Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Editor's page : The Florida Anthropologist...
 Mortuary behavior along the lower...
 The dent mound : A coastal woodland...
 The queen mound (8DU110) - Arthur...
 Inundated terrestrial sites : A...
 Human skeletal analysis of the...
 The Indian village on Apalachee...
 Featured photograph : Fort St....
 Back issue sales from the Graves...
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Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00040
 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-
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Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00040
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Editor's page : The Florida Anthropologist vol. 48. (1), Marh 1995 - Brent R. Weisman
        Page 2
    Mortuary behavior along the lower St. Johns : An overview - Robert L. Thunen and Keith H. Ashley
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    The dent mound : A coastal woodland period burial mound near the mouth of the St. Johns river, Florida - Keith H. Ashley
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
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        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    The queen mound (8DU110) - Arthur A. Lafond and Keith H. Ashley
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Inundated terrestrial sites : A cautionary note - Louis D. Tesar
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Human skeletal analysis of the prehistoric flagami south site - Mehmet Yasar Iscan, Morton H. Kessel, and Robert S. Carr
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    The Indian village on Apalachee Bay's Rio Chachave on the Solano map of 1683 - John H. Hann
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Featured photograph : Fort St. Marks wharf : Remnants of commerce on the Florida Frontier - Text by Henry Baker, photograph by Roy Lett
        Page 67
    Back issue sales from the Graves Museum
        Page 68
    Join the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS)!
        Page 69
    Back Cover
        Page 70
    About the authors
        Page 71
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Volume 48 Number 1
March 1995
Page Number

Editor's Page. Brent R. Weisman 2


Mortuary Behavior Along the Lower St. Johns: An Overview. Robert L. Thunen and Keith H. Ashley 3
The Dent Mound: A Coastal Woodland Period Burial Mound Near the Mouth of the
St. Johns River, Florida. Keith H. Ashley 13
The Queen Mound (8DU110). Arthur A. Lafond and Keith H. Ashley 35

Inundated Terrestrial Sites: A Cautionary Note. Louis D. Tesar 46
Human Skeletal Analysis of the Prehistoric Flagami South Site. Mehmet Yasar Iscan,
Morton H. Kessel, and Robert S. Carr 54
The Indian Village on Apalachee Bay's Rio Chachave on the Solano Map of 1683. John H. Hann 61
Featured Photograph: Fort St. Marks Wharf: Remnants of Commerce on the Florida Frontier. Text by Henry Baker,
photograph by Roy Lett. 67
Back Issue Sales from the Graves Museum 68
Join the Florida Anthropological Society 69
Cover: "An Arrangement of Stones" by Vera Zimmerman, Indian River Anthropological Society.
Copyright 1995 by the
ISSN 0015-3893


Brent R. Weisman

Over the past several months I have had the opportunity
to examine Florida collections in Harvard University's
Peabody Museum and in the Research Branch of National
Museum of the American Indian in the Bronx. Of course,
most of the artifacts were excavated by C.B. Moore, some
more than 100 years ago. It is difficult to imagine a setting
more alien to that in which the artifacts were found than the
metal shelves and wooden drawers of the northern repositories.
Indeed, the sight of concrete tipis looming up from the
shrouding Bronx mist moves beyond alien into the realm of the
surreal. As traffic roars by on the Bruckner Expressway,
while old ladies push their shopping carts to the corner
delicatessen, and as children play on the cold sidewalks of their
Pelham neighborhood, behind iron gates lies the legacy of
Florida's prehistoric heritage, shorn of any connection to its
own past. Here can be found copper earspools and embossed
copper plates from the Grant Mound (see article by Thunen
and Ashley), the unique bone comb from Murphy Island, the
delicate incised shell maskette from Dillard's Grove, the
mystery effigies of clay from Thursby, and the many treasures
of Mount Royal, to mention only a few. These objects are
well guarded by security personnel and well taken care of by a
dedicated staff of curators and conservators. Nowhere would
they receive better treatment. But the fact remains--these
artifacts are a long way from home.
Yet, despite their foreign setting and lack of context, the
objects still possess undeniable power. Some years ago I
gasped the first time I saw the copper bear cutout ornament

from Crystal River on display at the old Museum of the
American Indian facility on Broadway and 155th Street. My
reaction was no less strong when I beheld the same artifact in
the drawers of the Research Branch during my recent trip.
This power to reach us on an emotional level helps connect us
with those unknown peoples of the past to whom these objects
held their most special meaning, but can also, and no less
importantly, connect those of us today who have deeply felt
but sometimes conflicting views of our national heritage. The
Native American who was assigned to assist me in pulling
artifacts from the shelves at first expressed his disapproval of
displaying mortuary objects for public exhibition. As our
work progressed, as more and more artifacts were examined
and photographed, I detected a subtle change in his position.
As we both stood in awe over the copper forked eye plate from
Mount Royal, I think he began to share my view that artifacts
such as this are unique in their ability to speak to people of all
ages, ethnic backgrounds, and political persuasions. The
power of these artifacts far transcends their role in the once-
living society in which they functioned, and should be beyond
the claims of our own self interest. Who can look at the
forked eye, the fragile, staring face on the Dillard's Grove
shell, or the snarling, open jaws of the Thursby dog and still
fail to appreciate the cultural richness and complexity of
Florida's vanished Native Americans? It seems to me that the
best place for Florida artifacts to tell their story is in Florida.
I look forward to a day, however distant, when I can say
"welcome home."


MARCH 1995

Vol. 48 No. 1


Robert L. Thunen and Keith H. Ashley

Over the years northeast Florida has been the focus of
numerous mortuary excavations. In this paper we attempt to
synthesize currently available data on past burial excavations in
order to gain insight into the social geography and mortuary
behavior of prehistoric populations in northeast Florida.
Specifically, we concentrate on those mortuary sites located
along the lower reaches of the St. Johns River, in and around
the city of Jacksonville (see Figure 1). A great number of
mortuary excavations occurred in this area beginning in the
mid-nineteenth century. Unfortunately, little attention was
given to scientific excavation of most mortuary mounds by past
investigators. As a consequence, the potiental for
contemporary analysis of these excavations is limited;
particularly in terms of mound construction processes and
mortuary behavior associated with this cultural area. Although
the intent of this paper is not to belabor the methodological
deficiencies of past mound excavations, the reader should be
informed that such biases do exist.
As mentioned above, there are several problems with this
research. First is the lack of controlled excavations at local
mound sites. While several nineteenth-century scientists and
travellers have provided us with narrative accounts on their
excavations in sand burial mounds and shell middens, these
investigations lacked total stratigraphic and horizontal control
(Wyman 1868, 1875; Mitchell 1875; Mayberry 1878;
Douglass 1885; Moore 1894, 1895, 1896). C.B. Moore was
the most conscientious and prolific of the early excavators, but
even he was not as specific in detailing the location, position
and treatment of human skeletal remains as we would like.
More scholarly mound excavations have taken place within the
last 40 years (Sears 1957,1959; Jordan et al. 1963; Wilson
1965; Hemmings and Deagan 1973); however, only the latter
two involved formal field screening procedures. In addition,
two burial mounds (8DU68 and 8DU110) were excavated by
local amateurs, both of which have come under recent study
(Ashley, this volume; Lafond and Ashley, this issue).
Beyond problems in field methodology, several other
shortcomings prevail. There is the virtual absence of any
bioarchaeological analysis that would allow for an
understanding of regional and local demographics, including
such basic information as sex and age profiles for burial
populations. Another problem is the lack of access to much of
the original excavated material. Most artifacts have been

removed from the region, making relocation and reanalysis of
some material difficult and expensive. Thus, we attempt here
a board and preliminary outline of mortuary behavior,
knowing that our interpretations are cast with the difficultly of
some 150 years of uneven excavations in the area.

Archaic Period (8000-500 B.C.)

In most broad overviews on Southeast prehistory it is the
succeeding 'Woodland period that is marked by the construction
of burial mounds and other types of formal cemeteries (B.
Smith 1986; Steponaitis 1986). In fact, the tradition of
constructing mounds for the disposal of the dead in northeast
Florida is first ascribed to the St. Johns I period, beginning
about 500 B.C. (Goggin 1952; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980).
At present there is a lack of information regarding Archaic
mortuary practices in northeast Florida. However, a growing
body of evidence from sites along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts
of Florida ( Beriault et al. 1981; Doran and Dickel 1988; Jones
1981; Russo 1991a; Wharton et al. 1981) suggests that formal
cemeteries were also an Archaic period phenomenon.
Recent work at the Tomoka Mounds and Midden site
(8V081) in the central St. Johns region by Piatek (1992)
suggests that preceramic Atlantic coastal peoples were
constructing ritual burial mounds as early as the Middle
Archaic, ca. 4000-2000 B.C. That formalized cemetery areas,
whether mounded or not, were in use during the Archaic seems
very plausible, if not axiomatic, though evidence of such
mortuary activity remains elusive within the local
archaeological record at this time. Our lack of evidence for
Archaic shell midden burials may be related to the loss of large
middens at the mouth of the St. Johns for road fill during the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (e.g., Wyman 1875).

Woodland Period (500 B.C.-A.D. 800)

In the lower St. Johns River area, the Woodland period
involved a coastal way of life, which was well established
along the Atlantic shoreline of northeast Florida by at least
Middle Archaic times (Russo 1992). Ceramic technologies
during the Woodland period witnessed a change from
hand-molded, fiber-tempered clay pots to coiled ceramic


Vol. 48 No. 1

MARCH 1995

1. Grant Mound
2. Shields Mound
3. McCormick-Goodman Mound

4. Brown Mound
5. Queen Mound
6. Mayport Mound

7. Mayport Midden Mound
8. Dent Mound

Not Pictured: Tomoka Mounds & Midden Site, Walker Point Mound & Mount Royal Site)

Figure 1. Mounds discussed in text.

containers of sandy and/or chalky paste. The latter ware,
known as St. Johns Plain, is considered the hallmark pottery of
the Woodland period in the St. Johns heartland, but its
dominance at sites near the river's mouth has not been
demonstrated (Goggin 1952:47; Russo 1992:115). Mortuary
behavior dating to this period in northeast Florida is manifest
most conspicuously as low sand burial mounds. Evidence for
local antecedents to burial mounds is lacking in the immediate
Based on our current knowledge of the distribution of
Woodland period mortuary sites (Moore 1894, 1895, 1896),
low sand burial mounds dating to the Woodland period were
once found at numerous locations along the banks of the lower
St. Johns River, particularly between present-day Jacksonville
and the Atlantic Ocean. Goggin (1952:48) used this
distributional data, as it applied to the entire St. Johns region,
to infer a substantial population shift from the interior river
valley to the coast during the Woodland (St. Johns I) period.
He attributed this demographic shift to the emergence of a
stable and resource-rich estuarine ecosystem. With current
data indicating sustained Middle and Late Archaic settlement
and exploitation of the Atlantic coast (Russo 1988, 1992; Ste.
Claire 1990; Russo and Ste.Claire 1992; Bond 1992; Piatek
1992), however, the concentration of Woodland mounds along

the river's tidewater zone now seems to suggest a localized
Woodland mortuary expression rather than evidence of
population migrations to the coast. In fact, Russo (1991a,
1992) has argued that groups living along the fringes of the St.
Johns culture area possessed traits, such as mound building,
that differed from those in the heartland.
What mortuary characteristics help to define the local
Woodland period? To date, human burials from unequivocal
Woodland period contexts are confined exclusively to burial
mounds, though nonmounded burial of the dead cannot be
ruled out. Over 20 burial mounds along the lower St. Johns
have been dated to the Woodland period on the basis of
mound artifacts, with perhaps at least 15 other local
earthworks also dating to this time (Goggin 1952:51; Ashley
1993:10-12). The mounded cemeteries that have been
confidently assigned to the Woodland period are very similar
in shape and dimension, ranging in height from 3 to 6 feet (ca.
1-2 meters). None of the Woodland mounds is commanding in
terms of height or volume, or unique enough to suggest that
any served as a major ceremonial/mortuary center beyond the
local residential unit. Internally the earthworks are
unassuming and distinct mound strata rarely have been
recorded. Incontrovertible evidence of substructural mounds is
lacking, although data from the Queen Mound suggest the

possible existence of a burned submound structure (see Lafond
and Ashley, this issue).
Burial modes revealed in the mounds are varied and
usually include some primary extended inhumations, but
secondary bundle and isolated skull burials tend to always
dominate (e.g., Ashley 1993; Ashley, this issue). In some
instances, the disarticulated bones of several individuals were
interred collectively as a mass burial. Milanich and Fairbanks
(1980:160) inferred that such masses of bones were the result
of preburial processing and storage involving the use of a
charnel facility. Evidence in the form of intentionally broken
or killed pots, artifact caches, and fire pits in the mounds
suggests that ritual behavior was involved with the disposal of
the dead (e.g., Ashley, this issue).
Grave goods are occasionally found in direct burial
association, but it was seemingly more customary to place
artifacts in mound contexts unrelated to specific burials,
perhaps suggesting enhancement of corporate solidarity rather
than the promotion of individual wealth. In those instances
where individuals were interred in direct association with grave
goods, the level of personal embellishment does not compare
to the inferred "big man or big woman" burials that have been
revealed at other Middle Woodland sites elsewhere in the
Southeast and Midwest (e.g., Brose and Greber 1979;
Mainfort 1986; Milanich et al. 1984). Based on the
excavations of Moore (1894, 1895, 1896) and others in local
burial mounds, there seems to be a commonality of Woodland
period mortuary goods. In addition to pottery, a low but
persistent incidence of extralocal mineral and rocks, such as
galena, mica, copper, fossil bone, pebbles, and greenstone,
was placed in these tumuli. These items, which
archaeologically are restricted almost exclusively to mortuary
contexts, were interred as both unmodified raw materials and
finished products.
Pottery found in local mounds is overwhelmingly
undecorated, but whether these wares were sand tempered or
chalky paste is problematic since early mound excavators failed
to provide such data. At those Woodland period mounds
where qualitative and quantitative ceramic data do exist, the
majority of mound pottery is sand-tempered plain (Wilson
1965; Lafond and Ashley, this volume; Ashley, this issue).
Although plain pottery is more prevalent, minority wares
bearing decorative designs, such as check stamped (Deptford),
complicated stamped (Swift Creek), and punctate ( Weeden
Island), provide the best temporal information. Partitioning the
various Woodland mounds into temporal phases has met with
limited success in the past due to the paucity of systematic
mound excavations; however, a basic sequence is suggested.
The early part of the Woodland period was marked by
Deptford Yent-related mounds (e.g., Queen Mound, 8DU110),
which were followed by Swift Creek-related mounds (e.g.,
Dent Mound, 8DU68; Mayport Mound, 8DU96) (Ashley
1993). Presumably later mounds yielding Weeden Island
ceramics are also suggested (Moore 1894, 1895, 1896).

Continuous use of mounded cemeteries is suggested, as
evidenced by the recovery of temporally sequential pottery
assemblages at Dent and Mayport mounds (Ashley
1993:16-17). Excavations in these mounds yielded mostly
plain wares, but also early Swift Creek, late Swift Creek, and
Weeden Island pottery. This suggests that the mounds grew
gradually over a long period of time, presumably involving
little expenditure of human energy during each burial episode.
At least one suspected single construction event mound has
been recorded locally. The Brown Mound, 8DU62,was a
presumed Weeden Island-related construct demonstrating a
patterned burial arrangement enclosed within a submound shell
ring (Sears 1957:16-17, 1959). Unfortunately, the lack of
diagnostic artifacts from unquestionable mound contexts and
the absence of any radiocarbon dates precludes a definitive
temporal assessment of the mound.
What does the distribution of numerous, small, probably
contemporaneous mounds along the river's tidewater zone
suggest? If we accept the supposition that local Woodland
period inhabitants were year-round occupants of the
tidewater/coastal zones, then we can speculate that the mounds
were formal cemeteries used by distinct corporate groups, such
as extended families or lineages, for successive generations.
Furthermore, the mounds could have helped demarcate a
group's right to certain land and or resources (e.g., tidal marsh
ecosystems, oyster beds), though this is purely speculation
(Charles and Buikstra 1983). That the mounds are so alike in
size and content suggests that similarly organized local
residential units or kin groups possessed shared artifacts and
mortuary beliefs.
Based on the data at hand, it seems that local Woodland
groups resided in small settlements, subsisted primarily on
estuarine food resources, buried their dead in continuous-use
mounds, and maintained an egalitarian social structure. Local
Woodland populations were also involved in a potentially
far-reaching native exchange network that allowed them access
to a variety of exotic artifacts and raw materials that originated
elsewhere. It seems unlikely that these groups were direct
participants in Midwest Hopewell interaction, but they were
undeniably in contact with Gulf coast people to the west, who
were actively involved in the broader pan-Eastern U.S.
Hopewell Interaction Sphere (Seeman 1979). Interregional
interaction between local populations and groups residing
along the Atlantic coast of south Georgia has been confirmed
on the basis of shared complicated stamped designs, and local
contact between coeval Swift Creek-related mounds is also
suggested (Ashley, this issue). Thus the Woodland
populations of the lower St. Johns were part of a dynamic
social interaction and exchange network.

Mississippian Period (A.D. 800-1500)

Mississippian period adaptation generally began in the
greater Southeast at approximately A.D. 1000. With this

adaptation a host of cultural changes occurred over time. The
intensification of maize, squash, and bean cultivation is
associated with an increasing centralization and hierarchical
social structure. During this time public architecture and space
became structured to emphasize those new social hierarchies.
Differential access to temples and elite housing often placed on
mounds became the norm. Burial programs also reflected the
emerging social hierarchy (Brown 1971; Peebles 1971). Thus
for the larger Southeast, there was not one unified culture that
dominated the landscape. As subsistence and cultural practices
were experimented with and accepted, there was a high degree
of cultural variability. That variability reflected the adaptation
of ideological and subsistence items by groups to help solve
local cultural problems. Within the Southeast there was a
continuum of societal forms ranging, in some cases, from local
kin groups to simple and complex chiefdoms (Johnson and
Earle 1987).
In northeast Florida there is no sharp distinction between
Woodland and Mississippian period societies. Indeed, the
archaeological record reflects a slow transformation into a
cultural adaptation that shows some suggestion of the larger
Mississippian period cultures to the north and west. In
northeast Florida this time period is called St. Johns II (Goggin
1952; Milanich 1994; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980). It is
characterized by the use and spread of St. Johns Check
Stamped pottery, which appeared no earlier than at
approximately A.D. 800 (Goggin 1952; Milanich and
Fairbanks 1980). Unfortunately, precise chronological
distinctions based either on ceramics or radiocarbon dates are
lacking for the area. The key examples of mortuary behavior
from this period come from the important sites of Grant
(8DU14), Shields (8DU12), and Walker Point (8NA43). The
Mount Royal site (8PU35), located in the middle St. Johns
River Valley, is also discussed here because of its importance
to greater northeast Florida area during this period.
One obvious difference in northeast Florida is the lack of
multiple mounds, platform or conical, at any of these sites, in
contrast to other parts of the Southeast. Mount Royal may be
the exception in that the site includes at least one large central
mound, an associated linear earthwork, and a small conical
mound (Moore 1894:16-35). Grant Mound had a ramp and
several small amorphous mounds adjacent to it, but at least two
of the smaller southern mounds were Woodland, yielding Swift
Creek Complicated Stamped vessels. Shields Mound had an
associated ramp earthwork, but C.B. Moore found no other
major mounds associated with any of these sites. This does not
preclude the possibility that other mounds may have existed at
these sites, but the style of earthwork planning and
construction is not like that at Lake Jackson, Etowah, or
Moundville, where multiple mounds centered around one or
more plazas are the norm (Sherrod and Rolingson 1987). The
use of space to emphasize or exaggerate social and ideological
differences seems not to have been as complex or as
architecturally structured as with those groups to the north and

west. This may reflect a lack of structured social hierarchies
and ideological markers such as those found associated with
the interior groups. Nevertheless, northeast Florida did have
connections with other Mississippian period groups and did
participate and interact with those groups.
The mortuary programs of northeast Florida for the St.
Johns II period show a remarkable cultural continuity among
sites. Goggin (1952:55) points out in his monograph on the
area that St. Johns II burial mounds vary little from early St.
Johns I period mounds. That is correct to a degree. The
mounds are constructed out of sand as before, and they were
apparently used as facilities for entire populations, and not for
a specific section of that society, unlike Mississippian mound
complexes to the west and north. However, there does appear
to be a greater amount of exotic mortuary goods than before
and, in general, the mounds are bigger both in terms of volume
of earth and in the burial populations found within them.
These generalizations are difficult to quantify due to reasons
spelled out in the opening of this paper. We simply lack the
data to do detailed statistical analysis of these sites. Grant
Mound (8DU14) was an accretional mound which appears to
have had a burial program that included primary and bundle
burials and cremations. At the base of this mound at least two,
possibly more, small mounded episodes defined by discrete
colored sand layers suggest a complex beginning to the mound.
Through time the mound was added to both in terms of bodies
and mound fill. Colored sands were used to define some of the
burial areas. Artifacts from this mound suggested to Goggin
an early St. Johns IIa date, ca. A.D. 800-1300 (Milanich 1994;
Milanich and Fairbanks 1980). This chronological placement
was based on the two "Long Nose God" masks found at the
site (Goggin 1952; Williams and Goggin 1956). Other
artifacts from this mound included copper plates, copper
beads, galena, and ceramic vessels (Moore 1894,1895).
Shields Mound (8DU12), located 137 meters (150 yds) south
of the river and east of Grant, is another enigma for northeast
Florida. Is Shields ritually connected to Grant or is it
chronologically later? It is unusual to find two large mounds
so close together without some cultural tie between them.
Moore suggested that this was a platform mound based on his
opinion that the surrounding sides were free of miscellaneous
debris. However, a house had been constructed on the top of
the mound and the technology of the day, horse and drag lines,
could have easily cleared off the summit and used that material
for fill around the mound base. Thus the question of whether
Shields was a platform or conical mound is still open.
However, the mound did have an extensive ramp facing south
(Moore 1895; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:164), suggesting
that the top surface of the mound was flat.
The base of Shields according to Moore (1895:11)
measured 35 meters (115 ft) by 40.57 meters (133 ft) with a
diameter of 65 meters (214 ft). He estimated the "fair
average" height of the mound to be 5.49 meters (18 ft).
Moore excavated in Shields during both his field seasons in

