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Volume 44 Number 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Number
Editor's Page: FA 44(1), March 1991 2
Analysis of Early Archaic Unifacial Adzes from North Florida Phillip R. Gerrell, John F. Scarry and James S. Dunbar 3
Testing Remote Shell Midden Mounds in the Lower Apalachicola Valley, Northwest FloridaNancy Marie White 17
Working To Save The Past In Sarasota County, Florida: A New Archaeological Review Program Lauren C. Archibald 30
Landscape Archaeology At The Clam Shell Pool, Historic Spanish Point, Osprey, Florida Lauren C. Archibald 37
An Early Twentieth Century Domestic Artifact Scatter In Osprey, Sarasota County, FloridaLauren C. Archibald 47
Historic Resources At The Pineland Site, Lee County, Florida George M. Luer 59
The Randells Of Lee County's Pineland: Florida Archaeology Owes Them Much Arthur R. Lee 76
Charting The Course Of Florida's Archaeological Future Robert J. Austin 77
Migration Research In Saladoid Archaeology: A Review Peter E. Siegel 79
BOOK REVIEWS, COMMENTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS 92
The Earliest South Carolinians, The Paleoindian Occupation of South Carolina (1990) by Albert C. Goodyear III,
James L. Michie and Tommy Charles. Reviewed by I. Randolph Daniel, Jr. 92
COMMENTS: The Role Of Maize In South Florida Aboriginal Societies: A Comment Morton H. Kessel 94
Southwest Florida Chapter Started Life Deep In Archaic Muck Arthur R. Lee 95
FEATURED ANTHROPOLOGICAL/HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS 96
Ripley P. Bullen and Stela 1, Crystal River Site (8Cil), 1964 Submitted by Brent R. Weisman 96
Reconstructing Calusa Woodworking Techniques Submitted by Robin C. Brown 97
Old Stone Wharf, New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida Submitted by Dot Moore 98
The FAS "Florida Indians" Poster Created by Theodore Morris 99
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY WANTS YOU!: FAS Membership/Subscription Form 100
COVER ILLUSTRATION: "Bird-man Dancer" created by Theodore Morris for FAS "Florida Indians" Poster. Based on
copper artifact excavated by B. Calvin Jones from the Lake Jackson Mounds site in Leon County, Florida.
Published by the
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY, INC.
EDITOR'S PAGE: FA 44(1), MARCH 1991
This is the first issue of my eighth year as the Journal
Editor of The Florida Anthropologist. It also continues the
transition to a new Journal Editor beginning with FA 45(2)
in June, 1992. The transition from my editorship includes a
series of guest editors.
The December, 1990 issue -- FA 43(4) -- will feature
South Florida articles and is being guest edited by Robert S.
Carr, who preceded me as the Journal Editor. Yes, the
verb denoting an ongoing activity is correct as FA 43(4) is
behind schedule. However, I have the mail labels for 1990
FAS members/subscribers [and changed addresses], and
will mail FA 43(4) to 1990 members/subscribers as soon as
it is printed.
The June, 1991 issue -- FA 44(2) -- will feature
conservation articles and is being guest edited by John
Maseman. The September, 1991 issue -- FA 44(3) -- will be
guest edited by Bonnie McEwan and will feature "The
Missions of La Florida." I will be editing FA 44(4) and FA
In this issue, I have made minor changes in the style
and layout. In response to reader suggestions, this issue
includes more photographs and illustrations than we
generally have had in our publication. Speaking of
illustrations, the cover illustration was prepared by
Theodore Morris and is taken from the FAS "Florida
Indians" Poster which he created. Mr. Morris is thanked
for his outstanding effort. Thanks are also sincerely offered
to the contributors to this issue who submitted the final text
for their articles on electronic media, thus saving me an
estimated 50 hours of production time.
This issue contains articles dealing with a series of
topics ranging from artifact descriptions, to broad scale
archaeological survey and testing, to historic archaeological
testing, to charting the course of Florida's archaeological
This issue also contains the first in our planned series
of annual reviews. William Keegan, the Journal's Annual
Reviews Editor, has been working to make this series a
reality. Peter E. Siegel's "Migration Research In Saladoid
Archaeology: A Review" is a comprehensive treatment of its
Finally, Randy Daniel has contributed a detailed book
review; Morton Kessel has submitted comments on the
Role of Maize in South Florida; Arthur Lee once again has
prepared a succinct FAS Chapter description; and, Brent
Weisman, Robin Brown and Dot Moore submitted FAS
If you are not already a member of the Florida
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Best wishes, and enjoy your reading. Working
together we can help study and protect Florida's and the
surrounding region's prehistoric and historic archaeological
Louis D. Tesar
The Florida Anthropologist
ANALYSIS OF EARLY ARCHAIC UNIFACIAL ADZES FROM NORTH FLORIDA
Phillip R. Gerrell
John F. Scarry
James S. Dunbar
Since 1983 the Florida Museum of Natural History
and the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research have
conducted paleontological and archaeological investigations
along the Half Mile Rise section of the Aucilla River
(Figure 1). This portion of the Aucilla is entrenched into
limestone bedrock, which is occasionally perforated by karst
sinkholes. In fact, a major focus of the investigations at
Half Mile Rise has been work at the Page/Ladson site
(8JE591), located in two 12+ m deep sinkholes in the main
channel of the Aucilla (Dunbar 1989; Dunbar et al. 1988)
Figure 1. Map of northern Florida showing locations where
Aucilla adzes have been found.
Many of the entrenched river systems in northern
Florida contain these sinkholes. The sinkholes frequently
contain remains of late Pleistocene fauna, and they occa-
sionally contain evidence of early human activity as well
(e.g., Dunbar and Waller 1983; Waller 1969, 1970; Waller
and Dunbar 1977; Webb et al. 1983, 1984). Concentrations
of diagnostic Paleoindian and Early Archaic artifacts have
been recovered from sinkholes and riverbeds in several
North Florida rivers (see Figure 1), along with a variety of
other, typically unifacial tool types. Unfortunately, the tem
poral placement of many of the nondiagnostic tools has
been questionable since most artifact assemblages from
Florida rivers have been collected from current-deflated
surface deposits that lack stratigraphic context.
Terrestrial sites in Florida, such as Harney Flats
(Daniel and Wisenbaker 1983, 1987; Daniel et al. 1986),
have yielded data on Paleoindian and Early Archaic stone
tool assemblages and tool kits, but here too there are often
problems determining the chronological placement of non-
diagnostic tool types. Many of the early terrestrial sites in
Florida are located in deep, sandy deposits that make it ex-
tremely difficult to analyze stratigraphic relationships
The excavations at the Page/Ladson site have re-
vealed a deep, highly stratified sediment deposit containing
several distinct cultural components. Chronometric and
stratigraphic data from the Page/Ladson deposits are con-
tributing to the development of our understanding of the
temporal positions and relationships of early artifact assem-
Dunbar (1989) has proposed a reconstruction of
the Page/Ladson sequence, part of which is summarized
below (Figure 3). The uppermost sediment levels at
Page/Ladson form a zone of mid to late Holocene (ca.
5,000 years ago to present) fluvial deposits consisting of al-
ternating sequences of peats and sands interrupted by occa-
sional thin levels of rubble. The levels or lenses of peat and
sand may be discontinuous or absent in areas of active ero-
sion but are quite thick in areas of little to no flow. The
rubble levels, which usually contain numerous artifacts and
fossil bone as well as rock, have accumulated in areas where
the current washed the channel bottom clean of the peat
and sand deposits. Rubble layers containing artifacts have
also been encountered buried within the peat/sand se-
quence. In at least one pit profile a rubble level clearly
truncated the peat/sand layers below it, indicating a period
of significant erosional activity. Three distinct rubble levels
have been identified at the Page/Ladson site. Excavation
and surface collection of these rubble levels has produced
abundant artifacts of various ages. Although artifacts from
the rubble levels are eroded from their original contexts,
they do include temporally diagnostic items reflecting sev-
eral distinct components. The rubble levels can be roughly
dated by the youngest diagnostic artifacts they contain. The
youngest cultural materials in the upper levels range in age
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
NORTH WALL PROFILE
ZONE A B-
ZONE C ---
Figure 2. Page/Ladson site (8JE591).
Figure 3. Page/Ladson stratigraphy.
0 I 2 3 4 5
Figure 4. Aucilla adzes.
from the Middle Archaic to recent (from some 7,000 years
ago to present). Included in the artifact assemblage from
the Page/Ladson rubble deposits are three of the unifacial
adzes included in this analysis.
Earlier, intact, non-fluvial deposits underlay the re-
deposited sediments. These also contain several distinct
cultural levels. The earlier sediments consist of early
Holocene still-water and terrestrial deposits. In the deeper
areas of the site (8-10 m b.s.) the sediments are dominated
by still-water peats (based on core samples, as opposed to
fluvial peats), lenses of shell, and clays. In the upslope,
shallower areas of the site, the sediments are dominated by
clays; and woods and other organic materials, although pre-
sent, are much less well preserved. No peat levels were en-
countered in the shallower parts of the site.
Test B, located in the deeper water area of the site,
revealed the first in situ cultural component identified at
Page/Ladson (Figure 2). There were no projectile points
recovered from this component although we suspect that
some form of late Bolen Side- or Corner-notched or early
Kirk or Wacissa points would have been a part of the as-
semblage of that time. The excavations did yield a set of
deer antler pressure flaking tools, an exhausted unifacial
adze, and other bone and stone tools. The component was
called the Antler Flaker level in reference to the antler
tools. Carbon samples from the Antler Flaker level have
not been dated, but dates from other levels in the pit sug-
gest an age between 9,000 and 9,500 years. A radiocarbon
date of 9,450100 B.P., 7,500 B.C. (Beta-15089), was ob-
tained from charcoal in the level directly below the Antler
Below the Antler Flaker level in Test B, two strata
were encountered that yielded Bolen projectile points, bifa-
cial Dalton-like adzes, a variety of unifacial stone tools, and
bone pins. The assemblage from the younger of the two
Bolen levels contained Bolen Beveled points. Two levels
below the Antler Flaker level, a date of 9,730+ 120 B.P.,
7,780 B.C. (Beta-11905), was secured from a peat stratum in
the younger Bolen level. The older Bolen component con-
tained Bolen Plain points. Dunbar has estimated that it
dates to 10,000 years B.P., based on dates from a Bolen
Plain component in Test C at Page/Ladson. The Test C
component yielded dates of 10,000120 B.P., 8,050 B.C.
(Beta 21750), and 10,280 110 B.P., 8,330 B.C. (Beta
The unifacial adze recovered from the Antler
Flaker level of the Page/Ladson site was the first and so far
only example recovered from a datable stratigraphic se-
quence. The Antler Flaker level was sealed by the subse-
quent deposition of clay, therefore the integrity of this find
seems particularly good. The unifacial adze, which we have
named the Aucilla adze, differs from the Dalton-like and
other bifacial adze forms recovered from the earlier Bolen
levels of the site. For example, the Bolen Plain component
in Test C yielded three broken bifacial adze bits. The Bolen
Beveled stratum of Test B probably yielded a bifacial Dal-
ton adze, although the context was somewhat questionable
because an ancient rock collapse from the adjacent lime-
stone cliffs made it difficult to trace stratigraphic layers.
Subsequent to the discovery of the adze from the
Antler Flaker level, several other specimens were recovered
from eroded deposits (surface collected) in the Aucilla
River. A search through a number of private collections re-
vealed additional specimens collected from the north and
central parts of Florida (Figure 4).
The Adze Analysis
As a part of the overall Half Mile Rise study, we
analyzed a sample of 47 complete unifacial adzes (Table 1).
Our principal goal was to describe the size, shape, and
working edge of the tools. We also wanted to examine vari-
ation in those attributes and determine if we could address
questions about the manufacture and use of the tools in our
sample (see Jefferies  for an analysis of Middle Ar-
chaic scrapers with similar intent and methods).
We measured both metric and non-metric at-
tributes of each of the adzes in our sample (Table 2).
Whallon (1982) has argued that the most important step in
the construction of artifact typologies is the selection of
variables to measure and the identification of dimensions of
variability. This step is also of critical concern in the analy-
sis of artifacts of the sort we attempt here. We selected
variables to measure that were related to artifact size and
shape and to artifact function. Some of the variables
(weight, length, the various width and thickness measures)
measure overall size and shape. Others (e.g., length of the
hafting notch, distance from the butt to the notch, and width
and thickness at the notch and butt) are related to how the
tools were hafted, as well as to size and shape. Finally, at
least one measurement (bit angle) and perhaps others (bit
width and bit thickness) are arguably related to the function
of the tools.
We used several techniques to analyze our data.
They ranged from the simple to the relatively complex, and
told us different things. First we calculated simple descrip-
tive statistics, measures such as mean, standard deviation,
coefficient of variation, median, and spread. Then we used
graphical techniques to examine the distributions of vari-
ables and their relationships to each other. Finally, we
performed a principal components analysis to reduce the
variation in our sample of adzes to a limited number of di-
mensions of variability that we hoped to be able to interpret
in meaningful terms.
Descriptive Statistics. Table 3 presents the results
of the initial step in our analysis of the adzes. These simple
descriptive statistics provide estimates for the central values
Specimen Provecience Collection BAR Ace. No.
1 Page/Ladson Private
2 Unknown Private
3 Lake Bird Private
4 Lake Bird Private
5 Lake Bird Private
6 Half Mile Rise Private
7 Unknown Private
8 Page/Ladson Private
9 Page/Ladon Private
10 Little liver B.A.R. 87-011-5105
11 31J603 IN Quad Surface B.A.R.
12 lucills liver below VWY 98 Private
13 Aucilla liver below Nuttall Rise Private
14 Aucilla liver below Mandalay Private
15 Aucilla liver below Williams Fish Camp Private
t Page/Ladaoa L.A.R. 84-527-2-A
17 Page/Ladson B.A.R. 84-527-5
18 Half Mile inse Sink 8TA98 Private
19 Page/Ladsoi B.A.R. 84-527-9
20 Santa Fe River B.A.R. 85-58-00
21 Maimno leach Park B.A.R. 85-58-021
22 Santa Fe liver below Wilson Springs (W BANK) B.A.R. 85-58-04
23 Ancilla liver below HWY 98 Private
24 Ancilla liver below HWY 98 Private
25 Aucilla liver Private
26 Sawannee liver Private
27 Sand Hills S of BTY 98, V of Aucilla R. Private
28 St. Marks liver above HWY 98 Private
29 Aucilla liver, Nuttall Rise Area Private
30 Suwannee River, Ellaville Private
31 Half Mile lise Private
32 Aucilla River Private
33 Page/Ladsoa B.A.R. 84-527-2-B
34 Black Hole Cave BTA120 B.A.R. 84-525-00
35 IALl62 Private
36 Santa Fe River Private
37 Santa Fe liver Private
31 Santa Fe River B.A.R. 85-58-00
39 Santa Fe River B.A.R. 85-58-00
40 Santa Fe liver B.A.R. 85-58-00
41 Unknown Private
42 Santa Fe River B.A.R. 85-58-00
43 Santa Fe liver 4 B.A.R. 85-58-010
44 Broken Point Creek B.A.R. 85-58-033
45 Fairfield B.A.R. 85-58-029
46 Suwannee River above HWY 27 Private
47 Suwannee liver above 9W1 27 Private
Specimen light Length lit lotch Butt lit Iotch Bltt Notch lotc: lit WIde Impact Polish
(gs) (i) Width Width lidth Thick Thick Thick to lase Leaith Anlie Grindin Fractures (T/F)
(u) () (n) (n) (U) (a In (a ( a)(de) (T/1) (1?)
1 150 100
2 105 14
3 113 76
4 83 to
5 45 72
8 59 83
8 133 89
1 5 73
10 120 71
11 162 103
12 I1 0
13 147 94
14 248.5 123
15 166.6 109
16 123 13
II 126.3 13
18 156.7 8
19 13 61
20 175 17
21 173.8 95
22 53.1 42
23 84 I5
24 131.5 101
25 321.5 148
28 1.5 1B
21 215.1 123
28 161.4 7
29 17 12
30 195.5 120
31 100.3 80
32 71.5 87
33 52.5 69
34 14.4 70
35 70.4 87
36 101.5 101
37 139.3 101
31 220.4 104
39 78 71
0I 104.5 71
41 269.5 149
42 112 101
43 62.2 93
44 175.I 96
45 44.7 67
46 130.1 94
47 12.5 61
14 25.5 23.5 45
16 21 18 48
17 29.5 31 59
12 31.5 13 53
11 26.5 18.5 51
13 28 13 57
18 42.5 25 61
15 22.5 17.5 55
11 22.5 15 65
15 25.5 25.5 74
13 19.5 21.5 63
1I 20 11.5 45
21 32 27 40
16 23.5 21.5 43
1I 17.5 29.5 40
11 22.5 20.5 50
I8 15 22 17
15 10.5 37 6I
15 15 21.5 5t
II 14 23 57
16 15 28 50
11 11 10.5 72
17 13 21 39
14 28 15.5 50
14 35.5 31.5 45
21 118.5 24 80
11 15 21.5 49
17 13 19 67
20 16 14 57
21 17.5 16.5 43
7 6 14.5 49
13 15 II 42
20 16 16.5 74
16 12 31.5 59
9 4.5 10.5 68
10 34.5 15 36
16 30.5 13.5 55
22 28.5 30 46
13 15 25 55
18 21 13 70
16 10.5 20.5 43
21 36 21.5 5t
9 9 15 38
20 7 10.5 56
9 17 8 8I
12 14.5 12 80
II 21.5 15 5S
Table 2. Metric and non-metric data for Aucilla adzes.
Table 1. Provenience data for analyzed Aucilla adzes.
Variable Mean Standard Coefficient of Maximum Minimum
Weight (gm) 129.174 61.105 47.3 321.5 44.7
Length (m) 89.66 20.477 22.8 149 62
Bit Width (em) 52.277 10.788 20.6 78 30
Notch Width (nm) 36.809 7.767 21.1 58 23
Butt Width (mn) 39.319 9.524 24.2 60 24
Bit Thickness (nn) 26.809 4.762 17.8 37 15
Notch Thickness (In) 21.872 3.728 17.0 32 14
Butt Thickness (en,) 20.138 3 682 18.3 22 7
Notch-base Length (mn) 20.266 8.753 43.2 42.5 6
Notch Length (mi) 20.138 7.02 34.9 37 8
Bit Angle (deg) 56.319 12.948 23.0 87 36
Table 3. Summary statistics for metric variable.
o 1 2 3 Plan-view
Figure 5. "Typical" Aucilla adze.
and spread of the metric attributes we studied. A schematic
view of a "typical" adze is shown in Figure 5. The average
Aucilla adze is 90 mm long and weighs 129 gm. It is 52 mm
wide at the bit, 37 mm wide at the point of greatest con-
striction, and 39 mm wide at the butt. It is 27 mm thick at
the bit, 22 mm thick at the notch, and 20 mm thick at the
butt. It has a bit angle of 56 degrees. The notch or con-
striction presumably used for hafting is 20 mm long and is
located 20 mm from the butt.
Several things are clear from the descriptive statis-
tics. First, there is a lot of variation in the adzes. Second,
not all dimensions are equally variable. The coefficients of
variation (which are simply a measure of variability as a
percentage of the mean) allow comparisons of relative vari-
ability among measured variables. Three dimensions (notch
length, distance from the butt to the notch, and weight) are
clearly much more variable than the others.
While these descriptive statistics tell us something
about the "average" adze and about variation among the
adzes in our sample, there is much they do not tell us. For
example, we do not know how realistic our estimates of
central tendencies and variation are. Also, they do not tell
us anything about the distribution of values for the vari-
Exploratory Data Analysis. The second stage of
our analysis involved the application of several techniques
that fall under the general category of exploratory data
analysis (Tukey 1977; Velleman and Hoaglin 1981). These
techniques have not been widely applied to archaeological
problems (see Clark 1982; Shennan 1988) but where they
have been applied, they seem to be particularly useful and
powerful (e.g., Scarry 1986).
The aim of exploratory data analysis is to explore a
set of data looking for significant patterning. The pattern-
ing in a set of data typically consists of general patterns
(what practitioners of EDA call the "smooth") and
individual variations on those patterns (the "rough"). As
Shennan puts it, the task of the analyst is to distinguish the
general patterns from the idiosyncratic variation.
Exploratory data analysis places a greater emphasis
on the visual display of data than on summary statistics de-
rived from data. It also places much less emphasis on tests
of statistical significance than do standard forms of statisti-
cal analysis. Finally, it replaces many of the traditional de-
scriptive statistics with measures that are more robust and
resistant. In statistical terms, a robust measure is one that
provides an accurate summary in a wide variety or circum-
stances and not just when specific assumptions about the
distribution of the data are met. A resistant measure is one
that is not severely affected by one or two extreme values in
a distribution. The traditional measures of the central ten-
dency and spread of a set of measurements (i.e., the mean
and standard deviation) are neither robust nor resistant. In
most circumstances the median (or middle value) and the
midspread (range within which 50% of the values fall) are
much more robust and resistant, and thus are the measures
more often used in exploratory data analysis.
The first step in this stage of the analysis involved
the calculation of medians and midspreads for the measured
variables. These are shown in Table 4. In most cases, the
median values are close to the mean values shown in Table
3. This suggests that there were no variables that had ex-
tremely high or low values that would distort the picture of
The second EDA step involved the examination of
the distributions of individual variables. We generated his-
tograms for each of our metric variables (Figure 6). These
graphical displays present a picture of the distribution of a
variable, allowing the identification of those variables that
have asymmetrical distributions or more than a single
It is clear from the histograms that not all of the
variables we measured have values distributed randomly
about a central value. Some appear to have more than one
modal value (i.e., they do not have a single most common
value). In particular, bit thickness and butt width appear to
a 8 Ut
a" n' I oa
I1." I. I"
0 ISM HO 10 4 W 0 10 110 It 1 4 3 70 8
A.- 04- 1 "'4.-
a4 3 4 4 i 66 G0 ]o 120 43 1" 254 S 5 70 4 2 3
Nets WiM a
I I A_.
W.WM 04)011 12 14t 3
4 .- j -
SIa 5 -
1 n I -- p II iJ L
0 so to 15 4 7 14 20 11 3 o
7j 03 s4
4 20 2 I 24 0 Is 30 4 00
Figure 6. Histograms showing distribution of metric variables.
0 l l
2 10 40 In0 4
1 M0 S 4 50
S 80 IN0 126 14 1(6O
0 i 20 HI
-3 I I
O0 20 M
o 30 46 50 60 70 I4
to 2S 49
01 t 20 30 40 5(
0 I I Ul i
0 U2 30 40 31 40 IS 40 71 40 (I
Figure L7. Normal probability plots for metric variables.
Figure 7. Normal probability plots for metric variables.
t v.,: ... ;. .. .......: .. i. :. ,' ',' ..".... .......
*" : .i : '.. '* .
. '. .. .. . .
Figure 8. Bivariate scatterplots of metric variables.
Bit Width (mm)
Notch Width (mm)
Butt Width (mm)
Bit Thickness (mm)
Notch Thickness (mm)
Butt Thickness (mm)
Notch-base Leneth (mm)
Notch Length (mm)
Bit Angle (deg)
Table 4. Medians and midspreads for metric variables.
have bi-modal distributions (see Figure 6).
Other variables clearly have a limiting value beyond
which they do not extend. To examine this situation we
used probability plots, which plot variables against the ex-
pected values of a normal distribution. If the values of a
variable are distributed randomly, they will fall on a straight
line when plotted against the normal probability distribu-
tion. We can identify deviations from random variation,
such as a limiting value, when a variable deviates from a
straight line. If a dimension is limited at its upper or lower
end, the plots will have curving tails. In fact, there is evi-
dence of limits for a number of variables (Figure 7). For bit
angles there is a lower limit of roughly 35 degrees. There
are also lower limits for length (60 mm) and notch width
(23 mm). In the other direction, there is an upper limit for
thickness at the butt (23 mm).
These univariate analyses provide considerable in-
formation about the adzes and the variability among them.
They do not provide information about the relationships
Bivariate plots where one variable is plotted against
another can show relationships between variables. We
plotted pairs of variables to see if we could find relation-
ships between them (Figure 8). While we found no evi-
dence of bivariate clustering, we did find relationships.
General size variables (e.g., length and weight) have quite
strong relationships and are positively correlated (Figure 9).
Bit angle and total length also have a strong relationship but
here the correlation is negative (Figure 10).
Correlation Analysis. Because the bivariate plots
suggested that there were significant relationships between
variables, we calculated correlation coefficients between
pairs of variables to examine these apparent relationships.
The results of this analysis are shown in Table 5.
There are strong positive correlations between
many of the variables we measured. This is not surprising
since at one level the positively correlated variables are all
60 80 100 120 140 160
Figure 9. Relationship between length and weight.
60 80 100 120 140
Figure 10. Relationship between bit angle and length.
measures of size. The positive correlations are not all
equivalent, however. Some variables are less strongly cor-
related with the measures of general size. Measures of
thickness, notch placement, and notch length are not corre-
lated as strongly with size as are the measures of weight,
length and width.
Butt Notch- Notch Bit
Width Width Thickness Thickness Thickness base
Bit Width 0.783 0.657
0.787 0.596 0,766 1.000
Butt Width 0.686 0.495 0.773 0.865 1.000
Bit Thick 0.437 0.239 0.177 0.231 0,200
0.440 0.217 0.264 0,378 0,438
Butt Thick 0.392 0.216 0,308 0.342 0.364
0.187 0.218 0.202 0.344 0.264 -0,034
0.472 0.316 0.526 0,530 0.592
Bit Angle -0.296 -0.459 -0.352 -0.328 -0.301
0.352 0.219 1.000
0.031 -0.039 -0.181 -0.181 1.000
Table 5. Correlations between metric variables.
Variable Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 3
(Size) (Robusticity) (Haft Size)
Weight 0.910 0.047 -0.299
Length 0.755 0.276 -0.342
Bit Width 0,845 0.245 -0.136
Notch Width 0,883 0.170 0,057
Butt Width 0,858 0.120 0.092
Bit Thickness 0.434 -0.764 -0.201
Notch Thickness 0.563 -0,615 0.099
Butt Thickness 0.562 -0.576 0.228
Notch-base Length 0.341 0.180 0,785
Notch Length 0.652 -0.004 0.217
Bit Angle -0,367 -0.634 -0.031
Table 7. Component loadings for metric variables on
first three principal components.
Table 6. Variance explained by first three principal
Weight Length Bit Width
Bit angle was not positively correlated with most of
the general measures of artifact size. It was, in fact, nega-
tively correlated with more of the other variables. The only
variables positively correlated with bit angle (and the cor-
relations were not strong) were bit and notch thickness.
Principal Components Analysis. The correlations
between variables suggests that they constitute redundant
measures of the underlying variability of the adzes in our
sample. To examine this problem, we performed an r-mode
principal components analysis. Principal components analy-
sis is a multivariate data reduction technique that seeks to
describe the variation in a set of data derived from mea-
surements of many variables (or dimensions) in a smaller
number of dimensions. In an r-mode analysis, the relation-
ships between variables are examined rather than the rela-
tionships between objects (Cowgill 1982).
Using the "standard" cut-off point (an eigenvalue of
1.00), our analysis yielded three dimensions of variability
(Table 6) that account for roughly 73% of the total variation
in our sample of adzes. As is often the case, the first com-
ponent can be interpreted as a size measure (see Whallon
1982:143). This is not surprising considering that nearly all
of the variables we examined can be seen as measures of
some aspect of overall size. This component accounts for
over 46% of the variation among the adzes. The second
dimension, which accounts for over 17% of the total
variation, appears to be a measure of robusticity. The high-
est loadings for this component are associated with bit angle
and the various thickness measures (Table 7). This dimen-
sion of variability separates thick adzes with steep edge an-
gles from thinner adzes with sharper edges. The third di-
mension, which accounts for less than 10% of the total vari-
ation, is related to the hafting of the tools. The positive
component loadings for this component are all with vari-
ables associated with the haft area -- notch and butt width
and thickness, notch length, and notch placement. The
highest loading is with notch placement.
We examined the distributions of the three princi-
pal components to see if there were grounds for partitioning
the adzes into groups. There is no good evidence of dis-
continuities in the distributions of any of the principal com-
We also examined, but did not measure quantita-
tively, three attributes of the adzes in our sample (polish,
resharpening, and edge grinding). These attributes were
not subject to statistical evaluation. Nevertheless, they can
provide important information about the adzes and they
need to be addressed here.
Perhaps the most striking feature of the specimen
recovered from the Antler Flaker level was a high degree of
hafting polish noted on its dorsal/lateral margins and along
the unretouched side. The hafting polish on this and other
specimens (roughly 20% of the 47 adzes displayed similar
polish and adzes from terrestrial sites were too patinated to
show polish), clearly shows the Aucilla adze was hafted with
the dorsal ridge towards the handle and with the unre-
touched side up.
Another non-metric observation relates to resharp-
ening. "New" adzes (or those that appeared not to have
been resharpened) had smaller edge angles and gave more
evidence of impact damage than "old" adzes. Resharpened
adzes tended not to show impact damage because the
steeper edge angle presumably could resist impact fractures.
It should also be mentioned that some specimens may have
been discarded by their makers because of irreversible
damage incurred during resharpening.
A final observation on the adzes concerns prepara-
tion of the presumed hafting area. The notched areas of the
adzes were carefully prepared by backing and grinding the
lateral edges. Grinding for hafting purposes is a character-
istic of Paleoindian point assemblages that seems to have
extended to these Early Archaic unifacial adzes (Purdy
Our analyses suggest to us that the Aucilla adze,
cannot be easily divided into subtypes based on the variables
we examined in this study. There is only limited evidence of
discontinuities in single variables; there is no good evidence
of multivariate clustering; and there is no evidence of dis-
continuities or multimodality in the major underlying di-
mensions of variation.
The variability in the dimensions we measured is
also explicable. If we think about the constraints involved
in making and using a tool like these adzes, it makes good
sense that not all dimensions can vary equally and that some
dimensions will have limits.
Why would thickness vary less than other dimen-
sions? Several possible reasons come to mind. Thickness is
the dimension least likely to be altered during resharpening,
and we think resharpening is a major cause of variation in
the adzes. Also, thickness is a dimension that we would ex-
pect to have limiting values. An adze cannot be too thin or
it will break, particularly where it is hafted. It cannot be too
thick (particularly at the butt end) or it will be difficult to
haft and use.
We are not surprised to see that the measurements
of notch size and placement are highly variable. They are
the dimensions that are hardest to measure and are the
most subjective of our measurements.
The negative correlations between bit angle and
size measures such as total length also make sense if we
think about the mechanics of tool use and refurbishing. The
adzes are finished tools that were probably curated and re-
sharpened. While there were undoubtedly differences in
the original lengths, the shorter specimens are more likely
to have been resharpened than the longer specimens. One
product of resharpening is an increase in the edge angle of
the bit. Thus, resharpened (shorter) adzes are more likely
to have higher edge angles.
The principal components of variation that we
identified also seem to make sense. If the adzes in our
sample are derived from a set of tools designed to serve a
limited number of functions, it is not surprising that there
are no distinct groupings of tools that would lead to discon-
tinuities in underlying dimensions of variability. If the adzes
are curated tools subject to refurbishing and resharpening
through a reduction process, we would expect that they
would vary in size as a result of that reduction. The amount
of variation seen in the working angle of the tools suggests
that the adzes might have been used for more than one
function requiring either a more robust tool with a steep
edge angle or a sharper, thinner tool. Alternatively, the re-
duction process employed to resharpen the tools may have
systematically produced steeper edge angles (see preceding
Finally, while the form of a tool is unquestionably
related to its function, variation of the kind seen in our
sample would not seriously affect the use of the tools -- or
so we believe. If we are correct in this assumption, it should
not be surprising to see that most of the variation in our
sample can be attributed to random variation in individual
dimensions, variation not leading to distinct tool types
within the sample.
The Aucilla adze was a curated unifacial chopping
tool. It appears somewhat younger (probably 9,000 to 9,500
years old) than the bifacial forms associated with Bolen and
Greenbriar components (estimated at 9,500 to 10,500 years
in age) and should fall within the Transitional to Early Ar-
chaic time frame. As a curated, unifacial tool, would fit into
Daniel's idealized Suwannee technology (Daniel et al. 1986).
