Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Guest editor's preface - Bonnie...
 Introduction - Michael V....
 The archaeology of mission Santa...
 Architecture of the missions Santa...
 The archaeology of the Convento...
 St. Augustine and the mission frontier...
 The Mayaca and Jororo and missions...
 Mission Santa Fé de Toloca - Kenneth...
 Archaeology of Fig Springs mission,...
 Spanish-Indian interaction on the...
 Excavations in the Fig Springs...
 Archaeological investigations at...
 Hispanic life on the seventeenth...
 On the frontier of contact - Mission...
 Plant production and procurement...
 Evidence for animal use at the...
 Beads and pendants from San Luis...
 A distributional and technological...
 Book reviews
 Join the Florida Anthropological...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00057
 Material Information
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title: Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Anthropological Society
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher: Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Frequency: quarterly[]
two no. a year[ former 1948-]
Subject: Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Summary: Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- May 1948-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00057
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page 102
    Table of Contents
        Page 103
    Guest editor's preface - Bonnie G. McEwan
        Page 104
    Introduction - Michael V. Gannon
        Page 105
        Page 106
    The archaeology of mission Santa Catalina de Guale: Our first fifteen years - David Hurst Thomas
        Page 107
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    Architecture of the missions Santa Maria and Santa Catalina de Amelia - Rebecca Saunders
        Page 126
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    The archaeology of the Convento de San Francisco - Kathleen Hoffman
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    St. Augustine and the mission frontier - Kathleen Deagan
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    The Mayaca and Jororo and missions to them - John H. Hann
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    Mission Santa Fé de Toloca - Kenneth Johnson
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    Archaeology of Fig Springs mission, Ichetucknee Springs State Park - Brent R. Weisman
        Page 187
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    Spanish-Indian interaction on the Florida missions - The archeology of Baptizing Spring - L. Jill Loucks
        Page 204
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    Excavations in the Fig Springs mission burial area - Lisa M. Hoshower and Jerald T. Milanich
        Page 214
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    Archaeological investigations at Mission Patale, 1984-1991 - Rochelle A. Marrinan
        Page 228
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    Hispanic life on the seventeenth century Florida frontier - Bonnie G. McEwan
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    On the frontier of contact - Mission bioarchaeology in La Florida - Clark Spencer Larsen
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    Plant production and procurement in Apalachee province - C. Margaret Scarry
        Page 285
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    Evidence for animal use at the missions of Spanish Florida - Elizabeth J. Reitz
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    Beads and pendants from San Luis de Talimali - Inferences from varying contexts - Jeffrey M. Mitchem
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    A distributional and technological study of Apalachee colono-ware from San Luis de Talimali - Richard Vernon and Ann S. Cordell
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    Book reviews
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    Join the Florida Anthropological society (FAS)!
        Unnumbered ( 237 )
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text


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Edited by
Bonnie G. McEwan

This special issue of The Florida Anthropologist was published with the assistance of the
Florida Division of Historical Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research, the Florida
Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, and the Institute for
Early Contact Period Studies at the University of Florida.


An informal gathering of mission researchers at the home of John and Pat Griffin, St. Augustine, May 1989.
Photo courtesy of John W. Griffin.

1. Vicki Rolland 2. Susan Parker 3. Mary Herron 4. Rochelle Marrinan 5. Bonnie McEwan 6. Kathy Deagan
7. Jerry Milanich 8. Kate Hoffman 9. Dave Thomas 10. Becky Saunders 11. Margie Scarry 12. Jane Landers
13. Valerie Bell 14. Pat Griffin 15. John Griffin 16. Dottie Lyon 17. John Hann 18. Steve Bryne 19. Jeff Mitchem
20. Gene Lyon 21. Charlie Ewen 22. Brent Weisman 23. Donna Ruhl 24. John Scarry 25. Chris Newman
26. Bruce Piatek 27. Stan Bond 28. Ken Johnson.