northeast Florida. He found bundle burials in the very top
layers, with the use of colored red and yellow sands to define
burial episodes. In Moore's (1895) second season he dug the
mound's eastern section and found approximately 24 bodies.
He then focused on the platform itself where at 150 "points" in
the central portion of the mound human remains were found.
Whether or not this means 150 bodies is open to question. The
remains were in a very fragmentary state of preservation,
though Moore did report burials in a primary (extended?)
fashion and secondary or bundle burials (1895:13). Most
remains were encountered at 4 feet, with some being at 6 feet
below the mound surface. A group of six skulls was found
associated with one burial. Signs of fire associated with a
floor or activity surface (1895:13) were also uncovered. Based
on Moore's descriptions at least two or three burial episodes
are suggested, with both primary and secondary burial
activities taking place. The presence of a charnel house is a
possibility, but purely speculative. Moore (1895:24) does
suggest the potential of a structure with his discovery of a
"circular hole" located in a level of oyster shell some seven
feet below the mound's surface.
Artifacts from Shields display a relative continuity to
those recovered from Grant with several important exceptions.
Twelve polished stone artifacts, including celts, chisels, and
spatulate forms were found (Goggin 1952: Plate 10).
Unfortunately, the contexts of the artifacts in relationship to
specific burials were not recorded. The source for this raw
material is probably in the interior Southeast and is suggestive
of this area's connection to a larger Mississippian trade
network. Five small, fragmentary copper sheets were also
recovered. Nine small ceramic vessels were uncovered from
Shields, and Moore (1895:14) describes two of the vessels: one
a small bird effigy and the other a "toy" vessel that is 2 inches
high and 3 inches long.
Check-stamped, complicated-stamped and cord-marked
sherds were all found in the mound fill. Chronologically,
Goggin (1952:84) suggested that Shields was a St. John IIa
period site. Milanich and Fairbanks (1980:164) placed the site
slightly later--at the beginning of St. Johns IIb--which they
believed should start at A.D. 1100. This would make the site
consistent with other emerging Mississippian cultures (Smith
Of all the St. Johns period mound sites in northeast
Florida, Mount Royal (8PU35) is the most complex in terms
of earth moved and earthwork variety. Mount Royal is 4.8
meters (16 ft) in height with a base diameter of 53 meters (173
ft). The mound is associated with a pair of linear
embankments, some 0.60 meters high and 15 meters (49 ft)
apart running north 750 meters (820 yds) to a pond. Also
associated with the site is a small conical mound, which Moore
(1894) tested but found nothing. Little is known about the
burial program of the main mound.
Moore states that human remains in the main mound had
not been preserved, and that little remained beside bone

fragments and teeth (Moore 1894:21). This makes any
mortuary analysis impossible. Structurally the mound seems,
like Shields, to have been built over several burial episodes
each marked by distinctive building phases. The mound
appears to have been capped with a hematite layer; colored
sand layers were also found at Grant and Shields to mark
mortuary areas.
From the number of exotic or extralocal items found in
this mound, such as copper plates, copper ear plugs, celts, and
spatulate celts, Mount Royal above all other mounds in the
northeast Florida area suggests some status differences similar
to those for other emerging Mississippian societies to the north
and west. The Mount Royal site seems to have been a central
node in a larger intraregional trade network. These prestige
goods may certainly have marked and signaled the status of
certain individuals. However, the degree and type of social
hierarchy--ascribed or achieved status--must be left to future
research. The major problem is the lack of hard information
about the site's burial population. Does the mound represent
use for a section of the society or as a container for the
collected dead of the entire group? We suggest that the mound
was used for only a segment of the society and separate burial
areas away from the mounds were used for other components
of the society. This would suggest a differentiated mortuary
program similar to Etowah (Blakely 1977) or Moundville
(Peebles 1971).
Chronologically, Mount Royal was defined by Goggin
(1952) and Milanich and Fairbanks (1980) as a St. Johns lIb
site, and several of the artifacts found at the site suggest a
cultural connection to the interior Southeast. One copper plate
displays the forked eye motif in a pattern suggesting the four
cardinal directions. This plate has stylistic ties with designs
from the Spiro site in Oklahoma (Goggin 1952:77; Waring and
Holder 1977). As well, Moore recovered from the main
Mount Royal mound some 137 polished stone artifacts ranging
in form from chisels to pyriform and spatulate celts. This is
perhaps the greatest concentration of celts in Florida. The
spatulate celts from the mound suggest a tie both to Shields
Mound and to the larger interior area which controlled the raw
material either at Moundville or Etowah. A lithic point
depicted by Moore (1894:21, Fig. 5) bears a striking
resemblance to a Cahokia side-notched point (James Griffin,
personal communication 1993). It matches those from the
Mound 72 point cache at Cahokia (Fowler 1991: Fig. 1.15).
The Mount Royal projectile point needs to be reanalyzed to see
if the material can be sourced to the greater Cahokia region. A
date of A.D. 1050 for Mound 72 at Cahokia ties the two sites
One group of iconographic artifacts missing from this
area for this time period is the eagle warrior or bird warrior
motif. That is, we do not find the iconographic materials from
the Late Mississippian period in northeast Florida. Apparently
this material did not penetrate or was not accepted into the
area. Evidence from Mound 3 at the Lake Jackson site (Jones

1982) suggests that this iconographic material was moving into
the area, but we do not find representations in northeast
Florida. It is tempting to suggest that the social and
ideological meaning that the bird warrior may have represented
was not present here, but this is speculation at best.
The Walker Point Mound (8NA43) is a distinct and
revealing contrast to the others mounds discussed in this
section. The mound shares some structural construction
elements--the use of colored sands and multiple burial
modes--with the other mounds previously described
(Hemmings and Deagan 1973). What the mound lacks are the
diverse and exotic artifacts found at the larger mound sites.
This mound appears to be the work of a small local group with
perhaps the first stage of the mortuary processing having
occurred in a charnel house. This mound may be more
representative of local populations in northeast Florida than
Shields, Grant, or Mount Royal. These local groups may have
used and maintained small processing and mortuary areas tied
to specific ecological and geographical areas.
The same may be said of the McCormick-Goodman
Mound (8DU66) and the Mayport Midden Mound (8DU97) as
well. The McCormick-Goodman mound was excavated by
Jordan (Jordan et al. 1963) after being noted by Sears (1957)
in his survey of the McCormick property. The mound was
approximately 2 meters in height with an estimated diameter of
45 meters. Mound excavation revealed five burials from the
core of the sand mound. One burial, a mass interment, by its
central location, was suggested as the primary event in the
mound's construction sequence. This mass interment
constituted the remains of several children. Jordan and his
co-authors suggested that this feature represented the child
sacrifice ritual as witnessed by the French (Lorant 1946).
The sacrificial death hypothesis, although a powerful
image, is a difficult hypothesis to test. Artifacts from the
excavations included bone hairpins, bone and shell beads,
worked puma teeth, projectile points, and a piece of graphite
(Jordan et al. 1963:39-40). Follow-up excavations were
conducted by the Northeast Florida Anthropological Society
before the mound was destroyed in 1974. Additional human
burials were recovered both from the mound fill and beneath
the mound in the shell midden. Recovered artifacts included a
broken greenstone celt and a carved human parietal bone
(Recourt 1975). The unusual central feature of this mound
suggests a variation from normal burial process. But the
number and type of burials suggest a local affair tied directly
to groups living along the surrounding bluff area.
The last St. Johns II period mound discussed here is the
Mayport Midden Mound (8DU97). The nearby Mayport
Mound (8DU96) was excavated because researchers thought it
might reveal evidence for historic Timucua and French
interaction (Wilson 1965). But 8DU96 turned out to be a
Woodland period construction, as discussed in the previous
section. In a bit of irony, it now appears that 8DU97, a 3
meter high shell mound, had the potential to date to the St.

Johns II period. This mound was excavated by local amateurs,
and the material is currently under reanalysis. Based on
preliminary information at hand, we would suggest that it was
used by a small local group tied to the Mayport geographical
In northeast Florida during the St. Johns II period two
basic mound forms appear to have been utilized. One was a
small mounded mortuary area that served as a burial container
for discrete local groups. Burial forms are quite varied, with
extended and bundle being the two basic types. Artifacts
reflect the local nature of these groups, being primarily
ceramics and utilitarian objects. The second construction
mode is that of large mounds with associated ramps or small
earthwork features. These mounds probably served a larger
geographical and social network. The exotic nature of some of
the artifacts discussed above suggests a social network that
extended beyond the St. Johns River Valley. Clearly, in
northeast Florida groups were involved with the larger
Mississippian cultural system. However, it was of a limited
basis and groups here did not develop into the chiefdoms of the

Protohistoric-Mission Period (A.D. 1500-1704)

The Protohistoric-Mission period in northeast Florida,
known archaeologically as the St. Johns IIc period, is defined
by the presence of European trade goods, structures, and
religious material. Most excavated mortuary areas dating to
this time are formal cemeteries associated with Spanish-Indian
Catholic missions (see Chaney and Deagan 1989; Dickinson
1989; McEwan 1993; Saunders 1988). After the establishment
of St. Augustine in 1565, Spanish friars set out to convert the
indigenous population to Catholicism (Gannon 1965).
Acceptance of the Catholic faith by members of the local
Indian groups meant that upon death each Christianized native
was afforded burial in the mission cemetery. Individuals were
interred in a uniform manner, extended on their backs with
their hands clasped on their chest and covered with a shroud.
Evidence from Santa Catalina de Guale Mission on the Georgia
coast suggests that individuals were placed in a hierarchical
order within the cemetery, with the more principal men and
women located closer to the altar (Larsen 1993; Thomas
Another example of such a cemetery was revealed at the
seventeenth-century mission on Amelia Island (Saunders
1988). Research into this important aspect of Mission period
life--the nature of status and changing religious life and its
reflection in the archaeological record--is currently being
defined and debated (McEwan 1993; Thomas, editor, 1990).
In contrast to seventeenth-century Indians, we know very little
about changes in the indigenous culture systems that
immediately followed the first Spanish and French encounters
of the sixteenth century. Evidence for a general cultural
collapse following European contact, like Marvin Smith (1987)

has suggested for the interior Southeast, has not been
investigated locally. It is intriguing to note that Moore (1894,
1895, 1896) found few sixteenth- or seventeenth-century
European artifacts in any of the mounds in the St. Johns River
Valley. This suggests that mound building as a fundamental
aspect of religious and ideological behavior ends during the
early contact period. Some evidence for a shift in mortuary
behavior might be seen in a recently excavated cemetery
(8DU66) along the St. Johns Bluff, east of Jacksonville
(Robert Johnson, personal communication 1994). Within the
excavated portion of the cemetery, two multiple primary
burials were exposed, revealing bodies that appear to have
been hastily and haphazardly buried one atop the other, as if
expedience, not ideology, was the crucial factor. Perhaps this
burial situation was the result of a European-induced epidemic
among local populations. As more archaeology is done in the
surrounding area, this time period should be better


The study of mortuary areas is one important, but not
exclusive, line of evidence to reconstruct the past. Intentional
disposal of the dead was an integral part of past cultural
systems, reflecting a wide range of social, political, and
ideological behavior. So many mounds and cemeteries have
been lost in the face of past development in northeast Florida
that it is essential that we protect and preserve the remaining
areas. We have a moral and legal directive to prevent the
accidental or deliberate destruction of these sites. However, if
it becomes necessary to excavate such areas, let us keep in
mind the very important research questions which can be
addressed. From this preliminary overview we suggest a
number of important research issues that need to be addressed.
The first is basic research. How do the mounds and
cemeteries fit into the larger context of regional settlement and
subsistence systems? This can be achieved partly through field
survey, and a relocation and analysis of extant artifact
collections. Furthermore, radiocarbon specimens included in
these collections should be processed to help establish a finer
chronology for the area. Second, if the evidence is present, a
bioarchaeological analysis of skeletal populations should be
conducted to help reconstruct the demographic profiles for
these time periods. Third, we need to further define the social
organization of these people through time, both in terms of
regional and interregional structure. Archaeology in northeast
Florida is alive and well, and future research should help to
further our understanding of this critical area.

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Keith H. Ashley

The Dent Mound (8DU68) was excavated over a seven-
year period (1977-1984) by members of the Northeast Florida
Anthropological Society (NEFAS). Since 1988, the
archaeological remains unearthed as a result of this excavation
have been curated at the Jacksonville Museum of Science and
History. With the museum's permission, a reanalysis was
undertaken of the artifacts retrieved from the Dent Mound. As
a result of this reanalysis, it was determined that the Dent
Mound was a low mounded cemetery that contained the
preserved remains of approximately 100 individuals. Artifacts
recovered from primary mound contexts along with two
recently processed radiocarbon dates indicate that mound
construction and use as a mortuary repository took place
during the Middle Woodland period, ca. A.D. 200-600
(Ashley and Richter 1993).

Natural Environment of Pelotes Island

Pelotes Island is an arc-shaped land mass located
approximately 10 km (6 mi) west of the Atlantic Ocean,
amongst an archipelago of small marsh islands (Figure 1).
Situated within an expansive salt marsh ecosystem along the
north side of the St. Johns River, the island rises 2 to 10 m (8-
34 ft) above mean sea level. Physiographically, the island
represents a relict beach dune that is part of a Pleistocene
formation known as the Pamlico Terrace (White 1970:92;
Brooks 1981). Soils occurring on the island are well-drained
upland varieties that support a lush maritime hammock
environment. A dendritic series of tidal creeks cross-cuts the
enveloping salt marsh and drains into Browns and Clapboard
creeks, which in turn empty into the main river channel
currently 1.5 km (1 mi) to the south.

The Dent Mound: Discovery and Excavation (1974-1988)

In 1974, NEFAS members discovered a previously
unrecorded sand burial mound amidst an extensive spread of
shell and pottery that covered almost the entire southern
section of Pelotes Island. According to the Site File in
Tallahassee, this shell midden had been recorded previously as
the Pelotes Island site (8DU68) by John Goggin in 1956.
Goggin's sampling of the midden included a brief surface
collection, but no mention was made of a nearby burial mound
on the state site form. NEFAS began their excavation after

securing permission from the property owner (C. Lowell Dent)
in 1977, and work continued intermittently until 1984. In 1985
NEFAS completed an updated site form for the Pelotes Island-
Dent Mound site (8DU68), which represented the first formal
recording of a burial mound on Pelotes Island.
The Dent Mound was a low amorphous rise heavily
overgrown with maritime hammock vegetation. The early part
of NEFAS fieldwork was devoted to site preparation. After
clearing away the dense underbrush, a transit was used to
establish a grid along cardinal directions over the mound and
adjacent borrow pit. Contour mapping of the existing land
surface was conducted prior to excavation (Figure 2).
Throughout the project, vertical consistency was maintained by
measuring down from the highest recorded corner of each test
unit. All depths were recorded in centimeters with reference to
a steel wedge placed in the base of a nearby hickory tree.
The Dent Mound project included the excavation of 60
test units that focused on the mound, the nearby borrow pit,
and the adjacent midden. An excavation block centering on
the sand burial mound was composed of 54 contiguous 2 meter
square test units bound within an 18 m by 16 m area. It is
estimated that as much as 90 percent of the mound was
excavated by NEFAS. Testing of the nearby borrow pit was
restricted to 4 contiguous 2 meter square test units and an
adjoining 1 m by 2 m unit placed within the center of the
depression. Finally, two 2 meter square test pits were placed
away from the mound in areas of dense surface shell to sample
midden deposits. All test units were excavated in arbitrary 30

cm vertical levels and soil was sifted through 1/2 in. mesh.
One-quarter inch hardware cloth was used to screen feature fill
and the soil immediately surrounding human burials. No fine
screen data recovery procedures were used during the project.
Following excavations, a bulldozer was used to complete
backfilling, and an attempt was made by NEFAS to reconstruct
the preexcavation configuration of the mound. All human
remains recovered during excavation, save for some scattered
bones overlooked during excavation, were gathered in the
center of the mound and reburied. None of the human remains
was examined by a qualified physical anthropologist prior to
reinterment. The next four years were spent by NEFAS
sorting mound artifacts and restoring pottery vessels. In 1988,
the artifacts, project records, and an artifact inventory were
donated to the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History,
per the landowner's request.


Vol. 48 No. I

MARCH 1995







S AtL nt c 1 ea0 0

SCALE 1:100,000

Figure 1. Pelotes Island (Jacksonville, Florida USGS 1981).



Ci 4



-T If I I I

"-~ --

~o ~ P L O TE -J KY T' I




-I-- 5b.60

Contour interval 20 cm

Figure 2. Excavation plan superimposed on contour map, Dent Mound (8DU68).

Not Excavated

Not Excavated



The Dent Mound Study (1991-1993)

After securing permission from the museum, the author
began a study of the Dent Mound collection in the summer of
1991. Because the inventory that accompanied the artifact
collection lacked provenience information and to ensure that all
objects on the list were part of the museum's collection, a
reanalysis of the artifacts was undertaken. Moreover, the
author wanted to verify preliminary results provided by
NEFAS and conduct a more complete analysis of all artifact
classes in the collection. The primary purpose of the study
was to formally report on the excavation of the Dent Mound
and to make the results of analysis and data interpretation
available to those interested in the prehistory of northeast
Florida (Ashley and Richter 1993).
With regard to project records, only a detailed plan map,
some field notes, and a handful of excavation forms were
included in the museum collection. After contacting members
of the NEFAS excavation crew, copies of additional field
records were secured, including color prints and slides, test
unit forms, plan maps, and some profile drawings. Because
detailed written descriptions of mound excavations were
lacking, individuals directly involved with the excavation were
consulted. These interviews helped to fill some of the gaps in
the field records and contributed to the interpretations of the
mound excavations and data.
Additional information utilized in this study is provided
by unrelated midden testing on Pelotes Island that occurred
after NEFAS excavations. In 1990, sections of 8DU68 were
subjected to limited testing, but few cultural remains were
found (Dickinson and Wayne 1990). The following year the
National Park Service (NPS) conducted an intensive shovel test
survey of Pelotes Island as part of a cultural resource inventory
of the nearby Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
(Russo et al. 1993). As a result, four new sites (8DU7470,
8DU7471, 8DU7472, 8DU7524) were identified on Pelotes
Island. Furthermore, the original Pelotes Island site was
redefined as 8DU7523 to include only the southern shell
middens surrounding the Dent Mound, with the mound itself
retaining the original site designation, 8DU68 (Russo et al.
1993:113-114). Neither recent investigation involved any
mound testing.
The following discussions are founded on a reanalysis of
the Dent Mound artifacts; an assessment of the field records;
interviews with NEFAS members; and a review of the results
of limited shovel testing in the middens surrounding the Dent
Mound by Dickinson and Wayne (1990) and Russo et al.
(1993). It should be kept in mind that several limitations
hindered these reconstructions. Of primary significance is the
inherent fact that the archaeological record does not reflect the
total range of socio-cultural behaviors that produced it.
Moreover, the manner in which a site is excavated also has a
profound effect on the quantity and quality of data recovered.
Excavation of the Dent Mound suffered from several

methodological deficiencies such as the lack of stringent and
consistent stratigraphic controls, ambiguous field notes, the
omission of fine-mesh data recovery, and the absence of any
biocultural analyses. Yet despite these problems and biases,
some important findings can be derived from the Dent Mound

Temporal Considerations

Before proceeding with a discussion of the Dent Mound,
a brief review of the information derived from limited
sampling of the middens on the south end of Pelotes Island
seems pertinent. It was determined by the NPS survey that the
aboriginal sites on Pelotes Island are primarily oyster shell
middens, although non-shell occupational components do occur
(Russo et al. 1993). In terms of cultural periods, midden
deposits sampled at the time indicated that the island was
occupied from the Late Archaic through the Woodland and
Mississippian St. Johns II-Savannah periods and into the
Protohistoric era. Although the island was occupied for
several millennia, NEFAS excavations revealed that the Dent
Mound dated to a more restricted time span, the Woodland or
St. Johns I period (500 B.C. -A.D. 800). Dating of the mound
will be discussed in detail later in this report.
Because NEFAS excavations focused almost exclusively
on the burial mound, limited data were gathered about adjacent
shell midden deposits. As mentioned above, supplemental
information on the occupational history of Pelotes Island has
been contributed by Dickinson and Wayne (1990) and Russo et
al. (1993). Based on recovered artifacts, the first occupations
on Pelotes Island commenced several millennia prior to
construction of the Dent Mound, probably during the Late
Archaic although Middle Archaic occupations cannot be ruled
out. In fact, Russo et al. (1993) suggest that preceramic shell
middens might exist nearby on Pinders Island at the Pinders
Island site (8DU7459) and the Cock Fight site (8DU7460).
Testing in the shell middens on Pelotes Island by NPS
(Russo et al. 1993) and NEFAS unearthed a large number of
Orange fiber-tempered wares, indicating Late Archaic period
habitations of the mound vicinity. In fact, the Pelotes Island
site (8DU7523) contains an extensive Orange period sheet
midden tentatively interpreted as a "base camp or village"
(Russo 1992:111, 113). Evidence of post-Archaic occupations
in the middens on Pelotes Island clearly exists, but identifying
distinct components (i.e., ceramic assemblages) is difficult due
to limited midden testing combined with the long duration of
island occupation and the ubiquity of sand-tempered plain
wares throughout the region's prehistory. Future work in the
middens on Pelotes Island should attempt to isolate distinct
occupational strata and correlate ceramic assemblages with
cultural components.
Diagnostic post-Archaic pottery types recovered from the
middens by NEFAS and the other excavators (Dickinson and
Wayne 1990; Russo et al. 1993) included Deptford Check

Stamped, St. Johns Plain, St. Johns Incised, St. Johns Check
Stamped, Colorinda Plain, and Savannah Period Cord Marked.
These wares indicate occupations that spanned the St. Johns I
and St. Johns II-Savannah periods, ca. 500 B.C.-A.D. 1500+.
Furthermore, the recovery of a handful of San Marcos sherds
denotes the occurrence of Protohistoric period (ca. A.D. 1600)
activities on the island. Of utmost importance to the present
study is the delineation of Middle Woodland (St. Johns la-Ib)
period midden components on Pelotes Island that are
contemporaneous with the Dent Mound.
The limited data from middens on Pelotes Island, along
with that gleaned elsewhere in the region, suggest that plain
pottery was apparently the primary ware used in daily food
preparation and consumption activities during the Woodland
period (Sears 1957; Russo 1992). Sand-tempered plain wares
dominate midden assemblages, although grit- and grog-
tempered, and chalky paste plain wares also were used during
this time. The Middle Woodland groups who were living on
the Pelotes Island archipelago while the Dent Mound served as
a cemetery apparently used mostly plain wares on a daily basis,
although check-stamped and complicated-stamped types also
were used. Current local data suggest that these latter wares
underwent periods of local florescence (Russo 1992). The
dominance of plain wares is also apparent in the Dent Mound
vessel collection, as will be discussed in more detail
subsequently, with plain vessels outnumbering decorated ones
22 to 11, or 2 to 1.