The adze was hafted with the unifacial side out-
ward. It was resharpened until final discard or loss. Many
specimens were used long enough to acquire significant
polish around the hafting area. The Aucilla adze appears to
have been similar in function to the earlier Dalton-like
adzes recovered from the Bolen levels at the Page/Ladson
site, but unlike those tools in manufacture. Our analyses
indicate that as resharpening occurred the adze became
shorter and the bit width became narrower while the hafting
thickness remained the same.
We see no evidence to suggest that more than a
single tool type is represented in our sample.
The continuing excavations at Half Mile Rise have
been a combined project of the Florida Museum of Natural
History and the Florida Bureau of Archeological Research.
Florida State University's Academic Diving Program,
PA.R.T. of Florida, and other interested professionals and
private individuals, have greatly assisted the project. Major
funding for the project has been provided by grants from
the National Geographic Society to S. David Webb of the
Florida Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for
the project has been provided by the Florida Museum of
Natural History, the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Re-
search, and the Florida State University Academic Diving
We want to thank Louis Hill, Ellis Moore, Joe
Page, Buddy Page, Don Serbousek, Ben Waller, and Craig
Willis for allowing us to study adzes in their collections.
Without their cooperation, this study would not have been
Note. All statistical analyses were performed using SYS-
TAT statistical software, version 4.1. The statistical graphs
were generated using SYGRAPH, version 1.1.
Clark, Geoffrey A.
1982 Quantifying Archaeological Research. In Advances in
Archaeological Method and Theory 5, edited by
Michael B. Schiffer, pp. 217-273. Academic Press,
Cowgill, George L.
1982 Clusters of Objects and Associations between Vari-
ables: Two Approaches to Archaeological Classifica-
tion. In Essays on Archaeological Typology, edited by
Robert Whallon and James A. Brown, pp. 30-55.
Center for American Archaeology Press, Evanston,
Daniel, I. Randolph, Jr., and Michael Wisenbaker
1983 A Preliminary Report on the Excavation at Harney
Flats, Hillsborough County. The Florida Anthropolo-
1987 Harney Flats: A Florida Paleo-Indian Site. Baywood
Daniel, I. Randolph, Jr., Michael Wisenbaker, and George
1986 The Organization of a Suwannee Technology: The
View from Harney Flats. The Florida Anthropologist
Dunbar, James S.
1989 The Aucilla Project 1988: An Archaeological Report
on 1988 Research Activities at the Page/Ladson Site
(8JE591) in the Half Mile Rise Section of the Aucilla
River, North Florida. Ms. on file, Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Tallahassee.
Dunbar, James S., and Ben I. Waller
1983 A Distribution Analysis of the Clovis/ Suwannee Pa-
leo-Indian sites in Florida -- A Geographic Approach.
The Florida Anthropologist 36:18-30.
Dunbar, James S., Michael K. Faught, and S. David Webb
1988Page/Ladson (8Je591): An Underwater Paleo-Indian
Site in Northwestern Florida. The Florida Anthropol-
Jefferies, Richard W.
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Archaic Halted Endscrapers from the Black Earth
Site, Saline County, Illinois. Midcontinental Journal of
Purdy, Barbara A.
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Presses of Florida. Gainesville.
Scarry, C. Margaret
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the Emergence of the Moundville Chiefdom. Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Michigan. University Mi-
crofilms, Ann Arbor.
Shennan, Stephen J.
1988 Quantifying Archaeology.
Tukey, John W.
1977 Exploratory Data Analysis.
1983 An Extinct Bison Kill Site, Jefferson County, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 36:81-82.
1984A Bison antiquus Kill Site, Wacissa River, Jefferson
County, Florida. American Antiquity 49:384-392.
1982 Variables and Dimensions: The Critical Step in
Quantitative Typology. In Essays on Archaeological
Typology, edited by Robert Whallon and James A.
Brown, pp. 127-161. Center for American Archaeol-
ogy Press, Evanston, Illinois.
Florida State University
John F. Scarry, Director
Program for Cultural Resource Assessment
101 American Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0100
James S. Dunbar
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research
Division of Historical Resources
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
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Velleman, Paul F., and David C. Hoaglin
1981 Applications, Basics, and Computing of Exploratory
Data Analysis. Duxbury Press, Boston.
Waller, Ben I.
1969 Paleo-Indian and Other Artifacts from a Florida
Stream Bed. The Florida Anthropologist 22:37-39.
1970 Some Occurrences of Paleo-Indian Projectile Points
in Florida Waters. The Florida Anthropologist 23:129-
Waller, Ben I., and James S. Dunbar
1977 Distribution of Paleo-Indian Projectiles in Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 30:79-80.
Webb, S. David, Jerald T. Milanich, Roger Alexon, and
James S. Dunbar
TESTING REMOTE SHELL MIDDEN MOUNDS IN THE LOWER APALACHICOLA VALLEY,
Nancy Marie White
University of South Florida
Unlike coastal shell mounds and other types of
shell middens in northwest Florida, and elsewhere on the
Gulf and other coasts, mounded prehistoric shell middens in
the lower Apalachicola delta swamp forest/estuary have
only recently been recorded. Many of these midden mounds
are remote from today's communities and roads. Locating
these sites, as well as devising strategies for testing them,
has presented logistical and methodological problems. So-
lutions to these problems introduce known biases that can-
not always be corrected, and probably many other biases
not yet recognized.
This paper describes specific conditions, ap-
proaches, and techniques used for locating and investigating
shell mounds in the lower Apalachicola Valley swamp/
estuary. It is a case study of a new project, and by nature
somewhat anecdotal. Not every investigator will face the
same situations in other such environments, but some
questions, such as adequate sampling methods, are common
to many researchers. The discussion proceeds from the
specifics of technique to issues such as data interpretation.
Survey: Finding Shell Mounds and Interpreting Locational
and Other Data
Since 1984 the University of South Florida (USF)
has conducted archaeological research in the Apalachicola
River Valley of northwest Florida. About 50 miles west of
Tallahassee, the Apalachicola Valley is actually the lowest
portion of the great Chattahoochee River system, which
originates in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It flows from the
confluence of the Chattahoochee and the Flint Rivers, 107
miles southward into the Gulf of Mexico. The Apalachicola
is the largest river in Florida, with the most fish and shell-
fish species, the highest densities of amphibians and reptiles
north of Mexico, and a large number of unique flora and
fauna (Livingston 1984:26-27).
The upper and middle portions of the Apalachicola
valley and the lower Chattahoochee consist mostly of broad
alluvial bottomlands, good land for agriculture. From at
least Early Woodland times (the last millennium B.C.) on-
ward, freshwater molluscs and gastropods occur as food
refuse in habitation site middens (White 1981). Even late
prehistoric Mississippian (Fort Walton) chiefdoms, sup-
ported by intensive maize agriculture, supplemented the
diet with river mussels to some extent (White 1982)
The lowest segment of the Apalachicola Valley is a
delta comprising a vast estuary and bay system (Figure 1).
On the outer edge, barrier islands front upon the Gulf of
Mexico. Oyster and clamshell middens of many sizes have
been recorded on the bay shores of both the mainland and
In 1985 USF's archaeological survey focused upon
the lower portion of the valley encompassing the estuary.
One goal was simply to locate as many sites as possible,
since so few from this area had ever been recorded. An-
other goal was to begin an investigation aimed at compari-
son of prehistoric settlement and subsistence in the coastal
and estuarine regions with the patterns known for the inland
riverine region (Henefield and White 1986).
The lower Apalachicola Valley delta covers some
500 square miles and is fairly undisturbed and heavily
forested. Field survey is difficult in this thickly vegetated
watery wilderness (Watts 1975), especially in summer, the
season dictated for fieldwork by the academic calendar.
Even using traditional survey methods (as opposed to a sta-
tistically rigorous sampling program), such as targeting
high probability areas and effecting judgemental samples of
the entire region, few sites were found in the heavily alluvi-
ated river swamp area.
The most common kind of site located in the river
swamp was the shell midden mound (White 1987). These
are large elongated middens rising up 1-4 m above the sur-
rounding lowlands. They are long and narrow, probably
aligned with present or former stream channels, presumably
from which the shellfish were collected, though we need to
establish individual fluvial histories before this can really be
determined. (There are also one or two small shell midden
sites here, with a few shells loosely mixed into a flat, sandy
midden matrix, but these are not mounds. Comparison of
them with the mounds would be interesting).
The Apalachicola shell mounds were located by
two methods. One was informant interview, our best infor-
mants being some local people. They directed us to sites
which they had discovered while hunting and fishing, as they
hiked the forest or navigated the many streams. In the fall,
when hunting season is open and vegetation is less dense,
hunters seek high ground to find game. They learn the land
well and can tell how elevation or vegetational differences
might indicate mounds, such as tall palms amid a sea of
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
0 10 20
Figure 1. Map of the Lower Apalachicola Valley showing the
estuarine and bay system, and the four shell midden mounds tested.
Figure 2. Depot Creek Shell Mound (8GU56) as seen in a recent
Apalachicola National Estuarine Reserve photo. A former apiary,
its cleared summit is an obvious white patch in the thick swamp
forest. Shell mound dimensions: 120 m east-west, 45 m north-south,
1.5 m high from surrounding swamp forest.
sawgrass. One hunter found a well hidden, undisturbed shell
mound when his dogs chased some wild hogs to a piece of
high ground covered in thick vines. The hogs, rooting up the
vegetation, uncovered a few oyster shells.
Our informants said they seldom went into these
swamps in the summer, but graciously guided us to several
sites in June and July. Fieldwork then is hard, hot labor,
with the dangers of snakes, insects, pigs, and alligator (not
to mention wall-to-wall poison ivy), and also the problem of
being up to 3 hours from any paved road or telephone. The
student field crew wore heavy clothing and took pride in
their toughness, thus overcoming this potential barrier to
Others who helped locate sites were those familiar
with county road construction operations of the past. Shell
has been a common material for mixing into road or other
fill. The best place to get a large amount of shell is a pre-
historic shell midden mound. As elsewhere in Florida (any
other states?), some lower Apalachicola Valley shell
mounds, remote as they are, have been mined for road fill
material. Gordon Willey recalls seeing evidence of this as
far back as 1940 when he did the original survey work for
his 1949 classic monograph (Willey 1985:179-180).
The second survey method was map inspection.
Though USDA soil survey maps sometimes denote mounds,
none will be completed for the Apalachicola estuarine
counties until some time in the early 1990s. However the
USGS quadrangle maps, even though most date to the
1940s, and more recent aerial and infrared aerial photos,
made location of some shell mounds easy. Because of their
elevation above the surrounding swamps, some mounds
were used earlier in this century for apiaries. This area has
the largest stand of tupelo trees in the world, according to
Woody Miley, director of the Apalachicola National Estu-
arine Reserve. Bees would be brought in during the flow-
ering season and left on the mounds to make the prized tu-
pelo honey. At least two of these former apiaries had the
ruins of old docks and wooden walkways through the swamp
to the shell mound, where the bees would be left on the
summit. On the old quad maps, though the contour intervals
are not small enough to indicate a mound, a few were la-
beled apiaries. On the aerial photos the cleared summits of
the apiary shell mounds are unmistakable white spots in
the forest (Figure 2).
Other shell mounds not used for apiaries are in-
visible on maps. So far we cannot recognize vegetational
differences for many mounds. Field survey shows that some
do not even have different flora from the surrounding wet-
lands, though others do. Larger scale aerial photos might
show forest differences more clearly. New USGS quad
maps, ortho-photo quads with metric contour intervals, may
make more mounds detectable. Contour lines and high
spots are usually strikingly different with a 2 or 3 meter
contour interval from those on the old quads, which have 10
Interpreting Survey Data
The hit or miss survey methods used in this re-
search doubtless resulted in a biased sample of the
Apalachicola estuarine shell mounds. Further work with
more sophisticated techniques can determine how unrepre-
sentative it is. As Schiffer has stated, until recently archae-
ologists seldom carried out large surveys in regions having
such poor visibility and accessibility. When they do, it
requires a variety of "heroic and methodologically unlovely
techniques," simply to make site discovery possible. These
surveys seldom make exaggerated claims for their degree of
intensity (however that is defined), and one must be candid
about the limited view they provide of the archaeological
record (Schiffer 1987:350).
Nonetheless our survey data do permit distin-
guishing of several differences among the shell mounds.
Some may be due to differential effects of rising sea level
and constant fluvial shifts in the estuary/lower valley
swamp. Mound locations range from stream banks to hun-
dreds of meters away from streams. Some mound elevations
are high above the surrounding swamp but one is partially
submerged. At least one site seems to have been an oyster
midden deeply buried in peat or muck, which only became
known when agricultural interests attempted to build a few
canals some years ago to drain some land. The backhoe op-
erator reportedly struck buried shell when digging out the
canal and used it to build a dike road on the bank (the
Former Shell Mound site, 8Gu53, Henefield and White
1986). At least one other source mentions buried shell mid-
dens in this region (Clewell 1986:29).
The shell midden mounds are usually composed of
Rangia clams with some oyster. A sandy soil matrix packed
with shells comprised some of the mounds, while others had
simply packed shells with little surrounding soil. Surface ar-
tifacts and faunal remains were sometimes plentiful and
other times nonexistent.
To summarize: interpreting spatial and temporal
distributions of shell midden mounds is still problematic
since fewer than a dozen have yet been located. However,
data from reliable local informants and even old maps with
little topographic relief are invaluable. More rigorously
structured survey to sample different sectors of the estu-
ary/lower valley swamp for the presence of shell mounds
will be impossible without more expensive and intensive
methods, as well as increased access to private lands (where
it was previously denied).
Testing The Shell Mounds
Research Questions and Choice of Sites to Test
In 1987 a program of limited test excavations was be-
gun at four shell mounds in the lower Apalachicola Valley.
We began asking questions similar to those investigated at
other kinds of sites and later faced issues specific to shell
mounds. Sites tested were the Van Horn Creek (8Fr744),
Yellow Houseboat, Depot Creek, and Clark Creek (8Gu55,
56, and 60, respectively) shell mounds (Figure 1). The first
issues were basic: identification of cultural components,
temporal spans, seasonality, contemporaneity, and biotic re-
sources utilized besides the obvious shellfish.
Another set of questions was developed for longer
range research: How did the adaptations of the shell
mound inhabitants compare with those of the interior
riverine prehistoric cultures through time? There are large
Middle Woodland burial mounds along the upper
Apalachicola, and evidence of incipient maize horticulture
from the Late Woodland, about A.D. 800 (Milanich 1974).
Was there ever horticulture in the estuarine environment,
today so difficult to farm (Clewell 1986:30), or did people
have such an abundance of wild foods as to make it unnec-
One issue currently of interest in studying shell
mounds of southern peninsular Florida concerns the devel-
opment of cultural complexity based only on a wild resource
economy (Goggin and Sturtevant 1964; Marquardt 1986;
Widmer 1988). This is pertinent in northwest Florida as well.
Did any shell mounds have late prehistoric occupation con-
temporaneous with the Fort Walton farmers of the riverine
interior? In other words, were there Fort Walton people
living exclusively off wild resources at the lower end of this
valley, interacting, perhaps, with agricultural chiefdoms up-
river who had a similar material culture?
To begin, since so little was known about any of the
shell mounds, choosing which of them to test first had little
to do with actual detailed research issues. Instead, choices
were structured by field logistics such as time, money, and
equipment available. As potentially unscientific as this
sounds, more field researchers structure operations this way
than are willing to admit it.
Two shell mounds were near larger streams. Even
this situation was not without trials, such as negotiating a
few hundred meters of barely penetrable swamp carrying
heavy equipment. Once confidence was built and the crew
more seasoned, more remote mounds could be reached.
The other two required hours of pushing up almost unnavi-
gable creeks and hiking through wetlands.
Establishing a test excavation program that was fea-
sible yet made scientific sense was a continuous process of
trial and improvement, especially as we had no previous ex-
perience with shell mounds. Again, many decisions were
made on the basis of logistics, combined with general prin-
ciples of good archaeology.
The number of units or total square meters we could
open were calculated based upon experience at sand mid-
den sites and upon the givens of crew size (average 8) and
the amount of time allotted (2 weeks for each shell mound),
with extra time included since the shell matrix would be
slower to dig than the usual soft sands of Florida. It was un-
certain how deep the excavations could go. The conservative
estimate of 4 square meters (in 1 x 1 m squares) proved to
be too much at one mound with the typical deep deposits.
The average was 6 square meters excavated in the two-week
periods when dry screening, and 4 to 5 square meters when
water screening, with depths averaging 1.5 m. None of the
units reached the bottom of cultural deposits.
Next was the problem of unit size and orientation.
Though the aim was several smaller units to get a horizon-
tally wider sample, getting in and out of a deep 1 x 1 m unit
is tricky, and made necessary fewer and larger units. We
also had not counted on the cave-ins of unit walls and the
difficulty of maintaining something even remotely resem-
bling a square unit. Units of 1 x 2 m seemed more stable.
When on the slope they could be oriented with their long
axes going down the side of the mound to get a better cut
into the strata.
Unit placement was determined by several consider-
ations. The mounds average over 100 m long and 50 m wide,
and range from 1.5 to 4 m above the surrounding wetlands.
At least one test into the flat summit and one into a slope of
each mound was desired simply for stratigraphic control.
Digging by cultural strata proved to be impossible, however
because distinct strata could not be recognized during exca-
vation in the small units, nor even very well in wall profiles.
On the long narrow summits of the mounds heavy vegeta-
tion cover and roots precluded locating units in many
places. Rather than random placement we chose what could
be called systematic judgemental: a standard of two units on
the flat summit and one or two on a slope (Figure 3), often
where there was a higher concentration of surface cultural
materials. Though more materials could mean more distur-
bance, we also avoided obvious potholes dug by looters at
some of the sites.
Excavation techniques were dictated by the nature of
the shell deposits. Archaeology is destruction of much of the
record of the past, and as many have noted (e.g., Schiffer
1987:358), excavation techniques can be damaging to arti-
facts. Ceramics and bone suffered somewhat, as square
shovels, picks, and mattocks were all needed to cut into
these deposits. Square trowels were good for walls and
round shovels for backfilling. A deep level below fiber-tem-
pered Late Archaic pottery in one mound proved to be
solidly packed oyster with no soil matrix at all. This required
much hacking with tool points, and was impossible to exca-
vate in clean square levels.
As the near uniformity of the deposits precluded ex-
cavation according to cultural strata, digging was in arbi-
trary 10 or 15 cm levels, a compromise. While thinner levels
would have afforded more control, they would have re-
quired more time. Anything less than 15 cm was also diffi-
cult to maintain accurately after a healthy swing of the pick.
Figure 3. Backfilling a unit on the relatively cleared west slope of Clark Creek shell mound (8GU60) by 1988
crew members John Kato, John Darsey, and Dorothy Ward.
Figure 4. John Kato and Steve Beckwith waterscreening at the partially submerged Yellow Houseboat shell
mound (8GU55); view facing north-northwest.
Screening was also dictated by logistics. Very little of
the material would pass through a 1/4" dry screen, espe-
cially as the water table was approached and the soil be-
came muckier. Screens were therefore used in 1987 simply
as surfaces upon which to sort through each level and pick
out cultural materials. Though this process was slow, faunal
analysts have said that the recovery of small remains was
In 1988 we borrowed waterscreening equipment
from the University of West Florida. Carrying a huge pump,
firehoses, and wheelbarrows in our small boats was an in-
teresting task. At the Yellow Houseboat mound, partially
submerged on an estuarine lake edge, we set up a water-
screen station (with 1/8" screens) right on the shore and
constructed a wheelbarrow path to it (Figure 4).
At the Clark Creek shell mound, 300 m inland from
a tiny creek, we first attempted to set up a waterscreen at
the creek. A wheelbarrow path proved to be impossible to
fabricate through the sawgrass, cypress knees, and standing
water, and the length of hose needed to put the pump at the
mound was 50 times more than we could obtain. Two crew
members explored in all directions around the site and dis-
covered a closer water source, a pool formed in the hole left
by an overturned tree. The water had to be used with some
economy so as not to drain the pool faster than it could seep
back in. It also had a sulfurous smell that intensified as the
bottom was reached, providing a convenient, if unpleasant,
early warning mechanism.
From each level of each unit soil samples were taken
for flotation, as is standard practice. Rather than cut into
collapsible unit walls for column samples we simply bagged
a clean sample from the southwest or datum quarter of each
level. Earlier samples were 4 liters, but faunal analyst Karen
Jo Walker of the Florida Museum of Natural History ad-
vised us that, to make statements about faunal assemblages,
we would need larger samples, measuring 30 x 30 x 10 cm,
or 9 liters. Hauling these sample bags out of the woods and
pushing the weight limits on our boats with them was neces-
sary, since setting up a flotation station at the site would be
far too complicated and might have introduced indetermi-
nate biotic remains from the water source (a few tiny but
live fish were even pumped up into the water screens).
Problems in Excavation
The expectation was to excavate until culturally ster-
ile soils were reached. This could not be done because all
the midden deposits continued well below the water table,
where no controlled data could be obtained (Figure 5).
The water table not only varied daily according to
rainfall, but also hourly with the tides. In two instances we
returned in the fall (dry season) to attempt further excava-
tion. In December of 1987 a unit left open at the water table
in July at Van Horn Creek was able to be excavated 40 cm
deeper. On 1 September 1988, the predicted lowest tide of
the month, we returned to the Yellow Houseboat mound on
the lake shore to salvage a burial which was being exposed
by erosion at the water's edge. We expected the burial lo-
cale to be dry enough to excavate properly. Unseasonable
heavy rains caused the water to rise and submerge it half a
meter deep. We constructed a coffer dam of sandbags and
boards and pumped the water out to permit salvage.
During the shell mound excavations there were con-
stant efforts to keep levels and soil samples free of contami-
nation from upper deposits caving in. It was also important
to realize the amount of disturbance caused by excavation
and prying up the lumpy shell matrix. This and also the
flotation process was somewhat destructive to the macrob-
otanical remains, which suffer from being tossed around
with the harder shells and bones, as noted by ethnobotanists
Less attention was paid to other ways materials from
later levels could have found their way down into earlier de-
posits. A tiny charcoal sample recovered by flotation from a
deep Late Archaic level at the Van Horn Creek shell
mound returned an AMS radiocarbon date of only 1120
years B.P., instead of the 3000 or more years expected in as-
sociation with fiber-tempered pottery here. Discussion with
personnel at Beta Analytic about possible contamination
sources suggest the most likely explanation: that anything
so small could easily have made its way downward through
the spaces between the shells over the millenia.
Other disturbances may have been equally invisible.
Depressions indicated where potholes had been dug, since
looters seldom backfilled their holes. Our own backfilled
units surprisingly became invisible on the surface within
months, unlike unit locations at a typical non-shell mound
As with many coastal shell mounds, what may have
been hurricane damage was also perhaps not recognized.
We profited from observations of at least one mound before
and after the two 1985 hurricanes that hit northwest Florida.
Large tree falls were in the process of filling in with both re-
cent humus and ancient shells.
No clear features were encountered in the shell
mounds except a small area of clean yellow silt packed
down possibly as a thin floor in one unit at Clark Creek.
There were areas of more or fewer artifacts or bone, more
or less crushed shell, but nothing resembling a pit or post-
mold. Either our sampling missed these features, or they
did not exist, or they look different in shell mounds. Perhaps
the need to dig a pit for refuse is eliminated when one lives
on a giant pile of refuse. Perhaps a latrine pit or hole dug to
support a post fills in with the same shell matrix and is later
During the materials processing and analysis in the
laboratory more positive and negative aspects of our choices
in the field became apparent. Alternate strategies and safe-
guards can be considered to alleviate some of these prob-
Figure 6. Typical Early Woodland ceramics, here from Depot Creek
shell mound (8GU56). Top: two linear and one regular Deptford
Check-Stamped body sherds; bottom: a New River Complicated-
Stamped rim and a Swift Creek Complicated-Stamped body sherd.
Figure 5. Typical shell mound 1 x 2 unit stratigraphy, showing
uniform packing of Rangia shells, irregular surfaces do to caveins,
and water table reached at bottom (here at ca. 1.75 m, at Clark
Creek shell mound), before culturally sterile deposits are reached.
Analysis And Interpretation
Site Formation Processes
Settlement: Every shell mound in the Apalachicola
estuary known so far has multiple cultural components. The
predominant one is Early Woodland (mostly Deptford, with
some Swift Creek; Figure 6); often this is underlain by fiber-
tempered pottery, and overlain by Fort Walton. Curiously,
there is not yet any good Weeden Island component known.
Formation processes show similarities in aboriginal
choice of these ever-increasing elevations for habitation
spots in these low wetlands, but differences in resource pro-
curement strategies and material culture content are still
poorly understood. Were the sites always on stream banks
when occupied? Would they have always appeared as large
white hills in the swamps, or would they have been over-
grown and harder to find for seasonally wandering groups?
As archaeologists often say (e.g., Schiffer 1987:104),
abandoned sites are resource areas, and their presence can-
not help but influence settlement decisions of later peoples.
If shell mounds were originally near rich resource areas and
continued to be so located, the advantage is obvious. But if
fluvial processes in the early and later Holocene caused
them to be farther and farther from shellfish beds or good
fishing spots, they still may have had advantages. There are
always artifacts to salvage. Prehistoric surface collectors
may have recycled stone tools, even digging into the mounds
for them. A greater advantage may have been camping on a
rare dry, elevated area.
Shellfish collection: The Apalachicola estuarine shell
mounds known so far are all composed of Rangia clams, al-
ways with some oysters (from about 5 to 35%). The pre-
ferred habitats of these two are not the same; oysters occur
in more saline conditions.
Apalachicola Bay is currently well known for its
commercial oyster production, and there is no reason to be-
lieve they were not abundant prehistorically. Rangia may
have been preferred because it was easier to obtain, being
closer to the lands of the lower riverine swamps. Rangia is a
fresh/brackish water clam abundant in places such as
stream mouths. Maybe collecting these clams where dis-
tributaries of the river emptied into the bays afforded the
people opportunities to range a little farther and pick up a
few oysters every time as well. There is no better explana-
tion as yet. Today oysters exist 4 to 7 miles south of these
shell mounds in the bay (Livingston 1984:26). They are also
a species that thrives near where stream mouths enter the
sea, however (Ingle and Whitfield 1968:1), and may not
have been very far from the clam beds.
Below the Early Woodland components of the shell
mounds Late Archaic components were present, usually still
associated with Rangia At Van Horn Creek, however, just
below the distinctive fiber-tempered Late Archaic pottery,
there is a major shift in the shell matrix to solid oyster. Sev-
eral explanations are possible for this apparent subsistence
shift tentatively dated to >3500 years ago. Rising, oscillating
sea levels, as expected in a gradual change from post-glacial
to modern environments, would produce a shift in the oppo-
site direction. That is, if salt water was closer to the site
oysters should be easier to get later in time.
A more likely explanation is a shift in the river's flow
pattern. Van Horn Creek is the most easterly of the shell
mounds tested, on the east side of the main river. Florida
State University geologist Joe Donoghue (personal commu-
nication, 1990) studying the fluvial geomorphology of the
valley, has sedimentological evidence that the river has been
shifting eastward during the Holocene. Perhaps this site was
closer to salt water until the river's shift, which then brought
fresh water and Rangia closer and easier to gather. This hy-
pothesis is supported by the earliest analyses of our exca-
vated data. Zooarchaeologist Walker found a high number
of other saltwater species from the oyster levels, and mostly
freshwater fish from later levels at Van Horn Creek and
from all levels of the more westerly Depot Creek mound
(White, in press).
Alternative explanations include the possibility that
there were changing cultural preferences for different
species. Indeed, we must not assume that a resource was
collected in abundance simply because it was the closest.
The tenets of optimal foraging theory notwithstanding, hu-
man groups do not always do things as efficiently as possi-
Because our samples are so small (up to 10 cubic
meters, a .17% sample) compared to the total extent of the
shell mounds(estimated to average a minimum of 6000 cu-
bic meters), it is uncertain how representative they can be of
both the horizontal site/component patterning and the shell
mound stratigraphy. Correlating cultural strata from sum-
mit to slope levels is also difficult. (Is any reliable study pos-
sible of the amounts and rates of erosion or other displace-
ment of summit materials to the slopes?) Since there are so
few features, defining activity areas is so far limited to not-
ing differences from unit to unit in food remains and artifact
content. Comparative interpretation of resource use by shell
mound inhabitants may be biased because of the different
screening and sampling techniques (dry screening and 4
liter flotation samples at 1987 sites vs. water screening, and
4 liter samples at 1988 sites).
Some control was provided by the flotation samples,
which have yielded fairly comparable data, despite the dif-
ferences in sample size. The 1987 4-liter samples were
harder to obtain accurately; we used a 2-liter pitcher, in
which, like a box of crackers, the shells could be packed in
well and still settle to less than the desired volume. Thus the
measurement in centimeters in the ground, as we did in
1988, was more consistent. Though many of our earlier
flotation samples were small, zooarchaeologist Walker has
stated that too large a size can yield so many remains with
the same general pattern that one reaches a point of dimin-
ishing returns. Quantification of this point should be a fu-
It is not yet possible to say if we should sample shell
mounds like any other sites. They are different to dig, and
possibly more is destroyed during digging. The shells make
for basic soils, which give better preservation of bone and
possibly floral materials than in the generally acidic Florida
Shell types: Three shell mounds were tested on the
west side of the lower valley swamp/estuary, and one on the
east side. In contrast to the west side mounds, at the east-
erly mound we encountered the radical shift from
fresh/brackish water clams to oysters. To support the hy-
pothesis that the shift reflects the fluvial history of the lower
river, more such data are required, as well as independent
geological information. By nature the estuarine environ-
ments are constantly changing due to sea level fluctuations,
wind, rain, and other factors (Livingston 1984:6-7). It may
be impossible to determine the history of a small stream
without working backwards from the archaeology to the ge-
There is very little variation in the kinds of shells
associated with cultural components or time periods. The
Rangia is present, always mixed with some oyster, with Mis-
sissippian, Woodland, and Late Archaic ceramics and an
Early Archaic point. At the easterly mound described, the
Late Archaic or earlier occupation is associated with solid
oyster. Though analyses are still in progress, we can see a
possible trend for less oyster utilization through time at all
the sites. Another project currently underway is measure-
ment of shell sizes to see if there is any decrease through
time that might indicate overexploitation of the shellfish
Claassen (1986) hypothesized different relative fre-
quencies of shellfish types as time markers on the Atlantic
coast, in association with different cultural components.
Russo (1988) suggests those associations are drawn from too
small a sample, the published data, as opposed to the "gray"
CRM literature (the term for cultural resources manage-
ment reports that reach more limited audiences). If tempo-
ral patterning in shellfish use is to be seen in the data so far
recovered from the Apalachicola estuary, it might be in the
tiny percentages of minority species still being identified and
quantified from the levels.
Stratigraphy: Problems in stratigraphic interpretation
must be common to many who examine shell mounds, espe-
cially if one prehistoric group after the next harvested the
same types of shellfish. Components could not be separated
except imperfectly with arbitrary levels. We are counting on
changes from level to level in artifact frequencies and biotic
remains to say something about change through time,
though this is often recognized as a very imperfect tech-
nique (Watson, LeBlanc, and Redman 1984:176). We also
hope, in the course of further test excavations at these and
other shell mounds, to encounter better evidence for cul-
Reuse of the mounds has no doubt resulted in both
mixing and recycling of earlier materials with those of later
peoples, as pits are dug and refilled and older artifacts
found and reused. At Van Horn Creek, a microlithic tool
industry complete with small chert cores is spread through-
out several levels, as are clay ball fragments and fiber-tem-
pered pottery (Figure 7). Such materials are typical of the
Elliotts's Point and Poverty Point-related complexes of the
Late Archaic along the Gulf Coast (Lazarus 1958), though
they could be later (cf. Morse and Tesar 1974). Later pre-
historic inhabitants of this site could have spread these ma-
terials around, reused them, perhaps, and/or failed to cover
the entirety of the earlier component with their occupa-
tional debris. Similar materials at Clark Creek shell mound
were in good context well below the Early Woodland de-
Perhaps most frustrating is the incompleteness of the
samples because of the inability to excavate below the water
table. A core off the edge of the Van Horn Creek mound,
taken (with great difficulty) by a visiting soil scientist,
showed the presence of crushed shell in the gray clayey
muck at least 2 meters below the water. Deposits below the
visible mound base may be greater than what is visible.
