indicated by
the crude Dade Incised and Key Largo Incised
pottery. It is worth noting that no St. Johns pottery
was found in the northern midden area. It is more
likely that these graves were associated with the Late
Archaic period and probably date from ca. 1500-500
B.C.. This date is consistent with that of several other
extended burials uncovered in southeast Florida such
as from the Atlantis and Santa Maria sites on Bis-
cayne Bay (Carr 1981, Carr et al. 1984) and the
Cheetum site (8DA1058) in the eastern Everglades
(Newman 1986). At the Cheetum site, a tree island
site, the midden area was directly north of the
cemetery. Radiocarbon dates there revealed a ca.
1800-1500 B.C. age for the cemetery. Also, all of these

Figure 6. Burial BU-1 (looking South).

intensity food gathering. Bone artifacts, normally
common on Everglades sites, were infrequent with
the exception of shark teeth. Thirty shark teeth,
whole and fragmentary, were recovered from the
midden on the northern part of the ridge. The fact
that many were fragmentary, including basal frag-
ments, and broken and worn teeth, all suggest refuse
from use activities. It seems obvious to this author
that the drilled and undrilled shark tooth was an
important artifact for the processing of food possi-
bly for the cutting and butcheringof animals. A shark
tooth knife would have been a highly efficient part of
the South Florida prehistoric tool kit (Furey 1977).
All of the burials were on the southern slope
of the ridge bounding an area roughly 10 meters
square suggesting a cemetery location deliberately
selected by the Indians due south of the major habi-
tation area. It is difficult to determine with certainty
the date of the burials because of the absence of

Figure 7. Burial BU-1 cranium.


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

sites produced early St. Johns and partially fiber-
tempered pottery.
The overall prehistoric settlement pattern of
Pine Island and the other ridges of the Pine Island
group are not yet fully understood. Site 8BD1113 may
have served as a satellite camp or resource gathering
station for a much larger base camp or central village
on Pine Island. It is also possible that the site may
simply be one of the many "pit stops" for Indians
traversing the eastern Everglades to and from the
New River and the Atlantic coast.
It is worth noting that all of the larger
midden sites on Pine Island date from the Glades II
Period; and, to date, no evidence of any Glades III
Period sites has been found there, although the site
sampling is by no means complete, particularly on
the western ridges. This higher density of Glades II
sites may reflect increased populations in the Ever-
glades during that time, and possibly a downward
shift in population during the Glades III period, or a
change in the settlement pattern during the Glades
III period characterized by fewer, but larger, camps.
The location of the Pine Island group provid-
ed a significant resource and habitation opportunity
for prehistoric Native Americans in southeast
Florida. Unlike the dispersed smaller tree islands of
the eastern Everglades with a limited upland com-
ponent, Pine Island represented a relatively expan-
sive uplands for habitation and mortuary activities.
Also, an extensive and diverse mosaic of upland and
wetland habitats with their relative ecotones assured
a wide diversity of flora and fauna for exploitation.
Undoubtedly, Pine Island was a principal stop-over
during canoe travel between the Everglades and the
Atlantic coast and may have served as the location of
larger, long-term base camps.
The preservation of Pine Island and the other
high ridges in the area is a great victory for Florida's
archaeologists, environmentalists, historians, and
the public. The conservation challenge for the future
has shifted from blocking development to assuring
that park management makes informed decisions on
how to make the ridges accessible to the public
without compromising the archaeological sites, and
to educate the public to help protect these sites from
needless collecting and digging.

References Cited

Broward County Soil Survey
1985 Soil Survey of Section 20, Township 50
South, Range 41 East, Broward County,

Browning, William D.
1990 Archaeological Resource Assessment of a
Portion of SR- 823/ Flamingo Road in
Broward County, Florida. Report on file at
Florida's Department of Transportation,
Environmental Office, Tallahassee.

Carr, Robert S.
1981 Salvage Excavations at Two Prehistoric
Cemeteries in Dade County, Florida.
Paper presented at the 45th Annual
Meeting of the Florida Academy of
Sciences, Winter Park.

1986 Preliminary Report of Archaeological
Excavations at the Cutler Fossil Site in
Southern Florida. Paper presented at the
51st Annual Meeting of the Society for
American Archaeology, New Orleans.

1988 An Archaeological Survey of the Westridge
Property, Broward County, Florida. Report
on file at the Archaeological and Historical
Conservancy, Inc., Miami.

1989 Archaeological Survey of the SW 100
Avenue Corridor, Broward County. Report
on file at Florida's Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee.

Carr, Robert S. and John Beriault
1984 Prehistoric Man in Southern Florida. In
Environments of South Florida: Present
and Pastil. Edited by Patrick J. Gleason,
pp. 1-13. Miami Geological Society, Coral

Carr, Robert S., M. Yasar Iscan, and Richard A.
1984 A Late Archaic Cemetery in South Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 37: 172-188.


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Carr, Robert S. and Patsy West
1986 Archaeological and Historical Survey of
Pine Island, Broward County, Florida.
Report on file with Florida's Division of
Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Coleman, Wesley F.
1972 Site DA140 in Dade County, Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 25:77-80.