Mound Structure and Stratigraphy

The Dent Mound was roughly circular, with a diameter of
about 15 m (50 ft) and a maximum height of approximately 80
cm (2.6 ft) above the surrounding terrain. East of the mound
the natural topography descended abruptly toward the tidal
marshes, and gave the mound a more prominent appearance
when viewed from the east. NEFAS excavations documented
the presence of a few amorphous depressions on the southeast
and northwest flanks of the mound, which were apparently the
result of previous pothunting. South of the mound was a
circular hole about 10 m in diameter, with a depth
approximately 60 cm below the surrounding ground surface,
that represented a prehistoric borrow pit where the sand
forming the mound originally was derived.
Trenching of the mound by NEFAS revealed a sequence
of shell and sand layers (Figures 3 and 4). Much of the mound
was covered with a thin St. Johns II period shell midden
composed of black organic sand densely packed with oyster
shell, vertebrate faunal bone, charcoal, and potsherds (Stratum
A). Beneath the shell midden was a generally homogeneous
gray-tan sand stratum, approximately 80-100 cm thick
(Stratum B). Water that had percolated through the sandy
mound fill seemed to have leached any evidence of discrete
depositional episodes. There was no indication of a specially
prepared ground surface, although the absence of an old humic

layer could suggest that the original ground surface was
stripped away prior to mound construction. Field workers were
unable to distinguish between mound fill and the premound
sand midden, although ceramics predating mound activities
were recovered in the lower excavation levels. This zone was
underlain by a yellow sand substratum, which yielded few
artifacts (Stratum C).

Mound Features

The total number of features encountered during the
NEFAS project is not known, but by piecing together the
sparse feature data gleaned from field notes and maps as well
as from interviews with NEFAS members, several observations
can be made. According to a composite plan map of the Dent
Mound constructed by NEFAS, recorded mound features
included 16 "fire pits," 7 possible "food offerings," 5 "piles
of shell," 2 "red ocher spills," and possibly as many as 113
"burials." Few features other than burials were excavated and
screened as distinct deposits.
"Fire pits" were small, generally circular concentrations
of charcoal and black dirt. These features rarely contained ash
deposits. Four of the 16 fire pits contained small quantities of
calcined oyster shell, whereas the remainder were stains that
apparently lacked cultural or ecofactual remains. In terms of
spatial distribution, most fire pits were located in the eastern
half of the mound. Six were undeniably associated with
human interments (both primary and secondary burials),
whereas six others may have been directly affiliated with
human burials. Finally, three fire pits were situated adjacent
to sherd concentrations and another was seemingly isolated in
the northeast section of the mound. None of the fire pits was
subjected to special data collection or screening procedures.
The term "food offering" was used by NEFAS to denote
small areas of organically stained sand, containing bones of
animals such as deer, fish, and turtle (one deposit was
comprised solely of turtle carapace and bone). However, at
least three of the nine deposits also contained mollusc shells.
These features were too small to represent traditional trash
pits, but their occurrence may have been a direct consequence
of ceremonial activities. Whether these deposits were
intentional food offerings, the by-product of ceremonial meals,
or neither, however, is uncertain. While some of the
recovered faunal remains (e.g., paired oyster shell collections)
could conceivably represent intentional grave offerings, most
were probably unintentional inclusions in the mound fill. The
pockets of animal bone, shell, and charcoal, along with the
sand comprising the mound, were probably derived from
adjacent midden deposits and incorporated into the mound
during construction.
At least five "pile of shell" deposits are depicted on the
project map, and all were directly associated with human
burials. These features consisted of between 5 and 10 paired
molluscs (i.e., articulated right and left valves), suggesting that

Figure 3. Trenching of the Dent Mound.

Black Organic Sand
(Stratum A)




Figure 4. General mound stratigraphy, 8DU68.

they were deposited unopened a short time after capture.
These distinct mollusc clusters may represent a legitimate
example of food offering. Four of these concentrations were
composed exclusively of whole oysters, whereas the fifth
included only whole "razor clams" (probably stout tagalus).
Similar food offerings have been recovered at other mounds in
the region. At the Walker Point Mound on Amelia Island,
Hemmings and Deagan (1973:39-40) uncovered an offering
composed of "articulated oyster valves, a hard-shell clam
valve, a knobbed whelk, and bony elements of at least one
black drum and sea robin" at the feet of a human burial.
The term "ocher spill" was used to describe areas of
intentionally deposited red earth. Two such accumulations
were apparently encountered in the Dent Mound. The first
was found in the southeast corner of Test 5D and included a
circular concentration of soft earthy hematite (ocher) that filled
a 5 gallon pail. The second red earth deposit was also circular,
but much smaller and yielded a deer antler, a small whelk, an
unidentified rock, and two pieces of sheet mica.
Finally, premound anomalies seem to have been
encountered with some frequency, but were generally given
minimal attention according to field records. One exception
was a large crescent-shaped shell deposit, measuring 180 cm E-
W and 120 cm N-S. This trench-like feature was exposed at
125 cm below the mound surface near Burial 30 in Test 4D.
The roughly 50 cm thick feature was composed of a "shelly
dark gray soil" core above a 15 cm thick basal layer of dense
oyster shell that extended beneath Burial 30. Feature fill
contrasted sharply with the "gray sand" matrix of the burial.
No human bones were found in the shell deposit, although
Burial 30 appeared to be immediately above the shell layer.
NEFAS field notes are vague, but it appears that Burial 30 was
intrusive and penetrated an older, buried shell refuse feature.
However, photographs taken by NEFAS suggest that the shell
could have been part of a deliberate grave pit feature, such as a
lining, but this is difficult to confirm on the basis of available

Burial Patterns

The most common mound features were human burials.
Some burials were poorly preserved, making description and
recognition of burial posture difficult. The absence of
discernible mound stratigraphy combined with incomplete field
records further complicated interpretation. As stated
previously, human remains were not available for study, and
no examination of the exhumed bones was made by a physical
anthropologist prior to reinterment. Therefore, the absence of
any bioarchaeological analyses precludes any inferences about
the demographic structure of the burial population, including
basic age and sex determinations, but field data on the kinds,
size, and orientation of burials were available.
Burials were assigned a number by the author based on
field notes, burial drawings, and photographs, and thus do not

reflect the order of excavation. As a result, 67 burials,
containing an estimated 113 individuals, are defined (Table 1).
The estimated number of individuals (113) was determined
during reanalysis and is based on the number of discrete
concentrations of human bone (i.e., burials) augmented by the
number of skulls present in multiple burials reported by
NEFAS. In contrast, the minimum number of individuals in
the burial population, based on the total number of identified
skulls, is 98. These totals should be viewed as crude
approximations, owing to the loose excavation controls. In
addition, burials described in Table 1 as distinct interments
may have been part of larger group burials.

Table 1. Modes of Human Burial, Dent Mound, 8DU68.

Burial No. Burial Mode Test-Depth*

single skull
single skull
single skull
single skull
long bones
extended supine
extended supine
single skull
single skull
Long bones
single skull
long bones
single skull
single skull
single skull
extended supine
extended supine
long bones
multiple bundle (4)
long bones
long bones
extended supine
extended supine
single skull
single skull
single skull
long bones




Depth re
(cmbs) or the hi
square test unit.

single skull
Long bones
single skull
Long bones
extended supine
disturbed (extended?)
multiple bundle (13)
single skull
single skull
single skull
disturbed (extended?)
single skull
extended supine
multiple-extended (2)
and single skull
multiple skulls? (2)
extended supine
multiple bundle (25)
extended supine
disturbed (extended?)
extended supine
multiple bundle (3)
single skull
single skull
single skull
single skull



ifers to centimeters below ground surface
ghest elevated corner within each 2 meter

Burials, as revealed in the Dent Mound, were numerous
and encompassed a variety of modes, ranging from single
primary interments to jumbled, mass secondary inhumations.
The most common burial type is skull burial, represented by
23 single skull occurrences and 1 multiple skull deposit
containing 2 crania. The next most frequent burial type is
extended supine, with 12 revealed. All 3 disturbed burials
appear to have been extended supine burials based on their
alignment. Additional primary burial modes include 2 flexed
and 1 semi-flexed interment. Thirteen bundle burials
containing varying quantities of mostly disarticulated human
bone are recorded; 4 of these contained unquestionable
evidence of multiple individuals. Nine burials contained only
long bones. Finally, 3 burials were only partial; 2 of these

were articulated but incomplete, while the third was less
The extent of skeletal articulation as reflected in burial
mode is probably an indication of the amount of time that
transpired between death and mound interment (Ubelaker
1974:66). Primary interment involved the burial of fleshed
corpses shortly after death, because articulated skeletons (or at
least an articulated outline in the case of poorly preserved
burials) were revealed. At least 15 primary burials were
exposed, including 1 semi-flexed, 2 flexed, and 12 supine
extended individuals. In addition, three disturbed burials
exhibited articulated skeletal parts, suggesting that they were
formerly primary interments.
In contrast, secondary burials consisted of disarticulated
and commingled skeletal parts that had presumably undergone
some form of preburial processing (i.e., natural decomposition
and/or intentional defleshing). Examples of this mode of
interment include isolated skull (n=23), multiple skull (n= 1),
long bone (n=9), and bundle (n=13) burials. Bundle burials
varied from the skull and long bones of a single person to
amassed skeletal parts, frequently representing more than one
individual. It should be kept in mind that some of the jumbled
burials may reflect primary interments that were disturbed by
subsequent episodes of mound building (and interment) and/or
temporally unrelated refuse disposal activities.
Burials were encountered at depths ranging from 35 to
155 centimeters below mound surface, and all occurred
beneath the St. Johns II period shell midden that blanketed
much of the mound. Burial modes seem to have been
distributed randomly throughout mound and submound
contexts regardless of posture, although extended interments
were more concentrated in the lower excavation levels. Of the
12 extended burials, 1 was encountered within 50 cm of the
surface; 6 were found between 50 and 99 cmbs; and 5 were
revealed at a depth greater than 1 m. The depth below mound
surface at which some of the burials were encountered suggests
that they were interred in pits dug into the premound ground
surface. No evidence of grave pits was discerned during
excavation, however.
Extended burials were more frequent in the eastern half of
the mound, although there does not appear to be a uniform
orientation for this mode of interment. Burials 29 and 30 are
presumed to be initiatory interments, based on their deep
submound context and central location. Additional extended
burials (e.g., Burials 20, 53, 54) were perhaps also placed in
pits dug into the original ground surface. There are too few
flexed burials to assess any distinct patterns. Bundle burials
were more prevalent in the eastern half of the mound, with a
large multiple interment near the mound center and another in
its southeast corner. Isolated skulls occurred throughout the
mound, but were most common near the center of the mound.
Long-bone burials were more frequent in the western half of
the mound. A composite plan view of all exposed burials is
shown in Figure 5.

0 0 0q/ 0 .- \1/ LONG BONES

', 0)' ''---" 53 p! eFLEXED BURIAL

"'" Not excavated



0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Figure 5. Horizontal distribution of burials, Dent Mound (Burials 20, 29, 30, 53, and 54 are denoted).

The incidence of skull burials in the Dent Mound
warrants some discussion. The distribution of isolated skulls
throughout the mound suggests that they represent an
intentional mode of interment. Skulls were found in seemingly
isolated contexts as well as "extras" included in primary
burials. The best example of the latter situation is Burial 54,
which contained two superimposed extended individuals with
the upper person indisputably holding a skull on his left hip.
Some researchers have interpreted long-bone and skull burials
as retainer sacrifices or trophies, whereas others contend that
these skulls represent the curated remains of revered ancestors
(cf. Seeman 1988).
Regardless of the specific cultural reasoning behind this
mode of burial, it does seem that certain skeletal parts (e.g.,
skulls and long bones) were preferentially selected for burial,
and thus not all bones were treated equally during secondary
processing and curating procedures. It should be reiterated,
however, that some partial burials could be the result of post-
depositional disturbance (i.e., old burials disturbed by
subsequent interments). Without direct osteological evidence,
it is difficult to assess these and other alternatives.

Burial Mound Artifacts

Artifacts recovered from mound contexts include
ceramics, lithics, worked bone, and modified shell. The bone
and shell artifacts were probably manufactured of locally
derived materials, whereas artifacts such as lithic projectile
points, mica sheets, and various modified and unmodified
stones were produced of raw materials not local to the area.
No copper, which occurs in other mounds of Middle
Woodland age (Moore 1894, 1895; Wilson 1965), was
recovered from the Dent Mound by NEFAS.
Ceramics were the most common artifact type, with more
than 8,000 sherds recovered (Table 2). During reanalysis it
became evident that more than 1,000 sherds lacked sufficient
data to determine provenience, so they were placed in an
"unknown provenience" category. Another interpretive
problem resulted from the excavation of arbitrary 30 cm levels
by NEFAS, which caused a mixing of mound and midden
artifacts, particularly those recovered from Level 1. Because
the recovered sherds were retrieved from mound, midden, and
unknown contexts, and because some of the sherds found in
the mound fill may have originally been discarded elsewhere,
it is most prudent to discuss mound ceramics in terms of the
wholly or partially reconstructed vessels that were intentionally
interred in the mound as grave goods.
At the time of this writing, the mound pottery assemblage
consists of 33 vessels. An attempt is currently underway by
NEFAS members to reconstruct additional vessels from the
over 8,000 sherds. Categorization of these reconstructed
vessels by type is as follows: 10 plain sand-tempered, 9 plain
charcoal-tempered, 2 St. Johns Plain, 1 Weeden Island Plain
(compartment vessel), 1 Dunns Creek Red, 6 Swift Creek

Complicated Stamped, 3 complicated stamped charcoal-
tempered, and 1 Weeden Island Punctate (double globed pot).
Of the 9 complicated stamped vessels, 4 can be typed as Early
Swift Creek and 2 are Late Swift Creek based on diagnostic
vessel attributes. The three remaining pots are indeterminate
based on rim form, but are probably Late Swift Creek. The
Weeden Island specimens were probably special-use wares
based on their unique shapes, but their occurrence with St.
Johns Plain vessels is common in mounds of this period.
Examples of the reconstructed vessels are shown in Figures 6-
The charcoal-tempered wares are affiliated with Early
Swift Creek manifestations in the lower St. Johns River area
(Ashley 1992:131, Ashley 1993:7-9), and are not unexpected
in local Middle Woodland mounds. Based on the limited
reported geographic occurrence of this ware its manufacture
seems to be unique to this region. To date a technological
study of the charcoal-tempered series has not been undertaken,
although Donna Ruhl (in Russo et al. 1993:35) has examined
several specimens microscopically and offered a few general
comments that pertain equally to those vessels and sherds in
the Dent Mound collection. The ware seems to be sand
tempered, with varying quantities of charcoal also included. It
is not known whether charcoal or uncharred wood (which
became carbonized during firing) was added to the clay. Only
through detailed technological ceramic analyses can questions
be answered concerning the physical properties and production
origins of this ware.
Most of the reconstructed vessels were either collected as
discrete sherd concentrations, which occurred individually or
in small groups that represented multiple vessels, or as sherds
scattered across contiguous test units. The latter
manifestations might represent pots intentionally broken atop
former (i.e., intermediate) mound surfaces, or they may have
been intentionally broken elsewhere, with only part of the
shattered vessel gathered and placed in the mound. In contrast
to the fragmentary state of most vessels, four intact ceramic
containers were found (Vessels 1, 3, 21, 24).
Another intriguing aspect of the mound pottery
assemblage is that many of the vessels, both plain and
complicated stamped, exhibited evidence of direct contact with
fire. Sooting on the exterior of many of the vessels suggests
use in association with fire before being placed in the mound.
In addition, several vessels possessed charred organic matter
along the interior and/or exterior rim. Whether the sooting is
the result of daily food preparation activities or is the by-
product of limited use as a ceremonial cooking container is not
known. If possible, future chemical analysis of the charred
organic residues should be undertaken to determine the organic
contents of the vessels (cf. Rice 1987:233-234). That sooting
is most prevalent on plain wares and poorly decorated
complicated-stamped pots implies use in a domestic capacity
prior to interment. In fact, Sears (1962:13) reports that most
of the Swift Creek wares in Gulf Coast Florida burial mounds

Table 2. Aboriginal Pottery Distributions, Dent Mound Project, 1977-1984.






check stamped
linear check st.
bold check st.
simple stamped
cross simple st.

complicated st.

check st.
diamond st.
cord marked
simple st.
Dunns Creek Red
Little Manatee


1 17





- 1

208 4 212 charcoal-tempered

20 54











50 515

3 33

20 30





SHERD < 2 cm



348 4 35 57

1175 1 60 488 1

6,202 78 478 1,338 8,

1 overlying shell midden, mound fill, and submound contexts.
2 midden tests placed adjacent to the mound.

4 11


Figure 6. Reconstructed Dunns Creek Red vessel.


Figure 8. Reconstructed Late Swift Creek
Complicated Stamped vessel.

Figure 9. Reconstructed Weeden Island double-globed pot.

Vt 't
-' 4 5 3 1

Figure 7. Reconstructed Early Swift Creek
Complicated Stamped vessel.



are "everyday or utilitarian complicated stamped and plain
Nonceramic artifacts recovered from the mound reflect
local technologies as well as participation in extralocal
exchange networks. Because molluscs are so abundant in the
tidal marshes and creeks surrounding Pelotes Island, it seems
almost certain that the shell artifacts are local products. The
availability of whelk shell in the local marshes suggests that it
was probably a frequent source of raw material for utilitarian
tools and personal ornaments and did not necessarily serve as
an indicator of wealth or status, as was apparently the case in
some later, interior Mississippian societies (cf. Prentice 1987).
Of the 28 modified shells in the museum collection, 8 are
from presumed refuse contexts and 20 are from mound
proveniences. Shell artifacts from the burial mound were all
made from whelk and include cutting-edged tools, battered-
edged tools, possible tools, columellae, columella beads, two
fish effigy pendants, and a cup.
Except for the two fish effigies and the three beads, the
remaining shell artifacts are rather mundane and possibly
served a utilitarian role prior to interment. The cup may have
had some ceremonial significance, however. The two fish
effigy pendants were found together with Burial 30. Both are
cut sections from a thick outer whorl of a whelk, carved in the
outline of a fish. The outer (convex) side of the whorl is
engraved with features also suggestive of a fish. The two are
very similar in appearance, but are not identical mirror images
(Figures 10 and 11).
Artifacts made from animal bone were few and include a
polished, incised bone pin fragment recovered from the borrow
pit; an unmodified bear tooth possibly associated with Burial
58 or 59; a biconically drilled bear-tooth bead found with
Burial 30; and two deer antler artifacts. Antler Specimen 1
occurred with an unmodified quartzite cobble and a waterworn
chert fragment, together representing a possible tool kit or
medicine bag or pouch, whereas Antler Specimen 2 was
contained within an earthy hematite deposit along with an
unidentified cracked rock, a small unmodified whelk, and a
piece of mica. Finally, a bone point was purportedly found
with Burial 29, but this item is not among artifacts in the
museum's Dent Mound collection.
The mound contained an assortment of peculiar stone and
mineral items, including a greenstone celt, 17 chert projectile
points and other chipped stone tools, mica sheets, graphite,
unmodified and modified quartzite pebbles, and various
amorphous sandstone and iron oxide pieces. None of these
materials is available locally, and because no trace element
analyses of the materials have been conducted, it is futile to try
to correlate these nonlocal materials with specific source
locales at this time. Some items (e.g., mica, graphite,
greenstone), however, may have come from as far as the
southern Appalachian Mountains, whereas chert was probably
derived from closer sources. The river-worn quartzite and

chert cobbles could have been obtained from rivers or creeks to
the west (e.g., Suwannee River) or to the north in Georgia.
The variety of burial goods from the Dent Mound
compares favorably to those artifacts recovered from another
Middle Woodland burial mound near the mouth of the St.
Johns River. The Mayport Mound (8DU96), a low sand burial
mound morphologically similar to the Dent Mound, yielded
comparable mound artifacts such as St. Johns Plain, Swift
Creek, Weeden Island, and plain sand- and charcoal-tempered
wares, shell beads, mica sheets, and various other unmodified
and modified stone objects (Wilson 1965). Moore (1894,
1895, 1896) recovered many of the same types of artifacts
from other low burial mounds in the region, suggesting that a
normative collection of burial goods was in use locally during
the Middle Woodland period (Ashley 1993:15).