44(2-4) June, September and December 1991


Table of Contents

Guest Editor's Preface Bonnie G. McEwan 104

Introduction Michael V. Gannon 105

The Archaeology of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: Our First Fifteen Years by David Hurst Thomas 107

Architecture of the Missions Santa Maria and Santa Catalina de Amelia by Rebecca Saunders 126

The Archaeology of the Convento de San Francisco by Kathleen Hoffman 139

St. Augustine and the Mission Frontier by Kathleen Deagan 154

The Mayaca and Jororo and Missions to Them by John H. Hann 164

Mission Santa Fg de Toloca by Kenneth Johnson 176

Archaeology of Fig Springs Mission, Ichetucknee Springs State Park by Brent R. Weisman 187

Spanish-Indian Interaction on the Florida Missions: The Archeology of Baptizing Spring by L. Jill Loucks 204

Excavations in the Fig Springs Mission Burial Area by Lisa M. Hoshower and Jerald T. Milanich 214

Archaeological Investigations at Mission Patale, 1984-1991 by Rochelle A. Marrinan 228

Hispanic Life on the Seventeenth Century Florida Frontier by Bonnie G. McEwan 255

On the Frontier of Contact: Mission Bioarchaeology in La Florida by Clark Spencer Larsen 268

Plant Production and Procurement in Apalachee Province by C. Margaret Scarry 285

Evidence for Animal Use at the Missions of Spanish Florida by Elizabeth J. Reitz 295

Beads and Pendants from San Luis de Talimali: Inferences from Varying Contexts by Jeffrey M. Mitchem 307

A Distributional and Technological Study of Apalachee Colono-Ware from San Luis de Talimali 316
by Richard Vernon and Ann S. Cordell

Book Reviews:

Columbian Consequences, Volume 2: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish 331
Borderlands East, edited by David Hurst Thomas. Reviewed by Florence C. Lister.

TheArchaeology of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: 2. Biocultural Interpretations of a Population 333
in Transition, edited by Clark Spencer Larsen. Reviewed by George R. Milner.

COVER ILLUSTRATION: Portion of map drawn during the reconnaissance of Apalachee Province by Admiral Antonio de
Landeche in 1705. Two mission churches (B and C) are depicted in this illustration although, in reality, there were probably few
(if any) standing mission structures in the region after 1704.


Bonnie G. McEwan

The board members of the Florida Anthropological
Society could not have selected a more timely topic than the
missions of La Florida for a special issue of The Florida
Anthropologist. This critical phase in our historical past is just
beginning to receive the attention it richly deserves. As the
single most important institution responsible for imposing a
new religious, social, and economic order among its
widespread participants, missions are uniquely suited for
investigating rapid culture change and the ultimate
disintegration of Spanish Florida's native cultures.
The contributors to this volume were selected based on
their active involvement in mission research. Much of the
information is being reported here for the first time, despite
several recent publications on the topic. This serves to
underscore how rapidly our understanding of missions is
advancing, and how it continues to be enhanced with each
passing year. I hope the members of the Florida
Anthropological Society will enjoy reading about current
mission research as much as we've enjoyed conducting it.
In addition to the funding provided by the Florida
Anthropological Society, this volume was made possible
through the support of the Florida Department of Natural
Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, administered
through the Institute for Early Contact Period Studies at the
University of Florida. I am especially grateful to Jerald T.
Milanich and Michael V. Gannon for their generosity in
making this possible. The Florida Division of Historical
Resources, and particularly the Bureau of Archaeological
Research, also provided a significant amount of institutional
support throughout the project. James J. Miller facilitated
many aspects of this undertaking and was a constant source of
help and encouragement.
I would also like to thank the contributors who took the
time to make this issue a success. I owe a special thanks to
Kathleen Deagan, who graciously made Jill Loucks' paper on
Baptizing Spring available for publication. All of the
manuscripts benefited from the numerous reviewers who put
a considerable amount of time and thought into their
thorough critiques. I am particularly grateful to Clark
Spencer Larsen and Jeffrey Mitchem, both of whom made the
mistake of being at San Luis for extended periods of time
while this volume was in the works and reviewed more than
their fair share of manuscripts.
I am also indebted to my own staff at San Luis who
worked very hard with me on this issue and truly made it a
group effort. John Hann deserves special mention for
reading and commenting on numerous papers for historical
accuracy. After the initial shock, I'm sure many authors were
grateful for John's thoughtful suggestions for reinterpreting