Furey, John F., Jr.
1977 An Analysis of Shark Tooth Tools from the
Boca Weir site in South Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 30:89-102.

Goggin, John M.
1952 Archaeological Sites in Everglades Nation-
al Park, Florida. Laboratory Notes 2.
Anthropology Laboratory, University of
Florida, Gainesville.

Goggin, John M. and Frank Sommer III
1949 Excavations on Upper Matecumbe Key,
Florida. Yale University Publications in
Anthropology, New Haven.

Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National
Park: A Synthesis. Report on file with the
National Park Service, Tallahassee.

Hardin, Dennis
1986 Site Survey Summary of Pine Island Ridge.
Published in Broward County's C.A.R.L
Program Land Acquisition Application for
Pine Island.

Harrington, M.R.
1909 Archaeology of the Everglades Region,
Florida. American Anthropologist 11:139-

Kirk, Cooper
1977 Skirmish at Pine Island. Published in
Broward County's C.A.R.L. Program Land
Acquisition Application for Pine Island.

Masson, Marilyn, Robert S. Carr, and Debra S.
1988 The Taylor's Head Site (8BD74): Sampling
a Prehistoric Midden on an Everglades
Tree Island. The Florida Anthropologist

Milanich, Jerald T. and Charles H. Fairbanks
1980 Florida Archaeology. Academic Press, New

Mowers, Bert and Wilma B. Williams
1972 The Peace Camp Site, Broward County,
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 25:129-

Newman, Christine
1986 Preliminary Report of Archaeological
Investigations Conducted at the Cheetum
Site, Dade County, Florida. Archaeological
and Historical Conservancy Technical
Report #7, Miami.

West, Patsy
1985 Seminoles in Broward County: The Pine
Island Legacy New River News, Fall Issue.

1989 Seminole Indian Settlements at Pine
Island, Broward County, Florida: An Over-
view. The Florida Anthropologist42:43-56.

Robert S. Carr
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy
P.O. Box450283
Miami, FL 33145


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

Osteological Analysis of the Pine Island Site
Human Remains
Amy Felmley
Amy Felmley


This study presents the osteological analysis of
three human skeletons recovered from the Pine
Island Site (8BD1113), Broward County, Florida by
The Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc.
of Miami (Carr this volume). The remains are from a
Late Archaic Period (4,000-2,500 B.P.) component at
the site and thus offer an opportunity to study this
region's early occupants. The results of this analysis
are compared to human osteological data from
several other southern Florida prehistoric sites in
order to gain a more complete profile of the mor-
phology and health of Florida's prehistoric popula-

Material and Methods

Two nearly complete (BU1 and BU3) and one
incomplete (BU2) skeleton were recovered from
three distinct graves. The remains were fragmented
by both old and fresh postmortem breaks. The recent
damage was due largely to heavy equipment activity
at the site prior to discovery of the human burials.
The remains were reconstructed as completely as
possible prior to analysis. B-72 acryloid, Polyvinala-
cetate and 'Duco cement' brand adhesive were used
for reconstruction and stabilization.
These remains were analyzed using standard
equipment, techniques, morphological landmarks
and qualitative and quantitative traits as described in
Bass (1987), Berry (1968), Krogman and Iscan (1986)
and Steele and Bramblett (1988). All remains were
carefully observed for evidence of pathological con-
ditions as defined by Brothwell (1981) and Ortner
and Putschar (1981). Isler et al. (1985) was also useful
in assessing dental health.

The distal portion of the grave containing BU1
was disturbed and the right and left feet, fibulae and
all but the proximal portions of the tibiae were
destroyed. All of the remaining long bones were rep-
resented but incomplete except for the left femur
which was almost fully reconstructed. Only portions
of the ribs, and the vertebral bodies and processes

were recovered and it was possible to reconstruct
only portions of the innominate bones, including the
greater sciatic notch. The cranium and mandible
were nearly completely reconstructed.

This burial was significantly disturbed by heavy
equipment prior to excavation. Portions of the right
and left feet, hands and innominate bones, upper
and lower long bones, lumbar vertebrae, ribs, several
teeth, and cranial and mandibular fragments were
recovered. It was not possible to reconstruct com-
pletely any bone but the teeth and the greater sciatic
notch of the right and left innominate provided valu-
able information about this individual.

This burial was not significantly disturbed
although the remains exhibited a degree of old and
recent breakage similar to BU1 and BU2. All of the
long bones, hands and feet, innominate bones, verte-
brae, ribs and clavicles were recovered but only the
left ulna, mandible and cranium were nearly fully


Physical Characteristics
Cranial morphological criteria (Table 1) and the
greater sciatic notch of the innominate bone indicat-
ed that BU1 and BU2 were males and BU3 was a
Age estimation was complicated by the fragmen-
tary condition of the pelvis which precluded using
the pubis or auricular surfaces. The epiphyseal
unions of each individual were complete and at least
one maxillary or mandibular third molar had
erupted. None of the three specimens exhibited evi-
dence of age related deterioration of the post-cranial
skeleton. Ectocranial suture closure of the vault indi-
cated an age range of 22-48 for both BU1 and BU3
(Meindl and Lovejoy 1985). Although some sites in
the lateral-anterior sutures could not be assessed due
to incomplete reconstruction, this area indicated a
slightly older age range for both individuals with a
maximum age of 63-65. The degree of dental attrition