Dating the Burial Mound

Ceramics are one of the most effective relative means
used to date an archaeological site. The currently accepted
chronological dates for diagnostic pottery types found in the

0 T! 0 '* A I L

Figure 10. Fish effigy pendant 1.

- 6! 7

Figure 11. Fish effigy pendant 2.

mound are: Early Swift Creek, A.D. 100-300; Late Swift
Creek, A.D. 300-700; St. Johns Plain, 500 B.C. A.D.
1500+; Dunns Creek Red, A.D. 100-800; and Weeden Island
Plain and Incised, A.D. 250-700 (see Ashley [1992:129] for a
review of Swift Creek chronology; Milanich and Fairbanks
[1980:148] for St. Johns chronology; and Milanich et al.
[1984:13] for Weeden Island chronology). These dates, taken
collectively, place the Dent Mound pottery assemblage in the
St. Johns Ia and Ib periods (ca. A.D. 100-800), as defined by
Milanich and Fairbanks (1980).
The only other artifact category that provides
chronological information is projectile point. Identified
diagnostic projectile points include Florida types such as
Bradford, Columbia, Duval, and Sarasota (cf. Bullen 1975).
All of these types fall within the Woodland period, except for
the Tampa type, which was recovered from the overlying shell
midden that post-dates the mound. The dates for the majority
of projectile points fall within the date range established by
ceramic seriation and radiometric dating for the mound. In
fact, the stemmed classic "Swift Creek" point or knife (Phelps
1969) has been equated with the Columbia point by some
researchers (Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:119; Bense 1992:5).
Additionally, the Duval point is one of the most common lithic
tools found on Swift Creek sites in south-central Georgia,
leading at least one researcher to refer to them as the "Swift
Creek spike" (Frankie Snow, personal communication 1993).
So far, three radiocarbon dates have been processed from
organic samples from the Dent Mound (Table 3). The first
radiocarbon date, based on a wood charcoal sample, was
determined to be 2640 +/-90 B.P. (690 B.C). Based on the
relative ceramic and projectile point dates discussed above, it
seems unlikely that the radiocarbon date correctly dates any
mound construction-related activities, and the date is probably
close to a millennium too early. In fact, a review of the
NEFAS profile sketches and notes suggests that the charcoal
submitted for dating was from a submound context that
predated actual mound construction. The dated context yielded
plain sand-tempered, Deptford Check Stamped, and a few
undecorated Orange sherds.

Table 3. Radiocarbon Dates, Dent Mound, 8DU68.
C-14 Age C-14 Adj. C-13 Adj. C-13 Adj.
Lab # B.P. B.C./A.D. B.P. B.C/A.D.

UM-1756 2640+-90 690+-90 B.C. NA NA
B-54644 990+-60 960+-60 A.D. 1360+-60 590+-60 A.D.
B-54645 1250+-70 700+-70 A.D. 1610+-70 340+-70 A.D.

NA not applicable
UM Department of Geology Laboratory, University of Miami
B Beta Analytic, Inc. (1992)

The two radiocarbon dates (C-13 adjusted) obtained from
paired oyster shells, 340 +/-70 A.D. and 590 +/-60 A.D.,
agree well with the artifactual data (A.D 100-800), especially
if the supposition that the burial mound accrued slowly over a
span of two to three centuries is accepted. Because the oysters
submitted for radiocarbon analysis were whole (i.e.,
articulating valves) and may therefore have been part of a
"food offering," is plausible to assume that they were
harvested immediately prior to burial rather than taken from
preexisting shell middens on the island.
A possible problem with one of the two radiocarbon dates
is that the A.D. 590 date, while providing a reasonable date
for some mound ceramics (e.g., Late Swift Creek), is possibly
too late for the ceramic vessel (i.e., plain charcoal-tempered,
Early Swift Creek) apparently found in association with the
radiocarbon dated shell. If we accept the contention that
local Early Swift Creek wares are coeval with those from the
Florida Gulf Coast (A.D. 100-300), then the date is too late
by about 300 years. It should be kept in mind, however, that
certain problems can occur in the radiocarbon dating of marine
shell that skew resultant dates (Stuiver et al. 1986).
Alternatively, the oyster shell may have been temporally
unrelated to the nearby Early Swift Creek pot. Before we can
assess these radiocarbon dates critically, however, we will
need more radiometric dates from local Early Swift Creek and
Late Swift Creek-Weeden Island contexts to establish a local
chronology. For the time being, a broad mound date of A.D.
250-600 is plausible, although its use as a cemetery could have
been restricted to a narrower span of time.
The C-13 adjusted age of the radiocarbon dated oyster
shells also was calibrated using the software program CALIB
(Stuiver and Reimer 1986). Specimen Beta Analytic #54644
calibrated to 910 B.P., or A.D. 1040, with a two sigma range
of A.D. 930-1190. The second shell (Beta Analytic #54645)
calibrated to 1165 B.P., or A.D. 785, with a two sigma range
of A.D. 660-960. The calibrated dates postdate the C-13
adjusted dates by approximately 400 years and are considered
too recent in light of the diagnostic artifacts recovered from the

Burial Mound Construction

Excavations in the Dent Mound revealed the absence of
complex mound architecture. No strata or mound or
submound features (other than the burials themselves)
indicative of distinct episodes of construction were reported.
Although occasional soil anomalies were noted (such as small
pockets of clean white or mottled sand and earthy ocher
deposits), the mound fill was invariably described as "gray" or
"gray-tan" sand. Oyster shells and vertebrate faunal remains,
presumably derived from earlier nearby middens, were found
occasionally scattered throughout the mound fill. Charcoal
flecking was common, but whether the carbonized wood
particles were the result of natural fires or the intentional by-

product of mound ritualism and/or construction activities is not
known on the basis of the evidence at hand.
Although it is uncertain exactly when burials were first
interred in the Dent Mound, we can speculate that the cemetery
initiated with at least two extended burials (Burials 29 and 30)
in pits dug into preexisting midden accumulations (e.g.,
Orange and Deptford). The grave pit containing Burial 30
apparently penetrated an old, buried shell refuse feature; the
existence of a shell-lined grave pit is possible. Other primary
interments (e.g., Burials 20, 53, 54) also could have been
placed in subsurface pits or on the original ground surface
prior to the initiation of mound construction. If a shell midden
had existed on the premound surface, it was intentionally
scraped away along with the primary humus prior to mound
construction, because no evidence of a stained midden area was
Excavations in the Dent Mound yielded the remains of
successive Middle Woodland period burials in primary and
secondary contexts. During its use as a burial repository, the
mound was continuously reworked in size and shape as
individual and/or group burials were added. The occurrence of
midden refuse in the mound fill suggests that the dirt used in
mound construction was taken directly from earlier midden
deposits, and the suspected borrow pit was located a short
distance south of the mound among earlier midden deposits.
Moving dirt such a short distance per burial episode can be
accomplished with a minor investment of energy, so few
people were needed to construct the mound. This general kind
of burial mound, the sum of multiple burial episodes, has been
coined "continuous use or cemetery type" by Sears (1958).
In the Dent Mound, grave goods, ranging from common
utilitarian items such as clay pots, projectile points, and shell
artifacts to more exotic materials including mica, graphite, and
other nonlocal stones, apparently were placed in direct
association with burials as well as in contexts seemingly
unrelated to any burials. Mound artifacts unrelated to specific
burials might have been deposited in the mound for the benefit
of the kin group, reinforcing corporate identity rather than
promoting individual wealth and/or status. Because there
appeared to be no stratigraphic ordering to the various pottery
vessels found in the mound, it is suspected that the Dent
Mound grew asymmetrically as burials were added. Based on
radiocarbon dates and diagnostic mound artifacts, we can
assume that the mound served as a cemetery during the period,
ca. A.D. 250-600. Afterwards the mound apparently went
into disuse, and on the basis of midden ceramics (i.e., St.
Johns Plain, St. Johns Check Stamped, Savannah Cord
Marked), refuse began to accumulate on the mound surface
sometime after A.D. 800.

Mortuary and Burial Implications

The Dent Mound was not constructed as a shrine
commemorating the death of a high status individual, but

rather served as a cemetery for successive generations, perhaps
utilized by a distinct kin group. Although some fleshed bodies
were interred in the mound soon after death, most individuals
underwent a period of postmortem processing and curation,
prior to mound interment. As reflected in the Dent Mound
population, secondary burial was a routine mode of interment,
although the extent and specific sequencing of body treatment
and processing activities are not known. Corpses set aside for
secondary burial were probably transported to a designated
area to allow decomposition then stored elsewhere, such as a
community charnel structure, until reburial (cf. Milanich et al.
1984:94-117). Eventually the curated skeletal remains were
gathered and collectively interred in the mound. It is
uncertain whether burial events occurred periodically at some
culturally and/or seasonally determined time or at irregular
intervals (e.g., when charnel facilities became overcrowded).
Based on their excavations at several Deptford period
(1500 B.C.-A.D. 600) mounds on St. Catherines Island,
Georgia, Thomas and Larsen (1979:147) argue against the use
of charnel structures, insisting that such elaborate mortuary
projects "are beyond the simple [St. Catherines Island] Refuge-
Deptford complex." Pertinent to their argument, they infer a
transhumant subsistence pattern for coastal Deptford people
that involves alternating Sea Island and mainland settlement
throughout the year. Furthermore, they speculate that the
mixture of primary and secondary burials in the St. Catherine
Island mounds indicates a transhumant lifestyle, with bundle
burials representing individuals who had died away from the
mound during the mainland season. It is implicit in the St.
Catherines Island model that primary burials represent
individuals who died at or near the mound site.
The model does not seem to work for the Dent Mound,
because it does not explain mass bundle burials, such as
Burials 24, 43, 58, and 63. These collective interments, unless
curated individually by family members or disinterred from
graves, may have been stored temporarily in a community
facility. Such a hypothesized structure probably would not
compare to the elaborate submound charnel buildings used by
some Midwest Hopewellian groups (cf. Brown 1979). No
charnel structures or platforms have been identified in the area;
however, rarely have controlled, broad-scale excavations taken
place in areas peripheral to sand burial mounds, in areas where
charnel houses may have been located.
Another aspect of the St. Catherines Island model that
might not apply to this study is the inferred transhumant
lifestyle. In light of recent zooarchaeological evidence (Russo
1988, 1992; Russo et al. 1993), the traditional presumption
that prehistoric St. Johns River groups practiced a mobile
transhumant pattern of settlement is being challenged.
Although sample sizes are admittedly small, preliminary
biometric faunal data from local Late Archaic and St. Johns II-
Savannah period shell middens indicate multiseasonal and
perhaps year-round coastal occupations (Russo et al. 1993:136-
173). It seems unlikely that local fisher-hunter-gatherers

would seasonally leave the highly productive tidewater
environment to move far inland to procure subsistence
resources, because most terrestrial resources could have been
found within a few kilometers of the river. Small groups may
have ventured inland to chert sources on occasions, but most of
the community would have stayed on the coast. Data along
this path of inquiry are only now being gathered, so we must
await future faunal analyses and subsistence interpretations
before we can present definitive statements on local Woodland
period settlement and subsistence patterns.
We are still left trying to explain the occurrence of both
primary and secondary inhumations in the Dent Mound. What
is the socio-cultural significance of the varied modes of
interments in the Dent Mound? Some primary burials may
simply represent individuals who happened to die shortly
before planned mound burials. In contrast, Sears (1958)
speculated that continuous-use mounds on the Florida Gulf
Coast were cemeteries for entire communities formed over
time, with a few individuals, possibly shaman or religious
leaders, afforded special burial treatment. This general premise
could be germane to our understanding of the Dent Mound.
Although clear-cut evidence of status differentiation is not
evident at the Dent Mound, grave goods were intentionally
placed in direct association with some primary inhumations.
For example, Burial 30, an individual thought to have been
placed in a submound grave pit, was interred with a drilled
bear tooth, a cut whelk shell, 2 fish effigy pendants, and 3
stone projectile points. Although this was one of the most
materially embellished interments in the mound, it does not
reflect an elaborate display of wealth. The absence of
biocultural and demographic data restricts our ability to infer
distinct aspects of socio-political organization as revealed in
the Dent Mound. It does seem safe to conclude, however,
that the local society was egalitarian and that some individuals,
probably on the basis of age, gender, and/or experience, did
gain some level of veneration and societal distinction.
There are indications, based on the evidence at hand, that
suggest there was more to the Middle Woodland burial
ceremony than simply burying the dead. The presence of
broken ceramic vessels and fire pits suggests that rituals were
conducted in association with final burial (Milanich et al.
1984:115). These commemorating ceremonies could have
involved food preparation and feasting. It does not appear that
the ritualism expressed by local groups approached the level of
grandeur manifest at other Middle Woodland mortuary sites in
the eastern United States (see Brose and Greber 1979). The
strong similarities between the Dent Mound and Mayport
Mound (Wilson 1965), in terms of mound morphology, burial
treatment, and artifact content, suggest that an operative set of
shared religious customs, conventions, and beliefs existed in
the lower St. Johns River area during the Middle Woodland
period (Ashley 1993).

Local and Regional Exchange and Interaction

Throughout the eastern and midwestern United States, the
Middle Woodland (ca. A.D. 1-600) was a time of profound
native exchange, with networks moving significant quantities
of raw materials and exotic goods over broad areas (Griffin
1967; Brose and Greber 1979; Seeman 1979). While
interaction spheres were intensified during this period,
materials probably moved along preexisting trade and
communication routes (Brose 1979; Goad 1979). During this
time, the central arteries of exchange apparently ran north to
south from the midwestern Great Lakes to the Florida Gulf
Coast. The major lines of communication along with a
multitude of smaller pathways linked a wide variety of Middle
Woodland cultural groups, some exhibiting disparate levels of
socio-political organization (Smith 1988:45).
Although peripheral to the dominant lines of trade, the
builders of the Dent Mound were not sequestered from
surrounding populations, either local or extralocal. Artifacts
from the mound indicate that local people were involved in
extralocal interaction spheres that brought exotic raw materials
(e.g., mica, greenstone, graphite) to the area, either directly
from the source of origin or, more likely, indirectly though a
series of middleman traders. Specific points of origin and
patterns of movement are not currently understood for the
stone and mineralogical items. Nevertheless, evidence in the
form of pottery designs has been revealed, linking the Dent
Mound to two local mound sites (Alicia Mound B and Mayport
Mound) and one habitation site (Lewis Island site) on the
Georgia coast.
The indigenous population was well aware of Swift Creek
ceramic technologies and styles in vogue to the west and north,
as evidenced by the apparent florescence of complicated
stamping in the lower St. Johns River region during parts of
the St. Johns I period (Russo 1992; Ashley 1992, 1993). In
fact, Swift Creek wares, whether manufactured locally or
imported, were an integral part of the local Middle Woodland
pottery assemblage, a complex dominated by plain sand-
tempered wares. At present, however, our understanding of
the relationship between peoples in the lower St. Johns region
and neighboring groups, such as Swift Creek to the west and
north and St. Johns to the south, is tenuous.
A significant contribution of the present study is the
identification of direct evidence of interregional contact.
Using information obtained from the analysis of Swift Creek
complicated-stamped designs, a definite design contact has
been established that links the Dent Mound with the Lewis
Island site (9MC88) in Georgia, while more circumstantial
indications of local community ties also are suggested (Figure
12). Recognition of these design contacts is based on the
ongoing studies of Frankie Snow, who has been reconstructing
complex Swift Creek paddle motifs for more than 20 years.






50 km

Figure 12. Location of Dent Mound, Mayport Mound, Alicia Mound B, and Lewis Island (Georgia).



Figure 13. Design contact between Dent Mound and Lewis Island site, Altamaha River, Georgia.

~ -~ P s

N\\ ?



Figure 14. Possible design contact between Dent Mound and Alicia Mound B, 8DU31 (cf. Moore 1895).

His methodologies have clearly demonstrated the utility of
design reconstructions in the synchronic and diachronic studies
of settlement patterns and social interactions (cf. Snow 1975,
1980, 1982; Snow et al. 1979).
The first complicated-stamped design match for the Dent
Mound is one that links the burial mound with the Lewis
Island site to the north along the Altamaha River. The
complicated-stamped design exhibited on a Late Swift Creek
sherd collected from midden deposits on Lewis Island was
compared to a similar sherd from Test 6E Level 2 of the Dent
Mound (Figure 13). Verification of this match was confirmed
by Snow via a direct sherd-to-sherd comparison, which
revealed shared signatures or "paddle flaws," indicating that
the two were decorated with the same paddle. Without
ceramic technological data, it is difficult to assess whether it
was the vessel or paddle that moved between the two sites.
A second complicated-stamped design match, this time
linking another Late Swift Creek motif from Lewis Island with
one from the Mayport Mound (8DU96), indirectly connects
the Dent and Mayport mounds, indicating a period of mound
contemporaneity. As to when these interactions were taking
place we can only surmise, but all sherds involved in the
examination displayed large folded rims, indicating a Late
Swift Creek time frame. Radiocarbon dates from two Late
Swift Creek sites located on the Atlantic coast near the Lewis
Island site may provide some temporal insight. A refuse pit
presumed to be Late Swift Creek was radiocarbon dated to
A.D. 500 at the Cathead Creek site, 9MC360 (Wayne 1987),
whereas a battery of radiometric dates from the Kings Bay site
(9CAM171a) clustered between A.D. 400-700 (Adams 1985;
DesJean et al. 1985). Thus, the St. Johns-Altamaha
interactions probably took place some time between A.D. 400-
Although interregional interaction is based on direct
sherd-to-sherd comparisons, evidence of local interaction is
more circumstantial, but nevertheless compelling. These
involve two vessels recovered from the Dent Mound (Vessels
13 and 38) and two found at Alicia Mound B (8DU31), as
illustrated by Clarence B. Moore (1895). The triangular core
element as well as the overall motif exhibited on Vessel 13
bears a strong resemblance to Moore's (1895:Plate LXXX)
Alicia Mound B sherd, as shown in Figure 14. In addition,
both vessels display unfused rims. Another possible match
involves Dent Mound Vessel 38 and a similar ceramic pot from
the Alicia Mound B (Moore 1895:Plate LXXXI). The overall
theme of the two motifs is very similar, and a presumed
carving flaw is also shared by both vessels. The Dent Mound
specimen is charcoal tempered with a notched rim, whereas the
Alicia Mound vessel has an unmodified lip, but both are
thought to be Early Swift Creek. Because unequivocal evidence
for exact copying of preexistingg designs" has yet to be
demonstrated, it is thought that these wares are coeval and very
well could have been stamped with the same paddle (Frankie
Snow, personal communication 1993).


Although much information has been gained by mound
excavations, owing to the hard work of NEFAS members,
other potential data have been lost due to inadequacies in data
recovery and reporting. The loss of data has led to more
speculative interpretations than I would like, but it is hoped
that controlled archaeological investigations at other sites will
provide the data necessary to test and critically assess the
interpretations presented herein. Future nonprofessional
excavations in burial mounds like the Dent Mound seem
unlikely in Florida, owing to provisions in Chapter 872,
Florida Statutes, Unmarked Human Burial Law. Finally, by
no means should the research potential of the museum's Dent
Mound collection be viewed as exhausted. Mound artifacts
and/or artifact classes can and should be the focus of much
more detailed analytical studies.


Let me begin by thanking the members of the NEFAS
field crew, particularly Arthur Lafond, Ralph Goslin, Don
Thompson, Jerry Hyde, and Peter Recourt. Lafond was
especially helpful, allowing me access to all his field records
and photographs. Dean Sais and Lloyd Schroder of NEFAS
were also of help. My appreciation is also extended to the
Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, which allowed
me to study the Dent Mound collection and funded the
processing of the two radiocarbon samples. Specifically,
Nada McClure, Carol "Tib" Henderson, and Margo Dundon
are thanked. Of great help was Frankie Snow, who is
responsible for suspecting and later confirming the Swift Creek
design contacts. I would like to thank Bob Richter for his help
with the Dent Mound analysis and report. Angela Ashley and
Alan Basinet helped with graphics, and Buzz Thunen and Jim
Wheat provided photographs. I appreciate comments on
previous drafts of this paper made by Bob Richter, Buzz
Thunen, and two anonymous reviewers. Finally, this paper
profited from comments and sagely advice provided by Marsha
Chance and Greg Smith.

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Arthur A. Lafond and Keith H. Ashley

The Queen Mound (8DU110) was a low, sand burial
mound located about 16 km (10 miles) east of Jacksonville,
Florida. Test excavations at the mound took place between
1966 and 1970, revealing the bones of at least 10 people and
the burned remains of a possible submound structure (Lafond
1983). In addition, an assortment of local and exotic artifacts
was uncovered, of which the most unique include bits of
graphite, cut carnivore mandibles, a galena cube, and a
zoomorphic effigy made of lead (Lafond 1972). The presence
of Yent-related mortuary items suggests exchange networks
directly linking the local coastal peoples with Gulf Coast
Florida, and possibly indirectly with Midwestern Hopewellian
centers via a series of trade alliances. In the absence of
chronometric dates, artifacts from the mound suggest a
Deptford or St. Johns I date (500 B.C. A.D. 100) for mound

Site Description and Discovery

The mound was located along the eastern edge of a sand
ridge (9.1 m AMSL) that overlooked Mud Flat Creek, about
60 meters to the east (Figure 1). This tidal creek meanders
through an estuarine marsh and flows into Chicopit Bay, which
in turn opens into the St. Johns River to the northeast. From
this point, the river's mouth is less than 8 km (5 mi) to the
east. The upland area now supports a diverse hammock,
containing live oak, red bay, magnolia, and hickory trees. The
mound itself was covered with several large trees and dense
brush prior to excavation. Today, residential development has
claimed much of the land in the vicinity of the Queen Mound,
although the Theodore Roosevelt Area, part of the larger
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, lies a very short
distance to the west.
The Queen Mound stood about 1.8 m (5.8 ft) high and
measured 19.8 m (65 ft) in diameter at its base. On the north
side, the circular mound was approached by what had been
previously interpreted as a ramp (Lafond 1983), although its
formation may have been the result of slope erosion. A
circular depression to the west and another to the southeast
seemingly represent borrow pits from where sand was taken to
construct the mound. Local residents had attributed
construction of the mound to past tar- extracting endeavors (ca.
1800), owing to the area's history of Naval Stores activities
(see Jones 1973, 1986). A surface inspection of the mound by
Arthur Lafond in 1966 resulted in the recovery of aboriginal

sherds, however, leading him to speculate that the earthwork
was of native American origin and that it would contain human
Soon after Lafond's surface reconnaissance, the late
Harry E. Queen allowed the excavation of the suspected burial
mound, which was located on his property. Test excavations
were undertaken on weekends by a local archaeology class
under the direction of Lafond. Later that year, however, the
class disbanded and Lafond was left to continue excavations on
his own. In 1970, the Queen property was sold, resulting in
the withdrawal of permission to dig. A recent pedestrian
search for the Queen Mound was unsuccessful, and it is
suspected that 8DU110 may have been destroyed sometime
during the 1970s by suburban development.