These submerged deposits are important for several
reasons: 1) The potential is there for materials from much
earlier than the Late Archaic, possibly even Paleo-Indian
(which is unknown from this valley, maybe because it is so
deep; some archaeologists think there is no reason to dis-
count the possibilities of shell mounds during the Pleis-
tocene, and indeed the coastal environment would offer
many advantages [Bailey and Parkington 1988:6]). 2) Pre-
served below the water table may be otherwise perishable
materials unknown from the upper levels or from anywhere
in the region. All of Florida has the potential for spectacular
wet sites, as we now realize. 3) Investigation of pre-mound
surfaces may provide some clues as to why these locales
were originally chosen for settlement.
The research potential of such wet site deposits is
matched only by the cost of excavating it, from pumping out
water to conserving immediately the fragile specimens un-
earthed (Purdy 1988). Further, the technology for drying out
a portion of asite to be excavated (digging drainage trenches
or point wells) would usually result in damage to adjacent
deposits. It might also require heavy equipment not easily
transported to these remote sites.
Subsistence and Site Function: One of the goals of
the project was to begin exploring more than just cultural
chronology in this relatively unknown region. As John Grif-
Figure 7. Microcores and fiber-tempered plain pottery from the
Late Archaic component at Van Horn Creek shell mound (8FR744).
Figure 8. Artifacts from Clark Creek shell mound (8GU60):
greenstone plummet and two tiny shell beads.
Figure 9. Clay human head adorno or
figurine fragment with point at top, from
Clark Creek shell mound (8GU60),
fin points out, in an earlier period of Florida archaeology it
was axiomatic that all massive piles of shells were the prod-
uct of "The Shellfish Eaters," while now the role of shellfish
is almost reversed, with a tendency to downplay its impor-
tance in the subsistence pattern (Griffin 1988:295).
Clearly the Apalachicola estuarine peoples utilized a
wide range of species, but we do not yet know how to com-
pare one shell mound that has masses of animal bone
packed inside every shell with another in which few bones
are present. This again may be the result of inadequate
horizontal sampling of different bone density areas. There is
also little evidence of subsistence change over time except
for the obvious one mentioned after the Late Archaic at
Van Horn Creek. Besides the dominant clams and some
oysters, there is a similar pattern of utilization of mostly
freshwater fish, turtles, and fewer amounts of terrestrial
mammals and birds at all of the mounds in all levels.
Plant resources seem quite underrepresented. The
preserved macrobotanical specimens recovered and identi-
fied so far are predominantly pine wood charcoal. This does
not tell us what people were eating. Further, the lower val-
ley swamp/estuary today is mostly either grassy marsh or
hardwood forest, with oaks, tupelo, cypresses, cabbage
palms (Edmiston and Tuck 1987), and only an occasional,
often very old pine. Since there are no good reconstructions
of Pleistocene or early Holocene vegetation, it can be sug-
gested either that there was more pine, as sea levels were
lower and the land was drier, or else people were selecting
for pine, perhaps for fuel, though hardwoods burn slower
Questions such as these and others, including sea-
sonality, percentage of resources that are terrestrial, ma-
rine, or freshwater, and association of different biotic as-
semblages with cultural components, remain to be ad-
dressed. There are also questions concerning species pre-
sent, such as barnacles, which may not have been for food
but still provide various kinds of information.
Artifact Assemblages: The shell mounds yielded
large amounts of Early Woodland ceramic and lithic arti-
facts, and some shell items such as beads, scoops, columel-
lae, and cut Busycon fragments. There were only four bone
implements (a fishhook and three points or pins, one with
engraved lines). Unusual finds included a greenstone
plummet or pendant and a clay human head with a point at
the top (!), both from Clark Creek (Figures 8, 9). Fort
Walton artifacts were ceramics only; Late Archaic compo-
nents contained chipped stone including the microlithic
tools and cores, plain and simple-stamped fiber-tempered
pottery, and clay balls and fragments. Little was recovered
to suggest specific subsistence technologies, site functions,
or social information (except the one human burial, which
had no grave goods). If more of the material culture was
manufactured of perishable substances, the wet portions of
the sites might provide such data.
Stratigraphic differences in the artifact content were
occasionally striking: at Van Horn Creek once the solid
oyster stratum was reached there were no more artifacts.
One explanation for this is that it represents a preceramic
time period, with no lithic remains because cutting and
other functions were done with tools of other, perishable
materials. As bone is well preserved, however, this explana-
tion is tenuous. Below Late Archaic levels at the other shell
mounds, while the deposits were still dominated by Rangia
clam shells, there was a similar decline or disappearance of
artifacts and even slight decline in amounts of bone present.
The absence of features, structural evidence, or other
signs of longer term occupation, if real, does suggest only
short-term settlement. Yet the size of the mounds seems to
indicate prolonged use. Many more researchers lately have
been documenting how easily greater sedentism and cul-
tural complexity can evolve in rich fishing areas (e.g., Re-
nouf 1988, Moseley and Feldman 1988). As one of the rich-
est estuaries in the hemisphere, the Apalachicola would be
a good place to settle.
From the tone of this paper, our work in the lower
Apalachicola Valley sounds "methodologically unlovely" and
the data recovered greatly biased. As the first effort in this
region, however, the project has been successful in terms
both of quality and quantity of materials and information
extracted. It is felt that the controls were no worse than with
an excavation of any non-shell mound site. All details of the
sites and data and materials recovered are recounted in a
report submitted to the funding agency (White, in press).
Without a knowledge of the estuarine/river swamp
shell mounds our idea of general coastal settlement pattern
is clearly skewed in favor of the easily accessible bay shores.
Elsewhere along the Florida Gulf Coast similar estuarine
mounds with Rangia and oyster are lately being described
(Claassen 1985). Because of its large delta, the lower
Apalachicola has been hypothesized as one of the few
places along the Gulf where maize agriculture and complex
societies existed late in prehistory (Knight 1984:215). Once
investigatory methods are standardized, gross temporal,
spatial, and cultural patterns can be determined. We can
then proceed to more finely tuned questions concerning
sedentism, farming, social organization, and relationships
through time with interior riverine groups.
Survey in the lower Apalachicola was supported by a
survey and planning grant from the Florida Division of
Historical Resources. Test excavations were supported by
grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad-
ministration Estuarine Research Reserv program and the
University of South Florida Research Council, President's
Council, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
People of the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research
Reserve and the city of Apalachicola provided great assis-
tance, especially director Woody Miley and Education Co-
ordinator Bonnie Holub. USF student field crews led by Su-
san Henefield-Herring, Fred Steube, and others braved the
wilderness for science, and lab students directed by Maggie
Goctze provided order in the massive body of data col-
lected. Ethnobotanists Elisabeth Sheldon and Michelle
Alexander and zooarchaeologists Karen Joe Walker and
Judith Fandrich analyzed samples of our biotic remains. An
earlier version of this paper was presented in a symposium
on shell midden archaeology organized by Cheryl Claassen
at the 1989 Society for American Archaeology meeting in
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Nancy Marie White
Department of Anthropology
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620
WORKING TO SAVE THE PAST IN SARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA:
A NEW ARCHAEOLOGICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
Lauren C. Archibald
In the late 1980s, the State of Florida began to en-
courage local governments to take legal planning steps to-
ward preserving archaeological and other historic resources.
The progress made in Sarasota County offers helpful point-
ers for other local governments in Florida.
This article summarizes a new archaeological re-
view program in Sarasota County which the author de-
signed during 1987-1989. This work is of interest to preser-
vationists and planners because of its applicability elsewhere
in the state. Also, the review program spells out methods
for implementing a local historic preservation plan under
Florida's growth management laws.
The concept of Sarasota County's Historic Preser-
vation Element, or plan, follows the requirements estab-
lished in Florida's updated Local Government Comprehen-
sive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act
(Chapter 163, Florida Statutes), with its implementing rule,
Chapter 9J-5, Florida Administrative Code. The act re-
quires that historic resources be addressed in local compre-
hensive plans, particularly the land use, housing, coastal,
and intergovernmental coordination elements. While a sep-
arate historic preservation element is not required by the
act, it is strongly recommended by the Florida Division of
Historical Resources. Sarasota County took this option.
Employed as an archaeologist and a preservation
planner, the author arrived in Sarasota County in the fall of
1987 as part of a team writing a historic preservation ele-
ment for Sarasota County's new comprehensive plan,
APOXSEE. Historic Property Associates, Inc. of St. Au-
gustine was contracted for this work, which was funded
through a matching grant from the Florida Department of
State, Division of Historical Resources.
Prior to the adoption of Sarasota County's historic
preservation element, the (former) Sarasota County His-
torical Archives office had begun to comment on some de-
velopment plans. When the author undertook research for
the historic preservation element, it became clear that the
County would benefit by adopting a systematic land devel-
opment review process. In Sarasota's beautiful coastal area,
many of the existing significant historic resources were
threatened by intense development. Perhaps the County
could devise an archaeological review processes like those
already in place in St. Augustine and Metro-Dade County,
Florida, Alexandria, Virginia, and elsewhere.
Creating a Land Development Review System
While the historic preservation element set general
goals, policies, and objectives for Sarasota County, it did not
spell out specific steps for implementation. One example
was land development reviews. Several things were needed:
(1) an inventory of the County's historic and archaeolo-
(2) a set of base maps locating historic sites which could
be used for daily land development reviews,
(3) a step-by-step procedure for monitoring land devel-
opment in the county,
(4) a qualified, full-time professional to conduct reviews,
(5) a county historic preservation ordinance, and
(6) a comprehensive survey of historic resources.
In the fall of 1987, Marion Smith, Supervisor of the
Florida Master Site File (FMSF), assisted with the first task:
culling county sites from the state's master list. The author
plotted these sites on United States Geological Survey
(USGS) 7.5 minute quadrangle maps.
Using the site information as a starting point, the
author then drafted a Historic Resource Review Manual
(Archibald 1987) which included:
(1) Historic Resource Base Maps. These consisted of a
set of USGS quad sheets showing known archaeolo-
gical sites, and also zones of expected high potential
(Archibald 1988). The high probability model was
derived from Marion Almy's study of soils (Almy
1978) and on archaeological work conducted by
George M. Luer.
(2) Site and Areal Descriptions. Each base map sheet
was accompanied by a written description of the gen-
eral area, with assessments of known archaeological
sites and expected high potential areas, with recom-
mendations for treatment. The assessments were
based largely on FMSF forms, an unpublished M.A.
thesis (Almy 1976), and on interviews with archae-
ologist George M. Luer, whose expertise on prehis-
toric resources was invaluable. Also included was a
list of relevant survey reports and articles pertaining
to the prehistory of each quad sheet area.
(3) Guidelines for Review. These were preliminary
steps for reviewing the impacts of land development.
The steps were based on factors such as site type,
integrity, significance, and nature of the proposed
impact. The author received helpful input on the
review steps from Louis D. Tesar, Administrator of
the Historic Preservation Compliance Review
Section in the Florida Department of State, Division
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
0 1 2 3 4 5
SCALE IN MILES
^ MYAKKA RIVER
SOURCE: HISTORIC PROPERTY
ASSOCIATES, ST. AUGUSTINE, FL. 1987;
SARASOTA COUNTY PLANNING
Figure 1. Sarasota County Archaeological Sensitivity Areas. Adapted from Sarasota County Plan 1988.
of Historical Resources, Bureau of Historic
Implementing the Review System
Once the Historic Resource Review Manual was
drafted in late 1987, it still remained to be tried and imple-
mented. An opportunity soon presented itself.
In early 1988, Sarasota County was creating a new
agency of county government, the Department of Historical
Resources. The creation of the Department was the culmi-
nation of several years' effort by citizens of the community,
the Sarasota County Commissioners, and the Sarasota
County Historical Commission spearheaded by archaeolo-
gist Marion M. Almy and historian Janet S. Matthews. The
Historical Commission serves the County Commissioners as
an advisory board on historic preservation issues.
Sarasota County hired a director, former Arkansas
State Historic Preservation Officer Wilson Stiles, to head
the new Department of Historical Resources. The new De-
partment was to serve as the county's central clearinghouse
for matters pertaining to local history, historical research,
historical archives, preservation planning, and archaeology.
Another aspect of the Department was to create a review
section, and Stiles then engaged the author at the beginning
of 1989 as a part-time consultant to set up an in-house sys-
tem for land development reviews.
Exploring the Permit System
In 1987, Sarasota County had approximately 140
archaeological sites recorded in the Florida Master Site
File, and a host of others were recognized but unrecorded.
Historic structures in the unincorporated portions of the
county had never been inventoried.
At the beginning of 1989, Sarasota County had at
least ten agencies that issued permits affecting the land.
The author investigated the agencies' procedures in order to
find a way to incorporate historic resource reviews.
It was learned quickly that the county issued nu-
merous types of permits affecting the land. Only some of
the permits were coordinated county-wide; others were is-
sued independently from different county offices. More-
over, some of the offices were separated physically from one
another, and the county was not yet unified by a computer-
based Geographic Information System ("GIS").
Each month, hundreds of building permits and
scores of site and development permits and significant land
use changes, such as new roads and parcel rezonings, were
being issued. Several problems became clear: since more
than 26,300 permits (including building permits) were is-
sued per year, which ones should the Sarasota County De-
partment of Historical Resources review? Which agency
permits and/or which type of permits should be selected for
review? At which point in the permit flow should the de-
apartment become involved? Could this be done in a brief
turn-around time? Who would pay the cost of surveys or
preservation work? What types of new ordinances or other
legal mechanisms and incentives (such as conservation
easements and tax abatements) would be required?
As the author visited county agencies and began
conducting land development reviews, a rapport began to be
established with some of the agencies which helped pave the
way for preservation planning in the county. In particular,
the staffs of the Planning Department and the Building and
Zoning Department were especially helpful, and their pa-
tience with my inquiries is gratefully acknowledged.
Refining and Expanding the Review System
The Historic Resource Review Manual served ini-
tially as a guide or tool for conducting reviews and for plan-
ning surveys, and it was used from late 1988 to 1989. It was
then expanded into a larger manual. This included a synop-
sis of the types of county permits that should be reviewed
for their impact on historic resources (Archibald 1990).
The updated manual emphasized consistent, professional
criteria and standards, with reference to those being devel-
oped by the Florida Department of State, Division of His-
torical Resources, and those established by the U.S. Secre-
tary of the Interior. This revised manual contained an in-
house checklist form for review comments, with samples of
completed forms, and preservation planning recommenda-
tions for individual cases.
Also during this time, Sarasota County was re-
writing their Zoning Code, Land Development Regulations,
and other guidelines pertaining to local land use in order to
comply with its new comprehensive plan, APOXSEE. This
situation provided an opportunity to write provisions for
historic resource reviews into the new county guidelines.
Thus, the new Zoning Code included several provisions for
the protection of archaeological and historic sites. Specifi-
cally, Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) could be used
on certain lands that contained archaeological and/or his-
toric sites, and Open Use Conservation (OUC) Zoning
Districts now could incorporate archaeological sites. Also,
the Department of Historical Resources was now an official
member of the Development Review Committee.
In summary, the Department now reviewed the
following types of development applications:
(2) Special Exceptions,
(3) Land Development Regulations, which included:
a. Preliminary Plat Approvals and
b. Site and Development Plans,
(4) Sector Plans,
(5) Developments of Regional Impact (DRI),
(6) Commercial Corridor Plans,
(7) Revitalization and Redevelopment Plans, and
(8) Developments of Critical Concern (DOCC).
Figure 2. Some Historic Resources Lost Just Prior to Implementing a County Review System. Top: One of
Siesta Key's oldest frame houses (8So7, 8So376). Bottom: Prehistoric campsite (8So608) bulldozed
for new road.
Figure 3. Some County-Owned Historic Resources. Top: Indian Mound Park (8So23) in Englewood.
Bottom: The Laurel School (8So1854) in Laurel.
These were significant accomplishments for Sara-
sota County and its Department of Historical Resources be-
cause reviews could now be done on the level of local gov-
ernment. In the above list, only the Developments of Re-
gional Impact (DRI) are reviewed by the state's Bureau of
Historic Preservation. Numerous other, smaller projects
could not possibly be reviewed on a state nor on a regional
level. By setting up a local government review system, how-
ever, Sarasota County was now able to review such projects
and to provide comment on their impact.
Creating the "Paper Trail". This was a good start
for archaeological and historic site reviews in Sarasota
County, but there was still a lot of work ahead. One aspect
of the work was the sheer mechanics involved.
The growing number of reviews required an accu-
rate tracking system in the office. County base maps were
acquired to show areas that had been subject to review. File
folders were set up for each review with all correspondence
and project information, with color codes for cleared, com-
pleted, and pending reviews. Separate file drawers were
created according to the type of review.
Toward Completing a Review System. By late
1989, the first major steps toward creating a review system
had been completed. Several more, however, remained to
The steps achieved included: 1) the Historic
Preservation Element of APOXSEE which spelled out
goals, policies, and objectives that set the general tone for
historic preservation; 2) the Review Manual which pro-
vided an assessment of the county's resources, with a spe-
cific system for how to review land development projects; 3)
archaeological base maps which were ready for in-house use
to locate known and suspected sites; 4) a Department of
Historical Resources had been created as an agency of
county government, with a director and a small staff, 5) the
coastal zone of the county had been subjected to a compre-
hensive survey which included historic structures, and 6)
historic preservation language was incorporated into many
of the county's permit application guidelines, and the De-
partment of Historical Resources was now on the Devel-
opment Review Committee. These were important steps
toward creating a historic resources review system for the
County historic preservation ordinances, however,
were still needed to ensure that historic resources were
protected fully. Though not yet in draft form, preliminary
recommendations were presented in the updated Review
Manual for two ordinances (Archibald 1990). One was an
enabling ordinance which would strengthen the Department
of Historical Resources; the other was a designation ordi-
nance which would define legal protection for historic re-
Another important legal concern was to create a
program that would allow the County to accept and to
monitor conservation easements on historic or archaeologi-
cal sites. Brenda Valla, Sarasota County's Assistant Gen-
eral Counsel, was very helpful in this and other legal aspects
of historic preservation review efforts in the county.
Several important lessons were learned after using
the review system for a year. First, the review system will
work well for tracking historic structures and many historic
period archaeological sites. Second, it was realized that
more efforts would be required to protect many prehistoric
Regarding prehistoric sites, it was learned that: 1)
many reviews address lands where there are no prehistoric
sites; 2) most prehistoric sites are located on lands already
developed; 3) efforts should be made to monitor the condi-
tion of the significant prehistoric sites located in developed
areas; and 4) the developed areas are mostly along the
coast, and many impacts to sites in these areas involve per-
mits which still need to be brought into the review process,
such as building and demolition permits.
Thus, it is tantamount that an updated review pro-
cess continually monitor the known, significant prehistoric
archaeological sites. Indeed, there are many of these in the
county that require protection, and even stabilization. It is
timely that this be done. As noted in APOXSEE, Sarasota
County is blessed with rich and fragile prehistoric sites,
some of which hold regional and national significance.
So far, developers had complied with survey and
preservation requirements. However, many viewed this as
one more layer of "red tape" to deal with in Sarasota, a
county which boasts greater development restrictions than
most neighboring jurisdictions. To improve this situation,
new financial incentives and other strategies should be in-
vestigated and developed to encourage greater developer
cooperation (see Tesar et al. 1990:44-47).
The importance of working with local, regional,
and state planners, public officials, archaeologists, and the
public cannot be overestimated. This can have a significant
impact on the successful implementation of a preservation
program, as was experienced in Sarasota. Also, a network
of volunteers is essential. In Sarasota County, for example,
Time Sifters, Inc., a chapter of the Florida Anthropological
Society (FAS), and the Historical Society of Sarasota
County were very helpful.
In spring 1990, a Historic Resources Specialist po-
sition was created in the Department of Historical Re-
sources. Ideally, the Specialist should develop a compre-
hensive review program that monitors prehistoric, historic,
and architectural resources. It is also recommended that a
professional planner, preferably trained in historic preser-
vation and land use law, be hired to support the program.
For example, he or she could help update preservation
plans, County application guidelines, historic preservation
ordinances, conservation easements, and other technical
planning documents related to historic preservation.
The review of land development activity and its im-
pact to historic resources in Sarasota County has become a
major function of the County's Department of Historical
Resources. Now, for the first time, plans are being re-
viewed on a local government level for potential impacts to
historic and archaeological resources! The voice of historic
preservation is now a part of the planning process.
In a fast-growing county in one of the top-growing
states in the nation, it is critical that irreplaceable historic
resources be incorporated into local government planning
on a day-to-day basis. This is a goal that archaeologists and
preservationists in southwestern Florida have clamored for,
and now it is becoming a reality in Sarasota County.
Each community will have to devise its own review
process according to its own needs. Models exist in St. Au-
gustine, Metro-Dade County, Alexandria, Virginia, and
For further information on historic preservation
plans in Florida, see "Historic Preservation and Florida's
Local Government Comprehensive Planning Process" by
Louis D. Tesar, in the December 1986 issue of The Florida
Anthropologist -- or contact the Division of Historical Re-
sources, Florida Department of State, 500 South Bronough
Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399 0250. For information
on Sarasota County, contact the Sarasota County Depart-
ment of Historical Resources, Plaza de Santo Domingo,
Sarasota, Florida 34236.
The following individuals are acknowledged for
their assistance, input, and support: William R. Adams,
Marion M. Almy, Sarah Blanchard, Louann Confer, Rick
Drummond, Anna Jali, Brian Lichterman, Nina Lewis,
George M. Luer, Pam Marlowe-Green, John McCarthy,
Steve Sauers, Robert Schmitt, Marion Smith, Wilson Stiles,
Louis D. Tesar, and Brenda Valla.
1978 The Archaeological Potential of Soil Survey Reports.
The Florida Anthropologist 31:75-91.
Archibald, Lauren C.
1987 Historic Resources Review Manual. Prepared by
Historic Property Associates, Inc., St. Augustine. On
file, Sarasota County Department of Historical
1988 "Historic Resources Base Maps for Sarasota County,
Florida. Map Sheets 1-17". Prepared by Historic
Property Associates, Inc., St. Augustine. On file,
Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources,
1990 "Preservation Guidelines and Recommendations for
Reviewing the Impact of Land Development on
Historical and Archaeological Resources". Prepared
for and on file Sarasota County Department of
Historical Resources, Sarasota, Florida.
Historic Property Associates, Inc.
1988 Historic Preservation Element. Prepared for Sarasota
County Planning Department.
Florida Administrative Code
1985 Rules of the Department of Community Affairs, Divi-
sion of Resource Planning and Management, Chapter
9J-5. Minimum Criteria for Review of Local
Government Comprehensive Plans and Determination
1986 Local Government Comprehensive Planning and
Land Development Regulation Act. Chapter 163.3161
3215, as amended.
Tesar, Louis D., Jack Kostrzewa, and Lee A. Luis
1990 "Historic Preservation Issues in Florida's Local
Government Comprehensive Planning Process:
Remembering the Past While Planning for the Future."
On file, Division of Historical Resources, Florida
Department of State.
Almy, Marion M.
1976 "A Survey and Assessment of Known Archaeological
Sites in Sarasota County, Florida". Unpublished MA.
Thesis, University of South Florida, Tampa.
Lauren C. Archibald
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
LANDSCAPE ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE CLAM SHELL POOL,
HISTORIC SPANISH POINT, OSPREY, FLORIDA
Lauren C. Archibald
This paper summarizes an archaeological investi-
gation at the Clam Shell Pool, a historic garden feature lo-
cated at Historic Spanish Point (8So2) in Osprey, Florida.
The pool is a remnant of a large, formal garden, now mostly
destroyed. The archaeological work revealed information
about the pool's configuration, the methods and materials of
construction, and its waterflow/drainage system. The ar-
chaeological work was performed in early 1989 to help with
the proposed restoration of the Clam Shell Pool. A more
detailed report of findings is on file at Historic Spanish
Point (see Archibald and Luer 1989).
Taking this work a step further, this paper exam-
ines the possible aesthetic impacts and social functions of
the pool. The pool's original context/setting was adjacent to
the private, residential garden alongside the mansion of
Mrs. Potter Palmer, the wealthiest woman in the Sarasota
area in the early years of this century, 1910-1918.
Mrs. Potter Palmer was a very wealthy Chicago so-
cialite and entrepreneur. In 1910, Mrs. Palmer began to
visit the Sarasota area where she purchased vast tracts of
the area's land, then part of Manatee County. On bayfront
land in the little community of Osprey, she established her
Florida estate. An ambitious woman, Mrs. Palmer's pur-
chases and land "improvements" on the Gulf Coast had far-
reaching influence. Today, remnants of her estate are pre-
served within Historic Spanish Point (8So2), a 30-acre ar-
chaeological, historic, and environmental preserve owned by
the non-profit Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc.
In recent years, historic restoration and landscaping
work has been undertaken at Historic Spanish Point, much
of it with a grant from the State of Florida. This grant has
been administered by Linda K. Williams, Executive Direc-
tor of Historic Spanish Point. It has been implemented by a
team of experts, called the Restoration Design Team, con-
sisting of restoration architects (Shepard Associates, Inc.),
archaeologists (Archaeological Consultants, Inc.), a histo-
rian (Janet S. Matthews), and a historic landscape specialist
(Rudy Favretti). One aspect of this work was to investigate
and to reconstruct portions of Mrs. Palmer's estate.
Mrs. Palmer's Blue Garden
Mrs. Palmer lavished substantial effort and expense
on the design and construction of her estate. One central
feature of the estate was a formal garden just south of her
residence (see Figure 1). Known as the "Blue Garden", this
was a large, sunken garden landscaped with flowers and
plants of varying shades of blue.
The Blue Garden was rectangular in shape and was
divided into four quadrants (see Figure 2). The sunken area
was surrounded with concrete curbs, and in the center was a
To the south of the Blue Garden, Mrs. Palmer
made her "Jungle Walk". This was an area of native
"hammock" vegetation with a winding shell walkway. A
striking feature there was a concrete aqueduct, carrying
water to the south edge of the Blue Garden (Figure 2).
Here, the aqueduct terminated in a shell-studded cascade
where water trickled into a semi-circular pool, known as the
"Clam Shell Pool." In keeping with the symmetrical design
of the Blue Garden, the Clam Shell Pool and shell-studded
aqueduct cascade were directly south of the Blue Garden's
central fountain (Figure 2).
Today, most of the Blue Garden has been de-
stroyed, because it lay outside the area protected by His-
toric Spanish Point. However, remnants of the south edge
of the Blue Garden still exist within the preserved area. It
was midway along this south edge of the garden where the
Clam Shell Pool once existed.
Water, originating at a well some distance away,
flowed horizontally along Mrs. Palmer's concrete aqueduct
until it reached a terminal cascade. The end of the aque-
duct's trough had a small arch just above the cascade. This
arch was framed by shells and reddish-colored bog iron
rocks, giving it the appearance of a small grotto (see Figure
3). From this grotto-like opening, the water spilled down-
ward over the cascade's shell-studded, apron-like facade.
The cascade facade, a rare architectural feature
constructed of cement, mortar, and shells, is an outstanding
garden element. The facade is studded with tiers of natural
shells, their natural shapes protruding outward from the
cement facade where they were artfully placed with mortar.
Although the cascade's facade has obviously deteriorated,
and some of its shells are missing or broken, it still has in
place many of its large left-handed whelk shells, quahog
valves, and bay scallop valves (see Figure 3).
The Clam Shell Pool
In recent decades, the Clam Shell Pool has been
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
Figure 1. Mrs. Palmer's Blue Garden in 1946. Top. View to north showing central fountain with arbor
and "The Oaks" mansion beyond. Bottom: View to south through arbor toward Clam Shell Pool.
(Photos courtesy Manatee County Historical Society.) Note: Both the garden and the mansion were
demolished by the 1970s.
SAReo R W/ SEATS
CURB 2 "
II II ~~---- *
H PROpERTr LINE
HI'STro SP, is-
I 30 FEET
S C. A L E
Figure 2. Plan View of Blue Garden. Note four quadrants with central fountain, and Clam Shell Pool
directly to south. (Adapted from drawing by Becky Spain Schwarz, Shepard Associates, Inc.)
Figure 3. Aqueduct Cascade. Note cement aqueduct (left), grotto-like terminus (center), and shell-
studded cascade with pool below (lower right). (Photo by Becky Spain Schwartz, February 1990,
courtesy Historic Spanish Point).
cloaked in obscurity. It was believed to exist between the
curb of the Blue Garden and the Aqueduct Cascade. All
that was visible, however, was an overgrown and slightly
sunken area at the base of the Aqueduct Cascade. This
slight hollow was filled with dirt, shells, rocks, chunks of
concrete, leaves, and other debris. After removing debris
from the "pool" area, ACI archaeologists defined what
seemed to be an outline of a semi-circular, sunken "pool"
(ACI Memo, August 10, 1989).
It seemed obvious that the aqueduct would have
carried water which would have spilled over the shell cas-
cade, then down to the Clam Shell Pool. But was there re-
ally a pool there? Or did the water simply flow into the
ground, perhaps to help irrigate the Blue Garden, as sug-
gested by the 1980 Master Plan (Shepard and Associates
Like the aqueduct's terminal arch and like the cas-
cade's facade of shells, most of the apparent pool was
rimmed with bog-iron rocks. The east side, however, was
rimmed by large chunks of broken cement. After removing
a limited amount of dirt and shells from within the area of
the "pool," the top of an iron pipe and a brick were discov-
ered. These curious features underscored the need for ar-
chaeological investigation before restoration could proceed.
The purpose of the archaeological investigation was
to learn more about the Clam Shell Pool, particularly with
respect to its original appearance and operation. In mid-
January 1990, the author began a controlled excavation of
the pool's interior. This task took many days of careful
trowelling and mapping. The rocks and other items, both in
and around the pool, were mapped, labelled, and bagged
individually to aid in accurate reconstruction.
The pool's interior was densely filled with dirt,
shells, and rocks. As these materials were removed, it was
discovered that there was indeed a pool! It was formed by:
1) a plastered floor, and 2) concrete side walls covered with
bog iron rocks. Within the pool, several curious features
were discovered including: 1) brick piers, 2) an iron pipe
protruding from a wall of the pool, and 3) a drainage trough
under and behind the bottom of the cascade (see Figure 4).
Excavating the Pool. Inside the pool, bog-iron
rocks and a variety of shells were embedded in densely
packed soil. The shells consisted of left-handed whelk,
oyster, quahog, fighting conch, horse conch, and scallop
shells. Many of these same types of shells could be seen
embedded in the cascade's facade. Some of the large, loose
whelk shells still had mortar on them. These apparently
had become dislodged and had fallen down from the cas-
cade's facade or from the shell-and-bog-iron adorning the
Possibly, some of the large whelk shells were in-
tended to lie on the bottom of the pool's floor as decoration.
For example, they might have been placed around potted
aquatic plants in the pool, in a manner resembling the shells
encircling the large planter areas to each side of the cascade
Pool Floor and Walls. One of the most exciting
finds at the pool was the discovery of its floor and attached
sidewall. No longer was the "pool" just a shallow hollow in
the ground filled with dirt and shells! This discovery con-
firmed the existence of a true pool, with a floor and walls!
The floor was essentially flat but sloping slightly, with a
plaster surface. The thin plaster facing was applied to a
yellowish concrete containing shell aggregate consisting of a
mixture of crushed local beach shell and sand.
As suggested by the bog iron rocks on the ground
surface, the pool's floor showed that it clearly had a semi-
circular shape. At the edge of the floor, sidewalls had been
built by placing a single layer of rough, rectangular-shaped
concrete chunks, or sections, attached with mortar. This
wall formed a sealed pool structure that held back dirt as
well as served to hold water (Figure 4).
Bog Iron Rocks. Handsome bog-iron rocks were
attached with mortar to the top of the concrete side wall.
The rocks were uncut and rather rounded and worn, each
carefully arranged one at a time. These bog-iron rocks
neatly masked the concrete wall below or behind them,
giving the pool a softer and more natural shape and appear-
ance. The arrangement seemed to fan upward and outward
to ground level where the rocks formed a rim around the
pool's edge. Similar rocks framed the cascade's facade and
Brick Piers. Another unexpected discovery was the
presence of four brick piers on the floor of the pool. With
respect to each other, the layout of the four piers formed a
square shape (Figure 4). Each consisted of a stack of
bricks, two bricks in width, and was laid upward in three
courses of alternating headers and stretchers. Since they
appeared to be dry-laid, they must have remained in place
by force of gravity. They were a yellowish-buff color and,
according to Historic Spanish Point's contractor Pat Ball
(pers. comm.), they probably were made locally and were
These bricks appear to have been made in Mrs.