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

indicated an age range of 25-35 years for both BU1
and BU3. While a conservative age range of 22-65
years might be estimated, both BU1 and BU3 were
probably close to the median age of 35-39.
A stature of 68 1/8 inches for BU1 and 59 1/2
inches for BU3 was calculated from long bone
lengths. It was not possible to calculate stature for
BU2. Figure 1 illustrates cranial views of BU1 (a,b,c)
and figure 2. illustrates BU3 (d,e,f). The cranial
indices for BU1 and BU3 were estimated at 80.32
brachycranicc) and 77.71 (mesocranic) respectively.
Few cranial anomalies were noted. BU1 had a
wormian bone on each side of the lambda (Fig. Ic)
and at the asterion and pronounced parietal bosses.
BU3 also had a wormian bone along the lambdoid
suture (Fig. If). Both specimens had pronounced
supramastoid crests. BU1 had an edge to-edge bite
(Fig. Ib) while BU3 exhibited a slight over bite with
some maxillary prognathism (Fig. le). As BU3's
upper and lower incisors exhibited notable horizon-
tal occlusal attrition (Fig. 2d) indicative of an edge-to-
edge bite, the apparent over bite and facial morphol-
ogy were probably the result of incomplete recon-
struction of the facial area. No postcranial anomalies
and no indications of cranial or post-cranial patholo-
gy were observed. This absence of data may have
been influenced by the fragmentary condition of the
remains, particularly the innominate bones and the
articular surfaces. Many of the long bones and articu-
lar surfaces also show post-mortem erosion which
may have obscured signs of disease.

Dental Health

The dentition of all three individuals exhibited
extensive horizontal attrition, alveolar resorption and
hypoplasia. Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the upper and
lower dental arcades of BU1 and BU3.
BU1 had double-shovel-shaped incisors (Fig. 3a)
and hypercementosis of both maxillary second
molars. Endentulous mandibular areas indicating
the ante-mortem loss of the right and left first and
second molars (Fig. 4b) were present. There was also
hypoplasia particularly evident on the buccal surface
of lower incisors (Fig. 4b) and a periodontal abscess
(left maxillary Ml) with alveolar resorption and
abnormal bone growth (Fig. 3a). The enamel crown
of the right maxillary first molar was completely worn
and only the roots remained in the alveolus.
Only a portion (C-M3) of BU2's right mandible

was recovered including the right canine, both pre-
molars and M1-M3. The lower incisors, left canine
and left PM1 and the maxillary incisors, canines and
left PM1-M3 were recovered loose (Fig. 4a). The
maxillary incisors were double-shovel-shaped, and
the mandibular fragment exhibited one periodontal
abscess between the first and second premolar and
another abscess at the third molar. Tartar deposits
were present on several teeth.
BU3 also evidenced shovel-shaped incisors and
tartar deposits particularly on the right and left
mandibular second molar (Figs.3c, 4c). One or possi-
bly two abscesses involved the right mandibular
second premolar and first molar resulting in the loss
of the first molar and destruction of the alveolar
margin between those teeth (Fig. 4c). The mandibu-
lar left M1 was also lost ante-mortem and resorption
of the alveolus was incomplete. The third molars
exhibited little attrition (Fig.3d) suggesting that they
had erupted shortly before death. As the maxillary
area immediately posterior to the right M2 was
incomplete, it was not possible to judge whether the
right M3 had erupted, was lost ante-mortem or con-
genitally absent. The left third molar was either
absent or had not yet erupted. The absence of upper
third molars may have minimized occlusal wear on
the lower third molars.


Comparison of the craniometric data (Table 2)
and postcranial morphology showed that BU3 was
consistently smaller and more gracile than BU1.
Similarly, the ondometric data (Table 3) demonstrat-
ed that the dentition of BU3 was consistently smaller
than both BU1 and BU2. BU1 and BU2 were general-
ly similar in size but no specific pattern in the dimen-
sions could be discerned. The double-shovel-shaped
incisors of BU2 and BU3 might indicate a close
genetic relationship within the local population.
There is a growing body of data for the physical
characteristics of southern Florida prehistoric popu-
lations. Table 4 presents selected craniometric data
of the Pine Island specimens and data from the fol-
lowing Florida archaeological sites. The Santa Maria
site was a Late Archaic Period (ca 4,000-2,500 B.P.)
coastal burial site in Dade County (Carr et al.1984).
Boynton Beach Mound was an inland burial and
midden site in Palm Beach County utilized from the
Glades I Period (500 B.C.-700 A.D.) through Euro-