Field Methodology

The project began by clearing all underbrush from atop
the mound; all mature trees were left in place. A grid system
was established, and a series of 5 foot (1.52 m) squares were
laid over the mound (Figure 2). From south to north grid lines
were assigned letter designations from A through N (omitting
"I"), and from east to west the grid lines were numbered
consecutively, 1 through 11. Vertical control was maintained
by measuring down from a temporary bench mark using an
assumed datum of elevation 10 ft (3.05 m) above mean sea
level. Excavations began by opening a 5 foot wide trench
through the center of the mound from south to north. An east-
west trench was subsequently dug and additional 5 foot square
units were opened as deemed necessary. Each test unit was
excavated in 6 in. (15 cm) levels, and soil was sifted through
1/2 in. (1.27 cm) hardware cloth. Artifacts were bagged by
unit and level.

Test Excavation Results

A total of 43 test units was excavated, focusing primarily
on the center of the mound. Because the mound was only
partially excavated, our analysis and interpretation of the
Queen Mound site are somewhat constrained. Moreover,
several acts of intentional vandalism that occurred during a
break in fieldwork further confound efforts to fully interpret a
few significant mound features. Most importantly, the layout
of what appears to have been a submound structure was
destroyed before a detailed examination could be undertaken.


Vol. 48 No. 1

MARCH 1995


8DU110 -.


Mud Flat Creek

SDredge spoil


Figure 1. Location of Queen Mound, 8DU110.

8DU61 9


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Nevertheless, enough charred debris was exposed and recorded
to allow several inferences to be made on the relationship
between submound burning and the burial mound. As a
consequence of the present study, several interpretations
presented in Lafond's (1983) initial report have been amended.
Aside from minor changes in artifact analysis results, the most
notable revision centers on a reevaluation of the presumed
submound structure, emphasizing that its configuration was not
as definitive as previously suggested.


Four stratigraphic zones were revealed during mound
excavations. Zone A was a 15 to 20 cm thick humic layer of
dark gray to black sand. Beneath this was Zone B, a yellow to
tan sand, which represented the mound fill. Aside from
artifacts, a few small chunks of charcoal, and a handful of
marine shell fragments, Zone B was composed almost
exclusively of sand. Zone C was an approximately 18 cm
thick premound humus layer (i.e., original ground surface),
containing a large quantity of scattered and concentrated
charcoal. In mounds throughout Florida layers of charcoal-
impregnated sand have been found immediately beneath
burials, and invariably have been interpreted by excavators as
evidence for prepared mound floors. No premound midden or
refuse materials were recovered during excavation. Zone D,
an archaeologically sterile yellow sand, was revealed beneath
Zone C.


Lafond (1983:1) reports that "a charred hut at the bottom
of the mound, ...seven [ten] burials, several animal and human
mandibles, several possible post holes, [and] a number of fire
pits" were discovered during excavations. Interpretation of
these features, particularly fire pits, is hampered by the lack of
narrative descriptions in the field records. In most cases, it is
difficult to ascertain actually what many of the charred features
represented (e.g., fire pits, burned posts, etc.). What is
evident from the field notes, however, is that a tremendous
amount of charcoal was found at the base of the mound. Based
on the patterned occurrence of some of the burned debris, the
existence of a submound structure (e.g., building, enclosure,
or platform) is suggested, although its precise shape and
dimensions were not determined.
Submound contexts associated with the original ground
surface demonstrated considerable evidence of burning,
particularly in units 6D, 6E, 5-7F, 6-7G, and 6J (Figure 3).
Presumed structural elements uncovered at the base of the
mound include charred logs lying on their sides and postmolds.
An alignment seems to depict a section of a square or
rectangular structure, with a possible small opening or entrance
facing east, but this is purely speculative. The exposed section
of the possible structure or enclosure floor was humic sand,

stained black to gray with bits of charcoal on the surface. No
human remains were found in association with the submound
feature. Any chance of a more detailed examination was lost
when intruders destroyed this feature during a short hiatus in
fieldwork. The disturbed fill from this section of the mound
floor was later screened, but no artifacts were found.
Although not reported in Lafond's (1983) earlier report,
indistinct and amorphous concentrations of burned debris were
common, particularly northeast of the presumed structure near
the approximate center of the mound. A narrow trench-like
feature containing the remains of three burned posts extended
east to west across Unit 6J in the northern part of the mound.
What this represents and how it relates to the centralized
concentration of charred debris is not known, because adjacent
test units were not excavated. That the majority of the
evidence for burning was revealed near the center of the
mound suggests that the premound ground surface was
intentionally burned, perhaps ceremonially, to purify the area
in preparation for the construction of the mound.

Human Remains

Concentrations of human bone were encountered at 10
distinct loci during excavations, including various levels within
the mound fill (Burials 1-2, 5-8) and at or very near the base of
the mound (Burials 3-4, 9-10). Lafond (1983) recorded 7
burials and 3 human mandible artifacts, but herein all 10 have
been recorded as human burials (Table 1). Due to the
exceedingly poor condition of the skeletal remains, it was
difficult to discern the posture of individual burials. One of
the burials, Burial 5, was only partially exposed before it was
destroyed by vandals. Amongst the obvious human bones
comprising Burial 1 were a number of small calcined bone
fragments. Whether or not these charred pieces of bone are
human is problematic, because none of the osteological
remains from the Queen Mound was subjected to
bioarchaeological analysis. However, the teeth associated with
a small mandible (Burial 8) were examined by a local doctor
and dentist, both of whom suggested that they belonged to a
child about 3 years of age at death (W.J. Cakmis, D.D.S., and
M.A. Magos, D.M.D., personal communication, 1970).
Definitive correlations between mound features and/or
artifacts and human burials remain undetermined, although two
burials may have been associated with intentional grave
offerings. A small grouping of undecorated sherds (probable
vessel) was found 23 cm above and slightly northeast of Burial
4. Burial 7 was seemingly associated with a partial vessel (not
reconstructed to date) and a Columbia projectile point, while a
circular fire pit (measuring 28 cm in diameter and 15 cm deep)
also occurred next to the human bones. While not considered
an artifact, an oval concentration of dried marsh mud (0.635 to
1.27 cm thick) was found 25 cm north of Burial 10 at the same
level. Lafond (1983:5-6) previously had noted that the mud



G -M


E -



3 4 5 6 7 8

U Charcoal/charcoal-stained sand

t Disturbance

Figure 3. Section offloor plan, base of Queen Mound.

resembled a human face in profile; however, any semblance to
a human face is probably coincidental.

Table 1. Burial Data, Queen Mound, 8DU110.

Burial Unit/Level Association Comments

1 7G/L-1 None Mostly skull and long bones; some burned bone; cremation?

2 6J/L-6 None Two long bones

3 9F/L-7 None Mostly skull & Long bones; probable bundle burial

4 7L/L-7 Pile of sherds Mostly skull & pelvic bones, possible flexed burial
(probable vessel)

5 8E/L-2 Unknown Burial disturbed by intruders

6 8G/L-3 None Mostly skull & Long bones; probable bundle burial

7 9G/L-3 Partial vessel Mostly skull & long bones, probable bundle burial
(not restored),
Columbia Point,
fire pit

8 6F/L-8 None Child mandible and teeth

9 6C/L-6 None Adult mandible and teeth

10 4F/L-8 Marsh mud/clay Mandible, maxillary and teeth


Table 2. Ceramic Sherd Data, Queen Mound.

Test excavations at the Queen Mound site yielded a local
Woodland ceramic assemblage composed mostly of plain wares
(Table 2). Of the 829 recovered aboriginal vessel fragments,
795 (96%) were undecorated. These plain ware sherds fit into
one of four broad temper categories: sand-tempered (n=572),
chalky or St. Johns (n=112), grog-tempered (n=107), and
shell-tempered (n=2). In light of recent claims by Russo
(1992), suggesting that the grog-tempered sherds from the
mound may be Colorinda, a distinct local sherd- tempered
ware, a ceramic reanalysis was undertaken, but no Colorinda
sherds were identified. Colorinda is an easily identifiable ware
tempered with grog that contains sponge spicules (i.e., crushed
St. Johns sherds). Surface decorated sherds are few and
consist of 1 check stamped (Deptford), 1 complicated stamped
(Swift Creek), 1 net impressed, 4 roughened, 10 simple
stamped (Deptford), and 19 dual-stamped ware fragments. No
tetrapodal vessels or podal sherds were found.

count percent

Sand-tempered plain
St. Johns Plain
Grog-tempered plain
Sand-tempered dual stamped
Deptford Simple Stamped
Shell-tempered plain
Sherd-tempered roughened
Shell-tempered roughened
Deptford Check Stamped
Grog-tempered complicated stamped
Sand-tempered net-impressed


829 99.8

All sherds were recovered from the mound fill, and none
was found below the base of the mound. Except for several
sherd concentrations, most of which represented whole or
nearly complete vessels, sherds were scattered vertically
throughout the mound fill. Regarding the horizontal dispersal
of sherds, 397 (48%) sherds were recovered from the five
northernmost test units. The remaining sherds were uniformly
distributed across the remainder of the mound. It is uncertain
why sherds were seemingly more concentrated in the north part
of the mound. Additional mound excavations would have
provided more complete pottery sherd and vessel distributional
Because no pottery was found below the original ground
surface, it is suggested that the mound was not erected over a
former habitation area. Furthermore, a single 5 ft square test
unit placed about 5 meters northeast of the mound failed to
yield any artifacts. The absence of artifacts from nonmound
contexts suggests that the mound sherds were part of vessels
intentionally deposited in the mound rather than incidental
inclusions in the mound fill. Owing to the lack of testing in
nonmound areas, however, it is not conclusively improbable
that some sherds were inadvertently removed from previous
refuse contexts during mound construction. The only potsherd
that seems temporally out of place is the net-impressed
specimen, because along the Georgia coast this mode of
decoration is generally considered a post-A.D. 800 style (cf.
DePratter 1979). Because sand-tempered wares dominate both
reconstructed vessel and sherd inventories, we can assume that
if not all ceramics were intentionally placed in the mound, then
they are at least generally contemporaneous.
In addition to the 829 sherds, 5 vessels representing
intentional mound deposits were reconstructed by Lafond
(Table 3). All five vessels are undecorated, although Vessel 1
exhibits a ticked or notched rim. Vessels 1 and 2 are typical
size ceramic containers, whereas Vessels 3, 4, and 5 are all
miniature bowls. Vessel 5 was found intact inside Vessel 4.
Miniature ceramic vessels commonly occur in Deptford or
Yent mounds on the northwest Florida coast (Milanich and
Fairbanks 1980:86). These unusually small bowls may
represent special use containers for medicines, pigments, or
other concoctions. Due to their small size and crude
appearance, however, Vessels 4 and 5, which are hand
molded, may have been manufactured by children mimicking
the work of adult potters. Except for Vessels 1 and 3, the
pottery vessels from the mound are poorly made. Examples of
the reconstructed vessels are shown in Figures 4-7.
A partial bowl was reconstructed from 19 sherds found in
Unit 6L (Von Burger [1974] reports 47 sherds, but only 19 are
currently in Lafond's possession). This incomplete pot
displayed a combination surface decoration of combing and
large rectangular stamping. Von Burger (1974) introduced the
pottery type Chicopit Dual Stamped to describe this unique
ware, although the validity of such a designation based on the
recovery of only one partial vessel is questionable. Parts of at

least three other plain bowls have been assembled from the
Queen Mound sherd collection. The sherds belonging to one
of these partial bowls, possessing a notched rim, were
recovered from four different test units, suggesting that pots
may have been intentionally broken and incorporated into the
fill during mound construction. Thus, sorting and cross-
mending of the abundant plain sherds in the Queen Mound
sample may result in additional vessel reconstructions.

Table 3. Ceramic Vessel Data, Queen Mound, 8DU110.

Vessel # Type Form Size Provenience
(ht. x

Sand-tempered plain
Sand-tempered plain
St. Johns Plain
St. Johns Plain
Grog-tempered plain

x 112 mm
x 102 mm
x 45 mm
x 72 mm
x 35 mm


Nonceramic artifacts recovered from the mound are
dominated by lithics, with few artifacts of fossil, bone, and
shell also recovered. Chipped stone tools are the most
prevalent lithic artifact, and include 9 projectile points, 10
bifacial knives, 8 scrapers, and 3 drills. The projectile points
were categorized according to published type descriptions
whenever possible (cf. Bullen 1975); the projectile point types
in Table 4 differ slightly from the type designations presented
in Lafond (1983). Most of the lithic artifacts were recovered
singularly, although a cache of 7 bifaces, 3 drills, 3 scrapers, 3
fossil crinoidea (sea lilies) stem fragments, a modified piece of
fossil bone (possible potter's or knapper's tool), and a Duval
projectile point (Unit 6H, Levels 7-8) was recovered.

Table 4. Projectile Point Data, Queen Mound, 8DU110.

Point Type Size Provenience Comment
# (L x w)
1 Untyped 40x21 mn 5F/L-1 Very crude
2 Broward 58x33 mm 5G/L-1 Found w/ Pt. 3
3 Broward 50x34 mn 5G/L-1 Found w/ Pt. 2
4 Duval 35x17 mn 6H/L-7 Missing tip
5 O'Leno 28x22 mm 6G/L-8 Triangular
6 Westo-like no data 8G/L-1 Triangular
7 Triangular blade 58x33 mm 7L/L-7 Incomplete
8 Archaic Stemmed 18x25 mm 5E/L-5 Reworked
9 Columbia 100x30 mm 9G/L-3 Very well made

More exotic stone or mineral artifacts include a fragment
or cube of oxidized galena, pieces of graphite (all found


Figure 5. Reconstructed vessel 3.

Figure 4. Reconstructed vessel 1.

Figure 6. Reconstructed vessel 4.

Figure 7. Reconstructed vessel 5.

Figure 8. Vulture effigy made of lead. Length is 5 cm.

together), fossil crinoidea stems, 3 miscellaneous rocks
(probably steatite, quartz, and granite?), a modified fossil
bone, and a lead effigy shaped like the head of a vulture
(Figure 8). An emission spectrographic analysis, performed
on a small sample of the bird effigy, identified almost pure
lead as the major chemical element, with traces of copper,
iron, silica, aluminum tin, magnesium, manganese and
chromium (Lafond 1972:84-85). Additional chemical testing
is needed to provide more data on the raw material source.
Galena and graphite presumably were used for silver and black
pigmentation, respectively, These materials, along with the
miscellaneous rocks and fossils, may have been brought in
from sources as far as the Georgia Piedmont or Southern
Appalachians, but the exact route from source to the Queen
Mound is unknown.
A group of three whelk shell implements, two celts or
adzes and a modified cutting edge tool, were found in Unit 5G,
Level 1. The only other shell artifact was a small oval piece of
modified whelk columella found in association with the lead
effigy pendant. Other than these shell artifacts, fewer than 10
scattered oyster and/or mussel shell fragments were found
during excavations. Artifacts of bone were limited and include
a poorly preserved bone awl fragment, three cut carnivore
mandibles, and a deer astragalus.
The latter specimen displayed two well-smoothed or
polished sides, indicating intentional modification. It may
have been used as some sort of abrader, or possibly as a
gaming piece.

Discussion and Summary

What facts have we learned by reexamining the results of
the Queen Mound excavation? First, the tumulus was a
prehistoric burial mound and not a historical Naval Stores
construct as originally thought. Second, the area immediately
beneath the mound was burned prior to its construction.
Third, the mound was constructed primarily of sand taken
from two presumed borrow pits located nearby. We also have
learned that artifacts were intentionally deposited into the
mound, and in some instances in direct association with human
burials. In addition, not all artifacts were of local origin, some
may have originally derived from sources in northern Georgia
or beyond.
Other mound interpretations are of a more speculative
nature, but still exist within the realm of possibility. It should
be remembered that only about 40 percent of the mound was
excavated, so definitive statements on internal mound structure
and burial patterning are lacking. Although it seems certain
that the mound was built on a prepared base by burning the
premound ground surface, it is less conclusive that this was a
purposeful ceremonial undertaking. An alternative explanation
for the premound fire is that it was ignited to eliminate
vegetation prior to mound construction and had no ritual

Based on the partial exposure of a patterning of burned
postmolds and charred horizontal-lying logs near the basal
center of the mound, it is suggested that some type of small
structure, tomb, or platform also was burned during the
premound conflagration. That no artifacts or other evidence of
previous habitation was recovered from submound contexts
suggests that the arrangement of submound burning and the
mound are intricately related. We can only speculate that the
presumed structure had some type of mortuary function (e.g.,
charnel facility).
No discrete construction stages were defined, nor were
any grave pits identified during excavations. Except for a few
scattered mollusc shells and infrequent charcoal inclusions, the
mound fill was composed of unstratified sand. A few burials
appeared to lie on the supposed mound floor, whereas others
were included in the mound fill. Except for a possible flexed
burial (Burial 4) all exposed mound interments were of a
secondary nature, including three (Burials 8, 9, and 10) that
were perhaps only skull burials. Burial 1, found just below the
modern duff layer, may have been partially cremated prior to
Lafond (1983) has suggested previously that, because no
distinct mound strata were encountered, the mound was
completely constructed during a single episode. But it seems
just as likely that the mound could have grown by accretion
over a relatively short duration (e.g., several generations).
Any evidence of such distinct burial events probably would
have leached away due to the porosity of the sandy mound fill.
Whatever the manner of construction, fill for the mound was
apparently removed from borrow pits on the western and
southeastern margins of the mound.
Determining the precise temporal placement of the Queen
Mound within the regional chronology presents a challenge,
due to the lack of diagnostic ceramics and the absence of
radiocarbon dates. That neither St. Johns Check Stamped nor
Savannah period cord- marked sherds were recovered indicates
that the mound predates the St. Johns II period, ca. A.D. 800.
Furthermore, the dearth of Dunns Creek, Swift Creek, and
Weeden Island wares strongly suggests that the Queen Mound
is not a Swift Creek-related burial mound (cf. Ashley 1993),
and thus probably predates A.D. 200. There is also no
indication that the mound was constructed during the Late
Archaic or Orange period, ca. 2000-1000 B.C. Therefore, on
the basis of recovered vessel sherds we suggest that the Queen
Mound was constructed sometime between 500 B.C. and A.D.
200. The projectile points from the mound (e.g., Broward,
Columbia, O'Leno, and Duval) also fall within this general
time frame.
Russo (1992:115) has questioned the relevancy of
designating sites in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia as
St. Johns, owing to the lack of dominance by chalky ware
sherds (i.e., St. Johns) in local ceramic assemblages.
Furthermore, following the lead of Sears (1957), he has shown
that sand-tempered plain wares are generally the preeminent

pottery type in the region. The results of testing at the Queen
Mound agree with their findings, with non-chalky plain sherds
(n=681) accounting for 82% of the mound fill pottery
assemblage. Although the Queen Mound can be dated to the
Deptford or St. Johns I (500 B.C. A.D. 100) or early Ia
(A.D. 100-300) period, the cultural identity of its builders
was purely local, or what Russo (1992) has referred to as St.
At present, it is unknown where the populations who
utilized the Queen Mound lived, because only one small test,
which yielded no artifacts, was excavated away from the
mound. In addition, no obvious accumulations of shell refuse
were identified during a walkover survey of the general mound
vicinity. William Sears (1957) identified and tested several
shell midden sites north of the Queen Mound, however. Of
particular interest is the Spanish Point site, 8DU61, which is
located about one-half kilometer to the northeast, along a
sandy bluff that borders the Mud Flat Creek salt marshes
(Sears 1957:14). Limited excavations at this multicomponent
shell midden yielded appreciable quantities of Deptford and
sand-tempered plain wares. Similar pottery sherds have been
found at other multicomponent shell middens (e.g., 8DU58-
8DU60, and 8DU62) nearby as well (Sears 1957; Russo et al.
1993:37- 39, 53-54). How the Woodland populations
represented at these habitation sites articulated with the Queen
Mound is uncertain, but a relationship is possible.
Exotic artifacts (e.g., galena, graphite, etc.) from the
Queen Mound suggest trade or contact with peoples beyond the
immediate area. Coeval Deptford populations residing along
the northwest Florida Gulf Coast were involved in a
ceremonial complex that has been termed Yent by
archaeologists (Sears 1962; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:83-
88). Distinct mortuary paraphernalia associated with Yent
ceremonialism resembles those sacred artifacts circulated
throughout various Hopewellian interaction spheres across the
southeastern and midwester United States (cf. Caldwell and
Hall 1964; Seeman 1979; Brose and Greber 1979). It seems
that the local Queen Mound peoples were involved in social
networks that brought such materials, in limited amounts, to
the lower St. Johns region, possibly through trading alliances
with northwest Florida groups, who themselves were involved
(either directly or indirectly) in exchange systems with more
northerly Hopewell groups. Regardless of the precise route
these materials followed, their presence indicates that the local
Woodland peoples maintained dynamic exchange alliances that
extended beyond the boundaries of present-day Florida.