Palmer's day since similar ones were used in the construc-
tion of the nearby Jungle Walk's steps and planters. How-
ever, their placement on the floor of the pool may post-date
Mrs. Palmer's lifetime. It is possible that these bricks were
added after the aqueduct and pool were no longer in use.
In support of this hypothesis is a 1946 photograph of the
Blue Garden (Figure 1). This photograph shows what
seems to be a large planter or "tub" sitting in the Clam Shell
Pool. This tub appears to be very similar to a glazed, seg-
mented cast-iron container used as a planter on the Palmer
estate (see Matthews 1990:10). The tub would have been
beautifully decorated and could have been used to hide a
cascade and pool which had fallen into disuse. Since the
bricks are laid on the pool floor, rather than on fill, the piers
may be a later addition for an elevated tub/planter sur-
rounded by pool water.
Iron Pipe. On the same level as the top of the
brick piers, a finished section of 3 1/2-inch diameter iron
pipe was set into the eastern sidewall of the pool. It ex-
tended mid-way into the pool, ending with a female joint
(see Figure 4).
That the pipe might have been inserted through the
sidewall after the pool was built was suggested by several
things. First, the pipe was unsightly and was difficult to hide
from view. Second, the pool's rim above the pipe differed
from that around the rest of the pool, and it appeared to
have been re-built in a haphazard manner. It consisted of
broken chunks of rough concrete, rather than the carefully-
placed bog iron rocks rimming the rest of the pool.
The iron pipe was elevated above the pool's floor,
suggesting that it delivered water rather than having served
as an exit drain. Perhaps the iron pipe carried water to
keep the pool full even when the aqueduct was not running.
It seems more likely, however, that it drained something
else, and that the pool was used simply as a convenient spot
to dispose of water. This possibility could not be tested
since it was not known where the pipe originated, and the
pipe was filled with dirt. However, subsurface probing sug-
gested that the iron pipe led a short distance northeastward
where four concrete, colored slabs (two light green and two
light red or pink) were discovered. These unusual slabs
may mark the former location of an elaborate "bronze fig-
ure/water element" (Matthews 1990:15) which possibly
drained via the iron pipe into the Clam Shell Pool, perhaps
when the pool was no longer in use and contained the large,
ornamental planter (see above).
Where Did Water Go? After excavating the fill
from within the Clam Shell Pool, and after discovering its
iron pipe, masonry floor and walls, and brick piers, the
pool's structure and possible associated features were care-
fully documented. But an important question still re-
mained: how and where did water drain? This had to be
revealed in order to restore it to a functioning pool.
Outflow pipes or holes could not be detected at
first, and while the iron pipe was a possible solution, there
was another clue: a gap between two large bog-iron rocks
at the bottom of the cascade's facade. It appeared that wa-
ter might flow through this narrow gap.
Excitedly, we set up a mock water-flow with a hose.
We ran the water down the aqueduct's trough, and it began
slowly to trickle over the shell-studded cascade and down-
ward into the pool. After a while, a few inches of water ac-
cumulated in the pool. Then, a few minutes later, the water
suddenly began to disappear between the rocks at the bot-
tom of the cascade's facade!
The water would disappear behind the rocks, ap-
parently into a hidden, hollow space. Using a metal probe
to poke into this space revealed that it extended behind the
rocks, ending at a solid wall. On reaching by hand into the
space behind the rocks, a curved surface, possibly of a
trough or halved pipe, could be felt. After digging a test
trench just outside the edge of the pool, it was confirmed
that this was a lateral concrete trough and pipe that drained
westward toward the nearby shore of Little Sarasota Bay.
It thus appeared that water flowed like this: 1)
water from the aqueduct trickled down over the cascade's
facade, 2) water flowing into the pool reached a depth of
about 4-6 inches, 3) water flowed through the gap between
two bog-iron rocks at the base of the cascade, 4) water
flowed out of the pool and into the trough/culvert behind
the bog iron-rocks, and 5) it flowed away to the west
through a concrete pipe.
Several kinds of materials were used in the con-
struction of the Clam Shell Pool, the aqueduct, and the cas-
cade's facade. The building materials were of local origin,
with the exception of a giant "South-Sea Clam Shell", if, in-
deed, one ever existed.
A giant clam shell from the vicinity of the pool is
reported to have been stolen in the recent past. No evi-
dence of it was found during this investigation. The brick
piers, the larger bog-iron rocks in the corners, and the iron
pipe might have formed a common level that could have
supported something on top. It is conceivable that a giant
clam shell could have rested on these elevated points above
the pool floor. However, this is entirely conjectural, and
supporting historic photographs or other documentation has
Bog-iron rocks are one of the most important con-
struction materials at the Clam Shell Pool and probably
were used for their aesthetic value as well. These rustic-
looking, ruddy-colored rocks were probably obtained along
the bayshore. The shells, too, were perhaps collected from
the bayshore, and might have been quite bright and colorful
when the pool was constructed. It is also possible that some
of the shells, such as the large whelk, horse conch, and
scallop valves came from the nearby Archaic period abo-
riginal shell midden.
The pool's drainage trough, exit pipe, and floor
were made from a light-weight, yellowish, shell-rich mixture
of cement and local beach material. Other components of
the pool were built with heavy, dense concrete, some of it
"new" and some of it borrowed or "robbed." For example,
to make the aqueduct, concrete was mixed on-site. In con-
trast, the wall supporting the cascade's facade and the walls
forming its flanking planters were built with broken sections
of concrete curbing salvaged from elsewhere, and then
reused (see Figure 5). Curiously, the great height of this
Figure 4. Clam Shell Pool. Top: View
of pipe, brick piers, and rim of bog-
iron rocks. Bottom: View of plaster
floor after removal of brick piers and
iron pipe. Note shell cascade (left)
and Blue Garden curb (right).
Figure 5. Shell Cascade and Aqueduct. Top: Side view. Bottom: View from behind.
Note broken, rounded concrete curbs. (Photos by Becky Spain Schwartz, February
1990, courtesy Historic Spanish Point).
curbing may suggest that it was intended to curb the large
wheels of horse-drawn buggies. Alternatively, it originally
may have been for decoration only.
The Clam Shell Pool's
Natural and Aesthetic Qualities
The use of local materials in lieu of imported ones is an
important aspect of the Clam Shell Pool and many other el-
ements of Mrs. Palmer's estate. It reflects the area's relative
isolation at that time, and the availability of inexpensive la-
bor. It also reflects the laborers' and craftsmen's adaptabil-
ity, ingenuity, knowledge of local resources, and artistic sen-
The exit drain under the shell cascade was cleverly
masked by large bog-iron boulders fixed to the pool's floor
with mortar. The flow between the boulders was probably
barely perceptible when the pool was overflowing. As with
other features in the pool, this method of out-flow through
the rocks gave a natural appearance to the pool.
On the cascade's facade, carefully selected shells
were affixed one at a time with clumps of mortar. The
mortar is unfinished, giving a "rough" and "natural" look. As
noted by contractor Pat Ball, this artful, but untraditional,
use of mortar probably was accomplished only by an artisti-
cally sensitive craftsman -- someone other than the more
conventional mason who finished the aqueduct trough or
the Blue Garden curb. The dribbled surface of some of the
mortar even mimics a "sand-castle" look of wet sand around
Even flowing water was used artfully. Water would
flow along the aqueduct toward the Clam Shell Pool. Here,
it flowed down the cascade, passing over individually cupped
shells and splashing into the pool below. As water passed to
each tier of upturned shells it would get caught in them and
then spill out, forming a kind of water spillway over the
shells. These colorful shells with the trickling water created
a beautiful scene and pleasant sound. The reddish brown-
colored, bog-iron rocks gave the pool a rustic, grotto-like
Social Aspects of
the Clam Shell Pool
The Clam Shell Pool was clearly a special, private
place, where guests could have been invited to sit down,
possibly on the indented curb along the Blue Garden's
sunken path just north of the pool. The grotto-like quality
of the pool added a sense of depth. It evoked a feeling of
closeness to nature and real privacy from the rest of the
Mrs. Palmer's elaborate garden (Figure 6) was
clearly a symbol of her great wealth, prestige, and social
status. She was a famous socialite in this nation and abroad.
She conducted major business transactions, and her garden
was one way of demonstrating her importance and influ-
ence. Her garden commanded authority by its good taste
and aesthetic qualities. Her Clam Shell Pool, an important
feature in the garden, was an intimate feature in a grand de-
sign. The Clam Shell Pool would impress guests who could
pause and sit on the Blue Garden's curb, look eye-level at
the aqueduct's grotto, and hear the tinkling sound of water
that trickled and splashed over beautiful shells into a clear,
For centuries, it has been common among the
elites of societies to create great estates and gardens to help
bolster their social status and to garner popularity, espe-
cially when political power and influence were desired. In a
recent article titled "Power Gardens of Annapolis", Leone
and others discuss the connections between the "properly
terraced garden and the right to govern" in eighteenth-cen-
tury Annapolis (Leone et al. 1989:35-39, 74). The authors
note that "... landscape helps to generate social life as well
as reflect it; indeed, landscape shapes and reshapes it as so-
cial meaning and relationships are continually negotiated
within the forms and spaces of the landscape" (Leone et al.
Mrs. Palmer's lavishly landscaped estate is no ex-
ception. What encounters and conversations took place in
the privacy of her grand gardens? Who was invited to stroll
through the formal Blue Garden alongside her mansion?
Did the refined taste and manners which these gardens ex-
emplified help her to extend them to personal and business
How were the gardens used after Mrs. Palmer
died? Changes of ownership often correspond to changes in
landscape elements. Do the Clam Shell Pool's brick piers
and iron pipe indicate changes to a post-Mrs. Palmer era?
And what may those changes reflect?
The investigation of the Clam Shell Pool was one of
several landscape archaeology projects at Historic Spanish
Point, and it was an exciting one. In the future, further his-
torical and archaeological research should be done in order
to help reconstruct a fuller picture of the Palmer estate, its
gardens, and their roles in the history and development of
Archaeological excavation uncovered and docu-
mented a buried pool which had been built circa 1912
alongside the private, formal garden of an elite residence
belonging to Mrs. Potter Palmer, an important figure in the
history of west-central Florida. The pool and its associated
elements reflect an adaptive synthesis of formal styles and
local or vernacular materials which is typical practice in the
realization of many garden landscapes. Some of the fea-
tures revealed by the archaeological work suggest changes
which occurred after 1918 when Mrs. Palmer died. The
history and use of the Blue Garden and Clam Shell Pool
Figure 6. Historic Illustration of Mrs. Palmers Garden. Note aqueduct arch; the Clam Shell Pool was
to the right. (From Gordon Palmer's 1958 Oaks Tour Brochure; courtesy Historic Spanish Point).
after 1918 are in need of further research.
In Sarasota County, many grand estates and man-
sions from the early to mid-20th century no longer exist.
These losses reflect new patterns of consumptive land use
and dispersed wealth.
Mrs. Palmer's "The Oaks" was one of the first and
most famous grand estates; it flourished prior to the First
World War and was demolished by the late 1970s. Historic
Spanish Point's Clam Shell Pool is significant as a vestige of
an important bygone era.
An archaeological project is rarely a single-person
effort. I would like to acknowledge the kind help and sup-
port of Historic Spanish Point staff, including: Linda K.
Williams, Executive Director; Diane Gootee, Business
Manager; Gail Adkins, Director of Education. I am grate-
ful to George M. Luer, archaeologist, ACI, who worked on
all phases of this project and who encouraged me to write
this paper. The assistance of Marion M. Almy, President,
ACI; Becky Spain Schwarz, Shepard Associates, Inc., and
Pat Ball of Ball Construction, Inc. are appreciated.
Leone, Mark P., Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, Julie H. Ernstein,
and Paul A. Shackel
1989 Power Gardens of Annapolis. Archaeology March-
April: 35-39, 74-75.
Luer, George M., and Marion M. Almy
1989 Inspection/Observations/Recommendations Clam
Shell Pool. Archaeological Consultants Incorporated
Memorandum dated August 10, 1989. On file,
Historic Spanish Point. Osprey.
Matthews, Janet S.
1990 Mrs. Palmer's Garden Ornaments, 1910-1918. Un-
published draft report dated June 15. On file, Historic
Spanish Point. Osprey.
Shepard Associates, Architects and Planners, Inc.
1980 Master Plan. The Oaks Preservation Center. For the
Sarasota County Historical and Natural Science
Center, Inc. On file, Historic Spanish Point. Osprey.
1988 Blue Garden and Jungle Walk. Unpublished sketch
based on Design Restoration Team architectural and
archaeological field work. On file, Historic Spanish
Archibald, Lauren C., and George M. Luer
1989 Archaeological Investigations at the Clam Shell Pool,
Spanish Point. Unpublished report dated March 1990.
On file, Historic Spanish Point. Osprey.
Lauren C. Archibald
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
AN EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY DOMESTIC ARTIFACT SCATTER IN
OSPREY, SARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA
This paper describes the discovery of a "scatter" of
artifacts, consisting primarily of glass and ceramic frag-
ments, which appears to be evidence of a previously over-
looked, early twentieth century house site at Historic Span-
ish Point in (8So2) Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida. The
artifacts were recovered in March 1989 by Archaeological
Consultants, Inc. (ACI) during an investigation of Mrs.
Potter Palmer's 1912 irrigation and drainage systems which
were part of her grand, landscaped estate at Osprey. This
investigation was performed for Herschel Shepard, head of
the Historic Spanish Point Design Restoration Project,
funded by a grant from the Florida Department of State,
Division of Historical Resources. Historic Spanish Point is
a private, non-profit, archaeological, historic, and environ-
mental, preserve along Little Sarasota Bay.
Historic Spanish Point's early occupants included
aboriginal Native Americans, Cuban fishermen, and Anglo-
American settlers. Beginning in the 1860s, Anglo-Ameri-
cans gradually settled around Little Sarasota Bay, estab-
lishing a small, coastal community which, by 1884, acquired
its own post office, named Osprey (Matthews 1989:128).
The little community became a wintering-place for
visitors from the north. By 1901, whiskey distiller Lawrence
Jones of Louisville, Kentucky, bought land in Osprey and
built a large winter residence overlooking the bay
(Matthews 1980:H-29, 1989:181). That same year, a resi-
dent boat-builder named Frank Guptill also built a com-
fortable house overlooking the bay, very near the Jones
residence (Matthews 1980:H-16).
Around 1910, Mrs. Potter Palmer, a wealthy
Chicagoan, purchased the Jones and Guptill houses as well
as much land in and around Osprey. These purchases dras-
tically changed the uses of the land in the little community.
Indeed, Mrs. Palmer transformed the area into a lavish es-
tate with elaborate, landscaped grounds and gardens.
Many of Mrs. Palmer's landscaped features were
adapted to the existing setting. These features were de-
signed around prehistoric shell middens, and even the out-
parcels of prior inhabitants who refused to sell to Mrs.
Palmer. One of the buildings apparently already built when
Mrs. Palmer arrived was located near the Jones and Guptill
houses. It was shown on a 1912 plan of Mrs. Palmer's irri-
gation system (Matthews 1987; Luer and Almy 1989). It is
this building from which the artifact scatter, described
herein, appears to have originated.
The artifact scatter was situated on flat terrain in a
densely wooded area with oak trees and some cabbage
palms. It was located about 125 meters (400 feet) from the
shore of Little Sarasota Bay, midway between and behind
the Jones and Guptill houses. The scatter was on sandy
ground northeast of the Archaic Shell Midden. The arti-
facts were along a shallow, narrow drainage ditch that runs
east-west along the edge of Historic Spanish Point property.
This ditch was dug around 1912 to help drain rainwater run-
off on Mrs. Palmer's estate; the ditch originally had been
lined with cabbage palms along its southern edge (Luer and
The artifact scatter was discovered just before it
would have been impacted by the clearing of vegetation to
make an access road in the spring of 1988. Contractor Pat
Ball observed glass and ceramic fragments on the ground.
He quickly alerted ACI archaeologists who combed the
area, carefully clearing off leaf debris, collecting, and bag-
ging artifacts. Material was concentrated in an area of
about eight meters (25 feet) north-south by about 30 meters
(100 feet) east-west, just south of the drainage ditch and
west of a buried concrete slab, discussed below. Artifacts
were scattered randomly on the ground, but window glass
was concentrated at the eastern edge of the site. Limited
subsurface investigations disclosed that the scatter was con-
fined to the ground's surface.
The Artifact Assemblage
Approximately 450-500 artifacts were recovered,
and a preliminary inventory and analysis were produced
(Archibald 1989). Recovered artifacts were sorted into cat-
egories, bagged, and stored at Historic Spanish Point.
In descending order of abundance, the material
consisted of: bottle and jar glass, ceramics, oil and kerosene
stove parts, and miscellaneous items. A large quantity of
window glass, some bricks of various types, and mortar
fragments were recovered also. Other building materials,
such as nails, were not observed.
As is typical for late 19th and early 20th century
sites, glass from jars and bottles represented the bulk of the
collection. The largest proportion of the glass was clear, or
had turned an amethyst color from exposure to sun light.
Also found was a fairly large quantity of aqua glass and
lesser amounts of brown and green glass fragments.
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
Figure 1. Osprey, Florida, circa 1900. Top: View from bay of Saunder's Dock and Store, about 600
meters southeast of artifact scatter (photo courtesy Historic Spanish Point). Bottom: A frame house
about 300 meters northwest of the artifact scatter (photo courtesy Manatee County Historical Society,
catalog no. 3541A).
Figure 2. Map of Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, Florida,
circa 1910. Note artifact scatter (arrow at top) and Saunder's
Dock (arrow at bottom). Source: Shepard Associates, 1980.
\- HOUS& (uAT&F *C=**~)
LITTLE SARASOTA BAY
___- BSITE OJF 0Y
WEBB OOC- &
I PACKING MOUSE
Glass bottle fragments were the best chronological
indicators. Two main kinds of glass bottles were repre-
sented: machine-made, which would post-date 1910, and
hand-blown in a mold, which were made from around 1875
to 1915 (Rich Green, pers. comm. April 1989; Deiss n.d.:3).
The hand-blown bottles are indicated by the smooth bases
and mold seams ending before the lip; machine-made bot-
tles show mold seams running up to and over the top of the
During the early 20th century, there is a long pe-
riod of overlap between hand-made and machine-made
bottles and jars. This site dates to the period when both
methods of manufacture were employed. This would place
the site near 1910, when machine-made bottles came into
full commercial production in the United States (Rich
Green, pers. comm. April 1989; Parks Canada 1985:39).
Description of Artifacts
Some of the commercially manufactured glassware
at the site bears company names which are excellent
chronological indicators. Fragments of familiar brands such
as Mason, Heinz, and McCormick, which came into being
before the turn of the century, were found at the site.
Canning and Condiment Jars. Aqua Ball Mason
jar fragments and other fruit jars were prominent artifacts
at the site. Now popular as collectors' items, several authors
have studied the history of these and other fruit jars (see
Brantley 1975:73). The Ball Company, which still produces
jars today, was founded in 1880 (Brantley 1975:1) and was
based in Muncie, Indiana. By 1897, the Ball Company pro-
duced more than 65% of all the fruit jars in the country, and
by 1902 the jars were shipped by rail (Brantley 1975:13).
The markings on Ball jars are helpful for placing
them chronologically. Only several lettered fragments were
found, all with the Ball script trademark. According to
Brantley (1975), this style is known as the "Ball Mason", and
is shown in a 1912 Ball advertisement (Brantley 1975:14,
27). Also depicted by the ad are jelly glasses and a gallon-
size, glass-lined oil jug or "dandy". Specimens similar to
these were found at this site.
There was evidence of other jars of varying shapes
and sizes, including smaller jars with octagonal, semi-oval,
and oval shapes. These were probably condiment, relish, or
sauce jars. One "Altas E-Z Seal" jar was found, but most jar
fragments were not identifiable by brand name. Some
might have been Ball jars, since the company made jars for
other manufacturers, in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes
As indicated by the jar bases and necks, most of the
jars were the half-pint, wide-mouth variety with screw-on
zinc caps (see Brantley 1975:27, Plate 45, Figure 1). One
broken milkglass sealer was recovered, but zinc caps were
not found (these were universal sizes and could have been
re-used). There was no evidence of any wire-bail type jars.
Medicine, Tonic, and Extract Bottles. Some inter-
esting pieces of glass came from rectangular bottles, some
with indented panels on two or four sides. Such bottles, of-
ten used for food extracts or patent medicines, were manu-
factured with a plate mold which allowed the manufacturer
to make personalized containers by using lettered insert
plates (Munsey 1970:40). Usually, only partial words or
letters could be deciphered on the bottle fragments.
One bottle was lettered "DR. S. PITCHER'S CASTORIA".
Patented in 1868 in Massachusetts, the mixture was adver-
tised as a cure for constipation, especially for children (Fike
1987:177). Another small bottle, bearing "McCORMICK
COMPANY, BALTIMORE", probably contained vanilla or
some other flavoring. The extract bottle may date from the
early years of the McCormick Company, which was founded
in 1889 (Preservation News: February 1989:23). Another
bottle bore the label "CHATTANOOGA MEDICINE" on
one side panel, and "McC...." on the opposite panel.
Some brown or dark green glass fragments were of
medicine or "chemical" bottles. For example, the top and
bottom of a dark green glass bottle were recovered which
appear to have come from a distinctive bottle which bore an
indented panel with the words "RUMFORD CHEMICAL
WORKS" (Rich Green, pers. comm. October 1990). These
were manufactured in Providence, Rhode Island, around
1894. The bottle would have contained "Horsford's Acid
Phosphate for dyspepsia, mental and physical exhaustion,
nervousness, diminished vitality, urinary difficulties, etc."
(Wilson and Wilson 1971).
Condiment Bottles. Fragments of condiment bot-
tles were found. These glass bottles might have contained
ketchup, mustard, horseradish, relish, pickles, or the like.
The bottom of one broken, fluted bottle bore the letters "J.
H. HEINZ 96 PATD."
Another bottom bore the date "1897".
Liquor and Soda Bottles. Other bottle types in-
cluded several square-bottomed liquor bottles, and "crown-
top" soda water bottles which had round bottoms. Some
markings on the soda bottles could be identified as
"Philadelphia", "Jacksonville, Florida", the "Red Rock Com-
pany", and "White Springs Mineral and Bottling Company".
Several green glass bottles were found, which probably
contained wine. A small quantity of fragmentary brown
bottle glass was recovered.
Ceramics. In comparison to bottle and jar glass,
relatively few ceramics were found. These were largely
plain, white, undecorated ironstone fragments and a handful
of stoneware jug and crock fragments. Of the undecorated
tableware, a few makers' marks were visible, including Al-
fred Meakin, England, and possibly two other English com-
panies (only partially legible).
Although imported, many such wares were proba-
bly relatively inexpensive and readily available. For exam-
ple, beginning at the turn of the century, Sears catalogs
were proffering "Genuine English Stone Ware China" for
Figure 3. Condiments. Clockwise: French olive bottle, aqua; grape jelly jar, clear/amethyst;
McCormick extract bottle, clear. Drawings by Richard L. Green.
Figure 4. Tonics and Patent Medicines. Clockwise: Rumford's medicine bottle, blue-green; plain panel
bottle, aqua; Chattanooga Medicine bottle, clear. Drawings by Richard L. Green.
Figure 5. Spirits. Left to Right: beer bottle, aqua; whisky flask, clear; wine bottle, dark olive green.
Drawings by Richard L. Green.
$7.95 for a 100-piece dinner set (Sears Catalog 1895). Extra
heavy-duty stoneware "special for hotels, restaurants,
boarding houses, etc." was also available (Sears Catalog
1902), and similar wares were recovered at this site.
A handful of edge-decorated plate fragments was
found, with fleur-de-lis patterns and other molded designs.
A few fragments of hand-painted whiteware, plain porce-
lain, and a single decorated porcelain sherd were recovered.
Other Artifacts. Some other non-glass, non-ce-
ramic artifacts were related to cooking and heating. These
included: a large section of a cast-iron oil stove, several
blue-painted burners from a kerosene stove, a gallon-size
kerosene can, a burner from an oil cooking stove, a turnkey
for an oil or kerosene stove, a burner cover, stove pipe sec-
tions, and a metal kettle with handle.
Oil lamps were used for lighting, as evidenced by a
wick guide (possibly zinc) and a handful of clear glass lamp
chimney fragments. Eyelets probably from women's leather
boots, the metal (possibly silver) frame from a pocket
watch, and two small porcelain jars lettered "Mothers Salve
Chicago" were found. Sold as a family remedy, "salve" was
advertised in 1908 for "...burns, flesh wounds, chilblains,
boils..." (Sears Catalog 1908:790).
Also recovered were a metal bucket with handle,
and a washing bowl. Two dry cell battery cores (1.5 volt
size) were found, as were some bricks, brick fragments, and
fired-clay water pipe fragments.
Food remains included a few scattered oyster
shells, and a small quantity of fish bones. A few thin, circu-
lar, cut bones probably from pork or beef "hocks" were re-
covered. These cut bones may represent specialty-cured or
smoked cuts of meat which were purchased and brought to
the site. The meat and marrow represented by these bones
could have been stewed in soups, beans, rice, and other
The analysis indicates that the majority of the artifacts date
from 1880 to 1910-1915 (Rich Green, pers. comm. April
1989; Parks Canada 1985:39). The glass bottles are good
diagnostics because the technology of glass making is well-
documented. In the United States, the shift to the auto-
matic bottle machine began by 1910, and took over by 1915
(Rich Green, pers. comm. April 1989; Parks Canada
1985:39). In the assemblage from this site, there are bottles
from both before and after this switch in technology.
Some of the site's machine-made glass bottles, and prob-
ably some of the window glass, may date from a slightly
later period. These may relate to the activities of Mrs.
Potter Palmer's immediate heirs and their employees.
Specifically, these items may be derived from two structures
which existed just east of the artifact scatter, namely the
"Bee House" and "Storage House" shown on a 1929 map of
the Palmer estate (J. G. Kimmel 1929).
Most of the artifact scatter consisted of debris related to
domestic life associated with the family kitchen, that is:
food preparation, storage, cooking, and eating.
Lifestyle. Although it is risky to generalize, most of
the artifacts are fairly unpretentious. The artifacts suggest
that their original owners were living comfortably, even with
a few extravagances. They were able to have soda water,
wine, hard liquor, possibly root beer and beer, and even im-
ported French olive oil. The fancy olive oil was surely a
luxury which could have been used for medicinal purposes,
or possibly for cooking.
There was a small number of better quality ceram-
ics, including decorated English porcelain. Nearly all the
glass and the bulk of the ceramics were mass-produced and
fairly inexpensive. By the turn of the century, fruit and
condiment jars, dinnerware, and many of the other items
found at this site, including stoves and stove parts, were
available via rail service. As early as 1884, the new Tampa
railroad (Matthews 1989:123) could have received goods
from Chicago or other distribution centers. From Tampa,
goods could have been picked up by schooner, and shipped
southward to Osprey, perhaps to Saunder's Store and Dock
on Little Sarasota Bay just about 500 meters (550 yards) to
the south of the artifact scatter (see Figure 1). By 1911, the
railroad extended into Sarasota County, diminishing the
need for schooner transport.
The canning jars could have stored fruit, vegeta-
bles, relishes, jellies, and even meats. The large stoneware
ceramic vessels could have been used to keep home-made
brews or other liquids. These jars, the soda bottles, and
heavy-duty plates and jugs could have been re-used many
times, which was convenient, or even necessary for the iso-
lated lifestyle at Osprey at the turn of century.
Osprey's lifestyle of the time is also reflected by the
presence of oil lamps, and the remnants of heating/cooking
oil, kerosene, and cast iron stove remains. Some limited use
of electricity is suggested by the battery cores. Travel seems
to have been by foot, schooners, horse and buggies, and
Site Occupants. The presence of a family group is
suggested by the artifacts, which relate to cooking, eating,
and personal hygiene. Examples include glass canning jars,
soda bottles, crock pots, ceramic plates and tea cups, a ket-
tle, bucket, washing bowl, and medicine bottles. Two
medicinal items, "Pitcher's Castoria" and "Mother's Salve"
may suggest the presence of children; however, there is a
lack of toys, such as marbles, dolls, and ceramic doll
teacups. In the way of clothing, leather eyelets, probably
from women's boots, were recovered. The liquor bottles
and pocket watch piece could suggest the presence of males.
Type of Site. The scatter's kitchen artifacts proba-
bly accumulated in a family's house, since moved or torn-
down. A 1912 sketch map of Mrs. Potter Palmer's irrigation
system shows a structure in the location of the artifact scat-
ter (Matthews 1987; Luer and Almy 1989). It is probably in
this former structure that the kitchen artifacts accumulated.
The artifacts may be the debris of a single family
which might have lived in the house since before the turn of
the century. The presence of a few bricks suggests that the
structure could have been a frame building which sat on
brick piers, which was a typical construction technique of
that time (such as Saunder's Store -- see Matthews
Although most of the artifacts are related to do-
mestic life associated with the kitchen, there was an absence
of eating utensils such as knifes, forks, and spoons. More
valuable and re-useable material, such as furniture, utensils,
tools, guns, and clothing, would have been removed before
leaving, abandoning, moving, or dismantling the house. It is
possible that more conspicuous and/or complete items (if
there were any) were salvaged or carried off by various
people, including bottle collectors, since the abandonment
of the site.
Since the artifacts were scattered along the side of
a ditch, their occurrence seems to be related to the ditch in
some way. The ditch was dug for Mrs. Potter Palmer's es-
tate circa 1912. At least two hypotheses can be suggested:
First, the digging of the ditch might have intruded through
an existing deposit of trash, spreading it along the ditch. A
second hypothesis could be that the ditch was dug alongside
the house, and the house was later abandoned and either
torn down or moved, at which time the artifacts were left
behind, forming the scatter.
History of the Site Area
At the turn of the century, Osprey was a little
coastal community on the bay between Sarasota and
Venice. This stretch of coastline was quiet and pristine, but
not isolated from the outside world. Osprey was accessible
by coastal schooners, and, by 1911, the Seaboard Air Line
Railway was extended from Sarasota to Venice (Matthews
1989:171). This gave Osprey its own railroad siding for pas-
sengers and parcels alike.
Osprey also had its own store, supplied by coastal
schooners. This was "V. A. Saunder's General Merchan-
dise", which was housed in a frame structure at the edge of
the bay (Figure 1). The store featured a wide array of
canned and bottled goods, and other non-food supplies. In
addition, it served as a post office and dock; a "rail line and
handcar were used to carry goods to the store from local
schooners" (Matthews 1989:184).
At the turn of the century, the store was in easy
walking distance from the location of the artifact scatter
site. It is very likely that the inhabitants of the site bought
their goods at this store. If the inhabitants whose domestic
artifacts comprise the scatter did stay on after the arrival of
Mrs. Palmer and the railroad in 1911, certain items could
have been received directly from the train siding in Osprey.
However, the house appears to have been abandoned
shortly after that time.
Prior to the "takeover" of Osprey by Mrs. Palmer,
there were at least four residences in the general site area,
including the large Jones house which she moved into, the
Guptill House which still stands today, and the Cock house
and Griffith house (Figure 1) which are now gone. There
was also the unidentified structure shown in the immediate
vicinity of the artifact scatter on the 1912 irrigation plan.
The later 1929 map of the Palmer estate does not show this
unidentified structure (J. G. Kimmel 1929).
Today, the artifact scatter seems to be the only tan-
gible evidence of this structure shown on the 1912 map.
However, there are concrete slabs which relate to the "Bee
House" and "Storage House" shown on the 1929 map. Much
or all of the window glass in the artifact scatter was found
near the edge of this concrete, and thus it seems to pertain
to one or both of these later structures. Another later,
nearby structure was a "servant's quarters" which the 1929
map shows across the ditch to the north (J. G. Kimmel
The artifact scatter at Historic Spanish Point could
be compared to other chronologically similar (circa 1900)
historic homesteads in Sarasota County. Except for limited
salvage work at the Luke Wood House in the City of Sara-
sota, all of these remain unstudied. These include at least
three known residence sites at Historic Spanish Point, in-
cluding Cock's Parcel, the Guptill House (still standing),
and Webb's homestead (much of which pre-dates 1900).