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

pean contact (Iscan and Kessel 1988). The Margate-
Blount site, first excavated twenty years ago, was also
utilized from the Glades I Period through European
contact. The site included a burial mound and village
area and was located in the eastern Everglades of
Broward County. Although the excavator suggested
that the burial mound was constructed and utilized
during the Glades II Period (ca. 700 A.D.-1200 A.D.),
at least one burial contained historic material and
the provenience of some of the skeletal material is
questionable (Iscan 1983; Williams 1983). The Fort
Center site, a habitation and ceremonial complex
seven kilometers from Lake Okeechobee, was also
occupied from the Glades I Period (and perhaps
earlier) through European contact. The skeletal
population was dated between 200 A.D. and 600-800
A.D. (Shaivitz 1986). The Bayshore Homes site (near
St. Petersburg) was dated to 800 A.D. (Iscan and
Kennedy 1987) and the Nebot Site, a coastal burial
mound was dated to the Glades III Period (1200
A.D.-1500 A.D.)
The Pine Island craniometric data is consistent
with the data from these Florida prehistoric popula-
tions. The male from Pine Island had a slightly
greater cranial length, breadth and horizontal cir-
cumference than any of the other males and the
female had the largest horizontal circumference but
the smallest cranial index. The craniometric variation
between all of these populations is minimal. This
observation is consistent with that of other authors
when data from several Florida skeletal populations
were compared (Iscan 1983; Iscan and Kennedy
1987; Shaivitz 1986).
In addition to samples from the archaeological
sites mentioned above, the Pine Island dentition was
compared to a large (N=1598) sample from the High-
land Beach Site, a coastal burial mound in Palm
Beach County utilized between 600 and 1200 A.D.
(Isler et al. 1985). It was also compared to the Repub-
lic Groves Site, a Late Archaic burial site near
Wauchula (Saunders 1972).
Comparison of the ondometric data with data
from the comparative populations revealed a similar-
ly low level of variation. The Pine Island dimensions
were consistently greater than the Santa Maria speci-
mens except in the maxillary molar bucco-lingual
dimension. Carr et al. (1984) noted, however, that the
Santa Maria teeth were generally smaller than other
more recent prehistoric populations. It was expected
that the contemporaneity of the Pine Island and
Santa Maria sites would minimize such variation.

The Pine Island female tooth dimensions were con-
sistent with the Highland Beach females and slightly
smaller in several measurements than the Bayshore
Homes females (Iscan and Kennedy 1987).
The dental health of the Pine Island specimens
showed some variation with the dental health profile
seen in several Florida skeletal populations. Heavy
attrition (although with different angles of wear),
resorption and an absence of caries was characteris-
tic of the comparative samples and the Pine Island
specimens. The hypercementosis and high incidence
of hypoplasia noted in the Pine Island teeth,
however, was rare in the Santa Maria, Boynton
Beach, Margate-Blount, Fort Center and Highland
Beach populations. The number and type of abscess-
es was difficult to access for the comparative samples
as the authors used different means of reporting this
data. The total number of abscesses was reported in
some studies, while the frequency of occurrence
(simply present or absent) was reported in others. In
general, however, abscesses were less frequent in the
Highland Beach and Boynton Beach samples than in
the Santa Maria and Pine Island specimens. Saun-
ders (1972) also noted that 19 apical abscesses were
recorded in the Republic Groves population but did
not clarify the sample total. Given the correlation
between hypoplasia and poor environment, particu-
larly dietary stress (Isler et al. 1985), it was probable
that the Pine Island specimens suffered from a nutri-
tionally deficient diet.


The Pine Island individuals showed some sexual
dimorphism in overall size and robusticity. While the
two males, BU2 and BU3, were similar in postcranial
and dental size and robusticity and dental morpholo-
gy, the data was insufficient to confirm a genetic rela-
tionship between the two individuals.
Craniometric and ondometric data presented
indicate that the physical characteristics of the Pine
Island specimens were generally consistent with
several southern Florida skeletal populations. The
dental health of the Pine Island specimens was
somewhat less than that of the comparative popula-
tions and might have been due to environmental and
dietary stresses. It should be cautioned, however,
that the small sample size precludes drawing conclu-
sions about the health of the population to which the
Pine Island individuals belonged. Nor should such
data be generalized to make statements about the


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

diet and nutrition of southeastern Florida prehistoric
populations in the Late Archaic Period on the whole.
Rather, the dental health of these individuals may
reflect temporary and perhaps atypical environmen-
tal conditions.
Skeletal samples from Dade, Broward and Palm
Beach Counties, the Lake Okeechobee area, and the
central Gulf Coast area were compared in this and
other studies (Iscan 1983; Iscan and Kennedy 1987;
Shaivitz 1986). Although these skeletal samples were
drawn from archaeological sites and chronological
periods attributed to at least three distinct cultural
traditions, the physical anthropological data indicate
a low level of variation through time and space. The
profile drawn from these comparisons is one of gen-
erally consistent physical characteristics and health
for prehistoric populations throughout Florida from
the Late Archaic Period through European contact.
Such consistency through 4,000 years suggests con-
tinued interbreeding between culturally distinct
populations. This profile may have been strongly
biased, however, by the grouping within these skele-
tal populations of individuals from both early prehis-
toric and historic contexts. Future comparative
studies might attempt to refine the analysis by more
discrete chronological and cultural periods.

Acknowledgments-The author wishes to thank the
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Inc. for
the opportunity to conduct this research and Dr. W.J.
Kennedy and Dr. M.Y. Iscan of Florida Atlantic
University for their guidance and insights. Mr. John
Maseman of The South Florida Conservation Center,
Pompano, was invaluable in completing the
stabilization and reconstruction of the human


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Figure 1 A. Frontal view of BU1 cranium.