The authors would like to thank Bob Richter, Buzz
Thunen, and the anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier
drafts of this paper. Louis Tesar, former FAS editor, is
acknowledged for remarks made on an earlier version of this

paper submitted to FAS by Lafond in 1982. Thanks to Lloyd
Schroder for his help analyzing the Queen Mound points.

References Cited

Ashley, Keith H.
1993 Swift Creek Traits on the St. Johns River: Ceramics,
Mounds, and Middens. Paper presented at the Lamar
Institute Swift Creek Conference, Ocmulgee, Georgia.

Brose, David S., and N'omi Greber (editors)
1979 Hopewell Archaeology: The Chillicothe Conference.
The Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio.

Bullen, Ripley P.
1975 A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile
Points. Kendall Books, Gainesville.

Caldwell, Joseph R., and Robert L. Hall (editors)
1964 Hopewellian Studies. Illinois State Museum Scientific
Papers vol. 12.

DePratter, Chester B.
1979 Ceramics. In The Anthropology of St. Catherines
Island 2: The Refuge-Deptford Mortuary Complex, edited
by David H. Thomas and Clark S. Larsen, pp. 109-132.
Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of
Natural History.

Jones, William M.
1973 A Late Eighteenth Century Work Camp, St. Johns
Bluff, Duval County, Florida. The Florida

Anthropologist 26(4):129-142.

1986 A Late Eighteenth Century Post-In-The-Ground
Structure, St. Johns Bluff, Duval County, Florida. Ms.
on File, Haydon Burs Public Library, Jacksonville.

Lafond, Arthur A.
1972 A Unique Zoomorphic Effigy from the Queen Mound,
Jacksonville, Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 25:81-

1983 The Queen Mound, Jacksonville, Florida. Report on
file, Northeast Florida Anthropological Society,

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

Russo, Michael
1992 Chronologies and Cultures of the St. Marys Region of
Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. The Florida
Anthropologist 45(2): 107-126.


Russo, Michael, Ann S. Cordell, and Donna L. Ruhl
1993 The Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve,
Phase III Final Report. Southeast Archeological Center,
National Park Service, Tallahassee.

Sears, William H.
1957 Excavations on Lower St. Johns River, Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum 2,

1962 The Hopewellian Affiliations Of Certain Sites on the
Gulf Coast of Florida. American Antiquity 28:5-18.

Seeman, Mark F.
1979 The Hopewellian Interaction Sphere: The Evidence for
Interregional Trade and Structural Complexity, Indiana
Historical Society Prehistory Research Series 5(2).

Von Burger, Don L.
1974 A Unique Stamped Vessel from the Queen Mound DU-
110, Jacksonville, Florida. Chesopiean 12:177-181.

Arthur A. Lafond
Middleburg, Florida

Keith H. Ashley
Environmental Services, Inc.
8711 Perimeter Park Blvd. Suite 11
Jacksonville, Florida 32216

SY You CANAfford the
Old Masters -



They and other greats of Florida anthropol-
ogy are in back issues of TrheFlorida Antaro-
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of Archaeology and Natural History
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Phone (305) 925-7770 FAX (305) 925-7064



Louis D. Tesar

During the early 1960s, while surveying and recording
archaeological sites around the shoreline of West Peninsula of
St. Andrew Bay in Bay County, Florida, I noticed the effects
of coastal erosion on archaeological resources. Indeed, most
of the sites recorded in the resulting report (Tesar 1965) were
substantially eroded with shell midden remains (primarily
oyster) and associated artifacts being deposited as water-
washed lenses along and near beach lines and extending onto
adjacent tidal flats.
When survey efforts were expanded northward from West
Peninsula along the southern shoreline of the West Bay arm of
the St. Andrew Bay system, investigations included a brief
visit to the Shell Point site (8BY89), which obviously had been
historically mined for its shell content. I initially presumed
that it had been mined to provide road construction material, as
had numerous other coastal sites. However, during informal
conversations with Mr. Robert Reeder (a local resident and
father of a friend), he stated (1964, personal communication)
that during the Great Depression he and other Works Progress
Administration (WPA) workers loaded shell from the Shell
Point site onto barges which they off-loaded at various
locations in West Bay to help create oyster beds.
While conducting the analysis of the artifacts collected
during my survey, I sought the assistance of William C.
Lazarus. Colonel Lazarus discussed the effects of sea level rise
on archaeological sites (later published in 1965), and it was
recognized that sea level rise explained much of the erosional
problem. However, because no cautionary note was offered on
cultural remains deposited to create oyster beds, I also
recognized that possible confused interpretations could occur
as archaeologists tried to explain the occurrence of the
archaeologically recent village material under several feet of
Although I have from time to time mentioned the issue to
other archaeologists, it is a topic that has not been formally
noted until now, although the Shell Point site incident was
noted by Watson et al. (1990:63). With increased interest in
the search for early terrestrial sites in now inundated contexts,
the need for a review of the issue has become apparent.

Sea Level Rise

The Pleistocene, also known as the Ice Age, lasted from
ca. two million to 12,000 years ago. There were several

glacial advances and retreats during the Pleistocene. Sea levels
dropped with glacial advances and rose with retreats. The
glacial advances and retreats were linked to worldwide plate
tectonic activity and associated vulcanism. Changes in the
configuration of the sea bed affected sea levels perhaps more
than the retention or release of waters in glacial cycles.
There were several sea level stands at higher elevations
than at present, and various coastal escarpments reflect these
levels, as do the formation of valley drainage systems. From
top to bottom the Pleistocene marine terraces in Florida are as
1) following the Illinoian Glaciation there were three terraces
formed during the Sangamon Interglacial:
a) (ca. 110,000-100,000 B.P.) the Wicomico shoreline at
100 feet above present sea level and the Wicomico terrace at
90-110 feet;
b) (ca. 90,000-70,000 B.P.) the Penholloway shoreline at
70 feet and the associated terrace at 70-80 feet; and,
c) (ca. 70,000-60,000 B.P.) the Talbot shoreline at 42
feet; and,
2) during the mid-Wisconsin Recession of the Wisconsin
Glaciation two terraces formed:
a) (ca. 60,000-40,000 B.P.) the Pamlico shoreline at 25
feet and the Pamlico terrace at 30 feet; and,
b) (ca. 35,000-30,000 B.P.) the Silver Bluff shoreline at
5 feet (Marsh 1966:89, Table 13).
"Another global climatic change about 28,000 B.P.
brought the onset of glaciation again, and, by 20,000 B.P., the
late Wisconsinan glaciers had reached their maximum extent"
(Montague 1979:41). When the last glacial advance of the
Wisconsin Glaciation began its retreat (ca. 19,000 B.P.), sea
level was then around 100 meters lower then at present. "Sea
level rose rapidly, with minor oscillations at approximately
15,000, 10,000, [and] 8,000 B.P., as glaciers readvanced
slightly" (Montague 1979:42). Rising sea level had reached
around 60 meters below the present level by around 12,000
B.P., when the bearers of the Paleoindian cultural tradition are
believed to have reached Florida. "A rather pronounced
slowing in the rate of rise of sea level occurred at 7,000 B.P.,
when sea level lay approximately 10 m below its present level"
(Curray 1965:725). There is an interesting correspondence
between several of the above dates and changes identified in
the Paleoindian to Early Archaic and Early to Middle Archaic
cultural traditions; however, that is the subject of another


Vol. 48 No. 1

MARCH 1995

article. Sea levels continued to rise to present levels and
occasionally above present levels. The result is that coastal
sites have gradually been inundated and subjected to coastal
erosion and/or alluvial burial (cf. Bullen 1975; Griffin
1988:29-42; Lazarus 1965).
While referring to northwest Florida, Bense's (1983:3-4)
comments apply to nearly all of Florida's coastal area:
The geomorphic processes which have formed the
Northwest Florida Gulf coastal region include periodic
exposure of the continental shelf during glacial stages
and inundation during interglacials. During exposure .
the primary process in action was erosion with the
scouring of the river valleys and channelization of lower
river segments. River mouths were located far seaward
at the edge of the continental shelf. Interglacial periods
flooded the mouths of these deeply entrenched streams,
forming embayments. The primary processes during
the interglacials were deposition with offshore barrier
islands and sounds forming and sedimentation in the
river valleys and bays. Each interglacial resulted in
progressively lower stands of sea level, which have
stranded old barrier islands of previous periods and
formed new ones in a more seaward position. The
former sounds have continued to fill in during
subsequent interglacials and act as troughs of wetlands
which have either captured streams which would
otherwise empty directly into the Gulf or have sluggish,
internal drainage ways. The former barrier islands or
spits have become part of the mainland and are usually
at least partly protected from the Gulf by the current
developing island/spits. The islands grow from east to
west because of the direction of littoral current in the
Gulf [west of Gulf County, Florida; east of Gulf
County shoreline currents and hence island/spit
development are eastward, then southward] .
The relic embayments and then active embayments in the
late Pleistocene-early Holocene provided a rich environment
with diverse plant and animal resources, a coastal environment
which would have been attractive to Paleoindian-Early Archaic
and later populations. However, because of inundation and
soil accretion, sites in those settings are only rarely found.
Furthermore, the deposition of later materials masks
underlying older remains as a result of continuous site
occupation or reoccupation. These factors serve to bias the
In recent years, there has been a focused effort to locate
inundated sites. The efforts of Warren (1964, 1967, 1968a,
1968b, 1970, 1972) and later Goodyear and Warren (1972)
and Goodyear et al. (1983) drew attention to drowned
terrestrial sites in the Tampa Bay area. Likewise, attention to
those in the Gulf of Mexico has been focused by the efforts of
Dunbar (1988a, 1988b), Dunbar et al. (1991), Dunbar et al.
(n.d.), Faught (1988a, 1988b), and others. With these
increased search efforts comes the need for the cautionary

advisory contained in this report--"Beware of the potential that
some 'drowned' terrestrial site remains likely are artificially
deposited shell middens created to revitalize Florida's oyster

Artificial Oyster Beds

Although I was advised some 30 years ago concerning the
mining and dumping of shell midden material from the Shell
Point site (8BY89) (Robert Reeder, 1964, personal
communication), until recently I had not found any written
accounts of that event, nor any other midden-to-oyster bed
activities in the St. Andrew Bay system. Mr. Reeder reported
that when they began operations the shell midden (8BY89) was
some 8-10 feet high and covered several acres. It was reduced
to midden base except for a few isolated marginal patches,
which have yielded some important cultural data (cf. Watson et
al. 1990); archaeological remains represent Middle and Late
Archaic, Deptford, Swift Creek, Weeden Island, and Fort
Walton cultural activities.
In late 1993, Jonathan Lammers, a coworker in the
Bureau of Archaeological Research, Conservation and
Recreation Lands Archaeological Project, shared a 1936 report
on the 1935 establishment of the Florida Archaeological
Survey and its WPA archaeological projects. While glancing
through the publication containing that article, I came across
the photographs included in this report and then scanned the
document for pertinent text on WPA activities involving the
creation of oyster beds from shell midden sources. I
subsequently searched for further information on this topic in
other Florida State Board of Conservation biennial reports.
Relevant information was found only in the first four reports,
and is presented below.
In Florida, oysters spawn from April until October,
following which the spat attach themselves to suitable firm
surfaces and mature in 18-24 months, "about half the length of
time required in northern waters" (Davis 1934:52). Oyster
culture involves the deposition or planting of clean oyster
shells and immature oysters in a producing area in which the
young or spat may attach themselves to mature. Although
clean shell was initially obtained from the heaps at oyster
packing houses, Davis (1936:10-11) documents that prehistoric
shell middens provided at least some of the shell used to create
new and expanded oyster beds (Figures 1-4). The Florida
State Board of Conservation biennial reports, unfortunately, do
not distinguish between shell obtained from oyster packing
house piles, from terrestrial archaeological shell middens, and
presumably from dredged shell sources. They do, however,
indicate quantities by county or water body, which provides a
beginning for further research by some enterprising masters in
anthropology candidate.
State Supervisor of Conservation, George W. Davis
(1934:52) reports that from July 1, 1932, through June 30,
1933, some 168,657 bushels of oysters were planted in

Figure 1. "Mining oyster shell from mound. This mound is a solid mass of shell with the exception of possibly six inches of
overburden or top soil. Note depth by comparison with height of workers." Caption and photograph reproduced from Davis

Figure 2. "This accumulation of oyster shell taken from mound and deposited on the shore line preparatory to loading on barges."
Caption and photograph reproduced from Davis (1936:10).


k .W

Figure 3. "This shows a detail of loading shell on the barge which later is to be towed to the areas previously selected for
planting. Caption and photograph reproduced from Davis (1936:11).

Figure 4. "This shows the barge in the last stages of loading. Note man in foreground with wheel barrow wheeling shell. Note
motor towboat in left hand side of picture ready to tow barge to planting ground. Caption and photograph reproduced from
Davis (1936:11).

Franklin County, 9,984 bushels in Citrus County, and 6,444
bushels in Walton County; that no oysters were planted by the
Conservation Department between July 1, 1933, and June 30,
1934; and, that between July 1, 1934, and December 31,
1934, some 6,900 bushels of oyster shell were planted in
Franklin County and another 14,400 bushels of oyster shell
were planted in Choctawhatchee Bay. The distinction between
planting "oysters" in Fiscal Year (FY) 1932-33 and "oyster
shell" in the first half of FY 1934-35 is here taken to mean that
immature live oysters were planted in FY 1932-33 and that the
planting of shell did not begin until July 1, 1934. For
comparative purposes, a bushel contains 35.24 liters and a liter
equals 1000 cubic centimeters. Thus, a one meter by one
meter by one meter deep excavation unit would contain about
28.4 bushels.
The June 30, 1936, report on the planting of oysters in
Choctawhatchee Bay states that "from the time this work was
started in December 1935, there were 192,660 bushels of
oyster shell and 12,843 bushels of seed oysters planted," at a
cost of $50,000 per year in 1934 and 1935 (Davis 1936:9).
Davis (1936:14) goes on to report that the Florida State Board
of Conservation had been successful in getting projects
approved by the federal government for the planting of oysters
in Franklin, Okaloosa and Walton counties. Between July 1,
1934 and June 30, 1935, "there were 6,900 bushels of oyster
shell planted in Franklin County" (Davis 1936:60).
Furthermore, Davis (1936:54) writes, "through oyster culture,
practiced in the Apalachicola Bay on the west coast and
Halifax tidal waters on the east coast, effort hr.s been made to
retain a high rate of production here." Thus, both east and
west Florida served as locations in which shell middens were
apparently used in the creation of new oyster beds in areas in
which oysters were naturally occurring.
R. L. Dowling, who followed Davis as the State
Supervisor of Conservation, reports that: "In April, 1938 the
Conservation Department, as sponsors, and in cooperation
with the Wokers (sic) [Works] Progress Administration
launched a state-wide oyster rehabilitation project with plans
for transplanting and rehabilitating the oyster beds in a number
of counties" (Dowling 1938:20). From April 6, 1938, through
February 20, 1939, some 39,502 bushels of oyster shell were
planted in Bay County and 2,583 in Franklin County (Dowling
1938:22). At least some of the Bay County shell likely came
from the Shell Point site as reported by Mr. Reeder (1964,
personal communication).
The WPA oyster and oyster shell planting program was
short lived. For the biennium ending December 31, 1940,
Dowling (1940:9) reports "the department worked with the
W.P.A. in planting 983,711 barrels of oyster shell which
covered approximately 2,073,093 square yards." He further
observes that "the work has practically ceased, however, due to
the fact that all available WPA labor is needed on Defense
Program projects."

Justification for the Oyster Bed Enhancement Program and
Other Information

Recognizing the dietary importance of oysters in
Florida's coastal subsistence efforts, Dowling (1938:19)
As a source of food supply, oysters have played an
important part since Florida was first discovered by
white man. Even prior to that the Indians are known to
have subsisted largely on oysters and other seafoods in
localities bordering the long peninsula shoreline. Those
engaged today in mining oyster shell find unmistakable
evidence of what caused the great mountains of oyster
shell to be piled in many places along the coast. Indian
relics are being uncovered in these piles of shell, and
quite often there are well-preserved remnants of
campfires which prove that feasts of oysters were the
common food of these natives for perhaps thousands of
years before white man set foot on these shores.
Davis (1936:56) provides the following dietary
information: "It is estimated that a quart of oysters contains on
an average about the same quantity of actual nutritive
substance as a quart of milk, or three-fourths of a pound of
beef, or two pounds of fresh codfish, or a pound of bread.
The nutritive substance of oysters contains considerable protein
and energy-yielding ingredients."
The report provides further nutritional information that
lauds the food value of oysters (Davis 1936:58, 60), as well as
an illustration (Davis 1936:59; Figure 5) that suggests that area
oysters were the source of at least some of the pearls found in
Mound 3 of the Lake Jackson Mounds (8LE1) site (see Jones
1982, 1994). In addition to the pearls found in middle
Mississippian contexts at the Fort Walton period Lake Jackson
site, pearls from other area archaeological sites may have come
from Apalachicola Bay oysters.
As a final interpretive cautionary comment, it is noted
that the environmental setting of oyster beds (i.e., fluctuating
salinity versus a relatively uniform high salinity) affects oyster
production rates and size. The results of a 1935 study in
Apalachicola Bay in northwest Florida serve as an example.
Davis (1936:173) reports that "the north end of St. Vincent,
Cat Point, Peanut Patch and Bulkhead bars, where salinity
variations are greatest, are also the most heavily populated, but
seldom produce oysters of large size, good shape or desirable
fatness of meats. On the other hand, Porter's bar in St.
George Sound, and bars in the western end of St. Vincent's
Sound are not characterized by such heavy setting, and .
they produce the best quality meats in the region." Davis
(1936:174) observes that it takes 400-700 of the smaller oyster
to produce a gallon of meat. In addition to the greater amount
of energy required to harvest and prepare for consumption the
smaller oysters to obtain an amount equal to the protein in
fewer larger oysters, it is important to note that shell size is not


Figure 5. "An oyster filled with pearls from Apalachicola Bay. Caption and photograph reproduced from Davis (1936:59).

a reliable indicator of oyster age. Thus, the perception of over
fishing, or rather over shellfishing, implied by a decreased
shell size in a midden could actually be a shift in harvest from
a high stable salinity area to a fluctuating salinity one, rather
than from mature to juvenile specimens. Rather than
overharvesting and a shift to a less productive area, the same
bed could be the source if, for instance, a storm breached a
barrier island permitting greater tidal salinity fluctuations than
had previously occurred. Growth rings, not shell size, are
essential in interpreting shellfish data. Indeed, interpretations
of environmental changes and resource exploitation must
consider the full range of faunal and floral materials from
middens. Walker's (1992) Charlotte Harbor research provides
an excellent example of the interpretive value of such studies.


With increasing attention being given to the search for
terrestrial sites inundated as a result of rising sea levels,
knowledge of artificially deposited shell middens used to create
oyster bars to revitalize Florida's oyster industry becomes
important to avoid confused interpretations of the data. It is
hoped that this brief paper will stimulate further research into
this important topic. In what other areas were archaeological
shell midden remains used to create or expand oyster beds?
Did the practice of using middens for this purpose end in the
late 1930s with the end of federal assistance? Are there maps
identifying the locations where shell midden material was
dumped for oyster beds? Have any of these locations been

recorded as redeposited archaeological site remains in the
Florida Site File or elsewhere? These and other pertinent
questions should be answered.


Jonathan Lammers is acknowledged for indirectly
providing the documentary lead, which resulted in the research
that verified Mr. Robert Reeder's assertions. Roy Lett of the
Bureau of Archaeological Research is thanked for producing
the quality photographs used in Figures 1-5. Nancy White and
anonymous FAS reviewers are thanked for their comments on
the draft version of this article.

References Cited

Bense, Judith A.
1983 Settlement Pattern, Climate, and Marine Ecosystem
Evolution Correlations in the Escambia Bay Drainage
System in Northwest Florida. Paper presented at the 40th
Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Archaeological
Conference. Copy on file, Bureau of Archaeological
Research, Florida Division of Historical Resources,

Bullen, Ripley P.
1975 Implications from Some Florida Deposits and Their
Archaeological Contexts. The Florida Anthropologist

Curray, Joseph R.
1965 Late Quaternary History, Continental Shelves of the
United States. In The Quaternary of the United States: A
Review for the VII Congress of the International
Association for Quaternary Research, edited by H.E.
Wright, Jr., and David G. Frey, pp. 723-735. Princeton
University Press, New Jersey.

Davis, George W. (State Supervisor of Conservation)
1934 FLORIDA--First Biennial Report to State Board of
Conservation: Biennium Ending December 31, 1934.
Florida State Board of Conservation, Tallahassee.

1936 Part I. Progress Report for the Years 1933-36. In
FLORIDA--Second Biennial Report to State Board of
Conservation, pp. 4-31. Florida State Board of
Conservation, Tallahassee.

Dowling, R. L.
1938 Third Biennial Report: Biennium Ending December
31, 1938. Florida State Board of Conservation,

1940 Fourth Biennial Report: Biennium Ending December
31, 1940. Florida State Board of Conservation,

Dunbar, James S.
1988a Archaeological Sites in the Drowned Tertiary Karst
Region of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Florida
Anthropologist 41(1):177-181.

1988b The Types and Potentials of
Archaeological Resources in Florida.
Anthropologist 41(4):435-441.