their historical data. Charles B. Poe worked out many of the
word processing conversion problems, and enhanced (and in
some cases redrafted) a number of the figures. Jean S.
Wilson accomplished the herculean task of making all of the
final corrections to the text, including the painstaking job of
standardizing references and tables.
Laura Kammerer of the Bureau of Historic Preservation
was kind enough to make her computer and printer available
at odd hours of the day and night to produce the camera-
ready copy. And, finally, I owe a tremendous debt to Louis
D. Tesar for his unflagging patience while he guided me
through the process of serving as guest editor. Louis also did
the final layout for the volume and helped in countless other
ways. Thank you all.

Bonnie G. McEwan
San Luis
December 1991


June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

Vol. 44 No. 2-4


Michael V. Gannon

During the past decade there has occurred a remarkable
flowering of Spanish Florida mission archaeology. In the old
domains of La Florida, from St. Catherines Island in the
north to St. Augustine in the south, from Amelia Island in the
east to Tallahassee in the west, historical archaeologists, with
historians at their elbows, have been retrieving the remains of
a mission system that dotted Florida's shore and hinterland
like strands of rosary beads nearly two centuries before the
better-known missions of California.
This efflorescence of mission period activity did not
begin de novo, as a sudden new idea and enterprise. Rather,
it took shape in the fullness of time as a natural consequence
of the foundations laid long ago by John W. Griffin, Hale G.
Smith, John Goggin, Ripley Bullen, B. Calvin Jones, and
others. The close working partnership of archaeology and
history, which characterizes every one of the recent and
current excavations, follows the exemplar established by
Griffin and Smith with historian Mark F. Boyd at missions
San Francisco de Oconee and San Luis de Talimali in the late
1940s. One remembers the prescient statement made in the
very first sentence of their jointly authored book, Here They
Once Stood: The Tragic End of the Apalachee Missions
(Gainesville, 1951): "Although history and archaeology are
often considered as distinct and unrelated disciplines, they are
in fact but different techniques of approaching historical
This present collection brings together under one cover
most of the principals in the expansion and intensification
period of mission studies. David Hurst Thomas reports on
his fifteen-year project at Santa Catalina de Guale (where in
1965 John Griffin, whose name appears frequently in these
articles, was the first to establish a search for the mission site
as having "the highest priority") and describes the church,
yard, cemetery, friary, and kitchen that have been found. Of
special interest to this writer is Thomas's use of newly
available remote sensing technology that not only provides
efficient assessment of the archaeological record but is non-
destructive of that record. Rebecca Saunders has worked at
the re-located Santa Catalina de Guale and Santa Maria de
Yamassee, missions founded at different periods and for
different populations at the Harrison Homestead site on
Amelia Island. The site has yielded a large number of human
remains which are under analysis by Clark Spencer Larsen.
Motherhouse for the Franciscan effort in Florida was
the Convento de San Francisco in St. Augustine. Kathleen
Hoffman traces the several friaries that stood on the site and
discusses the artifacts that have yielded to the archaeologist's
trowel, noting the marked absence of sacred objects, which