Other examples in the county include the Hermitage, a
structure still extant on Manasota Key, and the Luke Wood
House in the City of Sarasota. The latter has been moved
from its original site, but fortunately, limited archaeological
salvage work was undertaken by Roger T. Grange just after
the move (Grange 1977).
Historic Spanish Point's domestic artifact scatter is
of special interest in Sarasota County because it appears to
pre-date the Palmer era (pre-1910), a period for which
there is little documentary evidence about local vernacular
material culture. In describing the turn-of-the-century
lifestyle of a Bradenton family who spent summers on the
bay just south of Osprey, historian Janet S. Matthews
The Harrises caught fish, preserved guava
marmalade, and stewed mullet gizzards. They
baked corn bread and mullet in a wood-burning
oven and enjoyed honey on home-baked bread.
... The Harrises cooked beans, peas, and sweet
potatoes. Vegetables often were cooked from
midmorning until dinner at one o'clock. Pots of
food simmered on the stove all day. They had a
cow, and made buttermilk and butter. They
canned preserves in pint an quart Mason jars with
screw-top lids and rubber seals.
This documentation portrays a domestic lifestyle very much
like that indicated by the artifact scatter! However, the
archaeological record provides still other details on lifestyle,
such as the use of children's remedies and other patent
medicines, spices and extracts, wine and alcoholic
Further comparative studies of material artifacts from
this period could shed light on questions of ethnicity, socio-
economic levels, work trades, domestic activities, trash
disposal, and other land use patterns. How would the arti-
fact scatter compare with the domestic remains from a
black turpentine camp in the nearby flatwoods? How would
it compare to domestic remains from a house-site of a his-
toric Anglo-American or Cuban fisherman's family at
This paper reports the analysis of a surface scatter of
historic period artifacts; no subsurface excavation was
performed. The artifact scatter consists primarily of kitchen
debris, probably from a family which lived in a frame house
which was part of the small community of Osprey in the
years circa 1900 1912. This house was apparently aban-
doned, and dismantled or moved, after the arrival of Mrs.
Palmer. The kitchen debris is significant because it gives a
rare glimpse of a facet of local, everyday material culture in
the decade just prior to the massive land purchases of Mrs.
Palmer, the appearance of the railroad, automobiles, and
electricity, and the boom years and Prohibition of the 1920s.
Some of the scatter's artifacts, such as some machine-made
bottles and window glass, may post-date the kitchen debris
and derive from two later structures in the immediate vicin-
The artifact scatter at Osprey represents a previously un-
recognized historic component at Historic Spanish Point.
The analysis of the artifact scatter is of educational value
because it shows how much housewares and domestic tech-
nology have changed in this century. For most people under
50 years of age, the items in the artifact scatter were unfa-
This and other historic artifact scatter sites have great
potential for yielding important data for understand
ing the everyday lives of early residents in Florida. In
Florida's fast-developing counties, such sites merit further
attention. They represent little-known aspects of history,
and they are ephemeral, rare, and disappearing quickly.
The author wishes to thank Linda K. Williams, Ex-
ecutive Director of Historic Spanish Point for her support
and interest in this work. Bridget Jones, Curator at Historic
Spanish Point, was also helpful. Roger Grange and Jerome
Traver provided useful source information on that subject.
George M. Luer conceived the idea of studying the "artifact
scatter" site, and his helpful suggestions on the manuscript
Finally, I am very grateful to Richard L. Green of
Media, Pennsylvania, a long-time work associate and
authority on glass bottles. In addition to helping with the
identification of the glass bottles recovered during the
project, he prepared the bottle illustrations depicted in
Figures 3-5 of this report.
Archibald, Lauren C.
1989 "Historic Trash Site." Appendix in: "Draft: Task 8: Ir-
rigation and Drainage Systems" by George M. Luer
and Marion M. Almy. Archaeological Consultants,
Inc. Unpublished report. On file, Historic Spanish
Brantley, William F.
1975 A Collector's Guide to Ball Jars. Rosemary Humbert
Martin, Publisher. Muncie.
Fike, Richard E.
1987 The Bottle Book: A Comprehensive Guide to His-
toric, Embossed Medicine Bottles. Gibbs M. Smith,
Inc. Peregrine Smith Books. Salt Lake City.
Grange, Roger T.
1977 Excavation at the Luke Wood House, Sarasota,
Florida (8So91). Prepared for the Sarasota County
Historical Society. University of South Florida,
Department of Anthropology. Tampa.
Green, Richard L.
1989 Letter to author, April 1989.
Jones, Olive, Catherine Sullivan, et. al.
1985 The Parks Canada Glass Glossary. Studies in Ar-
chaeology, Architecture, and History. National
Historic Parks and Sites Branch, Parks Canada.
Kimmel, J. G.
1929 Map of The Oaks. From the Archives of Smally,
Wellford, and Nalven. Sarasota.
Luer, George M., and Marion M. Almy
1989 Archaeological Investigations: Report for Spanish
Point Site Restoration Design Team. Draft: Task 8:
Irrigation and Drainage Systems". Archaeological
Consultants, Inc. On file, Historic Spanish Point.
Matthews, Janet S.
1980 "History." In: Master Plan. The Oaks Preservation
Center. By Shepard Associates, Architects and
Planners, Inc. Jacksonville.
1987 Historic Research for Spanish Point Design Restora-
tion Team. Unpublished report on file, Historic
Spanish Point. Osprey.
1989 Venice, Journey from Horse and Chaise. A History of
Venice, Florida. Pine Level Press, Inc. Sarasota.
1970 The Illustrated Guide to Collecting Bottles.
Hawthorn Books, Inc. New York
1988 February Issue. National Trust for Historic Preserva-
tion, Washington, D.C.
Sears, Roebuck, and Co.
1897, 1902, 1908, 1927 Sears Catalog. Sears, Roebuck, and
Wilson, Bill, and Betty Wilson
1971 Nineteenth Century Medicine In Glass. William L.
Wilson, Nineteenth Century Hobby and Publishing Co.
Amador City, California.
Lauren C. Archibald
Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
HISTORIC RESOURCES AT THE PINELAND SITE, LEE COUNTY FLORIDA
George M. Luer
This paper describes archaeological and historical re-
sources at the small rural community of Pineland on Pine
Island in Lee County, southwest Florida. These resources
are significant to the region's prehistory and history, but
have been poorly documented, severely impacted, and
overlooked for many years. It is our task to understand and
to protect these resources, and this paper is an attempt to
help in that process.
In the last few years, Pineland has begun to receive the
public appreciation and scholarly attention which it de-
serves. This improving situation is largely due to the un-
selfish efforts of Patricia and Donald H. Randell of
Pineland. They have encouraged publicity, education, and
preservation of Pineland's cultural resources. In addition,
they have contributed financially to archaeological work in
Perhaps the Randells' greatest contribution is that they
have helped to establish broad participation in the exciting
inquiry into the past. They have promoted visits to Pineland
by school children and grown-ups, and they have fostered
archaeological work by the Florida Museum of Natural
History (FMNH) of Gainesville. Excavations by FMNH
have allowed many people to enjoy archaeological field
work, including members of the Southwest Florida Archae-
ological Society (SWFAS) and Time Sifters, both chapters
of the Florida Anthropological Society.
Some Glimpses of Pineland History
Few people are aware of Pineland's interesting history.
In the last several years, Pineland's prehistoric mounds and
canoe canal have gained publicity (see The Florida Anthro-
pologist: June 1989, and Calusa News: May 1989, and May
and October 1990). However, Pineland's history has re-
Much of Pineland's history, presented below, is assem-
bled for the first time. Much more will be found. It will be
a continuing challenge to unravel this history, to discover
how it relates to Pineland specifically, and to determine its
significance to the region in general.
The following chronologically-arranged narrative is di-
vided into three informal periods: 1) "rancho period," 2)
"settlement period," and 3) "Randell period." These periods
can be characterized, respectively, as follows:
1) seasonal or sporadic occupation by Spanish, Span-
ish-Indian, and Black fisherfolk and, later, by Anglo-
2) permanent settlement accompanied by extensive
land alteration and agriculture; and
3) a still-unfolding period when Pineland's charm will
be either preserved or lost.
Rancho Period. As a coastal frontier, southwest
Florida was inhabited sparsely in the 1700s and 1800s. In
this watery wilderness, early fishermen and their families
were attracted to Pineland's shell mounds. The mounds
were important because they provided one of the few land-
ings on Pine Island's swampy shore. Their high, dry ground
provided rich soil for gardening, and ample space for neces-
sary activities such as drying fish.
The identity of early inhabitants is unclear, but there
were several Cuban fishing stations or "ranchos" in the area
by the 1820s and 1830s. At this same time, Pine Island re-
portedly had a "little colony" of runaway Black slaves who
"made a living cutting timber and fishing" (Covington
1959:121). Although it is not known where this "colony" was
located, its members probably were aware of Pineland's
mounds. These early Pine Islanders were said to have been
"protected by several armed Spanish vessels" which presum-
ably were associated with the Cuban mullet fishery based on
nearby Useppa Island (Covington 1959:121).
Many Cuban fishing ranchos were abandoned after the
United States acquired Florida in 1821 and as a result of
hostilities and deportations during the Second Seminole
War (1835-1842). At this time, the mounds at Pineland
were so prominent that they were depicted on a Second
Seminole War military map of the Florida peninsula
(National Archives 1845). When U.S. Military personnel
inspected the area in 1849, they made note of "prior fisher-
men who had cultivated the high ground on Pine Island"
(Gibson 1982: 163). This "high ground" could easily refer to
the fertile shell mounds at Pineland.
A decade later, Pineland played a role in the first de-
tailed U.S. Government mapping of the coast. Government
surveyors were attracted by the conspicuous height of
Pineland's mounds, and by their proximity to the open water
of Pine Island Sound. They established a permanent sur-
veyors' station, which they named "Brown, 1860" on one of
Pineland's mounds (National Geodetic Survey 1978). Ac-
cording to the historian Gibson (1982:29, 31, 206) two of the
U.S. Coast Survey Office's original survey drafts, dated 1859
and 1860, refer to Pineland as "Brown's" and show four
buildings at the site.
Interestingly, the Brown who lived at Pineland might
have been a Union sympathizer. A letter dated December
29, 1862, refers to "a person by the name of Brown" who
resided on Pine Island and who gave assistance to the crew
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
Figure 1. Pineland's Mounds on 1883 Coast Chart. Arrows point to three mounds (probably 8LL33, 8LL36, and 8LL38).
Wavy line between mounds represents the west end of the Pine Island Canal (8LL34). Note tidal marsh (now filled) extending
between mounds from north.
of a Key West oystering boat which had been pursued by a
rebel sloop in Matlacha Pass immediately east of Pine
Island (Gibson 1982:37-38). During the first half of the
1860s, Pineland's history continued to be closely connected
to goings-on at nearby Useppa Island, where blockade
forces of the U.S. Navy were stationed during the Civil War
After the Civil War, Pineland's mounds continued to
be a navigational and locational aid, as evidenced by their
depiction (Figure 1) on the government coast chart
(U.S.C.G.S. 1883). The mounds also continued to be home,
it seems, for Brown. This is suggested by an 1880s refer-
ence to the location as "Brown's place" (Douglass 1881-
1885) and by a passage written by the traveller Charles J.
Kenworthy of Jacksonville, Florida. In 1877, Kenworthy
(1883) briefly examined Pineland's mounds and canal, and
met "a gentleman who had resided on the island for 24
years" or, since 1853. It was this "gentleman," perhaps
Brown himself, who told Kenworthy about both the Pine
Island Canal and the Cape Coral Canal (Luer 1989a:105).
By the early 1880s, Pineland apparently was inhabited
by a poverty-stricken family living in an old house without
walls and furniture (Phillips 1884?). When the explorer
Andrew E. Douglass of New York City rowed ashore, he
expected to find a family but instead found a deserted house
and mounds overgown with thorny vegetation. There were,
though, many traces of former habitation such as introduced
century plants, guava, lemon, lime, fig, and pomegranate
trees which had been planted on the shell mounds
(Douglass 1881-1885, 1885).
In 1885, William Batty of Levy County, Florida, ob-
tained the first clear title to the land encompassing
Pineland. Although he owned the land for less than a year
(title abstract in possession of Don Randell), Batty's name
stayed. It became associated forever with the site when the
archaeologist Frank Hamilton Cushing (1897) wrote of the
place, albeit misspelled, as "Battey's Landing". The place
was remote, and Cushing found only one man, two "small
huts", and "a colony of hounds and other dogs" (1897:13).
Nonetheless, Cushing visited "Battey's Landing" at least
three times: twice during his first trip along the coast on
May 30 and June 9, 1895, and on the return voyage from
Key Marco by The Pepper-Hearst Expedition on April 24,
1896 (Gilliland 1989:51, 54, 93).
Cushing's published description of the site brought
some brief recognition of Pineland's potential place in
southwest Florida's prehistory. He perceived the impor-
tance of the site's complex of mounds, terraces, graded
ways, courts, canals, and other prehistoric features. Cushing
made special note of a large midmostt" court where he
claimed to have found "the finest and best preserved relics I
had yet discovered" (1897:14).
Recent archival research by the author has revealed
that Cushing's claim attracted antiquarian Clarence B.
Moore of Philadelphia. Moore visited Pineland with the
hope of uncovering sensational remains like those found by
Cushing at Key Marco. Moore's unpublished field notes
(1900a) show that he looked for the "court" and "made a
number of excavations" but was "unable to locate [the] cen-
tral court as described by Mr. Cushing, there being several
courts, canals, etc." Later, Moore made only brief mention
of the site in print (1900b, 1905:318-319, Fig. 35).
Settlement Period. The name "Pineland" began to be
used around 1900 when settlement began in earnest. In
1909, government surveyors re-marked the "Brown" station
with a granite post (National Geodetic Survey 1978) which
remains intact today on the summit of Brown's Mound.
Around 1911-1912, Frank T. Adams (d. December 19, 1944)
and his wife Mary A. Adams, bought land at Pineland and
moved south from Fayette County, Pennsylvania (title ab-
stract in possession of Don Randell). They planted groves,
farmed, and built a large two-story frame house, perhaps of
pine cut and sawed on Pine Island, high atop one of
Pineland's two huge sand mounds. Also around this time, a
"large residence" was built on a shell mound near the wa-
terfront where, in 1917, a Mr. Wilder lived (Wainwright
The "Roaring Twenties" brought many changes. Some
of these are shown by an aerial photo in the possession of
Don Randell, apparently taken in the late 1920s or early
1930s. It shows an oblique view to the east from over Pine
Island Sound. Pineland Road and Waterfront Drive are in
the foreground, with dirt roads leading eastward. These
roads hug the solid dry ground around the periphery of
Battey's Landing. At the northwest shore of Pineland, there
is a dredged and filled area with seawalls and sidewalks
framing a new building which served as a health retreat.
This old photo of Pineland also shows a long dock ex-
tending into Pine Island Sound. The dock is aligned with
what seems to be a house on the summit of the large south-
ern shell mound (today called the Randell Mound). Exten-
sive groves cover much of the terrain to the east. At the
edge of the grove is a large building, apparently a fruit
packing house. A dirt road leads eastward from the packing
house to what appear to be structures of some kind. This is
where the U.S. Government established another surveyors'
station, named "Pine Island, Graham Wilson Estate, White
Tank, 1934" (U.S.C.G.S. 1943).
Some historic features still visible at Pineland may be-
long to the former Graham Wilson Estate. Much land in
Pineland was purchased by Graham L. Wilson from 1925
through 1930. Wilson and his wife, Mary Rutherford Wil-
son, moved to Pineland from the New Jersey-Philadelphia
area. Graham Wilson lived until March 21, 1937 (title ab-
stract in possession of Don Randell). Some of the extant
features which might have belonged to this estate include
the one-lane bridge, constructed of concrete, wood, and
shell mound fill, which crosses the remnant of the Pine Is-
land Canal near today's Randell house. This bridge might
have been part of a shell auto drive which led eastward to
the packing house. Resemblances in material and
workmanship suggest a similar age for the concrete steps
which ascend to the summit of Brown's Mound.
In the 1940s, Pineland was mapped (Figure 2). The
long dock was no longer intact and was labelled "old piling."
The map shows many buildings on the mounds and sur-
rounding area. At Brown's Mound, two houses are shown
just west of the surveyors' station. Surveyors' field notes
from 1943 refer to one of these as a "small summer house"
on the "crest of the mound" about 60 feet east of the Sur-
veyors' Monument; the notes refer to the second house as a
"one-story frame structure" which, in 1943, was "built on
concrete posts above the shell mound" over the surveyors'
"Reference Mark 2" (National Geodetic Survey 1978). To
the east, the 1943 map (Figure 2) also shows two large
buildings: the northern one being the apparent packing
house, and the southern one perhaps the workers' quarters.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Pineland retained its hamlet-
like atmosphere. Many old structures continued to be used,
but a few, such as the two houses on Brown's Mound and
the two large buildings to the east, were moved or eventu-
ally torn down. The few new buildings which did appear
were fit into the existing pattern of land use.
Randell Period. In the 1970s and 1980s, much of
Pineland's rural charm was preserved intentionally. This
accomplishment, so very rare in fast-growing peninsular
Florida, was in large part due to the stewardship of Pineland
residents Patricia and Donald H. Randell. They purchased
much of Pineland and kept it in agricultural use. In the late
1980s, however, threats to Pineland appeared as a marina
was enlarged and a public boat ramp was proposed. These
changes altered traditional land use and overcrowded nar-
row roadways. They continue to threaten the tranquility
and historic integrity of Pineland.
Comment. More research needs to be done on all
historic components at Pineland. This includes further doc-
umentation of the structures mentioned above as well as the
John L. Lewis cottage, the Pineland Post Office, the "Smith
homestead," and others.
Besides helping to save Pineland, this history can be a
vital link to Pineland's prehistory. For example, by investi-
gating historic land-use, we can gain clues about the original
appearance of Pineland's prehistoric mounds and canals
before this century's impacts.
Pineland's long history of habitation, outlined above,
has had dramatic impacts on its prehistoric resources. It is
essential to document these effects in order to reconstruct
Pineland's prehistoric past. Since impacts are so numerous,
it is easiest to trace them by location, as described below.
Many more details remain to be learned.
Pineland Burial Mound. For many years, Pineland's
gigantic burial mound has suffered from indiscriminate dig-
going. In 1884, several tourist-adventurers who sailed along
the coast landed at Pineland and trekked inland to the tall
sand burial mound. They unearthed pottery sherds, human
bones, and "a bit of rusted iron, the fragment of a knife"
(Phillips 1884?:29). When Andrew E. Douglass sailed along
the coast, he sought and found Pineland's lofty burial
mound, but lacked time to dig (Douglass 1881-1885, 1885).
In 1895-1896, Cushing saw pottery, human bone, and perfo-
rated "shell ladles" from the mound (1897:14). He also
made other observations (see "New Research" below).
In 1917, Pineland was visited by R. D. Wainwright of
Roanoke, Virginia, who was a layman interested in prehis-
tory. He observed human bones already dug from the "top
of the mound", and he dug into the mound's west side,
finding "nearly at its base" the "sections of a pottery bowl ...
not ornamented" (Wainwright 1918:31). It was possible for
Wainwright to dig deep into the west side because the
Pineland Burial Mound had been severely impacted by land
"improvement." A surveyors' half-section line happened to
run north-south across the mound, dividing it into east and
west halves. By 1917, half of the mound had "been cut away
on [its] west side and the sand used for filling in hollow
spots in its vicinity" (Wainwright 1918:31).
Despite this filling, however, there were still large,
damp hollows to the north, east, and south of the mound
where mosquito control ditches were dug, probably in the
late 1950s. Around that time, treasure-hunters metal-de-
tected the mound and found nothing (John Fales, pers.
comm. 1986). In 1970, unauthorized digging reportedly un-
covered historic contact period materials (see below). In
early 1990, the mound was impacted when a road was cut
into it, beginning at the base of its north side and ascending
the east flank to reach the summit.
Pine Island Canal. The portion of the canal running
through Pineland is depicted on the 1883 Coast Chart
(Figure 1). Its resemblance, at that time, to a small tidal
creek is borne out by a description written by Andrew E.
it [the canal] connects with the water [Pine Island
Sound] ... by a creek which still has water in it. I
went up some hundred yards in a [small] boat and
found it perfectly straight, and I have no doubt this
waterway continued along the canal centuries since
.... Allowing for the attrition of the elements
through a long course of years, it would be reason-
able to assume that it was originally about ... 30 feet
wide at bottom and 50 feet wide from the summit
of each bank (Douglass 1881-1885).
Today, it would be impossible to row a small boat up
the canal. Mangroves and an asphalt road block its mouth,
and filling along its length has converted much of it to a
narrow drainage ditch. Other portions have been com-
pletely filled, and the alignment of the ditch changed from
__ __ -5--
m)ocum maul Atuua
a G l C S 4 ga 4 % 0 0 V
u,~ a rrIin~ a .,n rn a
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GRGAHAM WILSON ESTATE A1
.i ~ ~, a .White Tank, 1934 r .,,
8C 3: e. 1 C b a r 0, n A
3 4 6I a I0nE Vt a ^ a. A
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I, SLI r X I ME w
V:: J C.(:C.: a em a *.I
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Figure 2. Pineland on 1943 Topographic Map. Note extensive groves, buildings (black squares and rectangles), two survey
stations (triangles), and remains of dock ("OLD PILING").
. ...... a
that of the canal's original course. Only a fairly short sec-
tion near the middle of today's pasture may be intact.
Small Sand Mounds. In 1917, in the area of the
Pineland Burial Mound, Wainwright observed "several small
mounds, mostly of sand, now nearly all plowed out"
(Wainwright 1918:31-32). One or two of these mounds
could have been in today's citrus grove in the higher, better-
drained eastern half of the Randells' pasture. Recent im-
provements to this pasture and grove have caused further
deterioration of these possible mounds. In the 1980s while
planting a citrus tree, an aboriginal ceramic vessel was un-
earthed which deteriorated after exposure (Don Randell,
pers. comm. 1987). A third mound is located east-southeast
of the Pineland Burial Mound, and was re-discovered dur-
ing land clearing in late 1989. This is probably the
"comparatively low and small" mound covered "thickly with
palmettos and brambles" referred to by Cushing (1897:15).
Boggy Area. This poorly-known component was south
of the Pine Island Canal and near the edge of tidal wetland
and upland pineland (Cushing 1897). By 1943, this area had
been impacted by unpaved roads, a bridge, a pond, and
drainage ditches (Figure 2). Re-digging of the poffd in 1970
uncovered faunal bone and a ceramic pipe stem fragment
(Luer 1986). On inspecting the pond's northwest edge with
William Marquardt in 1988, the author found a dense de-
posit of well-preserved faunal bone which was at or below
the watertable and which apparently was in situ.
Battery's Landing. In the 1890s, Cushing noted that
these shell mounds and their associated features already
had been impacted by clearing and cultivation. In 1917,
Wainwright was told that the area had "been cut down, ter-
raced, etc., its original shape now destroyed" (1918:32). De-
struction also was caused by the building of a road along the
waterfront which, by the late 1920s or early 1930s, had
erased the "enclosures and channel-ways" described by
Cushing (aerial photo in possession of Don Randell). Also
by this time, the west end of the Pine Island Canal had be-
gun to be filled and ditched, and Cushing's midmostt" court
might have been filled. Around 1960, G. W. Hyatt of
Pineland bulldozed the north flank of the Randell Mound,
pushing spoil northward and eastward (Don Randell, pers.
comm. 1980; Bob Edic, pers. comm. 1990).
Pineland Midden. This component is a remnant of the
"lesser benches, courts, and enclosures" observed by Cush-
ing (1897:13) along the south fringe of Battey's Landing.
Today, it consists of remnants of a shell mound and low-ly-
ing middens situated between the Randells' pasture and
Pineland Road, as well as a buried, basal, shell mound de-
posit in the pasture itself.
By the 1930s, this component had been damaged badly
by the building of Pineland Road (aerial photo in possession
of Don Randell). The road was a narrow ribbon of graded
fill, perhaps consisting of borrowed shell midden material,
which ran through tidal mangroves (see Figure 2). It was
built over and around some of the prehistoric deposits,
leaving the vertical slice through the shell mound which is
highly visible today along the north side of Pineland Road.
Even greater damage was inflicted when this shell
mound was "cut back" and its contents used to fill areas to
the north (Don Randell, pers. comm. 1980). This was done
around 1960 (Bob Edic, pers. comm. 1990) when the mound
was removed to ground level to the north of an east-west
line forming the south boundary of the Randells' pasture.
Thus, only a narrow, wedge-shaped portion of this shell
mound still remains between the pasture and Pineland
Road. Only its east flank is potentially intact, although its
base was impacted by a mosquito control ditch. East of this
ditch is a low-lying shell midden covered with buttonwood
trees. Slightly farther to the east is an old unpaved road
which leaves Pineland Road and runs eastward. Its roadbed
shows that it was constructed, at least partially, of borrowed
shell midden material. This road existed by the late 1920s
or early 1930s (aerial photo in possession of Don Randell)
and is on the 1943 map of Pineland (Figure 2).
Adams Mound, Court, and Canals. This is also a badly
deteriorated area of the Pineland site. Before settler Frank
Adams built the house on this mound, it looked very differ-
It was a double mound. ... This mound was 20 feet
high and the depression between the two summits
was 8 feet. The summits were about 20 feet apart,
North and South. The base of this mound was 180
feet longest diameter, and the ridge or flank lead-
ing to the plain from the depression was 100 feet
long, while the summits of this mound were sand
but from the exposure of one of the sides it was
evident that the interior was largely of shell
The "ridge," noted above by Douglass, was described by
Cushing as a "graded way" which had "led up from the east-
ern side of the double mound, its terminus forming, in fact,
the saddle between its two summits" (Cushing 1897:15).
This configuration also was sketched by Douglass (1881-
The area around the Adams Mound has been altered
greatly, too. Cushing saw an "encircling lake" connected by
a lateral canal to the Pine Island Canal, and wrote:
the eastern end of this lake was large, rather square
than round, and that it formed really a water court
fronting the mound and more or less surrounded
originally with embankments of sand chiefly
Twenty years later, Wainwright could still describe some of
these features, but a long-time "inhabitant" reported that
they were "more or less closed by land clearing"
Subsequent land-use caused even further deteriora-
tion. By the 1930s, the Adams Mound and surrounding
area were crossed by rows of fruit trees, probably mangos
(aerial photo in possession of Don Randell). By 1943, a
house had appeared southeast of the mound, and a pond
had been dug near the mound's northeast edge (Figure 2).
By 1972, most of the grove was gone (untitled 1972 aerial
photo of T44S, R22E, Sec. 7).
When the author inspected the Adams Mound in 1980,
its sandy, sun-scorched flanks were grassy and supported
only a few mango, citrus, and other trees. An automobile
drive ascended the mound's east side, crossed its crest north
of the old Adams house, and descended the mound's west
flank. Around the house were signs of erosion: several low,
wooden retaining walls kept sand against its foundation.
Downhill from the northeast corner of the house, an eroded
gulley had been filled with trucked-in sand and shell. A
wide, shallow, crescent-shaped, low area hugged the base of
the mound's south and east sides, and was perhaps a rem-
nant of Cushing's "encircling lake."
Comment. Pineland's prehistoric components need to
be documented more fully. Detailed mapping and close ob-
servation will help in this process. A comprehensive survey
is needed to delimit the components more precisely, and to
discover additional ones.
Beginnings of Archaeological Work
Archaeological work began slowly at Pineland. In the
late 1940s, archaeologist John Goggin (1949) listed
Pineland's major, known prehistoric components. In 1950,
Goggin and archaeologist William Plowden applied site
identification numbers to them. These components and
1) Battey's Landing (8LL33),
2) the Pine Island Canal (8LL34),
3) the Pineland Burial Mound (8LL36),
4) the Pineland Midden (8LL37), and
5) the Adams Mound (8LL38).
According to notes at the FMNH site file, sherds were col-
lected from the Pineland Burial Mound in 1952 (Mitchem
1989:274-275). These notes also recorded other materials,
apparently from Battey's Landing, including "olive jar and
recent crockery" (Mitchem 1989:272). The former suggest
remains from the "rancho period" described above.
The 1970s brought renewed interest in the archaeology
of south Florida. In the early and mid 1970s, Pineland was
visited by archaeologists Daniel Penton, B. Calvin Jones,
and Randolph Widmer. Penton cited Cushing's description
of the site in filing a National Register of Historic Places
nomination form for Pineland's prehistoric components
(Penton 1972). In March 1979, the author and Marion
Almy visited Pineland. They found a previously
unrecognized site component where a ditch crossed the
sand flat west of the Pineland Post Office, and they col-
lected sherds suggesting a long period of occupation (Luer
and Almy 1980:220).
In 1980, Luer inspected Pineland's mounds, including
the two huge shell mounds of Battey's Landing. He named
the southern mound in honor of the Randells, and he ap-
plied the name "Brown's Mound" to the northern mound on
the basis of historic documentation (National Geodetic Sur-
vey 1978). Surface collecting at the two mounds revealed
pottery from post-A.D. 800 times (Luer and Almy
1980:220). Observations of the shapes of the mounds and
their intra-site placement showed differences with the large
shell platform mounds in the Tampa Bay area (Luer 1980;
Luer and Almy 1981:129-130).
Also in the early 1980s, artifacts assembled by the
Randells were photographed and studied. This collection
included historic contact period beads and a metal ceremo-
nial tablet of doubtful authenticity (Allerton, Luer, and Carr
1984: catalog entry MT#33 and Fig. 20). It also included a
Sarasota Incised rim sherd (Luer 1985:Fig. 1,b -- note Fig-
ures 1 and 2 are inverted) and a ceramic pipe stem and hu-
man face (Luer 1986).
In 1987, Pineland was placed in an archaeological sen-
sitivity zone, in response to Florida's Local Government
Comprehensive Planning and Development Regulation Act
(Austin 1987). As part of this work, Austin cited Luer and
Almy's 1979 finds west of the Pineland Post Office in order
to record a new site component, designated 8LL757 in the
Florida-Master Site File (FMSF).
In 1989, new perspectives on Pineland were presented
by a study of the Pine Island Canal (Luer 1989a). The study
revealed the canal's critical role in long-distance canoe
transportation, and its apparent role in tribute and ex-
change. The study portrayed, for the first time, how the
tributary Calusa society described by the Spanish of the
1500s might have been organized in the real terms of local
topography and needed resources such as wood, bone, and
In great part due to the generosity of the Randells,
much archaeological work is now underway at Pineland. In
March 1987, civil engineer James A. Marshall of Schaum-
burg, Illinois, began mapping the Pineland mounds as part
of his research on aboriginal earthworks. In three field ses-
sions, in May 1988, May 1989, and March-April 1990,
FMNH began limited testing at Pineland; these tests have
been directed by archaeologists William Marquardt and
Karen Jo Walker (Edic 1989; Marquardt 1989a, 1989b;
Blanchard 1989; Blanchard and Marquardt 1990).
This work has been augmented by educator Charles
Blanchard's innovative teaching of Lee County school chil-
dren. He has taught them about their region's past as part
.' .'.. pnes' encircling lake
*'* "' '. palmettos, double-
S. and crested out
S. .' canal I
*"".' ". branch
-* ..-canebreaks, .
'" high.grasses*, landward or great canal
terraces, high'.. ..
courts, shell\: ..
paths eleva- \ scattered
leveestion little outlet?
enclo- tion -/ T ,. pines
Assures, midmost / lesser'" -'" 1 ""
channel- court boggy.. canal ? ~ shapely
-ways high /' .area? -
s \ shell .'". low small mound
.-- / I. ". . east-wes tw
canal eleva- with palmettos and
2- Q\ tion .- .. brambles
BATTEY'S .. *. ... pond hole
LANDIN\ / ." *" o o h o l
S. .. lesser .* *
-"- *- *" ". benches, tidal slight canal N
S. *' \' .*courts sand '.
S' ." *" ". '. fl' ats. 150 m
h. * .
"" -/ ". ,. .." ." -- .\ _
-- ~ ~ / "-~ ~ -- -- -... '. .-'.- :-""-'._- -
Figure 3. Diagram of Pineland Site in 1895-1896, as Described by Cushing (1897).
of the state-funded "Year of the Indian" project. Another
aspect of this project is Bob Edic's oral history interviews,
and the one with G. W. Hyatt will be very important for
helping to trace impacts to Battey's Landing and the
Pineland Midden. Likewise, excavation trenches placed in
the Randells' pasture will be essential for reconstructing the
site's original appearance and environment.