The Florida

Dunbar, James S., S. David Webb, and Michael Faught
1991 Inundated Prehistoric Sites in Apalachee Bay, Florida,
and the Search for the Clovis Shoreline. In
Paleoshorelines and Prehistory: An Investigation of
Method, edited by Lucy Johnson and Melanie Stright, pp.
CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Dunbar, James S., S. David Webb, Michael Faught, Richard
J. Anuskiewicz and Melanie Stright
n.d. Archaeological Sites in the Drowned Tertiary Region
of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Ms. on file, Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Florida Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee.

Faught, Michael
1988a Inundated Sites in the Apalachee Bay Area of the

Eastern Gulf of Mexico. The Florida Anthropologist

1988b Preliminary Report of Excavations at the Econfina
Channel Site (8Tal39). Ms. on file, Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Florida Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee.

Goodyear, Albert C., Sam B. Upchurch, Mark J. Brooks, and
Nancy N. Goodyear
1983 Paleoindian Manifestations in the Tampa Bay Region,
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 36(1-2):40-66.

Goodyear, Albert C., and Lyman O. Warren
1972 Further Observations on the Submarine Oyster Shell
Deposits of Tampa Bay. The Florida Anthropologist 25(2
pt. 1):52-66.

Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park: A
Synthesis. Contract CX 5000-5-0049, National Park
Service, Southeast Archeological Center, Tallahassee,

Jones, B. Calvin
1982 Southern Cult Manifestations at the Lake Jackson Site,
Leon County, Florida: Salvage Excavation of Mound 3.
Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 7:3-44.

1994 The Lake Jackson Mound Complex (8LE1): Stability
and Change in Fort Walton Culture. The Florida
Anthropologist 47(2): 120-146.

Lazarus, William C.
1965 Effects of Land Subsidence and Sea Level Changes on
Elevation of Archaeological Sites on the Florida Gulf
Coast. The Florida Anthropologist 18(1):49-58.

Marsh, Owen T.
1966 Geology of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties,
Western Florida Panhandle. Florida Geological Survey
Bulletin 46, Tallahassee.

Montague, Thomas D. (submitter)
1979 Report of Monitoring Program in Vicinity of Test
Locality 12, in the Peripheries of Poverty Point, West
Carroll Parish, Louisiana. New World Research Report
of Investigations 12.

Tesar, Louis D.
1965 An Archeological Survey of West Peninsula of Saint
Andrew Bay (Part One) [Bay County, Florida]. Ms. on

file, Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida Division
of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Walker, Karen Jo
1992 The Zooarchaeology of Charlotte Harbor's Prehistoric
Maritime Adaptation: Spatial and Temporal Perspectives.
In Culture and Environment in the Domain of the Calusa,
edited by William H. Marquardt, pp. 265-366.
Monograph 1, Institute of Archaeology and
Paleoenvironmental Studies, University of Florida,

Warren, Lyman O.
1964 Possibly Submerged Oyster Shell Middens of Upper
Tampa Bay. The Florida Anthropologist 17(4):227-230.

1967 Two Dredged Sites on Bear Creek. The Florida
Anthropologist 20(3-4): 170-174.

1968a Caladesi Causeway: A Possible Inundated Paleo-
Indian Workshop. The Florida Anthropologist 21(2-

1968b The Apollo Beach Site, Hillsborough County,
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 21(2-3):83-88.

1970 The Kellogg Fill From Boca Ciega Bay, Pinellas
County, Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 23(4):163-

1972 Commercial Oyster Shell of Tampa Bay: 1966
Progress Report. The Florida Anthropologist 25(2 pt.

Watson, Mary Lou, Tom Watson, and Louis D. Tesar
1990 A Cache of Points from Bay County, Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 43(1):63-70.

Louis D. Tesar
Bureau of Archaeologial Research
Division of Historical Resources
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250


Mehmet Yasar Iscan, Morton H. Kessel, and Robert S. Carr

Flagami South (8DA1053) was one of several sites
assessed during an inventory of archaeological resources
conducted by the Metro-Dade Historic Preservation Division,
during a 1978-1980 county-wide survey and evaluation.
Along with Brickell Bluff (Atlantis) (Iscan et al. 1993),
Flagami South was excavated in 1980, under the direction of
Carr, just prior to its scheduled destruction by developers.
The site was an inland Indian cemetery and associated midden,
approximately 16 km west of Biscayne Bay. In precontact
times this site was in the vicinity of the headwaters of the
Miami River, along the interface of the Atlantic Coastal Ridge
and the Everglades. Several hundred meters north are the
remnants of the Flagami Mound (8DA36), a black dirt burial
mound of broken and commingled human bones, investigated
by Goggin in 1932 (Carr 1981a). That site was dated as
Glades II-III (A.D. 750-1400). Previously published studies
of prehistoric cemeteries in this part of Florida were virtually
nonexistent (Figure 1) (Carr 1981b; Felmley 1991; Iscan et al.
The Glades II-III tradition was distinct from adjacent
areas and typified by their material culture and subsistence
patterns as influenced by the natural environment. This part of
southeast Florida which includes much of the Everglades and
the Atlantic Coastal Ridge was referred to as the Everglades
Area by Carr and Beriault (1984) and Griffin (1988).
Based on pottery typology, the site was occupied from
Glades I (500 B.C.-A.D. 750) through early Glades III period
(A.D. 1200-1400) (Milanich and Fairbanks 1980:234; Carr
1981b). However, radiocarbon dating of three shell artifacts
from several interments produced a considerably older, Late
Archaic/Transitional period of 1500 B.C.-500 B.C. and two of
A.D. 600 for one interment (Carr 1981b; Carr and Beriault
1984). The absence of stratified soil in south Florida for
dating leaves the burden on artifact typology and radiocarbon
dating as the primary indicators of the temporal association. It
is Carr's opinion that the graves represent a broad time period
of interment dating from the Late Archaic Period to the Glades
II Period.
The purpose of this paper is to present a descriptive
analysis of human skeletal remains from the Flagami South
Site .

Materials and Methods

Human skeletal remains, along with shells, microfaunal
bones and carbonized fragments were collected in 388 small

zip-lock bags and subsequently curated in the Department of
Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University. Burnt remains
may have resulted from peat fires in the Everglades after
drainage in the early twentieth century (Carr 1981b). The bags
were numbered by Carr in six series keyed to the site map
(Figure 2). Bone preservation was poor and all individuals
were represented by only fragmentary remains. Each bag was
inventoried separately and all identifiable bone fragments were
catalogued. The minimum number of individuals (MNI)
represented by the skeletal material was calculated using the
six series, or aggregations, as the analytical units (Grayson
1984; Klein and Cruz-Uribe 1984; Iscan and Kessel 1992).
The results should be considered equivocal due to the limited
and highly fragmented condition of the skeletal material.
Sex was determined from cranial and postcranial bones
using metric and morphologic features (Krogman and Iscan
1986). Age was estimated from dental development and wear
and fusion of long bone epiphyses (Kovacs 1971; Lovejoy
1985; Bass 1987). Calculation of stature was possible for only
one individual using Trotter and Gleser's (1958) formula for
Mongoloids (Krogman and Iscan 1986). Dental anomalies and
pathological conditions were diagnosed based on published
criteria (Kovacs 1971; El-Najjar and McWilliams 1978; Morse
1978; Brothwell 1981; Ortner and Putschar 1981).


The minimum number of individuals (MNI) represented
by the skeletal material was 16 (2 male, 4 female, and 10 of
undetermined sex.) Age was estimated for 14 individuals; 3
infants, 1 juvenile, 10 mature, 2 of whom were over 50, and
there were 2 of unknown age. The stature for one male was
174.7 cm 4.6 cm. from the radius. A summary of the
cranial and postcranial remains of the site are presented in
Table 1.
In every case, upper central incisors were shovel shaped.
Dental attrition was mostly horizontal and often worn through
to the dentin. There was one tooth with caries and wear
extending into the pulp cavity (#566a). Dental hypoplasia was
noted in one case (#739). Additional evidence of pathological
conditions were discerned as follows:
#501: tibia periostitis
#517: proximal ulna arthritic lipping
#533: acromial end of clavicle degenerative joint
#535: acromial end of clavicle possible periostitis


Vol. 48 No. I

MARCH 1995

#553: mandible senile resorption between the alveolar
crest and the cementoenamel junction (periodontitis)
#568: femur head degenerative joint disease, lipping
and porosity
#570: distal metatarsal healed fracture
#587: tibia periostitis
#613: mandible alveolar resorption


The recovered remains were described as possibly bundle
burials. This type of burial practice resembles other bundle
burials and disarticulated remains recovered at several south
Florida sites, e.g., Bayshore Homes (Sears 1960), Boynton
Beach Mounds (Jaffe 1976), Briarwoods Site (Mitchem 1985),
Fort Center (Sears 1982), Highland Beach (Isler et al. 1985),
Margate-Blount (Iscan 1983), Republic Groves (Saunders

The present analysis yielded a minimum of 16
individuals. This finding differed markedly from the
provisional approximation of 6 individuals made at the time of
excavation. In one case (the 500 series), two juveniles were
identified on the basis of four deciduous teeth. In the 600
series, one infant was ascertained from the eruptive phase of
the diaphragms of two deciduous molars (Kovacs 1971).
Besides their value in age estimation, teeth are good
indicators of biological affinity and health. The presence of
shovel shaped incisors in this population is an expected high
frequency morphological variation of prehistoric American
Indians with Mongoloid affinities (Carbonell 1963). Turner
(1987) reports as much as 95% shoveling among some North
American Indians, those from the second of three proposed
migration groups over the Bering land bridge. It has been
suggested that shoveling provides strengthening of the teeth, a
biological adaptation that furnishes an advantage to the
hunter/gatherer lifeway (Dahlberg 1963; Calcagno 1989).

I R ..

N 3







Figure 1. Location of Flagami South and several other south Florida Late Archaic sites.

4N 4N 4N 4N
OE 2E 4E 6E


--- 1 '^ ~
AI '

I .^ .;* I

^~~~~~~~~ ~ */ .; ?%^- \. ,^ -

2E 2 Meters 4E 6E
S Scale


K 4


---- 2 Meters ---

^ c$ '

Figure 2. Flagami South Site Map.

Table 1. Summary of Cranial and Postcranial Remainsfrom the Flagami South Site (8Da1053) by Sex, Age and Stature.

Aggregation No. of Stature
Bags Sex Age (cm)

1-99 77 F 20-24
(Cluster "B")

100-199 80 F 18-22
(Cluster "A") F 16-20

500-599 104 M 30-35
(Cluster "C") M 55+
? 1.5
? 4

600-699 20 ? 1
(Cluster "A") ? ?
? ?

700-799 13 ? 18-30
(Off Map) ? 40-45

900-999 94 F
(Artifacts ? 1
and Burial) ? 25-30
? 45-50

Total: N=16 388 M=2 Infant (<2) =3
F=4 Juvenile (2-11)=1
?=10 Young Adult (12-17)=0
Mature (18-50)=8
Senilis (>50)=2
Indeterminate =2

Extensive horizontal tooth wear is interpreted as the result
of an abrasive diet. This could be attributed to sandy shellfish
or gritty roots. The low frequency of caries is a cultural
expression of a hunting and gathering life style with its diet of
shellfish as opposed to a horticulturist's diet of grains and the
associated greater incidence of caries produced by bacterial
fermentation (Isler et al. 1985; Larsen et al. 1991:179).
Dental hypoplasia has been associated with inadequate
diet and disease (Goodman and Rose 1991). Infrequent dental
hypoplasia can be interpreted as an indication of a lifestyle of
low dietary stress or, worded differently, a year-round
adequate diet. However, the more common interpretation of
causality between hypoplasia and diet is not agreed upon by all
researchers Neiburger 1990).

In clinical practice, the diagnosis of periodontal disease is
made if the cemento-enamel junction (CEJ) to alveolar crest
(AC) distance is greater than 2 mm. The assumption is that the
AC recedes from the CEJ as a result of periodontoclasia
(Clarke and Hirsch 1991:247). Using this criteria, the
Flagami South population would have exhibited extensive
periodontal disease. But Clarke (1993:2) points out that teeth
continuously erupt throughout life, moving progressively in an
occlusal direction of the order of about 0.1 mm per year, in
compensation for attrition. Thus, the CEJ is a moving base
line relative to the AC. This interpretation suggests that the
common clinical definition would skew the observed
measurements on the side of excessive AC/CEJ dimensions
which, in turn, would produce a greater incidence of

periodontitis than actually exists. Clarke and Hirsch
(1991:241) offer a different definition of the presence of
periodontal disease; "when the crestal margin of bone
undergoes loss of the surface cortical bone, exposing the
porous cancellous structure of the supporting bone, usually
with an accompanying change of the contour of the crest."
Under this definition, the Flagami South population would
show little periodontal disease. The examples of degenerative
joint disease, or osteoarthritis, fracture and periostitis are few
and minor. It is not unreasonable to expect these findings in a
small pre-contact population with the expected low stresses of
their lifestyle.
The overall portrait of the Flagami population, as
expressed by the skeletal remains, is of an unexceptional, small
group of south Florida Indians, living an easy-going, low
stress existence in a subtropical climate that offered adequate
nutrition with small effort.
This research points out the need for thorough and
detailed osteological analysis, to more accurately portray the
paleodemography of a site. Indeed, there are additional
analyses which may be conducted to extract further
information from the available material. Spectrographic
elemental analysis discloses the relative contribution of plants
and animals in prehistoric diets and could supplement dietary
findings derived from other sources (Price 1989). Further
dental analysis may provide insights into environmental and
dietary stresses incurred by a population (Goodman and Rose
1991). These few examples point the way for further studies
possible with a skeletal assemblage and argues against their
premature reinterment.
Follow up research should compare this sample with
others in order to develop a better understanding of the skeletal
biology and health characteristics of the Archaic people of
south Florida (Saunders 1972; Carr et al. 1984; Maples 1987;
Iscan et al. 1993).


We thank the Metro-Dade Historic Preservation Division
for making the collection of osteological material available for
this study. We thank Jerome Burken and Jules Obin for
consultations, Susan Loth for editorial assistance, William
Watkins for photographs and Shawn Pennell for graphics.

References Cited

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

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

Calcagno, James M.
1989 Mechanisms of Human Dental Reduction. University of
Kansas Publications in Anthropology 18. Lawrence.

Carbonell, Virginia M.
1963 Variations in the Frequency of Shovel-shaped Incisors in
Different Populations. In Dental Anthropology, edited by
Don R. Brothwell, pp. 211-234. Pergamon Press, New

Carr, Robert S.
1981a Dade County Archaeological Survey. Dade County
Historic Survey, Miami. Report on file at Metro-Dade
Historic Preservation Division.

1981b Archaeological Investigations at Two Prehistoric
Cemeteries in Dade County. Paper presented at the 45th
annual meeting of the Florida Academy of Sciences,
Winter Park. Florida Scientist 44(Suppl. 1):7.

Carr, Robert S. and John G. Beriault
1984 Prehistoric Man in Southern Florida. In Environments of
South Florida Present and Past II, edited by Patrick J.
Gleason, pp. 1-14. Miami Geological Society, Coral
Gables, FL.

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

Clarke, Nigel G.
1993 Periodontitis in Dry Skulls. Dental Anthropology
Newsletter 7(2):1-4.

Clarke, Nigel G. and Robert S. Hirsch
1991 Physiological, Pulpal, and Periodontal Factors
Influencing Alveolar Bone. In Advances in Dental
Anthropology, edited by Marc A. Kelly, and Clark
Spencer Larsen, pp.241-266. John Wiley and Sons, New

Dahlberg, Albert A.
1963 Analysis of the American Indian Dentition. In Dental
Anthropology, edited by Don R. Brothwell, pp. 149-178.
Pergamon Press, New York.

El-Najjar, M. Y. and K. R. McWilliams
1978 Forensic Anthropology. Charles C. Thomas,
Springfield, IL.

Felmley, Amy
1991 Prehistoric Mortuary Practices in the Everglades
Cultural Area, Florida. Unpublished Master's thesis,

Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic
University, Boca Raton, FL.

Goodman, Alan H. and Jerome C. Rose
1991 Dental Enamel Hypoplasia as Indicators of Nutritional
Status. In Advances in Dental Anthropology, edited by
Marc A. Kelley and Clark Spencer Larsen, pp. 279-293.
John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Grayson, Donald K.
1984 Quantitative Zooarchaeology: Topics in the Analysis of
Archaeological Faunas. Academic Press, Orlando.

Griffin, J. W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park: A
Synthesis. National Park Service, Southeast
Archaeological Center, Tallahassee, Florida.

Iscan, Mehmet Yasar
1983 Skeletal Biology of the Margate-Blount Population. The
Florida Anthropologist 36:154-166.

Iscan, Mehmet Yasar and Morton H. Kessel
1992 Analysis of Human Osteological Material from the
Briarwoods Site, Florida. Florida Scientist 53:172-178.

Iscan, Mehmet Yasar, Morton H. Kessel and Robert S. Carr
1993 Human Remains from the Archaic Brickell Bluff Site.
The Florida Anthropologist 46:277-281.

Isler, Robert, Jed Schoen, and Mehmet Yasar Iscan
1985 Dental Pathology of a Prehistoric Human Population in
Florida. Florida Scientist 48:139-146.

Jaffee, Howard
1976 Preliminary Report on a Midden Mound and Burial
Mound of the Boynton Mound Complex. The Florida
Anthropologist 29:145-152.

Klein, Richard G. and Kathryn Cruz-Uribe
1984 The Analysis of Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites.
The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Kovacs, I.
1971 A Systematic Description of Dental Roots. In Dental
Morphology and Evolution, edited by Albert A.
Dahlberg, pp. 211-256. The University of Chicago Press,

Krogman, Wilton Marion and Mehmet Yasar Iscan
1986 The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine. Charles C.

Thomas, Publisher, Springfield, IL.

Larsen, Clark Spencer, Rebecca Shavit and Mark C. Griffin
1991 Dental Caries Evidence for Dietary Change: An
Archaeological Context. In Advances in Dental
Anthropology, edited by Marc A. Kelley and Clark
Spencer Larsen, pp. 179-202. John Wiley and Sons,
New York.

Lovejoy, C. Owen
1985 Dental Wear in the Libben Population: Its Functional
Pattern and Role in the Determination of Adult Skeletal
Age at Death. American Journal of Physical
Anthropology 68:47-56.

Maples, William R.
1987 Analysis of Skeletal Remains Recovered at the Gauthier
Site, Brevard County, Florida. Miscellaneous Project
Report Series No. 31. Florida Museum of Natural
History, Department of Anthropology, Gainesville.

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

Mitchem, Jeffrey M.
1985 Excavation of the Briarwoods Site (8Pa66), Pasco
County, Florida. Florida Scientist 48:161-165.

Morse, Dan
1978 Ancient Disease in the Midwest. Reports of
Investigations, No. 15. Illinois State Museum,
Springfield, IL.

Neiburger, E. J.
1990 Enamel Hypoplasia: Poor Indicators of Dietary Stress.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology 82:231-232.

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

Price, T. Douglas
1989 Bones, Chemistry and the Human Past. In The
Chemistry of Prehistoric Human Bone, edited by T.
Douglas Price, pp.1-9. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, England.

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

Sears, William H.
1960 The Bayshore Homes Site, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum, Social
Sciences, No. 6.

1982 Fort Center: An Archaeological Site in the Lake
Okeechobee Basin. University Presses of Florida,

Trotter M. and G.C. Gleser
1958 A Re-evaluation of Estimation of Stature Based on Long
Bones After Death. American Journal of Physical
Anthropology 16:79-123.

Turner, Christy G.
1987 Telltale Teeth. Natural History 96(1):6-10.

Wharton, Barry R., George R. Ballo, and Mitchell E. Hope
1981 The Republic Groves Site, Hardee County, Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 34:58-80.