she explains. Kathleen Deagan, who was the first to
investigate the convento site, writes here about St. Augustine
the town and its relationship to the missions in the frontier.
Her interests include competition for Indian trade goods
between friars in the hinterland and entrepreneurs at St.
Augustine, the use of mission Indians as cargadores and as
labor in the town, and the rapid decline of Indian populations
in the period 1703-1763.
Florida mission historians have never been numerous:
in the past twenty-five years one may name only Robert
Matter, David J. Weber, Amy Bushnell, Fred Lamar Pearson,
Jr., John Hann, and the present writer. Certainly it has been
John Hann who has made the most original and prolific
contributions in recent years, and here, in this collection, he
reminds us how far below St. Augustine seventeenth century
mission activity extended, with a careful discussion of the
documentary record for missions to the Mayaca and Jororo.
The site of Santa F6 de Toloca, long-sought by John Goggin,
was located and tested in the Robinson Sinks area of
northwestern Alachua County by Kenneth W. Johnson, who
describes the structures and artifacts he has unearthed at the
mission complex. Another area investigated by Goggin
(1949) is Ichetucknee Springs State Park, where Brent R.
Weisman has identified the so-called Fig Springs mission site,
which he believes to have been San Martin de Timucua. This
well-preserved complex--church, convento, cemetery, plaza,
and village--has been thoroughly studied thanks to assistance
from the Florida Department of Natural Resources, Division
of Recreation and Parks. In a separate article Lisa M.
Hoshower and Jerald T. Milanich report on osteological and
bioanthropological analysis that they conducted in the high
density burial area at Fig Springs.
The late L. Jill Loucks wrote in 1983 about her work at
Baptizing Spring in Suwannee County (possibly San Agustin
de Urica), and her article, appropriately included here,
interprets the information recovered from four probable
aboriginal structures and two wattle and daub Spanish
buildings. The Apalachee site of San Pedro y San Pablo de
Patale was first excavated by B. Calvin Jones in 1971. During
the period 1984-1991 Rochelle A. Marrinan subjected the site
to intensive testing, and she presents here a comprehensive
report on the findings of eight field seasons. In her
conclusion she explores the fact that, contrary to the
regularity of Franciscan designs and structures in the
American Southwest, the Florida "mission model" presents no
predictive consistency.
Bonnie G. McEwan, into whose capable hands has come
the San Luis de Talimali site in Tallahassee following the


June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

Vol. 44 No. 2-4


untimely death of Gary Shapiro, addresses the unique
features of that mission cum garrison which was, during its
brief life, the most important Spanish frontier community in
the east-west chain. The fact that not only friars and soldiers,
but lay civilians, too, inhabited the site provides McEwan an
opportunity to interpret Hispanic frontier life along several
demographic lines. In a companion article Jeffrey M.
Mitchem, reports on the analysis of beads and pendants
found at the San Luis site. The number and quality of
imported adornment articles, or of the material for them,
from Europe suggests to Mitchem a "copious consumption" at
this part of the frontier that was lacking in St. Augustine
itself. Colono-ware recovered from San Luis, according to
analyses by Richard Vernon and Ann S. Cordell, help
explicate the Spanish -Apalachee relationships at the site.
Most of these ceramics were locally made.
Mission bioarchaeology, which Clark Spencer Larsen
has practiced on mortuary remains at numerous mission sites,
has led to some surprising discoveries about the effects on
Native American survivorship and health of long-term contact
with Europeans and their agricultural-intensive lifeways and
diet. Those students of mission culture who thought that
settled agricultural life was a good thing for the mission
populations, and the more agriculture the better, will be
dismayed by Larsen's findings, particularly in Guale. Mission
agriculture in Apalachee is the subject of C. Margaret
Scarry's contribution to this collection. Plant data from both
late prehistoric and post-contact sites constitute her
archaeobotanical evidence, which she interpets in the
framework of changing lifestyles and foodways. Similarly,
Elizabeth J. Reitz addresses faunal remains in the mission
sites, where animal use differed according to region. Her
enumeration of the different meats eaten in the various
villages and provinces and her discussion of the relative
importance of animal use in the seventeenth century provide
valuable new information for the Florida mission data bank.
Certainly this collection of site reports and interpretive
essays carries Florida mission studies to another level. As an
earlier generation of scholars leaned on the pioneer work of
Griffin-Smith-Boyd, not forgetting the pioneer historian of
the missions, Maynard Geiger, O.F.M., so the work of these
contributors establishes a new foundation for the future. It
incurs no risk whatever in predicting that this special issue of
The Florida Anthropologist will be cited well into the next