New Research: Clarifying Cushing's Description
New discoveries have clarified the identity of some of
Pineland's mounds, ponds, and canals. This new data in-
cludes a previously unpublished photo taken at Pineland
almost a century ago. The photo helps clarify Cushing's de-
scription of Pineland.
Uncertainties. In recent years, there was confusion
about which FMSF label to apply to the Pineland Burial
Mound. Based on Goggin (1949), both Allerton et al.
(1984:catalog entry #33) and Luer (1986) used "8LL35". It
was discovered subsequently that this designation is obso-
lete. The Pineland Burial Mound is designated "8LL36"
while the label "8LL35" was assigned by the FMSF to the
Bokeelia Beach Site.
There also was confusion over the identity and location
of Cushing's "shapely Mound". We now know that Goggin
(1949) correctly identified it as the Pineland Burial Mound
which he labelled "L-36". We also now know that Luer
(1986) mistakenly believed that it referred to the Pineland
Midden along Pineland Road.
In March 1990, Corbett Torrence of the "Year of the
Indian" project closely studied Cushing's description. He
also scrutinized old aerial photos of Pineland and inspected
the site first-hand. His study led him to hypothesize that
Cushing's "little outlet," "lesser canal," artificiall lake," and
"shapely Mound" were all farther east than Luer (1986) had
believed (compare Figure 3 with Luer 1986:Fig. 2). Indeed,
Torrence's reasoning was soon bolstered by a heavy rain
storm. It flooded some of the very areas he was proposing
as having been low-lying before this century's land
"improvements" had filled them.
Discoveries. In June 1990, the author discovered
archival evidence which clarified Cushing's description, and
confirmed Torrence's hypothesis! The discovery was a 100-
year-old photo in the Archives of the University Museum of
the University of Pennsylvania. It showed the Pineland
Burial Mound with a now-filled, marshy pond in the fore-
ground (see Figure 4).
When this photo was discovered, it was unlabelled and
filed with others showing various sites. Its identity was un-
determined. Nonetheless, the fact that it was filed with
other photos taken by The Pepper-Hearst Expedition to
Key Marco, combined with the vegetation and the lay-of-
the-land shown by the photo itself, pointed strongly to
Pineland. Indeed, further search revealed another, very
much larger print of this same photo, and it had a caption
View of the great funerary tumulus and lake, at the
side of the canal of the keys of Beatties Landing on
However, this is a translation of the caption! The original
caption was in French because the large photographic print
apparently had been exhibited in 1900 at the Exposition
Universelle in Paris (Pezzati 1990).
This exciting discovery became even more remarkable
when further research revealed the day on which the photo
had been taken, as well as the identity of the man in it! This
was gleaned from Marion Gilliland's research of The Pep-
per-Hearst Expedition to Key Marco. Her account of the
expedition's return north includes a diary entry by George
Gause, an expedition member, for April 24, 1896, which
Thes[e] mounds [are] very high[;] one [is] 163 feet
[in length?] on which Gause is placed under 3 live
oaks to measure the mound and a photograph
taken of him on the mound ... (Gause 1896 in
The photo itself was apparently taken by Wells M. Sawyer,
the photographer and artist on the expedition. On April 20,
1896, Cushing wrote to one of the expedition's sponsors, Dr.
William Pepper, that:
SI shall take Mr. Sawyer and a small party of men ...
to clear, photograph, and plan ... the gigantic
mounds at Beattie's (Cushing 1896 in Gilliland
Interestingly, Cushing's mispelling of "Batty's" is the same as
in the French caption, quoted above. This suggests a con-
nection between Cushing and the caption.
Clarifications. Of course, the photo itself is very im-
portant for what it reveals about the Pineland Burial
Mound. It clarifies the location of the mound's associated
"artificial lake" (Cushing 1897) and shows that Corbett Tor-
rence was correct in his hypothesis that this area had been a
pond. It probably was sand from the adjoining west half of
the burial mound which was used to fill it.
Perhaps most unexpected is that the photo reveals
some of the mound's shape. It shows that the slope of the
mound rose sharply just a short distance uphill from where
Gause stood (see Figures 4 and 5). This change in slope
could be interpreted as a notch-like feature on the mound's
flank. Perhaps it was part of the "graded way" winding
spirallyy from the southern base to the summit" which
Cushing (1897) described, but which has not been substan
Figure 4. Photograph taken in 1896 of the Pineland Burial Mound (8LL36). This view shows the mound's west side covered
with native saw palmetto. Note low-lying marshy area (courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, negative number Fla. 13-K).
mound $ ~path- l---
Figure 5. Features Shown by 1896 Photograph of Pineland Burial Mound. Arrow points to man standing under oak trees on
tiated. It should be noted, however, that a mound resem-
bling this description has been reported at the Ocmulgee
site in Georgia (Pope 1956). Considering the many Missis-
sippian influences which reached west-central and south-
western Florida from the Georgia region, the possibility of
similarly-shaped mounds in the two areas should not be dis-
The photo is also important because it shows how
stately and imposing the burial mound once looked. In-
deed, the Pineland Burial Mound was a monument of
pleasing proportions and shape (see "Pineland's Mounds"
Further Comments: Pineland Burial Mound
It is important to comment on some of the artifacts re-
ported from the Pineland Burial Mound. These include: 1)
historic contact period glass and metal beads, and 2) Missis-
sippian period pottery.
These artifacts need accurate interpretation to gain a
clear perspective on Pineland's past. They need to be inter-
preted from the standpoint of local and regional behavior,
as parts of a
Caloosahatchee sequence (see Widmer 1988:86-87).
For reasons explained below, the author believes that the
artifacts should not be interpreted to mean that the
Pineland Burial Mound was "probably a Safety Harbor
mound" (Mitchem 1989:274).
Contact Period Material. Historic contact period glass
and metal, such as silver, gold, and copper, were derived
from European sources. They were obtained by Native
Americans either through direct contact with Europeans or
through indirect contact, by way of tribute or exchange, with
other Native Americans. This was a common and
widespread phenomenon in Florida.
In the case of southwest Florida, contact period glass
and metal have been found in association with artifacts
which Goggin viewed as belonging to an indigenous Glades
Cult (Goggin 1949; Goggin and Sturtevant 1964:199,202).
The cult artifacts include metal ceremonial tablets and
crested bird-head effigies. Close study of the metal tablets
has strengthened Goggin's belief that they were a south
Florida cultural development (Allerton et al. 1984). It was
as part of this south Florida cultural manifestation that
Allerton et al. (1984:catalog entry #33) viewed the contact
period glass and metal beads from the Pineland Burial
This south Florida perspective needs to be retained.
The available evidence indicates that the center of the
Glades Cult artifact complex is in the Caloosahatchee,
Okeechobee, and Kissimmee regions (Allerton et al.
1984:Fig. 2). This geographic information is vital to under-
stand the distinctive "South Florida Contact Period" (circa
It does not seem helpful to accept a very different view
recently proposed by Mitchem (1989). He extended the
"Safety Harbor culture area" deep into south Florida. He
selectively removed contact period materials of southwest
Florida from those of the rest of south Florida by transfer-
ring them into a "Bayview Phase" of a proposed regional
variant of Safety Harbor culture. Such a new classification
obscures the cultural and behavior implications of the
Glades Cult and the South Florida Contact Period.
Mitchem did, however, provide useful identifications of
beads reportedly found in the Pineland Burial Mound
(Mitchem 1989:Table 40). However, the caution expressed
by Allerton et al. (1984) should be repeated. Some of these
beads, like the gold tablet, passed through the hands of sev-
eral collectors, and thus their place of origin is not certain
(see Allerton et al. 1984:catalog entry #33).
Mississippian Pottery. In south Florida, many exam-
ples of Mississippian pottery appear to have been imported
from the north (Goggin 1949). In the Caloosahatchee re-
gion, such pottery is often associated with large quantities of
sand-tempered plain and Belle Glade Plain ware, the latter
probably imported from the Lake Okeechobee area (Luer
and Almy 1987:315; Luer 1989a:119-121, Fig. 11, Table 2;
At the Pineland Burial Mound, these kinds of pottery
have been found. For example, Luer (1986) reports a clas-
sic Mississippian-style effigy human face. In addition, site
file cards at FMNH report predominantly sand-tempered
plain and Belle Glade Plain sherds along with a few deco-
rated sherds of St. Johns Check Stamped and Safety Harbor
Incised pottery (Mitchem 1989:Table 39).
Such pottery reflects a typical assemblage from a late
prehistoric burial mound in the Caloosahatchee region. It is
an assemblage which reflects trade or other contact between
the southwest Florida aborigines and their neighbors. The
Belle Glade Plain pottery reflects close ties between the
coast and the interior, apparently via a system of long canoe
The Pineland Burial Mound's effigy human face (Luer
1986) is probably a trade item. Indeed, Goggin suggested
that Mississippian-style ceramic effigies were traded into
"Adornos" or effigy rim ornaments do not occur on
any local wares, but broken off specimens found in
the Calusa subarea are apparently ... trade speci-
This interpretation is bolstered by very similar effigy faces
at widespread sites in Florida, Georgia, and the Cumber-
land and middle Mississippi valley areas. In addition to the
faces reported by Luer (1986), there are three more reports
of apparently similar faces in Florida: Tallant (n.d.) and
Bullen (1952) each reported a face from the Picnic Mound
in Hillsborough County east of Tampa Bay, and John Beri-
ault (pers. comm. 1986) reports another for the Naples area
of Collier County. Still other finds suggest that some effi-
gies were derived from intact vessels. For example, a bottle
with three human faces still attached to its shoulder was
pot-hunted from 8LL8 in Lee County (Bob Carr, pers.
comm. 1987; Mitchem 1989; Anonymous 1990). In addition,
Moore (1896) reported an effigy human face attached to a
large sherd from Old Okahumpka near the Ocklawaha
River in north-central Florida, and Mitchem (1985:164)
recovered one attached to a large sherd from the Briar-
woods Site in Pasco County. These finds indicate a much
wider distribution in Florida than previously suspected.
This is consistent with dispersal via some type of long-dis-
It is vital to understand the Pineland Burial Mound in
terms of southwest Florida's Caloosahatchee culture. Just
because some Mississippian-style sherds occur locally does
not mean that "Safety Harbor culture" can be extended
southward to include southwest Florida. Mississippian
pottery reached Pineland because its own complex culture
was able to attract and use it. This phenomenon should not
overshadow indigenous culture. The existence of relatively
small amounts of Mississippian pottery in southwest Florida
should not be interpreted as meaning that the "Calusa had
Safety Harbor culture" as suggested by some recent re-
searchers (Calvin Jones, pers. comm. 1979; Mitchem 1989).
Comment. As stated above, Pineland needs to be
viewed from a south Florida perspective. The Caloosa-
hatchee archaeological region has been refined by Carr and
Beriault (1984), Widmer (1988), and Griffin (1988, 1989).
Its northern boundary with the Central Peninsular Gulf
Coast region during post-A.D. 800 times is supported by
several important lines of evidence including differences in:
1) the shapes and intra-site occurrence of platform mounds
(Luer 1980; Luer and Almy 1981:129-130,146); 2) burial
mound ceramic assemblages (Luer and Almy 1987:315);
and 3) the frequency of Belle Glade Plain pottery (Luer
1989a). This evidence speaks against including the
Caloosahatchee region (and the west half of the Ten Thou-
sand Islands region!) within the Safety Harbor culture area
as proposed by Mitchem (1989).
A south Florida perspective also needs to be kept on
the South Florida Contact Period. This view reveals that
the Glades Cult, as defined by metal ceremonial tablets and
crested bird-head effigies, is more complex than many re-
searchers realize. McGoun (1981) and Griffin (1988) as-
signed a "Calusa" affiliation to the tablets but overlooked
the regional variation in their shape, such as the form re-
stricted to the Kissimmee-northern Indian River area which
Allerton et al. called "Zone 3" (1984:7, Fig. 5:Row 5). Such
differentiation in form suggests regional variation in adher-
ence to a widespread belief system or cult. In explaining the
Glades Cult, Goggin (1949) wrote "... the term cult implies
the presence of a wide religious movement ...." Goggin's ap-
proach, followed by Allerton et al. (1984), does not exclude
"political factors" (Griffin 1988:310). The evidence suggests
that McGoun's and Griffin's "Calusa" stance and Mitchem's
"Bayview Phase" proposal are too narrow and divert atten-
tion from an organic area-wide view of the South Florida
Pineland is unusual, and probably unique on the coast
of southwest Florida, because its mounds, canals, and ponds
extend inland, covering about 60 to 70 acres. This excep-
tional character of the site is probably tied to the role it
served at the west end of the Pine Island Canal. It also is
related to its role as a center for the polity which controlled
the canal and the Pine Island Sound area (see Luer 1989a).
As a place for "public" display and ceremony, the site's
physical design probably helped to define activities and to
legitimate economic and political relations. Thus, there is a
kind of "landscape archaeology" at the Pineland Site.
"Reading" this landscape is a challenge.
The imposing size and pleasing shape of the Pineland
Burial Mound (Figure 4) seem ripe for interpretation.
Certainly, the size of the Pineland Burial Mound is much
larger than burial mounds dating to earlier times in the
Caloosahatchee region; it is also larger than the region's
other coeval burial mounds. The mound is testimony to the
achievements of the people who built it, and to the care and
labor they spent to memorialize the life and death of im-
As a focus for viewing, the mound probably reflected
social power in the landscape. The impressive size and
grandeur of the Pineland Burial Mound might have been a
direct reflection of: 1) Pineland's role as a seat or center of
a polity, 2) the existence of a chiefdom society, and 3) the
importance given to chiefs during late prehistoric and early
contact period times.
The location of the mound itself might have been asso-
ciated with sightings and ceremonies directed by chiefs. For
example, the Pineland Burial Mound is due east of the area
of Cushing's midmostt court" and the Randell Mound. The
burial mound might have been placed along a line of sight
toward sunrise at spring equinox, perhaps an event observed
with ceremony directed by a chief among the Timucua
(LeMoyne 1946:105; also Luer 1989a:123).
Thus, the widely-spaced, huge mounds at Pineland
might have been placed purposefully so that they helped to
mark changes in the position of the Sun with respect to the
horizon, thereby measuring passing seasons and perhaps
regulating seasonal ceremonies. For example, in June 1980,
the author watched the midsummer sunrise over the Adams
Mound. The line of sight was from the possible area of
Cushing's midmostt" court (see Figure 3), looking along the
Pine Island Canal toward the east-northeast. Additional
alignments seem possible, but, of course, are debatable.
However, evidence may be found to support them. For ex-
ample, remains of seasonally variable fauna (such as fish,
turtle, deer) and flora (such as pollen, seeds, wood) at
mound/pond complexes within the Pineland Site could be
used to test for different seasonal activities at different
components of the site. Such activities could be tied to sea-
sonal acquisition and redistribution of foodstuffs or other
needed resources (Luer 1989a:121-123).
On this level of evidence, pottery also seems a useful
clue to behavior. Indeed, this is particularly promising at
the imposing shell mounds which so dramatically bracketed
and framed the west end of the Pine Island Canal. For ex-
ample, a high frequency of Belle Glade Plain pottery at
Brown's Mound and the Randell Mound (40% of the total
number of sherds, see Luer 1989a:Table 2) may be at-
tributable to canoe traffic from the interior of south Florida
via the Pine Island Canal. The recovery of small amounts of
St. Johns Check Stamped and Pinellas Plain pottery at both
mounds (Luer and Almy 1980:220) points to contact with
areas farther north.
Pineland's past is significant to southwest Florida, but
its history and prehistory are only beginning to unfold. The
process of documenting the site must address the site's
many components and the deterioration which they have
undergone in historic times.
An almost 100-year-old photo taken by Wells M.
Sawyer in 1896 helps to resolve Cushing's description of the
Pineland Site as well as the identity of the Pineland Burial
Mound. This mound, like the site in general, needs to be
interpreted in terms of local and regional behavior within
the Caloosahatchee archaeological region.
The imposing appearance of Pineland's mounds might
have helped reinforce social relations within a chiefdom. It
is hypothesized that the site's arrangement of mounds,
ponds, and canals might have functioned in seasonal tribu-
tary and redistributive relations. Faunal and floral remains
as well as pottery may help to test these hypotheses.
Pineland needs a comprehensive survey to discover
additional archaeological components, both prehistoric and
historic, and to record historic architecture. It also needs a
management plan to preserve these resources for the long-
Pineland's National Register of Historic Places form
needs to be updated. At present, it includes only the pre-
historic components within the loop created by Roberts
Road, Pineland Road, Waterfront Drive, and Mango
Boulevard. Pineland's more recent historic resources need
to be added to a revised National register form.
As a prehistoric site of state and national significance,
preserving Pineland's open space and tranquility is in the
public interest. To help accomplish this, Pineland needs
far-sighted planning by government. For example, it would
be wise if only local traffic used Pineland Road and Water-
front Drive, while transient traffic were kept peripheral to
Pineland. Commercial, marina, and condominium devel-
opment should be discouraged in the area.
Postscript: Environmental Concerns
Preservation should include Pineland's natural envi-
ronment. This century's artificial drainage, filling, and
clearing have destroyed much habitat. Today, it is impor-
tant to save the few areas of native habitat which still exist.
One area is along Pineland Road where it slices
through the Pineland Midden. The dense vegetation
crowning this shell mound remnant is unique at Pineland
for being the site's last community of endangered, shell
mound plants. These native plants include: gumbo limbo,
mastic, Spanish and white stopper, Jamaica caper, cat claw,
lime prickly ash, Florida privet, snowberry, coral bean, in-
digo berry, and cereus cactus. Plants such as these flour-
ished on the shell mounds after the disappearance of the
Calusa and before American settlers cleared the vegetation.
A second important area is on the Pineland Burial
Mound. Not only are the plants themselves important, they
also protect the mound's sandy slopes from erosion. These
plants are a curious mixture of coastal hammock plants plus
some others typical of shell mounds and pinelands. Coastal
haminock vegetation includes live oak, cabbage palm, stran-
gler fig, myrsine, French mulberry, Spanish bayonet, and
greenbriar. Plants typical of shell mounds include white
stopper, Jamaica caper, cat claw, coral bean, indigo berry,
and prickly pear cactus. In addition, there are saw palmet-
tos and slash pines which are remnants of the pinewoods
which existed on, and to the north and east of, the burial
mound before this century's land clearing and cultivation.
Besides upland habitat, it is also very important to pre-
serve Pineland's wetlands. The tiny area of tidal saltern in
the southeast corner of the Randells' pasture should be
saved. In addition, the pasture's ponds are vital to the nu-
merous white ibis, egrets, herons, and wood storks which
congregate there on a daily basis.
Historic documentation needs to address the land-
scape, too. In addition to native plants, we need to know
more about historic plantings such as the coconut palms
along Waterfront Drive and the royal palms north of
The author would like to acknowledge the help of Lau-
ren C. Archibald, Robert J. Austin, Robert F. Edic, Patricia
and Donald H. Randell, and Corbett Torrence. Jeffrey M.
Mitchem generously shared some information about ce-
ramic "faces". Bill Thurston, Historic Preservation Supervi-
sor at the Florida Division of Historical Resources, assisted
with obtaining Pineland's National Register of Historic
Thanks for assistance with archival materials are owed
to: Alessandro Pezzati, Reference Archivist of the Archives
of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania;
Kathleen Baxter, Reference Archivist of the National
Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution; and
Mary B. Davis of the Huntington Free Library and Reading
Room, Bronx, New York, for her assistance with the C. B.
Moore field notes owned by the Huntington Free Library
and the Museum of the American Indian.
Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S. Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related Objects from
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 37:5-54.
1990 "Florida Indians: Insights into Native Cultures Past
and Present." An exhibit at the Historical Museum of
Southern Florida, including: "Early Florida Indian
Pottery." February 2 April 29. South Florida History
Austin, Robert J.
1987 An Archaeological Site Inventory and Zone Manage-
ment Plan for Lee County, Florida. Prepared by Piper
Archaeological Research, Inc., St. Petersburg. On file,
Lee County Department of Community Development,
Division of Planning. Fort Myers.
1989 Pineland. In: Calusa News 4:14.
Blanchard, Charles, and William Marquardt
1990 Pineland. In: Calusa News 5:6-7.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1952 Eleven Archaeological Sites in Hillsborough County,
Florida. Florida Geological Survey, Report of Investi-
gations, No. 8. Tallahassee.
Carr, Robert S., and John G. Beriault
1984 Prehistoric Man in Southern Florida. In: Environ-
ments of South Florida: Present and Past II. Edited
by P. J. Gleason. Miami Geological Society. Coral
Covington, James W.
1959 Trade Relations Between Southwestern Florida and
Cuba -- 1600 1840. The Florida Historical Quarterly
Cushing, Frank H.
1897 A Preliminary Report on the Exploration of Ancient
Key- Dweller Remains on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Reprint from Proceedings of the American Philo-
sophical Society 35 (153).
Douglass, Andrew E.
1881-1885 Florida Diary and Letters. Typed copy on file,
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History. Gainesville.
1885 Ancient Canals on the South-West Coast of Florida.
American Antiquarian 7:277-285.
Edic, Robert F.
1989 Year of the Indian. Gasparilla Gazette, June 8, page
Gibson, Charles D.
1982 Boca Grande, a Series of Historical Essays.
Outdoors Publishing Company, St. Petersburg.
Gilliland, Marion S.
1989 Key Marco's Buried Treasure, Archaeology and Ad-
venture in the Nineteen Century. University of Florida
Goggin, John M.
1949 The Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern
Florida. Unfinished MS on file at the Yale Peabody
Goggin, John M., and William C. Sturtevant
1964 The Calusa: A Stratified Nonagricultural Society
(With Notes on Sibling Marriage). In: Explorations in
Cultural Anthropology. Edited by W. H. Goodenough.
McGraw-Hill. New York.
Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park: A
Synthesis. National Park Service, Southeast Archeo-
logical Center. Tallahassee.
1989 Time and Space in South Florida: A Synthesis. The
Florida Anthropologist 42:179-204.
Kenworthy, Charles J.
1883 Ancient Canals in Florida. Smithsonian Institution
Annual Report for 1881:631-635.
Le Moyne, Jacques
1946 The narrative of Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues. In:
The New World, the First Pictures of America. Edited
by Stefan Lorant. Duell, Sloan and Pearce. New
Luer, George M.
1980 The Aqui Esta Site at Charlotte Harbor: A Safety
Harbor- Influenced Prehistoric Site. Paper presented
to The Florida Anthropological Society 32nd Annual
Meeting, Winter Park.
1985 Some Comments on Englewood Incised, Safety Har-
bor Incised, and Scarry's Proposed Ceramic Changes.
The Florida Anthropologist 38:236-239. Figures 1 and
2 are inverted.
1986 Ceramic Faces and a Pipe Fragment from South
Florida, with notes on the Pineland Site, Lee County.
The Florida Anthropologist 39:281-286.
1989a Calusa Canals in Southwestern Florida: Routes of
Tribute and Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist
1989b Further Research on the Pine Island Canal and Asso-
ciated Sites, Lee County, Florida. The Florida An-
Luer, George M., and Marion M. Almy
1980 The Development of Some Aboriginal Pottery of the
Central Peninsular Gulf Coast of Florida. The Florida
1981 Temple Mounds of the Tampa Bay Area. The Florida
1987 The Laurel Mound (8So98) and Radial Burials with
Comments on the Safety Harbor Period. The Florida
Marquardt, William H.
1989a A New Look at the Pineland Site (8LL33). Paper
presented to The Florida Anthropological Society
41st Annual Meeting, Jacksonville.
1989b Return to Battey's Landing. In: Calusa News 3:1-3,
McGoun, William E.
1981 Medals of Conquest in Calusa Florida. Unpublished
M. A. Thesis. On file, Florida Atlantic University.
Mitchem, Jeffrey M.
1985 Excavation of the Briarwoods Site (8-PA-66), Pasco
County, Florida. The Florida Scientist 48:161-165.
1989 Redefining Safety Harbor: Late Prehistoric/Proto-
historic Archaeology in West Peninsular Florida.
Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida. University
Microfilms. Ann Arbor.
Moore, Clarence B.
1896 Certain Sand Mounds of the Ocklawaha River,
Florida. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences
of Philadelphia 10:517-543.
1900a Field Notes, Notebook 17. On file, Huntington Free
Library/Museum of the American Indian. The Bronx.
1900b Certain Antiquities of the Florida West Coast. Jour-
nal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadel-
1905 Miscellaneous Investigations in Florida. In: Certain
Aboriginal Remains of the Black Warrior River.
Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of
1845 Record Group 77. Map of the Peninsula of Florida.
Compiled by Capt. McClellan and Lieut, Humprey,
U.S.T.E. Drawn by J. T. Bruff. Map Number L52-B.
National Geodetic Survey
1978 Horizontal Survey Station: BROWN (Lee County,
Fla., W.R.T., 1860:1909). Printout from U.S. Dept. of
Commerce, NOAA. Rockville, Maryland.
Penton, Daniel T.
1972 "Pineland Site." National Register of Historic Places
Form. On file, Florida Division of Historic Resources,
1990 Letter to George M. Luer dated August 6, 1990. On
file with author.
1884? West Coast Cruise. In: Exploring Florida 100 Years
Ao. Stuart D. Ludlum, ed. Pp. 21-34. Brodock and
Ludlum Publications. New York. (Probably published
originally in Harper's New Monthly Magazine.)
Pope, G. D., Jr.
1956 Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia. Historical
Handbook No. 24, National Park Service, Washington.
Tallant, W. Montague
n.d. Untitled artifact catalog of the Montague Tallant col-
lection. On file, South Florida Museum and Bishop
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (U.S.C.G.S.)
1883 Coast Chart No. 175. San Carlos Bay to Lemon Bay.
1943 Topographic Map, T-5862. Pine Island, Northern
Part. Scale 1:10,000. Compiled from aerial pho-
tographs, December 1939 November 1942, with other
surveys in 1943.
Wainwright, R. D.
1918 Further Archaeological Exploration in Southern
Florida, Winter of 1917. The Archaeological Bulletin
9:28-32. Hico, Texas.
Widmer, Randolph J.
1988 The Evolution of the Calusa, A Nonagricultural
Chiefdom on the Southwest Florida Coast. The Uni-
versity of Alabama Press. Tuscaloosa.
George M. Luer
Archaeological and Historical
c/o 3222 Old Oak Drive
Sarasota, FL 34239
THE RANDELLS OF LEE COUNTY'S PINELAND:
FLORIDA ARCHAEOLOGY OWES THEM MUCH
Arthur R. Lee
When Col. Donald Randell and his wife Patricia
moved to Pineland in Lee County a score of years ago they
knew that they were getting a relatively untouched natural
environment and some spectacular Indian mounds. What
they didn't then realize was that they also were getting a life
that in good part would be devoted to preserving both.
On their arrival at what even now is little more
than a post office on Pine Island, roseate spoonbills peopled
the air and shore, and conch egg cases littered the beaches.
Although they had been attacked by bulldozers, two sizeable
mounds still marked the site of what had been a major
Preserving what was left of the environment and
the evidences of the Native American past, the Randells
were quick to realize, would demand action. For the one,
they worked with local groups and established the "Make
Pine Island Beautiful" award. The other -- protection of the
part of Florida's past in their area -- was more demanding.
Early on, in 1972, Pineland's mounds and other
aboriginal features were listed on the National Register of
Historic Places; then the Randells deeded a stretch of
beach to the county as a park with a marker identifying it as
Batteys Landing, visited by Archaeologist Frank Cushing in
J # ; c 'iA
Josslyn Island, a couple miles offshore, was bought
so that its mounds could be preserved; it since has been sold
to the state at a fraction of its worth. More land has been
added to the home property to save an important mound
and the bases of others which had been leveled in the past.
When the Florida Museum of Natural History
started its Southwest Florida project, headed by Dr. William
H. Marquardt, the Randells gave financial support and
permission to explore both Josslyn Island and the mounds
at their home. Earlier, more than ten years ago, Col. Ran-
dell had helped the current FAS President, George Luer,
trace the route of a Calusa canal which had traversed Pine
Island; its western terminus is at Pineland.
Their generosity was most recently expressed in a
stock donation which has added $3,392.38 to the Society's
monograph account, to help fund future publications.
The former military officer and financial counselor
and his wife were the first recipients of the Craighead
Award, presented annually by the Southwest Florida Ar-
chaeological Society to those who have made outstanding
contributions to the archaeology ofthe area.
Arthur R. Lee
Southwest Florida Archaeological Society
P.O. Box 9965
Naples, Florida 33941
Don Randell and shell mound, November 1990.
CHARTING THE COURSE OF FLORIDA'S ARCHAEOLOGICAL FUTURE
Robert J. Austin
What is the future of Florida's past? What are the
most important issues facing the discipline in the years
ahead? And what can professional archaeologists do to
solve the problems facing archaeology in Florida. These are
the questions that confronted archaeologists who attended a
statewide planning conference sponsored by the Florida Ar-
chaeological Council on October 27 and 28, 1990. The
conference was held at Gamble Place on Spruce Creek Pre-
serve in Port Orange, Florida. The 150 acre preserve, run
by the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences, serves
as an interpretive and educational center for environmental
and cultural resources. A grant from the Florida Depart-
ment of State's Division of Historical Resources helped
fund the conference.
The two day event, entitled "The Future of Florida's
Past: An Action Plan for Archaeology in the 1990s," brought
nearly 40 archaeologists together from around the state to
address a wide range of topics. The goals of the conference
were to identify key issues and problems facing archaeology
in Florida, and to begin developing a plan for solving these
problems. Orderly brainstorming was a key ingredient of
the conference. The FAC hired a professional facilitator,
Lois Knowles, to help the group focus on specific issues and
encourage maximum participation by all who attended.
Utilizing a process called Nominal Group Technique
(NGT), the facilitator was able to encourage all of the
participants to think and work through problems together.
Small work groups, each with their own group facilitator,
discussed and prioritized the issues of greatest concern.
The entire group then reassembled and decided which is-
sues should receive primacy for immediate action by the
The structure imposed by NGT at first seemed
awkward, but in the end proved to be extraordinarily suc-
cessful. Instead of inhibiting creative thought, it provided
an opportunity for more ideas to be expressed than would
normally be the case with an unstructured format. The
flexibility of the technique allowed for lively debate on many
topics, but at the same time limited nonproductive digres-
sions by forcing the participants to remain focused on spe-
cific goals. Most importantly, it allowed everyone to partici-
pate equally in the process, thereby taking advantage of the
wealth of ideas and experiences of the organization's mem-
The outcome of the conference was the identifica-
tion of six issues in need of immediate action, and the for-
mation of task force groups to begin work on addressing
these issues. Each task force developed a mission state-
ment, identified short and long term objectives, assigned
task force members to complete specific tasks, and set
deadlines for completion. The six task force groups include:
Communications The Communications Task
Force was formed to enhance communication between ar-
chaeologists and other interest groups, and to devise ways to
better articulate archaeology's role and relevance in Florida
in the 1990s. Specific objectives include identifying commu-
nication opportunities and constraints, identifying target au-
diences, developing ways to promote a positive public image
to other professionals, and educating those in the profession
on how to better communicate with the media.
Education/Awareness The primary objective of
the Education/Awareness Task Force is to increase public
awareness about archaeology and its value. An immediate
goal is to develop a definition of archaeology and a state-
ment of relevance -- in particular, why should the public
care about archaeology? A long term goal is to develop ed-
ucational material for distribution to planners, developers,
policy makers and the general public.
Support/Funding This task force was created to
explore the commitment of state funding for archaeology, to
discuss ways to increase private sector support for archaeol-
ogy, and to increase public funding. The group's first objec-
tives are to develop a list of potential funding sources and
interview professional fund raisers for information on pos-
sible fund raising activities.
Public Schools Curriculum Establishing a state
wide curriculum in Florida prehistory and archaeological
conservation that is aimed at the 4th grade level is the goal
of this task force. The group's objectives are to review ex-
isting curricula, gather educational information, review the
process for adopting curricula into the school system, and
investigate grant funding for developing the curriculum.