Figure 1 C. Posterior view of BU1 cranium.


Figure I B. Side view of BU1 cranium.

December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Figure 2 A. Frontal view of B


U3 cranium. Figure 2 B. Side view of BU3 cranium.

Figure 2 C. Posterior view of BU3.
Figure 2 C. Posterior view of BU3.



December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990


Figure 3. (top) Dentition of specimens BU1 (A,B) and BU2 (C,D)

Figure 4. (bottom) Dentition of specimen BU2 (A) and dental
pathologies of specimens BU1 (B) an BU3(C).

Cranial morphological observations of Pine Island specimens BU1 and BU3.

Morphological Observation



Frontal Bone:

Temporal Bone:

Occipital Bone:

Parietal bone:

Suture Closure:

Suture Serration:


Facial Morphology:

Browridge type
Browridge size

Postorbital constriction
Frontal bosses
Median crest
Supramastoid crest
Lambdoid flattening
Cerebellar bulge
Transverse suture
Inion size
Crest size
Crest Shape
Postcoronal depression
Sagittal elevation
Parietal bosses
Parietal Foramina

Condyle projection
Auditory meatus
Nasion depression
Nose profile
Nasal spine size
Prognathism (total)
Alveolar prognathism
Chin form

Volume 43 Number 4 TIlE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December 1990










Table 1.

December 1990


Volume 43 Number 4

Table 2. Selected cranial dimensions (mm) of Pine Island specimens BU1 and BU3.

Dimension BU1 BU3

Maximum length 183 175
Maximum vault breadth 147 136
Maximum frontalbreadth 111 NA
Minimum frontal breadth 95 86
Bizygomatic breadth 150 135
Forehead height 42 42
Nasion-bregma chord 114 109
Bregma-lambda chord 109 102
Lambda-op. chord 110 83
Lambda-inion chord 70 62
Inion-op. chord 59 55
Frontal arc 126 123
Parietal arc 118 110
Occipital arc 137 121
Sagittal arc 381 354
Horizontal circumference 522 500
Transverse arc 311 305
Porion-temp. line 80 76
Left parietal thickness 6 5
Porion-mastoid height 32 21
Orbit height 36 NA
Orbit breadth 40 36
Interorbital breadth 25 NA
Nose height 57 52
Nose breadth 25 22
Upper face height 74 67
Total face height 124 109
Chin height 27 25
Bicondylar breadth 130 120
Bigonial breadth 106 97
Bi-mental breadth 50 43
Minimum ramus breadth 39 35
Corpus thickness 15 14
Mandibular angle 122 123
Gonion-symphysion length 0 82
Direct ramus height 54 56

Volume 43 Number 4 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December 1990

December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4


Table 3. Descriptive statistics of left mesiodistal (MD), buccolingual (BL) and crown height (CH) dimen-
sions (mm) of Pine Island specimens BU1, BU2 and BU3.


8.6 7.2 9.8 9.0
8.7 6.7 8.6 7.2
8.9 8.6 9.2 8.7
7.3 10.1 6.8 6.2
7.4 10.5 7.9 7.5
11.5 10.0
12.2 10.5 6.2 10.0
11.5 10.0 5.0
4.5 5.2 5.3 5.3
5.5 6.6 7.5 6.5
8.1 7.8 8.2 7.6
7.7 8.4 6.5 8.0
7.5 8.0 5.3 8.0
11.3 11.1
13.1 11.5
12.7 10.9 6.5 10.2


7.3 10.7
6.6 10.7 8.0
8.7 10.8 8.0
9.5 6.3 7.9
9.7 4.7 6.5
4.3 10.0 11.6
10.2 4.0 8.6
5.7 8.6 5.2
6.1 9.3 5.8
7.9 12.2 6.4
8.3 7.4 6.8
9.0 5.6 6.9
6.7 10.6 10.0
12.0 6.4 10.4





t Right mandibular dimensions used because left P2-M3 were absent.
* Tooth lost antemortem.
Tooth absent: antemortem or postmortem indeterminate.
NA Dimension indeterminate.
t Tooth not erupted.

Volume 43 Number 4 THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST December 1990



Volume 43 Number 4


December 1990

Table 4. Selected Pine Island craniometric data and comparative data from other Florida

Cranial Cranial Frontal
length breadth breadth

Frontal Horizontal
breadth circumfernce

Parietal Mastoid Cranial
thickness height index

Sex x N x N x N x N x N x N x N x N


Santal M
Maria F

183 1 147 1
175 1 136 1

174 1 135 1
180 1 138 1

111 1 522 1 6 1 32 1 80.3 1
NA 500 1 5 1 21 1 77.7 1

104 1
122 2

9 1
5 2

77.6 1
78.3 1

M/F 170 2

145 6

488 1 6 16

Bayshore3 M
Homes F

Margate3 M
Blount F



178 11 145
170 18 140

182 2 140
170 5 136

176 25 143
171 29 137

F 178 2 150 2

120 12 508 8
108 17 492 16

511 2 7 2
487 4 5 5

82.1 11
82.4 16

77.0 2
S 80.0 5

118 23 511 20 5 37 24 14
114 28 493 17 4 38 24 13

498 1

81.4 22
81.2 26

83.9 2

'Carr et al., 1984
2 Iscan and Kessel 1988.
3Iscan and Kennedy 1987
SShaivitz 1986



December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

References Cited

Bass, William M.
1987 Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field
Manual.The Missouri Archaeological
Society, Inc.,Columbia.