Michael V. Gannon, Director
Institute for Early Contact Period Studies
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


David Hurst Thomas

In 1977, the American Museum of Natural History
began searching for Mission Santa Catalina de Guale, located
somewhere on St. Catherines Island (Georgia). Four years
later, we found that site and have been excavating the
sixteenth and seventeenth century archaeological remains
ever since. Here, we review how we located Santa Catalina,
summarize the findings to date, and set out the research
framework for additional work. We have learned much, but
we caution the reader that despite our fifteen years of
archaeological investigations, the human story played out at
Mission Santa Catalina remains very much a work in progress
(see Thomas 1987, 1988a, 1988b).1

Ethnohistorical Background

The Guale Indians living at Santa Catalina and
elsewhere along the Georgia coast were among the first
indigenous peoples met by Europeans exploring north of
Mexico (Jones 1978; Larson 1978; Sturtevant 1962; Swanton
1922:81, 1946:603; Thomas 1990). In 1526 the Spanish made
brief contact with this Muskhogean-speaking group and the
French encountered them in 1562-1563. Then, beginning in
1566, the Guale were exposed to a long, intensive period of
Spanish colonization. By 1684, the gradual withdrawal of the
Spanish to the south, and the correlative expansion of the
Carolina colony southward prompted relocation and
reorganization of the vastly reduced Guale population.
St. Catherines Island may (or may not) have been an
important settlement during the earliest phase of European
contact; but there is no doubt that an important Guale town
existed there by at least 1576 (Jones 1978:203). Spanish
mission efforts were minimal at this point; the year 1584
found only four Franciscan friars stationed throughout all of
La Florida; and they spent their time ministering to Spanish
needs at St. Augustine and Santa Elena, with little time for
missionizing the Guale and Timucua.
The Spanish named the Guale Indians for the chiefdom
centered at the principal town on St. Catherines Island; the
associated Franciscan mission eventually became known as
Santa Catalina de Guale. By 1597, a decade after the
abandonment of Santa Elena, 14 friars were stationed in La
Florida and several of these served in Guale (Geiger 1940).
That year, the Indians of Guale staged a major revolt, partly
played out on St. Catherines Island--an uprising with
distinctly nativistic overtones (Sturtevant 1962:58).

For a time the missions were abandoned, but after their
resettlement in the early seventeenth century (Ross 1926),
Spanish hegemony remained unchallenged until 1670, when
the English established Charles Town, South Carolina.
Spanish missions on the barrier islands of coastal Georgia
became the first victims in the so-called conflict of the
"debatable land" (Bolton and Ross 1925). After the Spanish
launched an unsuccessful expedition to attack and destroy
Charles Town, the southernmost British settlement, the
British retaliated in force, steadily pushing down the coast
and across the interior toward the Mississippi.
In 1680, the British forces attacked the fortified mission
doctrine at Santa Catalina, which was defended by a small and
hastily organized band of Spaniards and Guale Indians
(Bolton and Ross 1925:36). Although the Guale successfully
held off the invaders, they were horrified by the attack, and
St. Catherines Island was soon abandoned. British travelers
in 1687 and 1738 described the ruins of Santa Catalina
(Dunlop 1929:131; Hvidt 1980:39), but the mission site was
"lost" soon thereafter.