Legislation/Lobbying The goal of this task force
is to enhance the conservation of archaeological sites and
collections through the legislative process. Task force
members are reviewing the status of existing legislation and
will work with the State Archaeologist to review cultural re-
source legislation in other states.
Professionalism This group was formed to pro-
mote quality of work, ethics and growth within the profes-
sion. Its objectives include providing suggestions for the
establishment of Minimum Professional Standards and a
Peer Review system, and providing input to the FAC Mem-
bership Committee regarding membership qualifications
Most of these objectives were designed to be com-
pleted by the next FAC general meeting which will be held
in Tampa this coming March. At that time the task groups
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
will share their accomplishments and set new objectives to
reach their common goal the preservation of Florida's past
for the future.
Robert J. Austin
Piper Archaeological Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 919
St. Petersburg, FL 32514
Figure 1: Participants in the FAC's statewide planning conference at Spruce Creek Preserve,
Port Orange, Florida.
Bottom row (kneeling): Bob Austin, Storm Richards, Carl McMurray, Lois Knowles
(facilitator), Bob Carr, Marion Almy, Karen Moore (facilitator), Bruce Piatek.
Middle row: Ray Willis, Kathy Jones Garmil & Greg, Bob Johnson, Claudine Payne, Rich
Estabrook, Ted Dethlefsen, Marsha Chance, Rochelle Marrinan, Bill Burger, Bill Mar-
quardt, Beth Horvath, Buzz Thunen, Bill Johnson, Paula Anderson (facilitator), James
Mathews, Chris Newman, Pam Mathews, Stan Bond, Joan Deming, Nancy White and Tony.
Top row: Louis Tesar, Donna Ruhl, Greg Smith, Ken Johnson, Dana Ste. Claire, Ken
Hardin, Karen Austin (facilitator).
Not pictured: Bill Browning, April Feher, John Griffin, Jim Miller, Brent Wiseman, Anne
MIGRATION RESEARCH IN SALADOID ARCHAEOLOGY: A REVIEW
Peter E. Siegel
Centro de Investigaciones Indigenas de Puerto Rico
Originally, I was asked to prepare a review of the cur-
rent state of Saladoid archaeology in the West Indies. As I
began working on this assignment, it became clear that
given my space constraints it was not possible to adequately
review the full range of investigations currently underway in
Saladoid studies. Therefore, I decided to focus on one ma-
jor topic that seems to be the primary theme within this
field today: migrations, population dispersal, and adaptive
radiation. I will first present a short historical sketch of the
development of Saladoid studies to place my discussion in
an appropriate framework. This review will be short, since
there are a number of other such presentations already
available (Rouse and Allaire 1978; Rouse 1986:117-120;
Carbone 1980; Roe 1989:273-277).
Historical Development of Saladoid Studies
As in other areas of the Americas, the development of
Saladoid studies has followed a standard trajectory that may
be characterized by the scheme presented in Willey and
Sabloff (1974). Their outline provides a useful framework
within which large changes in the field may be evaluated
and described. Like Carbone (1980), I will not consider
here the speculative period in the development of Saladoid
The classificatory-descriptive stage is represented by
such studies as de Hosto's (1919) descriptions of Puerto Ri-
can ceramics. The work done by de Hostos (1919) and oth-
ers prefigured the classificatory-historical period of archae-
ological research in the Caribbean, beginning with Hatt's
(1924) work in the Virgin Islands and continuing with im-
portant studies by Lovn (1935), Rainey (1940), Rouse (1948,
1951, 1952a, 1952b, 1964, 1974, 1976), Howard (1943, 1947),
McKusick (1960) and others. Willey and Sabloff (1974) ar-
gue that the classificatory-historical period may be divided
into two stages: first, a concern with chronology followed by
a concern with context and function.
In terms of chronology the work by Irving Rouse has
been the most explicit, wide-ranging, and synthetic in the
Caribbean. On his own, and in collaboration with other
scholars, Rouse has established, and modified as new data
became available, the major chronological outline for the
Caribbean in general, and specific areal sub-sections in par-
ticular (Rouse 1951, 1952a, 1952b, 1964, 1982, 1986, 1989a,
1989b; Cruxent and Rouse 1958-1959; Rouse and Cruxent
1963; Rouse and Allaire 1978; Rouse and Alegria 1990).
There certainly have been challenges and counter-proposals
by researchers to particular regional chronologies, but this
is to be expected (e.g., Chanlatte Baik 1981; Chanlatte Baik
and Narganes Storde 1983; Sanoja and Vargas 1983; Ro-
driguez and Rivera 1987).
Chronology-building was the main focus for archaeol-
ogists working in the Caribbean roughly until the 1970s.
Classificatory-historical studies, with a chronological em-
phasis, remain a central concern for many of the investiga-
tors working in the Caribbean. However, by the late 1970s
a variety of other topics began to be addressed, thus bring-
ing the field into the "context and function" stage of the clas-
sificatory-historical period, as well as into the explanatory
As new theoretical interests and interpretive frame-
works entered the realm of Caribbean archaeology different
approaches were required for the way regions were investi-
gated, sites excavated, and artifacts analyzed compared to
the classificatory-historical studies. These interests include
settlement and subsistence patterns (Wing et al. 1969;
Goodwin 1979, 1980; Jones 1985; Keegan 1985; Wing and
Reitz 1982; deFrance 1988, 1989; Morse 1989; Wing 1989),
community organization (Versteeg 1989; Siegel 1989a),
frontiers and group interactions (Rouse 1986, 1989a; Roe
1989; Siegel 1989a, 1989b), and studies in artifact technology
(Walker 1980; Carini 1989; Donahue et al. 1990). Dis-
cussing these additional interests is beyond the scope of the
present paper. One of these issues that bridges the classifi-
catory-historical and explanatory periods in Caribbean re-
search is population dispersal and migration.
Population Dispersal, Migration, and Adaptive Radiation
Population dispersal, or migration, is a concern that
understandably has been of great importance for archaeolo-
gists working in the Caribbean. As in any insular setting, a
fundamental question is when were the islands occupied,
and was cultural development autochthonous or a result of
Even de Hostos, in his early study of Puerto Rican
pottery, confronted the problem when he discussed the sup-
posed "monkey heads" adorning many of the ceramic vessels
Where did the native find a model for the monkey
heads which predominate over all other animal
forms? Monkeys were not known in Porto Rico.
They must have been familiar, however, to the
continental Arawaks, whose descendants the Porto
Rican Indians probably were, and to the Caribs,
who were in the habit of assaulting by sea the na-
tives of Porto Rico [de Hostos 1919:386].
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
Although de Hostos was not specifically concerned with the
peopling (or repeopling) of the Caribbean Islands, his as-
tute observation regarding probable cultural affinity be-
tween Puerto Rico and South America foreshadowed major
research programs in years to come.
At this point, I do not need to review the history of re-
search concerning the peopling of the islands by Saladoid
colonists. The reader is referred to recent works by Rouse
(Rouse and Allaire 1978:432-436; Rouse 1986:118-120,
1989b) and Carbone (1980) for such discussions. I will pre-
sent ideas currently entertained by researchers regarding
the dispersal of Saladoid groups into the Antilles. This dis-
cussion will be framed within two broad sections: (1) De-
scriptive models. This section will review the major cultural
historical schemes currently debated concerning the migra-
tions of early ceramic age groups into the Antilles. I will
conclude this presentation with an alternative proposal for
how we approach the problem. (2) Explanatory models.
Major ideas concerning the processes and motivating cir-
cumstances behind the migrations will be reviewed.
Descriptive Models: Cultural Historical Outlines
In reviewing the available evidence, the sloping aspect
of the Saladoid series is clear (Rouse and Allaire 1978:435).
Probably the only consensus among Caribbean archaeolo-
gists today is that the early ceramic age populations origi-
nated in the Orinoco Valley of Venezuela. The timing of
the dispersal, the number of migrations, and even the series
(or horizon) designations are hotly disputed, frequently re-
sulting in elevated blood pressures at International Confer-
In order to adequately evaluate the dispersal into the
West Indies, we must consider the major arguments con-
cerning cultural development and change in the South
American lowlands, with particular emphasis on the
Orinoco region. Depending on which major perspectives
entertained has direct implications for the Caribbean situa-
In 1970 Donald Lathrap published The Upper Ama-
zon, in which he presented a major statement on the low-
land cultural history. The important point for the present
discussion is his treatment of the Orinocan cultures. Lath-
rap argued that drainages connecting the Amazon and
Orinoco Basins, especially the Casiquiare Canal, facilitated
the movement of people and ideas between those two re-
gions (Lathrap 1970:73-74, 111-112). Citing distinct simi-
larities in ceramic vessel shapes and surface decorations,
lathrap suggests that the ancestors of the Orinocan Saladoid
peoples originated in the Upper Amazon Basin, specifically
in the montaiia region of eastern Peru (Lathrap 1958, 1970;
The Tutishcainyo site, on the Central Ucayali, has re-
vealed two cultural complexes: Early and Late Tutish-
cainyo. Based upon cross-dating to the Kotosh site, roughly
200 km to the southwest, Lathrap contends that Early
Tutishcainyo dates between 2000 and 1600 B.C. (Lathrap
1970:89). Citing a 1000 B.C. date for Saladero, the type site
of the Saladoid series, Lathrap makes the case for a cultural
dispersal, roughly between 1000 and 2000 B.C., from the
Upper Amazon to the Orinoco (Lathrap 1970:111-112).
Certain details of Lathrap's argument are important to
mention here because they have central relevance for an-
other model to be discussed below. Distinctive characteris-
tics of Early Tutishcainyo pottery include the use of such
features as broad, labial and sublabial flanges; concave sides
; and sharp corner points at one or more locations on a ves-
sel wall. Surface treatment includes broad U-shaped inci-
sion, rows of punctuation, and zone-incised crosshatching
By the late Nazaratequi tradition (this pottery is ap-
parently cognate to Tutishcainyo but much simpler), the
fine-line crosshatching disappeared (Lathrap 1970:89-90).
Lathrap argues that there is a clear cultural affinity between
Early Tutishcainyo and the Antillean Saladoid, Rio Guapo,
Lower Ronquin on the one hand, and Saladero and
Nazaratequi on the other (Lathrap 1970:112).
Irving Rouse, in focusing closely on the details of the
Orinocan and Antillean cultures, argues that by the time of
Christ, bearers of Saladoid pottery had dispersed into the
West Indies (Rouse 1986, 1989a, 1989b). This scenario ac-
commodates well Lathrap's hypothesis for a dispersal from
the Upper Amazon to the Orinoco between 2000 and 1000
B.C. It is useful to note in this regard, that since 1985 a
number of carbon samples from good cultural contexts in
early West Indian deposits suggest an earlier dispersal of
saladoid peoples out of the Orinoco than what was previ-
ously thought. Recently obtained dates from Martinique
(Schvoerer et al. 1985), St. Martin (Haviser 1989), Vieques
(Chanlatte Baik 1983; Narganes Storde 1989), and Puerto
Rico (Chanlatte Baik 1976; Narganes Storde 1989; Ro-
driguez 1989; Siegel 1989a, 1990) indicate that Saladoid
groups must have entered the Caribbean by 400-500 B.C.
An alternative perspective to the Lathrap-Rouse
model is presented in the writings of Betty Meggers, Clif-
ford Evans, Mario Sanoja, and Iraida Vargas. These inves-
tigators have long argued for a relatively late appearance of
the zoned incised crosshatch (ZIC) and white-on-red
(WOR) painted horizons to the Orinoco Valley, which they
assert are derived from Andean styles (Evans and Meggers
1968:107-110; Meggers and Evans 1958, 1961:381-388, 1973;
Sanoja Obediente 1979:282-286; Vargas Arenas 1979:227-
230; Sanoja and Vargas 1983:237). Evidence cited in sup-
Saladoid and Barrancoid cultures in Venezuela (Lathrap
Uncorrected 1970:110-112; Rouse and Allaire 1978:441-443; Roosevelt
Complex Age (B.P.) (B.C./A.D.) 1980:193-196).
Fond Brule Nancy
Fond Brule Nancy
Fond Brule Ly-2197
Fond Brule BDX-156
Fond Brule BDX-161
Indian Creek 1-7980
Indian Creek 1-77981
Radio Antilles Beta-18491
Radio Antilles Beta-18490
Radio Antilles Beta-18581
Hope Estate Pitt-0219
Hope Estate Pitt-0220
Hope Estate Pitt-0450
Hope Estate Pitt-0449
Hope Estate Pitt-0446
Punta Candelero 1-14979
Punta Candelero 1-14978
Indian Creek 1
Indian Creek 1
a Site locations: Cedros: Trinidad; Fond Brule: Martinique; Indian Creek:
Antigua; Radio Antilles, Trnat's: Montserrat; Hope Estate: St. Martin;
Source: Vieques; Punta Candelero, Tecla, Convento, Maisabel: Puerto Rico.
Table 1. Early C-14 Dates Associated with Saladoid
Deposits in the West Indies.
port of this argument and ceramic specimens adorned with
zoned hachuring form the early deposits at Valdivia
(Meggers et al. 1965) and from the Puerto Hormiga site in
Colombia (Reichel-Dolmatoff 1965; Evans and Meggers
1968:88-92; Ford 1969:152-154). The earliest WOR painted
pottery, according to Meggers, is derived from the Chorrera
complex on the coast of Ecuador (cited in Sanoja and
Vargas 1983:239). Sanoja and Vargas then argue that the
incised and painted styles found in the Orinocan sites are
late intrusions, discounting any early C-14 dates as unreli-
able (e.g., Vargas Arenas 1979:226-227). They use a C-14
date of 65585 B.C. (1-9519) from La Gruta as the best es-
timate for the arrival of "Middle Formative" complexes into
the Orinoco (Sanoja and Vargas 1983:234-235, 239). It is
curious that in their most recent position statement that I
ma aware of, published in 1983, Sanoja and Vargas do not
even reference Lathrap's (1970) counter-proposal of the
Amazonian origins of the lowland styles.
Sanoja and Vargas bolster their late-arrival hypothesis
by referencing the presumed late radiocarbon assays of An-
tillean Saladoid deposits, "all of which date within the
Christian era" (Sanoja and Vargas 1983:235). As I noted
above, old good-context dates have recently been obtained
in the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico (Rouse 1989a:Table
1), thus providing further support for the early inception of
A third migration/diffusion model relates more exclu-
sively to the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico than the two
previous formulations. In 1979 Luis Chanlatte Baik re-
ported on initial test results derived from the Sorce site on
Vieques Island. Since that first report, Chanlatte Baik and
Yvonne Narganes Storde have conducted massive excava-
tions at this site. According to their numerous publications
in the Caribbean Congress Proceedings, museum catalogs,
and private printings these researchers argue that the Sorce'
site consists of 21 "deposits," distributed roughly in a horse-
shoe configuration (Chanlatte Baik 1979, 1981, 1983, 1984;
Chanlatte Baik and Narganes Storde 1983, 1986, 1990).
They claim that the decorated pottery in 14 of the deposits
consists exclusively of painted wares, most notably the elab-
orate WOR styles (Saladoid series), whereas the remaining
seven deposits have only the incised pottery styles. Based
upon radiocarbon evidence, which is unclear to me, Chan-
latte has made a pitch for a pre-Saladoid migration of ce-
ramic-using Indians up the Antilles from South America,
and who produced unpainted pottery. He refers to this
horizon as the Huecoid series, named after the La Hueca
Yvonne Narganes Storde (1989) presented a paper at
the 13th International Congress for Caribbean Archaeology,
summarizing 14 years of C-14 dating at the Tecla and Sorce'
sites. This work was sponsored by the Centro de Investiga-
ciones Arqueologicas. It is clear from her charts of radio-
carbon dates that the presumed "Huecoid" horizon does not
in fact predate the Saladoid series (Narganes Storde
1989:Tablas 1-4). At the Sorce site, the oldest "Huecoid"
date is A.D. 580 (1-11322), whereas her oldest Saladoid
date is 160 B.C.80 (1-13425). It is most interesting to note
further that Narganes Storde presents an even older date
from Tecla, another Saladoid site in Puerto Rico. Form the
T-1 deposit at Tecla, Narganes Storde (1989:Tabla 5) re-
ports a C-14 date of 430 B.C.80 (1-13856). This is one of
the oldest insular Saladoid C-14 dates in a good cultural
The Punta Candelero site, excavated by Miguel Ro-
driguez (Rodrfguez and Rivera 1987; Rodriguez 1989), pre-
sents an assemblage very similar in appearance to the
"Huecoid" deposits from Sorce' This includes the distinc-
tively carved stone amulets and pendants, and the zoned-in-
cised crosshatch ceramic ware. According to Rodrfguez
(1989:252), the earlier "La Hueca" deposit is spatially dis-
tinct from the later Cuevas (late Saladoid) and Monserrate
(early Ostionoid) deposits.
Based on the similarities between the Sorce'and Punta
Candelero artifact assemblages and two early C-14 dates
from the Punta Candelero site Rodriguez, like Chanlatte,
argued for a pre-Saladoid migration wave, consisting of
ZIC-loving people washing onto the shores of Vieques and
Puerto Rico shortly before the wave of white-on-red painted
potteryphiles (Rodriguez and Rivera 1987). Rodriguez con-
cludes his paper by offering a tentative "definition" of a
crosshatch horizon, extending from the Upper Amazon
Basin and Western Suriname to Puerto Rico. Presumably,
the Upper Amazon connection relates to the Early Tutish-
cainyo complex discussed earlier and Western Suriname to
the Wonotobo Falls complex defined by Boomert (1983).
In this regard, it is useful to note that Lathrap
(1970:111-112) does distinguish two general design tradi-
tions in the early ceramics of the lowlands. A seminal pas-
sage b;y Lathrap foreshadows the furious debate among
The shared simplicity of the Saladero complex and
the Nazatequi tradition on the one hand, and the
closely similar elaborations of Antillian Saladoid,
Rio Guapo, Lowest Ronqu n, and the Tutishcainyo
tradition ont he other, together suggest that it was a
question of two waves of migration rather than one.
The bearers of Saladero and the Nazaratequi tra-
dition moved out earlier than the ancestors of those
responsible for the more fully elaborated ceramics
[Lathrap 1970:112; emphasis added].
Lumpers, Splitters, and Atomizers
Since the time Chanlatte proposed his Huecoid, or
Agro-I, horizon a spate of publications have appeared pre-
senting variations on his theme (Rodriguez and Rivera
1987; Rodriguez 1989; Haviser 1989; Roe 1989). The uni-
fying aspect of these publications ins the focus primarily on
specific design elements of pottery as a basis for generating
different cultural complexes and series. As discussed above,
Chanlatte and Rodriguez cite the spatial segregation of
painted versus unpainted and incised pottery styles, in addi-
tion to the presence of distinctively carved stone amulets, as
evidence for two different series, Huecoid versus Saladoid.
Recently, a new twist has been added to the debate.
Jay Haviser excavated 12 m2 (12 1x1 m excavation units) at
the Hope Estate site on St. Martin (Haviser 1988, 1989).
Based primarily on design characteristics of 547 potsherds
and on nine C-14 dates, Haviser offers us two major migra-
tions into the Lesser Antilles from South America, and one
hybridization, during the early ceramic age (Haviser 1989).
The first migratory group is called the Early Ceramic
culture, which apparently predates the Saladoid series.
Haviser rejects the terms "Huecoid" and "Huecan Saladoid"
because he argues that the Sorce' site "represents a culture
period when these Early Ceramic peoples were mixing with
the Saladoid peoples" (Haviser 1989:10). He suggests that
the term "Early Ceramic be used instead until a "suitable
type site" is discovered.
Meanwhile, based on artifacts recovered form his
"separate midden" and from the lowest levels of his "primary
midden" (40-75 cm below ground surface), Haviser defines
the essential features of this new "Early Ceramic" horizon.
In terms of pottery, we learn that vessels adorned with small
incised button lugs (25 sherds), zoned-punctation (17
sherds), curvilinear incision (25 sherds), complex zoomor-
phic lugs (3), the absence of painting, and the absence of
ZIC characterizes the Early Ceramic horizon.
In contrast, the diagnostic features of the Saladoid
pottery, resulting from a second migration, consists of D-
shaped handles, red-paint, white-on-red paint, red and black
paint, inverted bell-shaped pots, and annular bases. We are
told, too, that ZIC develops after a mixing of the Saladoid
and the Early Ceramic peoples.
A separate line of evidence "substantiating" the argu-
ment of a pre-Saladoid Early Ceramic horizon comes form
the radiocarbon dates. Two dates form the "separate mid-
den" are old (560 B.C. 40 [Pitt-0450], 350 B.C. .55 [Pitt-
0449]= Early Ceramic), whereas two dates from level II of
the "primary midden" are not so old (325 B.C. +60 [Pitt-
0219], 300 B.C.45 [Pitt-0220]). To Haviser's credit, he
presents his case as a tentative proposal. I look forward to
seeing further results from this project.
In light of the findings at Sorce, Punta Candelero, Rio
Guapo, and possibly Hope Estate, Rouse offers an alterna-
tive interpretation to the migration hypotheses presented by
Chanlatte and Rodriguez (Rouse 1989a). He suggests that
on the mainland of South America, pottery decorated with
zoned incised crosshatching originated in Amazonia and
with white-one-red painting in the Orinoco Valley (Rouse
1989a:389). He argues that when the bearers of the two de-
sign traditions combined, the resulting complexes produced
what we now refer to as the Cedrosan Saladoid subseries.
The Cedrosan peoples began migrating from Trinidad in
two directions, one along the coast of Venezuela and the
other into the Lesser Antilles. In the northern section of
the Leeward Islands there was a divergence of cultural
groups, reflected by the establishment of a new subseries,
Huecan Saladoid. The pottery of the Huecan complex(es)
lacks paint but maintains the use of elaborate incising, in-
cluding the zoned incised crosshatching. This explains the
presumed unique sites of Rio Guapo, Sorce, and Punta
Candelero, with Hope Estate being a potential candidate
for the point of divergence of the Cedrosan and Huecan
subseries (Rouse 1989a:389).
I will now offer an alternative proposal to Chanlatte's
Huecoid Tradition, Rodrguez's Crosshatched Connection,
and Haviser's Early Ceramic Horizon. My proposal, like
Rouse's, is the notion of a Cedrosan Saladoid dispersal out
of Venezuela into the Antilles (Rouse 1986:Fig. 23), roughly
2,500 years ago. As in any subseries, there are a number of
related, yet different, styles or complexes. Of course, the
style assignments are not immutable categories, but should
be treated as working hypotheses, to be tested as new data
become available (Rouse 1986:163-175). From this per-
spective, it does not make sense, when observing slightly
different methods of technical production or forms of cre-
ative output to then surmise a major new tradition, migra-
tion, or horizon. The imagery associated with such mono-
lithic and distinct migration waves perhaps is more a prod-
uct of our own Western imperialistic methods of expansion
than preindustrial tribal-based dispersal patterns.
Rather than focusing on perceived differences across
assemblages or slight variants on design treatments as a ba-
sis for generating new cultural complexes and even hori-
zons, I suggest that we consider an alternative (or comple-
mentary) mode of analysis: Start from the premise that the
observed interassemblage variability is not necessarily a
product of different cultural groupings, but is perhaps an
aspect of the overall behavioral repertoire of a single popu-
lation. We know that cultural groups do not necessarily re-
side in a single village, but in a functionally and socially re-
lated set of interacting villages or places (Trigger 1978:115-
119). This argument is reminiscent of the Bordes-Binford
debate concerning the meaning behind the interassemblage
variability in the middle Paleolithic of Europe (Binford
1973; Bordes 1973).
The particulars of the Bordes-Binford debate have no
relevance to the Caribbean ceramic age; we are not dealing
with scraper indices. However, we do look at relative pro-
portions of ZIC and WOR decorated pottery, etc. Fur-
thermore, what distinguishes the Pearls (Grenada) from
Horizon I (Martinique), besides location? Or Hacienda
Grande (Puerto Rico, Vieques) from Prosperity (Virgin Is-
lands), besides location? These are questions worth ad-
dressing. Clear and precise answers may go far in helping
to establish spatial boundaries to a cultural complex and to
delve into such issues as the dynamics of interaction
networks, style zones, settlement hierarchies, and the
meaning behind interassemblage variability.
Process and Motivating Circumstances
Reading Lawrence Straus's (1987) review of Rouse's
(1986) recent book on migrations is strangely like stepping
into an intellectual time machine and returning to the late-
1960s (or 1972 to be precise), where we can read Lewis
Binford castigating James Griffin for being interested in
culture history. Therefore, Straus diligently selects passages
out of "Migrations" in order to present us with "quaint
statements" demonstrating how Rouse has not progressed in
archaeology from the days of mutating artifact types.
As Straus somewhat pejoratively admits, "Rouse basi-
cally is arguing for making careful, well-documented cases
for specific migrations, based on studies of assemblages of
artifacts arranged geographically and chronologically"
(Straus 1987:381; emphasis in original). Straus evidently
emphasizes the word "assemblages" because he can then
raise the flag of distasteful archaeology in the form of nor-
mativism. Much to Straus's dismay, I'm sure, Rouse focused
on assemblages precisely for the reasons Straus should like.
Namely, Rouse is interested in assemblage variation. As I
discussed in the previous section, he is responding to stud-
ies, especially in the Caribbean, where the evidence, for or
against, one or more major migrations hinges upon a small
handful of artifact types. By focusing on assemblages,
rather than type fossils as analytical units, Rouse is able to
document the range of variability present in the archaeo-
logical record, and thus offers us alternative hypotheses for
consideration: assemblage variation related to (a) status
differentiation, (b) cultural differences, (c) functional vari-
ability (i.e., different ceramic wares). I may disagree with
Rouse on the source of assemblage variation, as discussed
earlier, but that is another issue.
Finally, Straus criticizes Rouse's study for lacking ex-
planation. In the context of Rouse's indicated goals this
criticism is out of place. As the subtitle of the book states
he is interested in "inferring population movement from
cultural remains." Moreover, he does this rigorously, thus
presenting to us a classification of population movements
and how each may be recognized. To the extent that Rouse
could be criticized for not providing us with an explanation
for population movement Straus may be correct. Ulti-
mately, however, when examined from the perspective of
the history of ideas, Rouse's work provides the cultural his-
torical framework within which explanatory models may be
developed. Those of us who choose to reject the validity of
this notion do so at the risk of producing, at best, trivial ex-
This rather long-winded preamble to my discussion of
explanatory models for migrations in the Caribbean ceramic
age should underscore the importance of both description
and explanation. Good explanatory models must rely on a
solid empirical foundation (Trigger 1978:114).
All of the explanations offered for population dispersal
into the Caribbean during the ceramic age have certain
common elements. Namely, population pressure within a
circumscribed territory results initially in competition for
scarce land or resources, or both, and ultimately in a spa-
tially expanding population. The various formulations gen-
erally owe their inspiration to the early works of Carneiro
(1961, 1970) and Chagnon (1968), both of whom developed
their ideas of geographic and social circumscription while
working in the Orinoco Valley.
William Keegan (1985) approaches the problem from
the perspective of microeconomics. Supply and demand
curves are presented in combination with the logistical
growth function for population increase and with a ranking
of resources based on Caloric values. The well-documented
colonization of the Caribbean is then seen as a solution
(maintenance of an equilibrium relationship) to imbalances
in the supply (subsistence production)/demand
(population) ratio, given a specific set of constraints and re-
Keegan indicates that in response to increasing de-
mand (greater population) a group can either increase pro-
duction by intensifying its technological base or it may ex-
pand spatially "through the colonization of new territories"
(Keegan 1985:43). As Carneiro noted many years ago, a
population that is geographically and/or socially circum-
scribed may not have the alternative for spatial expansion,
and under these conditions intergroup warfare will escalate,
resulting in subjugated groups and ultimately in increases in
It is important to note here that in the original formu-
lation of his theory, Carneiro (1961:62-63) postulated that
the Circum-Caribbean chiefdoms, such as the Tainos in
Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, probably developed in re-
sponse to the narrowly circumscribed arable lands in the re-
gion. What is interesting for the present discussion is that
Carneiro does not consider the process of expansion out of
South America by the Saladoid migrants, who were the an-
cestors of the Tainos.
Keegan has supplied us with this aspect of the prob-
lem, by modelling the expansion into the Lesser Antilles,
based on a constant growth rate and a village fissioning rule
as the population doubles (Keegan 1985:58). He then cal-
culates the probable upper and lower time limits for move-
ment through the Lesser Antilles to Puerto Rico, using the
C-14 dates available at the time of his study.
Based on the data available to Keegan, he suggest that
the expansion from Trinidad to Puerto Rico took from 160
to 460 years (earliest Trinidad C-14 date: 190 B.C.+70;
earliest Puerto Rico C-14 date: A.D. 120+80). Further-
more Keegan argues that
all small islands and several of the larger islands
were bypassed during the initial phase of coloniza-
tion. The evidence indicates that the implicit as-
sumption that each island was colonized in turn
must be rejected. The actual pattern is of a rapidly
expanding population whose productive system was
focused on a specific set of resources. The distri-
bution of resources in the optimal set would have
promoted the rapid spread of population, with is-
lands colonized to maintain a maximum rate of
currency return [Keegan 1985:63].
Thus, from Keegan's perspective, the early colonists
were attempting to maintain, in their insular setting, an
adaptive strategy developed in the South American low-
lands. This results in a search behavior by the initial mi
grants for a targeted set of resources and, therefore, specific
environmental settings. For Keegan, the process of island
colonization by the initial settlers was an optimizing strat-
egy, given certain technological parameters. He argues that
the combined effects of the intergroup competition on the
South American mainland with the attractiveness of the op-
timal (but narrow) resource set in the Antilles resulted in
the quick expansion of the colonizing population to the
larger landmasses of the island chain (William Keegan, per-
sonal communication 1990).
Data collected since Keegan's study was published do
not support his model. The small islands of the Grenadines,
St. Eustatius, and St. Martin do contain early Saladoid sites
(Table 1). The rate of expansion, however, does appear to
be fast (note the old C-14 dates from Saladoid sites in
Puerto Rico). I would simply suggest that the initial mi-
grants do not seem to be selecting the larger landmasses for
settling prior to the small islands. Furthermore, the distri-
bution of known Saladoid sites must be evaluated with cau-
tion, given the unevenness of our data-base across islands.
Peter Roe offers the flipside to Keegan's argument, in
which he suggests that the Antillean island chain is a "kind
of 'inverted main-river' analogue" (Roe 1989:270). In this
framework, Roe suggests that if the ethnographically ob-
served intergroup hostilities in the Amazonian lowlands
were operating in prehistoric times, then this would have
been a likely motivating factor in the Saladoid migration out
of the Orinoco Valley. In a sense, Roe presents a "push"
model intergroupp hostilities) for the island colonization,
compared to Keegan who develops a "pull" model
(attractiveness of the insular resources). Roe likens the
push-process to the squeezing of a tube of multi-colored
toothpaste. As the tube (Orinoco Valley) is squeezed
(population pressure resulting in intergroup hostilities or
perhaps raiding for women), paste (cultures) oozes
(migration) out (to the Antilles). In terms of this
dentifricial metaphor, each color of the paste represents a
different cultural complex (i.e., Hacienda Grande, La
Hueca, etc.). Roe uses the term "agonistic engine" to de-
scribe the process of interethnic hostilities "driving" the
groups out of the riverine and into the insular setting.
Roe sees a rapid migration through the island chain by
the initial colonists as a product of their attempt to maintain
a mainland adaptation to the island habitats. He selects
particular attributes of the artifact assemblages to argue his
First, he cites the use of ceramic potrests (topias) by
the insular Saladoid groups as clear evidence of "culture lag"
(Roe 1989:271-272), arguing that they are "functional absur-
dities" in an environment where river cobbles are abundant
and better suited for the purpose of elevating pots over a
fire. I responded to this point in an earlier draft of his pa-
per, which now appears in one of Roe's many Notes (Roe
It seems to me that it makes more sense to have a
potrest made out of ceramic than stone, when the
potrest is going to be subjected to high heat. Stone
potrests that are holding up a ceramic griddle, for
example, are likely to explode after some duration
of heating. You wouldn't have this problem with
ceramic potrests [Peter Siegel, personal communi-
cation to Peter Roe 1988].