Mehmet Yasar Iscan and Morton H. Kessel, Department of
Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton,
Florida 33431-0991

Robert S. Carr, Metro-Dade Historical Preservation Division,
111 SW 5th Ave., Miami, FL 33130


John H. Hann

One of several puzzling features of the Alonso Solana
map of Spanish Florida in 1683 is the depiction of a village on
the Apalachee coast on the west side of a small stream
identified as the Rio Chachave (Figure 1). Solana, notary
public for St. Augustine, who earlier held the rank of adjutant
in St. Augustine's garrison, identified the village only as "PO
[Pueblo] de Indios" (Arana 1964:258-259). His Rio Chachave
is in the vicinity of Spring Creek, opposite an island that
appears to be Piney Island. The Chachave is a little less than
midway between the St. Marks River and the Ochlockonee or
Lana River, meaning "Yellow River" in the Apalachee tongue.
An account of the establishment of the Chine mission in April
1674, provided by Apalachee's deputy-governor, Juan
FernAndez de Florencia (1674:74-75), suggests that the Indian
village of 1683 on the Chachave was the original site of the
mission of San Pedro de los Chines. Fernandez de Florencia's
account is particularly important for its identification of the
Rio Chachave village's Chine, Pacara, and Amacano
inhabitants as speaking the same language. That revelation
appears to rule out John R. Swanton's (1922:94-95, 119, 464;
1946:88, 102, 107, 119) identification of the Pacara and
Amacano as probably Yamasee.
Fernandez de Florencia (1674:74-75) certified on April
28, 1674, that a few days earlier he had accompanied the
Florida Franciscans' provincial, Fray Alonso del Moral, "to
the village of the heathen Chines named Chaccabi in which
they are and in which they live together with their comrades
the Pacaras and Amacanos, 10 to 11 leagues distant from this
province in a southerly direction, where the said father
provincial erected a church in my presence with the title and
name of St. Peter Apostle." Fray Moral said the first Mass in
the church on Saturday, April 21, 1674, and left Fray
Francisco de la Barrera there to begin the work of
Christianizing the village's people. Fernmndez de Florencia
(1674:74-75) noted that Fray Barrera would be able to instruct
them easily to prepare them for baptism because the three
nations of the Chine, Pacara, and Amacano were "of the same
language (ydioma) and not many in number." He gave their
number a year or so later as about 300 (Fernandez de Florencia
The close match between the names Chachave (1683) and
Chaccabi (1674) and the Chine village's 10 to 11 league
distance from the Apalachee heartland in a southerly direction
leave little room for doubt that the Chines and their linguistic

brothers, the Pacaras and Amacanos, were living on Solana's
Rio Chachave in 1674. Evidence from later sources that Chief
Chine and his people were very knowledgeable about the coast
west from Apalachee as far as Mobile Bay reinforces that
But Fernindez de Florencia's identification of the Chine,
Pacara, and Amacano as linguistic brothers and the conclusion
that Chaccabi is Chachave raise as many or more questions
than they answer. The linguistic link contradicts Swanton's
(1922:95, 119, 464, 1946:88, 102, 107, 119) identification of
the Amacano and Pacara as Yamasee and the Chine as a band
of Chacato unless one is ready to posit that the Chacato spoke
the same language as the Yamasee. Two mission lists in 1675
make mention of the Chine-Pacara-Amacano mission by a
name different from San Pedro, and the seeming placement of
the 1675 mission in a location closer to the Apalachee
heartland than the Rio Chachave suggest that the Indians had
moved from the Chachave site by then. These data raise the
question, Who were the Indians on the Rio Chachave in 1683?
Swanton (1922:95, 119, 464, 1946:88, 102, 107, 119)
set up the dichotomy between the Pacara-Amacano and the
Chine in identifying the Pacara and Amacano as probably
Yamasee and the Chine as a band of Chatot, the name he
preferred for the Chacato. The r in Pacara and the variant
Caparaz of one of the 1675 lists should have precluded such an
identification in view of the supposed absence of r from
languages of the Muskogean family. The Yamasee spoke
Hitchiti or a dialect very close to it (Matheos 1686b).
There are more solid grounds for the Chine-Chacato
connection that Swanton posited. Chief Chine, like the
Chacato, had an intimate knowledge of west Florida. The
Chine's ability to move through that region suggests some
understanding with the Chacato at the very least (Leonard
1939:241; Matheos 1686a). Although the Chine were not
mentioned prior to 1674, the Amacano appear in the records as
being in the vicinity of Apalachee soon after the arrival of the
first friars in that province in 1633 to begin its missionization.
Amacano expressed interest in being Christianized that same
year (Hann 1988:16, n. 5). The Spanish governor reported in
1639 that he had just negotiated an end to a war between the
Apalachee and their neighbors, the Chacato, Apalachicola, and
Amacano, as part of his plan for the development of
Apalachee. Several statements that Governor Laureano de
Torres y Ayala and Fray Rodrigo de la Barreda made in 1693


Vol. 48 No. 1

MARCH 1995

.5 3r*d


'' ~i~ ~~C"' ~YR,,
'~~i~ ...,
Ib.. ; 1?
t P
? .. -r I~L ;'~ ii
I~ i~'l~ P ~~Z~1~ *.
:: r ~ge~ .
J~;5~P"~ ~ r
? "j :~i~lir-~a~i ..
-:":V; ;-.e rr C'
c~'~a i,.~i~tCT%6r -
i -
~~*.- r rlt
r: ~
~15~ *
; :~~
'' ;;41~,.
~ ~ci~ -au~ ~~d~.I
.r .---

bl~iCrSI *
?. ~ ~t~-l-
*,~ a~J~~ -'1~'~

; 4;

Figure 1. The Alonso Solana Map of 1683 (from Chatelain 1941:Map 7).



* p


c~:;1~C ;
~ 1!~

~r~br)~~u*;f a;~;

AL aAao A


suggest that the Chine's language was Chacato. On one
occasion the friar stated rather clearly that Chine and Chacato
were the same people in a remark about questioning Chief
Chine and the rest of the Chacato Indians (Leonard 1939:241-
242, 244, 246-247, 274-275, 278-279, 297).
On the other hand, other Spaniards always used the
separate names of Chine and Chacato in speaking of these
peoples, even when the Chine and Chacato were serving
together, as they did on the Apalachee expedition against the
Chisca in 1677. When given the choice, none of the Chine
declined to participate in the assault on the Chisca village on
learning that it housed Chacato and Panzacola as well as
Chisca. Their behavior contrasted with that of the ten
Chacato, only three of whom chose to take part in the assault
(Fernandez de Florencia 1678). And two years earlier there
was no indication of any Chine involvement in the Chacato
revolt of mid-1675 or in the ensuing conspiracies (Fernandez
de Florencia 1675b:43-56; Hita Salazar 1676:57-69).
As no documents have appeared to date that shed further
light on the Chacato's linguistic ties, the possibility cannot be
ruled out that Chine, Chacato, Amacano, and Pacara all spoke
Hitchiti or a language closely related to it. They were
neighbors of the Hitchiti-speaking Apalachicola. And John
Tate Lanning (1935:171) spoke of the Chacato's history as
being "tied up with the Georgia tribes."
Whatever link there may have been between the Chacato
and the Chine-Pacara-Amacano inhabitants of Chaccabi, it is
worthy of note that the initiation of the mission at Chaccabi
and the ones among the Chacato was more or less
contemporaneous. Just about two months after the launching
of the mission at Chaccabi, Fray Moral arrived in the province
of the Chacatos on June 18, 1674, after a four-day journey
northwestward from San Luis in Apalachee. For this
enterprise, Andres P6res, lieutenant of Timucua Province, who
was apparently filling in for the absent FernAndez de
Florencia, accompanied Fray Moral along with three other
soldiers. PBres (1674:75) reported that, three days after their
arrival, "after having spoken with and received the consent of
the cacique and leading men of the principal village of the said
province, named Achercatane, the said father provincial
erected a church that he dedicated" to San Carlos Boromeo.
Fray Moral did the same on the next day at another Chacato
village named Atanchia, known thereafter as San NicolAs de
Tolentino. He left three friars behind to begin missionization
of the Chacato (Peres 1674:75). It should be noted that the
"erection" of the church in a day or less does not necessarily
mean that the building was completed in so brief a time. The
term "erection" could refer simply to the consecration or
dedication of an existing structure for religious purposes.
P6res's inclusion of r in Achercatane, the native name of
San Carlos, may not be reliable. A little over a year later,
FernAndez de Florencia (1675b:52) rendered the name as "San
Carlos de Yatcatani." His Yatcatani, obviously a variant of
Achercatane, is probably the more reliable of the two

renderings as he had lived long enough in Apalachee to
become fluent in its language (Fernandez de Florencia 1678).
Over the next 23 years the Chine mission appeared under
several names other than San Pedro de los Chines. In some
instances the name change indicated a change of location. The
following table reflects those changes.

Table 1. Name Changes of the Chine Mission

April 1674 San Pedro de los Chines
(Fern&ndez de Florencia 1674:74-75)

Early 1675 Assumpci6n del Puerto (Diaz
Vara Calder6n 1675)

Mid-1675 Asunci6n de Nuestra Sefora
(Fernandez de Florencia 1675a)

December 1680 Sefor San Pedro de los
Chines (MArquez Cabrera 1680)

1689 San Pedro de los Chines (Ebelino
de Compostela 1689)

December 1694 San Antonio de los Chines
(Florencia 1694:177)

1697 Place of the Chines (Hann 1988:55)

The first of the name changes accompanied a move of the
Chine mission from Chaccabi to a site described variously as
"on the road to the sea from San Luis" and as four leagues
from the San Martin de Tomoli mission (Diaz Vara Calder6n
1675; FernAndez de Florencia 1675a). Tomoli was the
Apalachee mission closest to the province's port of San
Marcos. Bishop Gabriel Diaz Vara Calder6n (1675) gave the
Chine mission's name as Assumpci6n del Puerto, identifying
its inhabitants as still the "three nations of heathens (Gentiles),
Chines, PacAras, and Amacinos." He revealed that he had
established the mission anew on January 27 and that its people
were catechized and baptized in the doctrine of San Luis. It is
worthy of note that the bishop made no connection between
those three heathen nations and the Yamasee when he
mentioned his establishment of the mission of "La Purificasi6n
de la Tama" on February 2, identifying its inhabitants as being
"called Yamases" (Diaz Vara Calder6n 1675). The mission
received the name "Purificasi6n" because February 2 was the
day the church commemorated Mary's observance of the
Jewish rite of purification after she had given birth to Jesus.
As February 2 is also Candlemas Day, when candles were
blessed and carried in celebration of Mary's purification and of
the presentation of the child, Jesus, in the temple, the Tama
mission was referred to at times as "Candelaria de la Tama" or

simply as "Candelaria" (Fernandez de Florencia 1675a;
MArquez Cabrera 1680).
A few months after the bishop's visit, Fernandez de
Florencia (1675a) gave the Chine mission's name as "Asunci6n
de Nuestra Sefiora." He described the mission then as
composed of three small villages which, together, contained
about 300 persons of the Caparaz, Amacano, and Chine
nations. In mentioning Purificasi6n under the name
Candelaria, he observed that Candelaria's inhabitants were
"people of La Tama and Yamases, all of one nation"
(Fernandez de Florencia 1675a). But, like the bishop, he made
no connection between the Yamasee and the inhabitants of
The Apalachee lieutenant's mid-1675 report appears to
have been the last document in which either the Pacara or
Amacano were mentioned, although the Chine and a mission
bearing their name continued to be spoken of until the time of
the Anglo-Creek destruction of the Apalachee missions in
1704. There is no indication that the Amacano and Pacara
abandoned the Chine mission except possibly a 1689 census.
San Pedro de los Chines had only 30 families, or about 150
individuals, in 1689. The 50 percent decline from the
population reported for it in 1675 contrasts with the
demographic experience of most of the missions in Apalachee
territory, as most showed a gain in 1689 over the population
reported for them in 1675 (Ebelino de Compostela 1689). For
that and other reasons, Fernandez de Florencia (1675a) is
believed to have understated the population in 1675.
Two of the clues indicative of such an understatement
appear when one compares the two mission lists for 1675
mentioned above and a third list for Guale and Mocama that
Pedro de Arcos (1675) composed in 1675. The total mission
population posited by Fernandez de Florencia (1675a) and
Arcos falls well short of the 13,152 people whom the bishop
reported having confirmed earlier that same year. The
bishop's total would not include young children, as it is not
customary to confirm children under the age of 11 or 12.
Another figure the bishop provided highlights Fernandez de
Florencia's understating of Apalachee's mission population.
The bishop reported that he found 4,081 women in the villages
of Apalachee, who were naked from the waist up, for whom he
provided more modest attire. This figure has not previously
drawn attention because Lucy Wenhold (1936:12) omitted the
bishop's identification of the women as "Apalachee" in her
translation of the bishop's account. The bishop's 4,081
women is almost half of the total population of 8,220
Fernandez de Florencia (1675a) reported for Apalachee's 14
missions. The population must have been considerably higher
than 8,220 to account for the women who were already fully
clothed, a roughly equivalent male population, and children.
Pedro de Arcos also seems to have understated the population
under his jurisdiction. John E. Worth (1995) will publish
documents indicating that in his forthcoming volume, The
Struggle for the Georgia Coast. There is no satisfactory

explanation to date for the two deputy-governors'
understatement of the population. At times population lists
included only the pool of potential laborers available in each
village for the labor draft. But the 1675 lists do not fit the
pattern for such abbreviated lists.
Chine were spoken of as living in a place called Chacariz
in 1676 in an account of attacks the Chisca had made on
villages in Apalachee. The Chine village was among those the
Chisca had attacked, and the Chine had suffered some deaths
from the attacks. When the Apalachee leaders at San Luis and
Cupaica organized a retaliatory expedition against the Chisca
in September of 1677, the Chine contributed eight men to a
force that totaled about 190 when it headed west from Santa
Cruz de Savacola on the Apalachicola River. When Fernandez
de Florencia (1678) wrote the Apalachee version of that
account in 1677, he identified the Chine village as "the place
of La Chine, which is settled on lands belonging to this place
of San Luis." But Domingo de Leturiondo (1678:95-122) did
not mention the Chine or their village during his visitation of
Apalachee Province only several months after the return of the
expedition against the Chisca. Conceivably the Chine were
subsumed under the visitation of San Luis because they lived
on lands that were under the jurisdiction of San Luis's chief.
When the Chine were next mentioned on a mission list
late in 1680, the mission's name had reverted to San Pedro de
los Chines (Marquez Cabrera 1680). San Pedro de los Chines
was also the name under which the mission appeared on the
1689 census. There is no satisfactory explanation why the
Solana map did not identify the San Pedro mission by that
name. It was the only one of the missions in Apalachee that
appeared on the 1680 list that does not appear on the Solana
map under the name it bore in 1680 and in the list for 1689.
The map portrays a village identified only as Medellin that
conceivably could have been the Chine village. Medellin was
located south of San Luis close to the Wakulla River and near
enough to San Luis to fit the 1677 description of the Chine
village as being on lands under the jurisdiction of San Luis.
Medellin's location also is compatible with Fernandez de
Florencia's (1675a) allusion to the Chine village as being "on
the road to the sea." But identification of San Pedro with
Medellin leaves unanswered the question of the identity of the
Indians Solana depicted as still living on the Rio Chachave in
A possible solution is the suggestion that some of the
Tocobaga living at Wacissa in 1677 had moved to the Rio
Chachave. An early eighteenth-century map composed after
the Spaniards' return to St. Marks in Apalachee in 1717
showed a Tocobaga village on the coast in the vicinity of the
Rio Chachave (see Hann 1988:34, Figure 2.1). But such a
move in the late 1670s or early 1680s seems unlikely. During
his visitation at the place of the Tocobagas on January 9, 1678,
Leturiondo (1678:117-118) sought to persuade the Tocobaga to
close the channel of the Wacissa River and move further inland
from the Wacissa River site where they were living lest they be

captured by English pirates and be forced to serve them as
guides for an attack on the missions. The failure of the Solana
map to portray the Tocobaga settlement on the Wacissa is
another of its puzzles. That village, first identified in 1678,
was still at Wacissa in 1694 (Florencia 1694:172; Leturiondo
The Chine mission appeared in the 1694 visitation under
the name San Antonio de los Chines. To communicate with its
people, the visitor used Ubapt Gaspar, the Apalachee native
who served as his interpreter in the Apalachee villages. That
raises a further question about the language of the Chine. By
contrast, the visitor used a distinct interpreter for the Chacato's
language to communicate with the refugee Chacato, who were
then living temporarily at San Cosme and San DamiAn de
Escabf (Cupaica). It is possible that the Chine, as near
neighbors to the Apalachee, always were, or had become fluent
in Apalachee, or their language was close enough to Apalachee
for an Apalachee interpreter to be serviceable. It is worthy of
note that Ubapt Gaspar also served as interpreter for
Candelaria's Tama in 1694 and that Diego Salvador, the
Apalachee interpreter for the 1677 visitation, did the same for
Candelaria in that year (Florencia 1694:162-164, 176-177;
Leturiondo 1678:105). The change of the Chine mission's
name to San Antonio probably reflects another move in the
location of the mission. The Chine mission was in the
Apalachee heartland in 1697, one-half league from the Tama
mission (Hann 1988:552).
Archaeological research may provide the only hope for
resolving some of these problems raised by the Solana map and
other documentation. But, the documentation seems to have
established, at least, that the village of Chaccabi that housed
the Chine, Pacara, and Amacano in April of 1674, when Fray
Barrera began their missionization, was located on or near the
site of the Pueblo de Indios on the Rio Chachave that Solana
depicted in 1683. It has established without a doubt that the
Chine, Pacara, and Amacano belonged to the same linguistic
group whatever may have been their relation to the Chacato.

References Cited

Arana, Luis Rafael
1964 The Alonso Solana Map of Florida, 1683. Florida
Historical Quarterly 42:258-266.

Arcos, Pedro de
1675 Letter to Pablo de Hita Salazar. Translated by Mark F.
Boyd in Enumeration of Florida Spanish Missions in
1675. Florida Historical Quarterly 27:181-188.

Chatelain, Verne E.
1941 The Defenses of Spanish Florida, 1565 to 1763.
Publication 511. The Carnegie Institute, Washington,

Diaz Vara Calder6n, Gabriel
1675 Letter to the Queen, Havana, 1675. Archivo General de
Indias, Santo Domingo (hereinafter AGI, SD) 151
(microfilm copy furnished to W. H. Marquardt by
Victoria Stapells-Johnson).

Ebelino de Compostela, Diego
1689 Letter to the King, Havana, September 28, 1689. AGI,
SD 151, Stetson Collection (hereinafter SC).

Fernindez de Florencia, Juan
1674 Certification, April 28, 1674. AGI, SD 235.
Translated by John H. Hann in Florida Archaeology

1675a Letter to Pablo de Hita Salazar, San Luis de Apalachee,
July 15, 1675. AGI, SD 839, SC.

1675b Autos Concerning the Tumult of the Chacatos, Year of
1675. AGI, Escribania de Camara (hereinafter EC), leg.
156A, fol. 119-142, SC. Translated by John H. Hann in
Florida Archaeology 7:35-56.

1678 Letter to Pablo de Hita Salazar, San Luis de Talimali,
August 30, 1678. Report Which the Principal Leaders
Who Went to Make War on the Chiscas Made in the
Presence of Captain Juan Fernandez de Florencia and
Concerning How the War against the Chiscas Originated.
AGI, SD 226, Woodbury Lowery Collection (hereinafter
WLC), reel 4 of the copy at the Strozier Library of
Florida State University.

Florencia, Joachin de
1694 Visitation of Apalachee, November-December 1694.
AGI, EC, leg. 157A, cuaderno I, fol. 44-88, SC.
Translated by John H. Hann in Florida Archaeology

Hann, John H.
1988 Apalachee: The Land Between the Rivers. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Hita Salazar, Pablo de
1676 Inquiry held by the governor, 1676, St. Augustine,
October 31, 1676-January 3, 1677. AGI, EC, leg. 156A,
fol. 143-157, reel 27-I of the Residencia series of the P.
K. Yonge Library of Florida History of the University of
Florida. Translated by John H. Hann in Florida
Archaeology 7:57-68.

Planning, John Tate
1935 The Spanish Missions of Georgia. University of North
Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.

Leonard, Irving A. (translator)
1939 Spanish Approach to Pensacola, 1689-1693. The
Quivira Society, Albuquerque.

Leturiondo, Domingo de
1678 Visitation of the Province of Apalachee and Thimuqua.
AGI, EC, leg. 156B, fol. 519-615v., SC. Translated by
John H. Hann in Florida Archaeology 7:95-146.

Marquez Cabrera, Juan
1680 Letter to the King, St. Augustine, December 8, 1680.
Report on the Religious Existing in the Missions of
Florida and on the Villages in Which There Are
Doctrinas, December 6, 1680. AGI, SD 226, WLC, reel

Matheos, Antonio
1686a Letter to Juan Mirquez Cabrera, San Luis, May 19,
1686. AGI, SD 224, Jeannette Thurber Connor
Collection, reel 2.

1686b Letter to Juan MArquez Cabrera, San Luis, May 21,
1686, enclosed in Viceroy of Mexico to the King,
Mexico City, July 19, 1686. AGI, Mexico 56, John Tate
Lanning Collection of the Thomas Jefferson Library,
University of Missouri, St. Louis, vol. 5 of Colecci6n
"Misiones Guale."

P6res, Andr6s
1674 Certification, province of the Chacatos, June 23, 1674.
AGI, SD 235. Translated by John H. Hann in Florida
Archaeology 7:75.

Swanton, John R.
1922 Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

1946 The Indians of the Southeastern United States.
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Wenhold, Lucy L. (translator)
1936 A 17th-Century Letter of Gabriel Diaz Vara Calder6n,
Bishop of Cuba, Describing the Indians and Indian
Missions of Florida. Publication 3398. Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C.

Worth, John E.
1995 The Struggle for the Georgia Coast: An Eighteenth-
Century Spanish Retrospective on Guale and Mocama.
(Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of
Natural History, vol. 20). American Museum of Natural
History, New York (in press).

John H. Hann
San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site
Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of Historical Resources
Florida Department of State
Tallahassee, Florida 32304-1624



text by Henry Baker
photograph by Roy Lett

Pilings in the bottom of the St. Marks River mark the
location of the wharf and warehouse constructed at Fort St.
Marks ca. 1830. In 1825, the military turned over the fort,
located at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla rivers,
to the civil government of Florida. During the territorial
period the old fort site was used as a commercial port for the
shipment of supplies to Tallahassee and for the export of cotton
and other commodities from inland sources. By the 1840s a

railroad had been constructed nearby (the third oldest in the
United States), and several houses, warehouses, and other
commercial establishments were located in and around the old
fort site. The site is currently managed by the Florida Park
Service as San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Site.
For further reading see: Olds, Dorris L., 1962, History
and Archaeology of Fort Saint Marks in Apalachee, M.S.
Thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee.

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Vol. 48 No. 1

MARCH 1995

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About the Authors

Keith H. Ashley is an archaeologist with Environmental Services, Inc., in Jacksonville. His research
interests include the prehistory of northeast Florida, particularly shell middens along the lower St. Johns

Robert S. Carr is an archaeologist with the Metro-Dade Historic Preservation Division and a former
editor of The Florida Anthropologist. He has done comprehensive archaeological research in Florida.

John H. Hann is site historian for the San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site, Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.

Mehmet Yasar Iscan is Professor and Chairman in the Department of Anthropology of Florida Atlantic
University. His research interests include skeletal biology of prehistoric Indians and the development of
osteological demographic techniques.

Morton H. Kessel is a Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Florida Atlantic
University. His research interests include skeletal biology of prehistoric Indians.

Arthur A. Lafond was a founding member of the Northeast Florida Anthropological Society and was
recently awarded an honorary lifetime membership. As an amateur archaeologist, he has been involved
in excavations in Florida for more than 25 years.

Louis D. Tesar is an Archaeology Supervisor in the Research Section of the Bureau of Archaeological
Research, Division of Historical Resources, Tallahassee. He is a frequent contributor to The Florida
Anthropologist and a former editor of the journal.

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