Previous Attempts to Find Santa Catalina

We were hardly the first to look for Santa Catalina de
Guale. Historians and ethnographers have debated the
whereabouts of the site of Santa Catalina for decades.
Swanton (1922:50-55) thought that the principal town of
Guale and its associated mission were initially established on
St. Catherines Island in the spring of 1566. A member of our
research team, Grant Jones (1978:203), has argued that, prior
to 1575, the town of Guale was not on St. Catherines Island,
but rather to the north, either near Skidaway Island or on
Ossabaw. There was no question, however, that by 1587 both
the Guale chiefdom and the associated Franciscan mission
existed somewhere on St. Catherines Island (Bolton and Ross
1925; Gannon 1965:39; Jones 1978:204; Lyon 1976:154; Ross
Such conjecture was then supplemented by hands-on
archaeology in the 1950s and 1960s (Figure 1). As part of the
Georgia Historical Commission search for sixteenth/
seventeenth century Spanish mission sites along the Georgia
Coast, Lewis Larson visited St. Catherines Island in 1952.
Among the "good candidates for the location of a mission,"
Larson (1952:2) listed "Wamassee Head on St. Catherines as
the location of Santa Catherina de Guale," but he cautioned


June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

Vol. 44 No. 2-4


that "no final and conclusive identification of a mission site
can be made until adequate excavation ... has been
Larson returned to excavate at Wamassee Creek six
years later. The recovered sherd sample consisted primarily
of aboriginal wares dating to the Spanish period, and majolica
was found comparable to that from Spanish mission sites in
Florida. But no structural evidence of Santa Catalina
emerged in these limited tests.
In the mid-1950s, the general location of Santa Catalina
was "rediscovered" by Mr. John W. Bonner and Ms. Carrol
Hart, who had been retained by Edward John Noble to
prepare a historical overview of St. Catherines Island.
Apparently unaware of Larson's earlier work, Hart and
Bonner used the 1687 account (Dunlop 1929) to look for
Santa Catalina. Before long, Bonner and Gaffney Blalock
photographed several olive jar and majolica sherds eroding
from the creek bed, correctly pinpointing Wamassee Creek as
the probable location of Santa Catalina de Guale.
In April 1965, John W. Griffin (then Staff Archaeologist,
National Park Service) visited St. Catherines Island to gather
information regarding the eligibility of the site of Santa
Catalina mission as a Registered National Historic
Landmark. Although he subsequently reported that "further
work on the site of Santa Catalina mission is in some respects
of the highest priority" (Griffin 1965a:10-11), Griffin also
warned that given "the perishable nature of the structures
themselves--they were of poles and thatch, not masonry--it
can readily be seen that extensive archaeological work would
be needed to pinpoint individual buildings of the settlement"
(Griffin 1965b:5-7).
Joseph R. Caldwell and students from the University of
Georgia conducted three seasons of archaeological fieldwork
on St. Catherines Island in 1969-1971. Although they
excavated mostly in mounds elsewhere on the island (see
Larsen and Thomas 1982), they sank several test pits in the
Wamassee Creek area. In unpublished field notes, Caldwell
concluded, "There is no reason to believe, at present, that this
is not the site of the mission of Santa Catalina. So far,
however, our excavations have yielded little structural detail"
(Caldwell n.d.).
Such was the state of knowledge regarding the location
of Mission Santa Catalina when the American Museum of
Natural History started working on St. Catherines Island in
1974. The combined French, English, and Spanish historic
documentation available in the late 1970s supplied little more
than general geographic clues. The limited archaeological
evidence suggested only that--if any mission structures
remained intact--they were likely to be buried somewhere
near the southwestern marsh on St. Catherines Island.

Discovering Mission Santa Catalina: 1977-1981

We began our own search for Santa Catalina with an

extensive program of reconnaissance and site evaluation for
all of St. Catherines Island; here, we briefly summarize that
research (see Thomas 1987, 1988a).