Berry, R. J.
1968 The Biology of Non-metrical Variation in
Mice and Men. In The Skeletal Biology of
Earlier Human Populations. D.R. Brothwell,
ed., Dergamon Press,Oxford.

Brothwell, Don R.
1981 Digging Up Bones: The Excavation Treatment
and Study of Human Skeletal Remains.
Ithaca, Cornell University Press, New York.

Carr, Robert S., M. Yasar Iscan and Richard A.
1984 A Late Archaic Cemetery in South Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 37:172-188.

Iscan, M. Yasar
1983 Skeletal Biology of the Margate-Blount
Population. The Florida Anthropologist

Iscan, M. Yasar and Jerrald W. Kennedy
1987 Osteological Analysis of Human Remains
From the Nebot Site. Florida Scientist50:147-

Iscan, M. Yasar and Morton Kessel
1988 Osteology of the Boynton Beach Indians.
Florida Scientist 51:12-18.

Isler, Robert, Jed Schoen and M. Yasar Iscan
1985 Dental Pathology of a Prehistoric Human
Population in Florida. Florida Scientist

Krogman, Wilton M. and M. Yasar Iscan
1986 The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine.
Charles Thomas, Springfield.

Meindl, Richard S. and Owen C. Lovejoy
1985 Ectocranial Suture Closure: A Revised
Method for the Determination of Skeletal
Age at Death Based on the Lateral Anterior
Sutures. American Journal of Physical
Anthropology 68:57-66.

Ortner, Donald J. and Walter G.J. Putschar
1981 Identification of Pathological Conditions in
Human Skeletal Remains. Smithsonian
Institution Press, Washington, D. C.

Saunders, Lorraine P.
1972 Osteology of the Republic Groves Site.
Master's Thesis, Florida Atlantic University,
Boca Raton, Florida.

Shaivitz, Patricia M.
1986 Physical and Health Characteristics of the
Prehistoric Indians from the Fort Center Site.
Master's Thesis, Florida Atlantic University,
Boca Raton, Florida.

Steele, Gentry D. and Claude A. Bramblett
1988 Anatomy and Biology of the Human Skeleton,
Texas A&M University Press,College Station.

Williams, Wilma B.
1983 Bridge to the Past: Excavations at the
Margate-Blount Site. The Florida
Anthropologist 36:142-153.

Amy Felmley
2330 Bayberry Drive
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

Preliminary Results of Excavations at The L & L Site,

Dade County, Florida
Diane McKinney, James Lord, John Ayer, Barbara Tansey, and Grant Hammersberg


During a survey of sites in the Kendall area of
Dade County in March, 1989, Bill Lyons and Jim Lord
discovered the remnants of a tree island hammock.
While exploring the hammock, Jim Lord found bone
pin fragments with a zoomorphic carving that Lord
believes depicts a cat (Lord 1989) similar to the Key
Marco Cat wooden figure discovered by Frank H.
Cushing (Gilliland 1975). After communicating with
Dade County Archaeologist, Robert Carr, about his
discovery, Mr. Carr suggested that a survey and
limited test excavations be conducted at this site by
the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
(ASSF). It was noted that this site previously had
been disturbed by vandals who apparently dug a
trench which disturbed a burial or burials. The
survey and testing of this site by the ASSF was
initiated in January, 1990, and continued through
June, 1990.
The L & L site is located on an Everglades tree
island with a black earth midden located on its
northern end. The tree island is situated in a saw
grass prairie near an agricultural area in the west
Kendall section of Dade County (Figure 1). The site's
flora consists of Ficus, Bay Laurel, and Royal Palm
trees with exotic Melaleuca and Brazilian Pepper in
the surrounding area. Ferns, papaya and herbaceous
plants are the most common ground cover. There is
an outcrop of oolitic limestone (Miami Formation) at
the northeastern edge of the island. This location
may have been used as a canoe landing during
prehistoric times.


The initial survey consisted of a walk across
the island to determine the extent of exposed
artifacts and faunal material present which might
suggest the site boundaries. We also took note of any
changes in elevation and general topographic
features. After determining that the northern end of
the island had the highest elevations and the most
surface artifacts, we then proceeded to the second
phase of the survey.



." .:' ".......

0 En
SAW t 3 A S S A I R I E


Figure 1. Map of the L & L site environmental area.

80 N
Pottery Clusters
70 --A .
60 N Pit IL
STest Unts
CE Post Hole
50 N E3 Site Boundary

Site Boundary 0


00 2. L&L-site-map.
00 E 10 E 30 E 40 E 50 E 50 E 70 E

Figure 2. L & L site map.



.." "'"
. ..
: ". . .

Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990



to. .. .. .. .
. . . . . .




Figure 3. West wall profile of Unit 1.