In responding to my point, Roe suggests that the open
paste with large temper particles "was subject to overfiring,"
thus causing the potrests to spall and crumble (Roe
1989:299). Without belaboring this issue too much, I would
simply argue that the technological properties of the topias
(open paste, coarse temper particles) are ideally suited for
the tool's purported function. The extensive use of grog,
crushed shell, and talc as tempering particles, which have
relatively low coefficients of thermal expansion, in combi-
nation with porous paste, provides the topics with optimal
properties to mitigate problems of thermal stress (Rice
1987:229-230). Roe's observation that topias seem to be as-
sociated exclusively with the early Saladoid phases (to be
replaced by river cobbles in the later phases) is not substan-
tiated by evidence, and to the contrary, are found in numer-
ous other temporal contexts as well (e.g., Allaire 1984:129).
Roe's (1989:272) second line of evidence for the re-
production of the mainland adaptation to the insular envi-
ronment is derived from the subsistence remains. He cites
the conventional wisdom concerning the terrestrial orienta-
tion of the first migrants as reflected by the presumed nar-
rowly-focused dietary adaptation to land crabs and large
This same process of 'culture lag' is also evident
from the culinary remains. Thus, initially there is a
dependence on large, easily accessible life-forms as
sources of protein to supplement the manioc the
first immigrants brought with them. The ease with
which these life forms, like the blue land crab
(Cardisoma guanami [sic]) and the gastropod Cit-
tarium pica, could be procured and the susceptibil-
ity of those creatures to over-exploitation
(Goodwin 1980) bespeaks a lack of adaptation to
the unique energetic properties of an insular envi-
ronment, and hence the recentness of the colonist's
arrival from a tierra firme origin [Roe 1989:272].
It is true, the crab claws and large mollusks are very
obvious attributes of Saladoid middens, from the Windward
Islands through Puerto Rico. This is why Rainey (1940)
coined the term "Crab Culture." One of the points empha-
sized by zooarchaeologists and archaeobotanists (for at least
the last 25 years), however, is that it is not adequate, and in
fact it is likely to be inaccurate, to base our subsistence re-
constructions on only the large and obvious items in a mid-
den (Struever 1968; Jarman et al. 1972; Payne 1972; Limp
1974; Lange and Carty 1975; Watson 1976; Dye 1978; Kee-
ley 1978; Roosevelt 1989:34-37; Wing 1989:143).
Based upon analysis of the faunal remains from Mais-
abel, a large Saladoid site located on the north coast of
Puerto Rico, Susan deFrance concludes:
In contrast to previous models of Saladoid sub-
sistence, the Maisabel assemblage indicates that
the site's inhabitants were skilled at the exploitation
of a range of maritime habitats. The faunal data
also indicate that terrestrial resources were utilized
in varying quantities throughout the occupation of
the site. However, in none of the samples are ter-
restrial resources the major focus of exploitation in
terms of either number of species or MNI.
A subsistence feature the Maisabel assemblage
shares with other contemporaneous sites is a char-
acteristic decline in terrestrial crab use between the
early phase of Saladoid occupation and the later
Ostionoid time period..As the terrestrial crabs de-
cline in availability, the Maisabel inhabitants inten-
sified their well-developed maritime subsistence
economy [deFrance 1988:103].
Given the results of deFrance's investigation it should be
clear that the notion of terrestrial dietary emphasis of first
migrants is largely an artifact of sampling bias in archaeo-
logical projects that have not used flotation. Once the data
are properly collected we find that the earliest Saladoid mi-
grants were in fact exploiting the marine resources inten-
sively and extensively.
deFrance (1988:105) offers the interesting possibility
that the Saladoid migrants were learning how to exploit the
maritime habitat on their way up the Antilles, so that by
time they reached Puerto Rico they were proficient in their
use of the aquatic biome. This would be an example of
"adaptive radiation" by the human population as it expanded
spatially (Mayr 1970:372, 413). This may be so, but it re-
mains to be demonstrated by other studies, similar to de-
France's, in the Lesser Antilles.
Finally, Roe argues that the ceramic iconography de-
notes a mainland homeland (1989:272). I believe this is a
valid point. However, I believe also that the iconography
does just that: it denotes a mainland homeland. This does
not mean that the Saladoid migrants are attempting to re-
produce that homeland in this drastically different setting.
As we know, cosmology and world-view, to which the rich
iconographic elements of Saladoid pottery are undoubtedly
linked, are rather conservative (Eliade 1959:69-72, 87-91,
1965:10-11, 46-48). Therefore, while there may be shifts in
resource procurement and settlement strategies, it is likely
that the myths, with the associated actors, do not change so
readily. Roe certainly recognizes this point; I believe he
simply cites it as evidence for the wrong process.
I disagree with Keegan and Roe regarding the meth-
ods employed by the Saladoid populations in their coloniza-
tion of the West Indies. However, I believe they are correct
in their assessment of the motivating circumstances behind
the dispersal. That is, the competition over scarce, but at-
tractive, main river frontage in the South American low-
lands resulted in large-scale hostilities between groups vying
for the land. The losers in these competitive interactions
had one of three choices: (1) Remaining on the floodplain
and becoming subjugated to the winners. This is Carneiro's
(1961) model for the development of cultural complexity in
a circumscribed environment. (2) Move off the floodplain
into the interfluvial regions of the rain forest. (3) In north-
eastern South America the losers of the intergroup hostili-
ties have the added choice of moving into the insular envi-
ronment of the West Indies.
We know from ethnographic observations that the
lowland adaptation is based upon flexibility and a certain
degree of opportunism. Thus, a group who loses in one
round of competition over prime river land will take up the
backwoods interfluvial adaptation. At some later time, the
same group may find the opportunity to displace another
group from the river, thus taking up the main river lifestyle
A good example of this process was recorded for the
Waiwai Indians, who were occupying northeastern Brazil in
the latter part of the nineteenth century. In the 1880s the
Waiwai were observed inhabiting the interior forests and
did not use canoes (Fock's [1963:6] description of
Coudreau's account). By 1925 they were using woodskins,
which Roth (1929:X) notes were quite serviceable. These
observations document a shift in lifeways by a single group,
from a backwoods interfluvial existence to an up-
river/tributary stream adaptation. Apparently, the Waiwai
were moving into a void left by the Taruma Indians, who
went extinct due to diseases (Evans and Meggers 1960:240).
These observations highlight the ease with which lowland
groups shift their survival strategies, settlement pattern, and
subsistence economy depending on proximate factors and
constraints (Lathrap 1970:19-20; Siskind 1973:38-40, 46).
If we accept this notion of flexibility as an integral
component in the adaptive strategy of South Amerindian
lowland societies, then the colonization of the West Indies is
simply part of this larger process. It is likely that the main-
land Saladoid populations were preadapted, in a sense, to
the insular setting. Canoe travel would have been a highly
developed skill from their riverine existence. The Lower
Orinoco River, especially, would be a good "training
ground" for maritime traveling.
I believe the evidence currently available supports the
model of flexibility and opportunism on the part of the ini-
tial Saladoid migrants to the West Indies. Survival strate-
gies cannot be subsumed into, or characterized by, a single
Caribbean-wide pattern (Watters and Rouse 1989). Sub-
sistence and settlement patterns for the Cedrosan Saladoid
populations probably vary depending on local circum-
Summary and Conclusions
Dispersal of ceramic age groups into the West Indies is
a major topic of research among Caribbeanists today. Evi-
dence currently available suggests that by 400-500 B.C. the
earliest pottery-bearing groups entered the Antilles; this is
roughly 500 years earlier than what we believed five years
ago (Rouse 1986).
There is considerable debate regarding the associa-
tions of the migratory groups, and ultimately on the degree
of cultural similarity of dissimilarity reflected by the artifact
assemblages. It appears to me that the evidence at this
point favors the scenario offered by Rouse; that is, there
was a population dispersal into the Caribbean by a single
series of cultures, referred to as the Cedrosan Saladoids.
Models presented recently to explain the dispersal
process owe their inspiration to schemes developed by re-
searchers in the South American lowlands. Thus, the con-
sensus among Caribbeanists is that fierce competition over
the alluvial silts on the river flats resulted in the radiation by
human groups into the islands. I suggested, contrary to pre-
vious ideas, that the survival strategies employed by lowland
groups in general, and the Saladoids in this case, were based
upon flexibility and opportunism. Therefore, rather than
attempting to reproduce their South American homeland in
the insular environment, as well as keying into a narrow
(but optimal) resource set, the pioneering groups were quite
able to recognize and take advantage of the numerous
habitat types available in the West Indies (Watters and
As noted at the beginning of this paper, discussions
concerning prehistoric migrations in the West Indies proba-
bly are the greatest source of elevated blood pressures at
Congresses for Caribbean Archaeology. However, scholars
are certainly addressing other topics as well, which include
settlement and subsistence patterns, community organiza-
tion, frontiers and group interactions, and artifact technol-
ogy. Saladoid archaeology is on a healthy developmental
I would like to thank William Keegan and Anna Roo-
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BOOK REVIEWS, COMMENTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Earliest South Carolinians, The Paleoindian
Occupation of South Carolina, 1990, by Albert C.
Goodyear III, James L. Michie, and Tommy Charles, The
Archaeological Society of South Carolina, Inc., Occasional
Papers No. 2, 34 pages, plus i-x, 7 figures, including 4 plates,
2 tables, and a bibliography. (Reprint of Chapter 2 in
Studies in South Carolina Archaeology, Essays in Honor of
Robert L. Stephenson, Anthropological Studies 9, SCIAA).
This monograph is a reprint of Chapter 2 of
Studies in South Carolina Archaeology, recently published
by the South Carolina Institure of Archaeology and
Anthropology in honor of Robert L. Stephenson. As such,
it is intended to reach a broader audience with an interest in
Paleoindian archaeology. It should succeed as there is
enough here for both professional and amateur interests.
And the cover alone, with the embossed illustrations of
Paleoindian points by Darby Erd, is worth the price -- $6.75.
The three authors are the pioneers of Paleoindian
research in the state and here they review what is presently
known about the earliest human occupants of South Car-
olina between about 11,500 and 10,000 years ago. Topics
covered include a summary of paleoenvironmental condi-
tions, the history of Paleoindian research in the state, and a
detailed typological and technological discussion of lance-
olate points common to South Carolina.
The paper begins by presenting a picture of the
significant climatic and vegetational changes that took place
during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene time periods
and its implications for early human settlement. Based on
pollen studies conducted in and around South Carolina it
appears that most of the state (as well as the southeastern
Coastal Plain and Piedmont) was covered with a mesic,
cool, temperate forest including such species as beech,
hickory, oak, and ash from about 12,500 to 9,500 B.P. Cli-
matic conditions during this time were strongly seasonal
with harsher winter temperatures and cooler summers than
today. The southern third of the state exhibited vegetation
more similar to modern conditions with a mixture of oak,
hickory, sweetgum, and pine. The climate was warm and
temperate and dry in the summers.
Sometime after 9,500 B.P. the mesic forest was
quickly replaced with modern pine and oak. This demise
initially led to an oak dominated forest with some pine over
much of the Southeast until around 8,000 B.P. Following
8,000 B.P. southern pine increased at the expense of oak.
This climatic reconstruction is also correlated with
David Webb's paleontological work of the Southeast
Coastal Plain. Webb's work divides the Southeast into three
faunal regions (Boreal, Temperate, and Subtropical) by lat-
itude. Portions of all three zones spanned South Carolina.
Of importance here are those now extinct species which
may have been of some economic importance to Paleo-
indians (e.g., mammoth, mastodon, and bison). The authors'
note, however, that although Webb's faunal reconstruction
is significant, it lacks the chronological precision necessary
to allow the placing of species in time with humans. That is,
the three faunal zones postulated by Webb may be more
representative of the full glacial portion of the late Pleisto-
cene prior to 13,000 B.P., which would likely preclude any
possibility of human association. In addition, the late Pleis-
tocene was a time period in which major changes in animal
populations took place, not the least of which was
Nevertheless, some tantalizing glimpses of human
exploitation of Pleistocene fauna exist in the Southeast. The
best evidence comes, of course, from Florida's rivers and
springs where several specimens of humanly modified
megafaunal remains have been recovered. The authors re-
view the Florida evidence and report an example of miner-
alized elephant bone exhibiting probable cut marks from
the South Carolina coast.
What these few cases would indicate about the role
of megafauna in Paleoindian subsistence strategies is cer-
tainly moot. Related to this, the authors' review the recent
work of David Meltzer and Jim Mead which suggests that
peak extinctions of potentially important megafauna were
complete by 10,800 B.P. Given this, the temporal window of
opportunity for human exploitation of these beasts may
have been significantly shorter than previously thought (i.e.,
only a few hundred years). Consequently, the authors note
that "archaeologists may have to develop settlement-subsis-
tence models which seek to explain fluted point and other
basally thinned lanceolate lithic technologies and related
strategies without the economic presence of Pleistocene
This is followed by a synopsis of the history of Pa-
leoindian research in South Carolina. While isolated exam-
ples of the recovery of Paleoindian points have occurred
from site excavation in South Carolina, no site has yet pro-
duced a well defined Paleoindian component. Consequently,
the most productive Paleoindian research strategy has been
two extensive lanceolate point collection surveys conducted
in the state. The first was done by James Michie from 1968
to 1976 and the second by Tommy Charles between 1979
and 1986. As a result of this work over 300 points have been
recorded including data on type (i.e., Clovis, Clovis-variant,
Suwannee, or Simpson), raw material, metric dimensions,
and location. The survey descriptions and subsequent typo-
logical discussions form the focus of the monograph.
Both surveys are summarized with an emphasis
placed on interpreting the geographic distributions of the
points by stone raw material. The focus on the use of high-
quality knappable stone to make lanceolate points in South
Carolina is consistent with the continental wide pattern
during the Paleoindian time period. In South Carolina,
these sources are high quality chert found in the Coastal
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
Plain followed by metavolcanic stone found in the Pied-
mont. Moreover, the distance a point is recovered from its
geological source is interpreted to reflect the approximate
geographic range encompassed by that group. Given this, it
is not uncommon in South Carolina to discover Paleoindian
points in the Piedmont that are manufactured from chert,
while some points made from metavolcanics are found in
the Coastal Plain. "The highly dispersed distributions of
metavolcanic points originating from the north in the Pied-
mont, and the Coastal Plain chert specimens known to have
come from the Savannah River region to the south, all be-
speak wide-ranging settlement systems" (p.26).
The following section should be closely examined
by those interested in Florida archaeology, as it is particu-
larly relevant to the typological problems of Florida Pale-
oindian points. It presents good typological and technologi-
cal descriptions and illustrations of the Paleoindian point
categories used in South Carolina. The first is the well-
known Clovis point. The authors' note that for the purposes
of the two surveys any lanceolate point exhibiting a promi-
nent flute or flutes was classified as Clovis. One exception to
this was the "Clovis-variant" type, which "are fluted but small
and have narrow triangular or pentagonal blade shapes"
(p.16). The following discussion of the Suwannee and Simp-
son types is of particular relevance to Florida archaeology,
since these are the predominant Paleoindian lanceolates
known from the state. They tend to occur in the southern
half of South Carolina which apparently forms the northern
boundary of the Suwannee/Simpson geographic distribution
that begins in central Florida. The South Carolina forms,
however, appear to be less well defined typologically than
their Florida counterparts. An important technological dif-
ference between Suwannee points from the two states is
that the South Carolina form lacks the lateral basal thinning
that is characteristic of the Florida forms.
The final type described is the Dalton point. This
lanceolate serrated form is widespread across South Car-
olina and is similar to the classic forms of the Midwest. As
Goodyear has noted elsewhere (The Florida Anthropolo-
gist 1983, volume 36:46-47), this type is not commonly
found in Florida.
Although all fluted points in the South Carolina
study were classified as Clovis, an important distinction was
subsequently noted in two types of basal shapes. Fluted
points exhibiting straight haft areas were distinguished from
those with slightly incurvate sides, the latter form resulting
in a more eared base. While the meaning of this difference
is unclear, the authors speculate that it may have some tem-
poral or cultural significance. "The production of incurved
basal elements yielding ears is typical of Florida Suwannee
and Simpson points ... and Dalton points in the Carolinas,
which may imply that the fluted points with ears are rela-
tively late in time" (p.16).
All of this discussion has bearing on the important
Florida issue of where Suwannee\Simpson points fit
chronologically with respect to the fluted point horizon.
There has been a tendency to call any fluted lanceolate
found in Florida a "Clovis" point, and by implication to
equate it temporally with the well-dated Southwestern form.
While some fluted points in Florida (and elsewhere in the
Southeast) are dead ringers for the classic Clovis form,
many more are similar to the fluted, incurvate base form
described in this monograph (which might be described as a
"fluted Suwannee"). That these fluted incurvate forms may
be chronologically later than the true Clovis (i.e., post
11,000 B.P.) is consistent with the fact that the earliest dates
for fluted points in the Northeast cluster around 10,600
B.P.; which, as has often been noted, is coeval with Folsom
in the West. What all this has to say about the Florida
chronology is debatable, but labeling every fluted point re-
covered in the state "Clovis" risks masking potential tempo-
ral variation in point styles.
Moreover, the co-occurrence of Dalton and
Suwannee points in South Carolina is also interesting in
light of the virtual absence of Daltons in Florida. The au-
thors imply that the Suwannee forms slightly predate the
Dalton ones, which would suggest a Suwannee date around
10,500 B.P. However, as the authors also note, this typo-
logical discussion is hindered by an absence of Paleoindian
sites with stratigraphic integrity to permit either absolute or
relative dating. Thus, current type distinctions and temporal
schemes remain somewhat subjective.
Finally, there is an important implicit message in
this publication that needs to be noted as well. It is a mes-
sage that deals with professional and amateur cooperation
in archaeology. While interaction between the two groups is
nothing new, it is more critical for those of us interested in
Paleoindian archaeology -- if for no other reason than much
of the currently known data base exists in private collec-
tions. Indeed, some of the earliest fluted point studies in the
Southeast were initiated by avocational archaeologists. The
South Carolina study shows clearly the scientific potential
that exists in certain private collections. The implications for
similar studies in other states such as Florida are obvious.
In short, this monograph should be read by both
professionals and amateurs, not only for what can be
learned about Paleoindian archaeology in South Carolina,
but for what it suggests about the importance of future co-
operation between the two groups in order that we can con-
tinue to learn.
Order from: Archaeological Society of South Car-
olina, SC Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, Uni-
versity of South Carolina, 1321 Pendleton Street, Columbia
SC 29208. Make checks payable to: ASSC.
I. Randolph Daniel, Jr.
Research Laboratories of Anthropology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Role of Maize in South Florida Aboriginal Societies:
Morton H. Kessel
William Gray Johnson's overview article, "The Role of
Maize in South Florida Aboriginal Native Societies: An
Overview" (see The Florida Anthropologist 43(3):209-214),
is both timely and relevant. Fort Center is one of the most
important sites to be discovered in south Florida. Situated
on the border between the horticultural north and the
hunting/gathering south, it is a bridge to understanding
south Florida Indian culture. Maize is the primary cultigen
of agricultural people in the Americas. It's presence or ab-
sence is a valuable demarcation guide in determining the
extent of penetration into south Florida of this subsistence
This overview serves to focus attention on the "state of
the art" of a question that has plagued investigators since
Sears and Sears (1976) first published a preliminary report
on the subject. The intervening fourteen years have seen
technological advances, coupled with different approaches
to the resolution of the question. These have offered new
insights into the use of maize at Fort Center though still
without definitively settling the issue.
Biocultural investigations can supplement and support
the archaeological finds. Spectrographic analysis of trace
elements in osteological material is a useful tool in nutri-
tional studies of prehistoric populations. Dental evidence of
subsistence activities helps distinguish foraging from farm-
Published reports on both of these strategies can con-
tribute to the interpretation of south Florida's prehistoric
aboriginal population. Their culture can now be assessed
with these additional tools. Evidence of corn pollen in soils
on the Fort Center habitation mounds offer clues but is not
conclusive. Settlement pattern changes, diffusion through
the Antilles, soil condition; all add to the picture. We may
also add the spectrographic evidence which disclosed a ho-
mogeneous elemental content between two inland popula-
tions and two coastal populations (Iscan, Kessel, and Marits
1989). Other investigators have described differences due
to diet (Gilbert 1975; Wing and Brown 1979). Those with a
high concentration of meat in their diet would be expected
to evidence copper and zinc traces in their bones. The grain
eaters would show magnesium and manganese traces. Since
the Fort Center people, one of the inland populations in-
vestigated spectrographically, was indistinguishable on ele-
mental grounds from the coastal Indians, the presumption is
that their diets were similar, and not dependent on grains.
The dentition of aboriginal Indians, as with all people,
show plastic variation based on cultural practices (Isler,
Schoen, and Iscan 1985). One indicator is the percent of
caries in the dentition. The Fort Center population scored
low in this category, averaging about 1%. This is consistent
with that found among hunters and gathers. Horticulturists
consistently show much higher rates of caries to this very
An osteological comparison of the Fort Center people
(N= 121) to other populations contributes to the evidence
on subsistence practice. Miller-Shaivitz and Iscan (1987)
concluded that the Fort Center people did not rely entirely
on hunting and gathering but incorporated agriculture into
When these observations are added to those cited by
Johnson, the preponderance of evidence seems to mitigate
against a horticultural conclusion for Fort Center. This
then leaves open the question of how far into south Florida
the corn growing practice had penetrated.
Gilbert, R. I., Jr.
1975 Trace Element Analysis of Three Skeletal Amerindian
Populations at Dickinson Mound. Ph.D. Dissertation,
University of Massachusetts, Amhurst.
Iscan, M. Y., M. H. Kessel, and S. Marits
1989 Spectrographic Analysis of Trace Elements in Ar-
chaeological Skeletal Material From Florida: A Pre-
liminary Report. American Journal of Physical An-
Isler, R., J. Schoen and M. Y. Iscan
1985 Dental Pathology of the Fort Center, Florida Indian
Population. American Journal of Physical Anthropol-
ogy 66(2):184 (abstract)
Johnson, William Gray
1990 The Role of Maize in South Florida Aboriginal Native
Societies: An Overview. The Florida Anthropologist
Miller-Shaivitz, P. and M. Y. Iscan
1987 The Prehistoric People of Fort Center. N.D.
Sears, E. and W. H. Sears
1976 Preliminary report on prehistoric corn pollen from
Fort Center. Southeastern Archaeological Conference
Wing, E. S., and A. B. Brown
1979 Paleonutrition: Method and Theory in Prehistoric
Foodways. Academic Press, New York.
Morton H. Kessel
1522 The 12th Fairway
Wellington, FL 33414
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA CHAPTER STARTED LIFE
DEEP IN ARCHAIC MUCK
Arthur R. Lee
FAS Chapter Liaison
Few FAS chapter members have found themselves
knee deep in the muck of an Archaic burial ground before
their third month of corporate existence, but that was the
baptism of the founders of the Southwest Florida
Archaeological Society (SWFAS).
In January, 1980, a group led by John G. Beriault that
had been making field trips and getting together informally
held their first meeting as a new archaeological
organization. Early in March equipment enlarging a pond
north of Naples turned up bones. From then until the first
week in April, Society members dodged around moving,
heavy equipment in the mud, salvaging several hundred
pounds of osteological material and 100 pounds of water-
soaked wood. That was the Bay West Site (8Cr200) which
was radiocarbon dated to more than 5,100 years B.P., and
reported in The Florida Anthropologist 34(2). [NOTE:
Chapter 872, Florida Statutes, did not then contain the
unmarked burials protective language that it now contains.]
Subsequent activities of the organization have been
eventful, though not that dramatic; their pattern resembling
that of most FAS chapters, with monthly meetings, field
trips to archaeological sites, and talks to civic groups. If its
operations have had a central theme, it has been one of
salvaging the prehistory of a rapidly developing area, in the
absence of local protective legislation.
The need to preserve information in the way of
bulldozers, and the willingness of professionals like
Archaeologist Robert S. Carr to cooperate with avocational
archaeologists, resulted in probably more than the usual
amount of excavation and survey work. This effort was
aided by the presence on the roster and help of people like
professional archaeologist Linda S. Robinson, physical
anthropologist Dr. Michael J. Hansinger, archaeologist
George Luer, and civil engineer Joseph Long. (Thanks to
Long's tutelage and generosity with his equipment, SWFAS
has a plane table survey crew much in demand).
Due in good part to the impetus of Charles Strader,
twice SWFAS president, and Beriault, the organization has
recorded well over 100 sites in the Florida Master Site File.
The latter half of the organization's life was changed by
two elements, inauguration of the University of Florida's
Southwest Florida Project under Dr. William H. Marquardt,
and gaining access to quarters for a laboratory.
Dr. Marquardt's operation was predicated on heavy
use of volunteer labor. He turned to SWFAS, which
assisted in mapping Josslyn Island and helped with more
general recruiting in the area. The subsequent major
excavations on Gait and Useppa islands and at Pineland,
with their large numbers of volunteers, gave SWFAS a
greater percentage of members with field experience and
with residences north of the original axis.
Meanwhile, Beriault and past president Dr. Keith
Waterhouse, with Collier County Museum Director Ron
Jamro, arranged for a small building that had been the
workshop/study of early environmentalist Dr. Frank C.
Craighead, Sr. to be made part of the museum and for
SWFAS to have its use as a laboratory.
In the absence of such a facility, material from digs
had accumulated. Arthur R. Lee, who, with his wife Lynn,
had had field laboratory experience in France, was recruited
as lab director with the assistance of Walter Bushelman. A
long period of cleaning and sorting material, which included
wash-ins involving large numbers of members, followed,
interrupted to help the University of Florida in its
investigation pf Horr's Island in late 1989. In the past year,
it has been possible to start analysis; currently lab notes are
being consolidated into the unit's first formal report.
Three years ago, to draw attention to archaeology and
its problems in Southwest Florida, the Society inaugerated
the annual Craighead Award, presented to those making
outstanding contributions to the archaeology of the region.
The first went to Pineland residents Col. Donald H. Randell
and his wife Pat, who have assisted local archaeological
projects financially, opened the mounds on their homestead
to excavation under the Southwest Florida Project, and
purchased Josslyn Island to preserve its mounds, later
selling it to the state for a fraction of its worth. The
following year the recipients were Dr. Robin C. and Jan
Brown of Fort Myers, who have maintained a field house
for the use of researchers, helped the Southwest Florida
project financially, and conceived and promoted the Year of
The.Indian project in Lee County, a major program which
combined archaeological research with public education.
This year's recipient has not been announced.
Relations between SWFAS and the parent
organization (FAS) have continued close through the years,
with Beriault, who headed the Society several years, having
served as FAS President; its current treasurer and past
president, John W. Thompson, is FAS Treasurer. SWFAS
hosted the 1990 annual meeting of FAS and, in a lean
financial year, took pride in managing it at a profit of more
than $700 which it added to the FAS coffers.
SWFAS now is facing a new challenge. It and the
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy have just
received a matching grant from the Florida Department of
State, Division of Historical Resources, to finance an
archaeological survey of Collier County. Work is to start in
the spring of 1991.
Arthur R. Lee
FAS Chapter Liaison
P.O. Box 9965
Naples, FL 33941
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
RIPLEY P. BULLEN AND STELA 1,
CRYSTAL RIVER SITE (8Cil), 1964
Despite the excavations by C. B. Moore at Crystal
River in 1903, 1906 and 1917, and the additional field work
of 1951 and 1960 by Ripley Bullen, the two stelae near the
central burial complex remained unrecorded until 1964
when the area was being cleared for
development as a state park. Stela 1 is an
upright rock of local limestone on which is
a representation of a human face with
flowing hair pecked and scraped into the ,
rock. Bullen's excavations around the base
of the stella showed that it had been
carefully propped up in a specially
excavated hole, which was lined with what
Bullen interpreted as ceremonial deposits
of chert chips and food remains. Charcoal
associated with these food remains yielded
a radiocarbon date of A.D. 530 + 125 (I-
1464) (Bullen 1966:864). Stela 2, on the
west side of the burial complex, is similar
to Stela 1 but is not decorated. Bullen -
thought the presence of stelae at Crystal ,
River demonstrated a diffusion of traits
from Veracruz or Yucatan to the Florida
Gulf coast around A.D. 500. In Florida,
such stones appear to be unique to the
Crystal River site. The stelae continue to
be of great fascination to visitors to the
Crystal River State Archaeological Site,
despite the weathering and heavy growth
of lichens which have obscured the human
face on Stela 1.
Ripley Bullen was instrumental in the
acquisition of the Crystal River site by the
State of Florida in 1962 and strongly
influenced the public interpretation of the
site as expressed in the park museum,
which was opened to the public in 1965
and has been virtually unchanged since
that time. The photograph of Ripley at
Stela 1 was probably taken by his colleague
and wife Adelaide, who also had her
picture taken standing by the stone. On
June 21, 1990 the Secretary of the Interior
designated the Crystal River site a
National Historic Landmark, one of only
several archaeological landmarks in the
state. A report on the history of the
Crystal River site and its archaeological Ripley P. Bullen
significance has been prepared for publica- Museum of Nat
tion by the Florida Department of Natural Resources.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1966 Stelae at the Crystal River Site, Florida. American
Submitted by: Brent R. Weisman, C.A.R.L. Project
Office, 714 NE 7th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601
, Stela 1, Crystal River Archaeological Site (8Cil), 1964. (Florida
ural History, Bullen photographic col. Neg. # 1242, Gainesville)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Vol. 44 No. 1
RECONSTRUCTING CALUSA WOODWORKING TECHNIQUES
The carving shown in the photograph is part of a project to reconstruct
Clausa woodworking techniques. The wood being carved is sea grape
(Cocoloba), the shark tooth is a mako (Isurus oxyrhinchus), and the haft is
buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). The binding is century plant (Agave) fiber.
[Note: Both perforated and unperforated shark teeth were recovered from Key
Marco and in other Calusa archaeological sites.]
Photograph submitted by Robin C. Brown, 2626 Shiver Drive, Fort Myers,
Florida 33901. (Member of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society.)
OLD STONE WHARF, NEW SMYRNA BEACH,
VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
The remains of the Old Stone Wharf are located on the
west shore of the Indian River within the city limits of New
Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida. So called as long
ago as 1835 when depicted as a point of reference on a map
of the New Smyrna area, the coquina wharf was built during
Florida's 18th century English period (1763-1783) by the
Greek, Italian, and Minorcan settlers brought to Florida by
Dr. Andrew Turnbull. The New Smyrna colony was
established in 1768 but disbanded in 1777.
Photograph submitted by Dot Moore, P.O. Box 504, New
Smyrna Beach, Florida 32070. (Member of Volusia
Anthropological Society, Daytona Beach, Florida.)
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
As reported in Volume 43 Number 3 of The Florida
Anthropologist, we have initiated a program to feature
anthropological/historical photographs taken by FAS
chapter members. The black-and-white photographs,
accompanied by descriptive narratives, generally should
be focused on topics reflecting sites or properties, or
outstanding artifacts, representing the area in which the
chapter is located. This program is intended to provide
our readers with a broader understanding of the historic
resources within Florida, as well as to document FAS
Vol. 44 No. 1
THE FAS "FLORIDA INDIANS"
Created by Theodore Morris
A new poster, titled "Florida
Indians, Florida's Vanished Native
Americans" has been created by
Theodore Morris for the Florida
Anthropological Society (FAS).
Considerable research and many
hours were devoted to its production
over the last six months.
The poster's two brilliant colors
(reddish maroon and bluish violet)
are printed on a cream-colored heavy
paper measuring 18 by 36 inches. The
main illustration is called "Bird-man
Dancer." This masked Native
American dancer may be acting the
part of a mythological, god-like eagle
or hawk being. The artist's
conception is based on an embossed
copper plate belonging to the
precolumbian Apalachee Fort Walton
culture (circa A.D. 1200 to 1400) at
the Lake Jackson site near
Tallahassee (see The Florida
Anthropologist, December 1980).
Morris is a professional graphic
artist and member of the Time Sifters
chapter of FAS, based in the
Sarasota-Venice area. He also has
created another poster depicting the
history along the West Coast of
Florida from Clearwater to Fort
Myers. For information on the West
Coast History poster, please contact
Mr. Morris at 1121 34th Street,
Sarasota, FL 34234; telephone: 813-
Copies of the FAS poster can be
received by remitting a $9.00
donation for each poster requested.
Proceeds will be deposited in the
monograph account to offset
production costs and aid in future
publications efforts. Send check or
money order to:
P.O. Box 25642
Sarasota, FL 34277
Make remittance payable to the
Florida Anthropological Society.
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