The Regional Random Sample

We initially employed a research design deliberately
patterned after our earlier work at Pleistocene Lake
Tonopah, Nevada. This survey generated a 20 percent sample
of the island, obtained in a series of 31 east-west transects,
each 100 m wide. We found 135 archaeological sites, ranging
from massive shell heaps to small, isolated shell scatters; each
"site" was explored with two or more 1 m square test units;
more than 400 such test pits were dug in this phase of
excavation. We are presently completing a book-length
treatment of these survey findings (Thomas n.d.; see also
Thomas 1989:228-230).
In addition to providing extensive data on the settlement
pattern and cultural ecology of St. Catherines Island during
the precontact period, the survey sampling also clearly
demonstrated that sixteenth/seventeenth century Spanish
period remains occurred at only a handful of the 135
archaeological sites investigated. Significantly, relevant
mission period materials showed up only around Wamassee
Creek (as earlier investigators had correctly surmised).

Abortive Efforts at Randomized Test Pitting

This regional approach confirmed and complemented
earlier archaeological investigations by Larson, Bonner,
Griffin, and Caldwell: Mission Santa Catalina almost
certainly was in a 10 ha tract near Wamassee Creek. But the
nature of the mission ruins remained unknown. Did Santa
Catalina survive merely as sixteenth and seventeenth century
garbage middens, or was structural evidence buried
somewhere nearby?
In 1980 the research focus shifted from systematic
regional to intra-site sampling. Where in these 10 ha should
we begin digging? Although we tried randomized test pitting,
such blind testing was slow, tedious, and rather unproductive.
Roughly 200 person-days were invested in the randomized
test pit procedures at Santa Catalina, but we soon recognized
that to understand the structure of this site, a huge sampling
fraction would be required. We dug up plenty of neat stuff--
mostly from the Spanish period--but these excavations lacked
any sense of context because of the relatively small "window"
provided by each 1 m test pit. At Santa Catalina, randomized
test pitting told us little more than where not to dig.

Auger Sampling

Looking around for better ways to find the needle


hidden somewhere in this haystack, we were inspired by
Kathleen Deagan's successful search for sixteenth century St.
Augustine. Following her example, we initiated a systematic
auger test survey throughout the high probability area at
Wamassee Creek (Deagan 1981; see also Shapiro 1987).
Auger testing quickly generated the data we needed.
Once field testing was complete (by mid-1981), we plotted the
distribution of Spanish period materials in a series of simple
dot density maps. Sherd density varied considerably across
the 10 ha sampled, with the central and western zones
containing extremely high densities of Spanish period
aboriginal sherds and Hispanic ceramics. Accepting the
conventional wisdom--that Hispanic/aboriginal sherd ratios
reflect social status (e.g., Deagan 1983:114-116; South
1977:172-175)--a single 100 by 100 m tract emerged as the
most probable location for the central mission complex
(Figure 1).
This area, termed "Quad IV," was a totally unremarkable
piece of real estate, covered by the same scrub palmetto/live
oak forest typical of the western margin of St. Catherines.
The only evidence of any human occupation was a little-used
field road for island research vehicles. Although shell midden
scatters were evident here and there, Quad IV contained
absolupptely no surface evidence distinguishing it from its
surroundings. In effect, the simple and expedient auger
testing had narrowed the focus from 10 ha to 1 ha.
Significantly, Quad IV contained relatively little shell
midden relative to surrounding areas. After all, if this was a
"sacred" precinct, then it should have been (and apparently
was) kept fairly clear of everyday (secular) garbage. Ironi-
cally, had we followed the conventional search strategy (find-
the-largest-shell-midden-and-center-punch-it), we would cer-
tainly have missed the mission church, cemetery, and
associated convento complex.