A cardinal base line grid was set using a water
hose leveling method, placing section stakes at 2
meter intervals on the north-south and east-west grid
lines (Figure 2). Shovel testing was then conducted in
the vandal's trench (Test Units 2 through 5) to deter-
mine their extent. When human remains were uncov-
ered, it was concluded that this was a vandalized
cemetery and that this area would not be subjected to
further testing. The units were then filled.
Subsequently, a post hole survey was
conducted of other parts of the site. A post hole was
dug 40 cm northeast of each section stake. The
collected material was sifted to determine artifact
concentration. After the post hole data from the
survey was evaluated, the 20N-20E coordinate area
was selected for excavation due to the high
concentration of material.
We squared off a two meter unit, removed
surface vegetation, and then strung strings from each
stake to give an elevation reference point. We
measured from the string, to the soil surface (12 cm),
and subtracted this amount from subsequent level
depths to give a real depth value for each level. The
unit was dug in 10 cm levels. The pit was dug 62 cm
deep to limestone bedrock. The stratigraphy of Unit
#1 showed a thick upper level of humus intermixed
with dark midden soil. A lens of concretion was
encountered at levels 3 through 5, which was
approximately 25 cm thick. We excavated through
the concretion, and found it located directly on top of
the limestone bedrock (Figure 3).

Test Results

The ceramics found at this site indicate
prehistoric occupation from the Glades I through
Glades III periods. Late Glades I (500-800 A.D.)
ceramics include Glades Plain sand tempered, Opa
Locka Incised, and Fort Drum Incised pottery. The
Glades II period ceramic (800-1200 A.D.), included
Dade Incised, Key Largo Incised, Miami Incised, and
Opa Locka Incised shards.
Decorated Glades IIIA (1200-1450 A.D.)
ceramics include only the Glades Tooled Rim shards.
A more detailed analysis of the pottery and faunal
material in relation to their chronology and habitat
for this site will be published in a final report after
completion of the L & L project.

Faunal Bone
The faunal remains include fairly typical
Everglades species of turtle, fish, deer, rodent, snake,
and alligator. A determination of the species
percentages in relation to the Glades time periods
will be conducted in future analysis in order to show,
not only general subsistence, but fluctuation of
species population present at the site in relation to
climatic variations of water level during this range of
The worked faunal bone material consists of
both tools and weapons of various types, (Figures 4,


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Figure 6. Incised bone pin (broken), top and side.

Figure 4. Bone points.

Figure 7. Sting ray barb drill with shell bead. The
barb and bead's hole are a perfect fit.


Figure 5. Drilled shark teeth.

Figure 8. Stone bead, top and side views.


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

5, 6, and 7). Artifacts include socketed bone points,
hairpins, discs, and awls, a sting ray barb "drill", a
deer antler tool, and drilled and undrilled shark

The major percentage of shell material
present consists of fresh water apple snails (Pomecea
paludosa miamiensis). Marine shell refuse and
artifacts is represented by Venus mercenaria tools,
several Strombus celt adze blades and beads, and a
Busycon shell dipper.

Historic Artifacts
Historic artifacts include an iron axe head
and a 32 caliber rim fired cartridge. These may reflect
Seminole use of the site. Seminole glass trading
beads were also found in the upper level of Unit 1.
They include a pink bead, a dark blue "Pony" bead,
medium blue "Padre" beads, a cobalt blue "Russian"
faceted -and a black faceted bead, an ultramarine
faceted bead, and a "Hudson Bay" white heart.

Summary and Conclusions

This preliminary assessment of the L & L site
suggests that the site may have been used from the
Glades I Period through the Glades III Period as
indicated by the pottery types recovered. In more
recent times, this tree island was used by the
Seminole Indians as evidenced by glass trade beads
and other historic artifacts found in the upper levels
of the strata.
Griffin correlates the interelationships ol
fish, mammal, and reptile bone frequency at differ-
ent excavation levels with changing water levels
during the Glades I through Glades III periods
(Griffin 1974). The effect of water levels on the
Indians is important since they were mainly hunter-
gatherers who used canoes as the main form of
transportation. Their range of activity and subsist-
ance depends to a large degree on water levels. The
neighboring Kendall-Coleman site and other sites are
within a few hours canoe trip and are easily accessi-
ble from this site. They were probably favorite fishing
and hunting sites. In the final report, we will try to
show evidence for the fluctuating water levels during
the Glades periods and the effect of these changing
levels on the aboriginal environment.


The following people made specific
contributions to this site report; and James Lord did
the photography. John Ayer did the site survey and
mapping. Finally, we would like to extend our thanks
to those members of the Archaeological Society of
Southern Florida who worked those many weekends.

References Cited

Griffin, John W.
1974 Archaeology and Environment in South
Florida. In Environments of South Florida:
Present and Past. Edited by Patrick Gleason,
pp. 324-346. Miami Geological Society,
Memoir 2, Coral Gables.

Gilliland, Marion S.
1975 The Material Culture of Key Marco, Florida.
University Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Lord, James S.
1989 A Zoomorphic Bone Pin from Dade County,
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 42(3):

The Archaeological Society of Southern Florida
2495 N.W. 35 Avenue
Miami, FL 33142


Volume 43 Number 4

December 1990

FA.S. Chapter Profile:

Archaeological Society Of Southern Florida

Barbara Tansey
Barbara Tansey

Members of the Archaeological Society of
Southern Florida are testing the L & L site, a
Tequesta/Seminole camp located on a canoe trail in
the Everglades. Work there is described in an interim
report (see this issue), and recorded on a State of
Florida Master Site File.
It is one of a long list of archaeological sites that
have been explored by the Society in the course of a
varied existence that has been spread over a third of
a century. The seed for the organization was planted
in the 1950's by Dan Laxson when he founded the
Tequesta Archaeological Society at the Museum of
Science in Miami. When it folded, Wes Coleman
started the Miami-West India Archaeological Society,
which ultimately was to become the Dade County
chapter of the Florida Anthropological Society.
In 1971 the Society opened the South Florida
Archaeological Museum located next to the Opa
Locka City Hall. In 1979 the museum collection was
donated to the Historical Museum of Southern
Florida in Miami. As the Miami-West India Society
declined, the Peninsular Archaeological Society
began meeting at the Museum of Science. In 1973,
Society president Irving Eyster changed its name to
the Archaeological Society of the Museum of
Science. A decade later it was given its present name,
the Archaeological Society of Southern Florida.

Under that flag it has salvaged information from
many endangered sites and conducted some survey
work. These have included investigations at the
Cheetum and adjacent Coleman sites with a 4,500 B.P.
Archaic Period occupation; the Kendall-Coleman site,
which dates to the Glades II Period; Uleta River site,
and the Arch Creek site.
Volunteering with the Archaeological and Histor-
ical Conservancy, members have assisted with projects
such as the Cutler Fossil site, at 10,000 years B.P. the
oldest recorded South Florida site; Key Biscayne light-
house; Crane Hammock; and the Honey Hill site. The
mentor of the group is Bob Carr, Dade County archae-
ologist and president of the Conservancy; his guidance
and direction have turned many a treasurer hunter into
a sound avocational archaeologist.
The Society currently has some 50 members, 13
of whom also are members of the Florida Anthropolog-
ical Society, of which the ASSF is a chapter. Current
officers are Barbara Tansey, president; John Ayer, vice
president; Pat Cervi, secretary; John Carruthers, treas-
urer; and Diane McKinney, newsletter editor.
Anybody interested in further information about
the Society may contact Barbara Tansey at The
Archaeological Society of Southern Florida, 2495 N.W.
35 Avenue, Miami, FL 33142 or call (305) 633-9636.

Figure 1. Active members of the Archeological Society of Southern Florida


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

Pendant Found In Gait Island Spoil Pile
Art Lee

A section of perforated bone carved into a
pendant was found by members of the Southwest
Florida Archaeological Society. The artifact was found
in redeposited midden material that had been
removed from a mound on Galt Island.
The ornament is 39.2 mm long, 13.3 mm at its
widest point, and 2.1 mm thick. A hole, measuring less
than 1 mm in diameter, was pierced near one end.
The bone has been modified to resemble a fish-like
shape. A flake removed from where the mouth would
be adds to the appearance of a replication of a fish
(Figure 1).
Mention of similar objects has been made in
accounts of excavations at the Belle Glade and Bear
Lake sites (Griffin 1988) and in silver at the Goodnow
Mound in Highlands County (Griffin and Smith 1948).
In a recitation of objects found in the Everglades area,
Griffin wrote under the heading "Pendant Shaped
Bone Ornament" that the artifact was "a flat bone
object from Belle Glade is shaped like a columella
pendant and has a groove around one end (Willey
1949: PL.8, L)." Griffin suggests "The nicely made
ornament decorated with rows of punctations from
Bear Lake may belong to this category" (1988:97).
The Bear Lake ornament photographed in
Griffin's monograph is roughly shaped like a fish, with
a notch in the mouth area, but with three rows of
punctations, which the Gait Island specimen lacks.
Griffin dated the punctated ornament as Ceramic
Period I late, which he gave a C14 date of A.D. 635.
Much more realistic is a contact period
incised silver pendant found in the Highlands County
Goodnow mound that was cut "in the form of a fish,
probably the large-mouth bass common in the
region." He gives itslength as 36 mm and notes that it
has a perforation "near the top" (Griffin and Smith
The Gait Island object was screened from a
bulldozer spoil pile left some years ago in an
abandoned earth-moving project which removed part
of one of the island's mounds. The Society carried on
a two-day session to recover materials for its
comparative pottery collection and for display at the
Museum of the Islands, on Pine Island in Lee County,
Florida. Recovered artifacts remain the property of the
owner, William T. Mills of Marathon, who granted
permission for the salvage effort

More recently, in March, 1989 during the
course of a similar recovery project, a broken piece
of pierced bone resembling the tail section of this
type of pendant was found.

References Cited

Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park:
A Synthesis. National Park Service, Southeast
Archeological Center, Tallahassee.

Griffin, John W. and Hale G. Smith
1948 The Goodnow Mound, Highlands County,
Florida. Contributions to the Archeology of
Florida. Number 1, Florida Park Service,

Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Excavations in Southeast Florida. Yale
University Publications in Anthropology 42.
New Haven.

Figure 1. Carved Bone Pendant from Gait Island.


December 1990

Volume 43 Number 4

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