A SuccessfulAppeal to Remote Sensing Technology

At this point, we shifted methods once again--from
relatively destructive subsurface testing toward more non-
invasive, non-destructive remote sensing. We followed three
specific objectives in this phase of our work at Santa Catalina:
(a) to locate and define the mission complex, (b) to
determine the general size and configuration of buried
features and structures before they were excavated, and (c) to
build a baseline library of geophysical signatures to be
projected against the independent evidence of future
archaeological excavation.
The initial instrument prospection at Santa Catalina was
a proton magnetometer survey, conducted in May 1981 by
Ervan G. Garrison and James Tribble; subsequent surveys
took place over the next two years. Although several

computer graphic techniques helped filter and refine the
magnetic survey data (see Garrison et al. 1985; Thomas
1987), such remote sensing paid off significantly even before
the computer plots were available.
We explored three major magnetic anomalies in the few
remaining days of our May 1981 field season. The first such
anomaly, located near an auger hole which had previously
produced daub, turned out to be "Structure 1," the well-
preserved Franciscan church (iglesia). The second anomaly,
was the mission kitchen (cocina), now denoted as "Structure
2." The third magnetic anomaly was a mission-period barrel
Although the magnetometer survey yielded accurate
indications of daub wall segments, subsequent soil resistivity
studies provided a better way to define the configuration and
extent of the unexcavated buildings. In the spring of 1982,
Gary Shapiro and Mark Williams conducted a pilot study to
determine the potential and feasibility of larger-scale
resistivity prospection at Santa Catalina (Thomas 1987,
1989:238-241; see also Shapiro 1984). Not only did soil
resistivity provide a general projection of site structure across
the central mission precinct, but it also gave us excellent
structure-by-structure resolution, defining the shape,
orientation, and extent of several unexcavated buildings at
Santa Catalina. This soil resistivity survey also disclosed the
presence of a previously unknown building, the mission
convento (Structure 4). These projections were then tested
against independent data generated from ground-penetrating
radar studies across Quad IV, conducted in 1984.
We feel that today's remote sensing technology
potentially provides archaeologists with powerful, cost-
effective means of generating non-invasive, non-destructive
assessments of the archaeological record (Weymouth
1986:311), and we are at present expanding our remote
sensing efforts at Santa Catalina (see below).

Excavating at Santa Catalina: 1981-1990

We have been digging at Santa Catalina for a decade,
and our field investigations continue. Although future
excavations and analysis will doubtless refine our
interpretations, the basics of site structure are now quite
The entire mission complex and the Guale pueblo that
surrounded it followed a rigid grid system, in which the long
axis of the church was oriented 450 west of magnetic north
(see Thomas 1987, 1988b). The central plaza was
rectangular, measuring 23 m wide by approximately 40 m.
The church (Structure 1) defined the western margin of the
central plaza; the cocina and convento(s) defined the eastern
margin (Figures 1 and 2).

The Churches of Santa Catalina

The church at Santa Catalina has been completely
exposed; except for the eastern wall, preserved as a witness
section, the entire church deposit was excavated. We can
recognize two sequential church structures. The late
sixteenth century iglesia was destroyed by fire, probably in
September 1597. These ruins were personally inspected by
Governor Canzo, who had traveled north from St. Augustine
to observe for himself the aftermath of the Guale Rebellion
(Geiger 1937:103-104). Unfortunately, later building episodes
have largely obscured the appearance of the earlier church.
After a period of abandonment, Santa Catalina was
resettled by the Spanish in 1604, and the mission church was
reconstructed (apparently on the sixteenth century site).
Most of what we term "Structure 1" at Santa Catalina is the

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primary seventeenth century church, abandoned shortly after
the British siege in 1680. This later church was constructed
on a single nave plan, lacking both transept and chancel. The
rectangular structure is 20 m long and 11 m wide. The
facade, facing southeast, was the only one built strictly of
wattlework; it was anchored to four round uprights, set into
shell-lined postholes. Either a pointed gable was elevated to
support a steep thatch roof (as in Manucy 1985:Figure 5), or
the facade sported a false front projecting above the single-
story construction of the nave.
The lateral church walls were constructed both of
wattlework and pine planking. The nave portion of the
church was 16 m long and decorated, in places, by figures
sculpted in clay (as in Figure 3, right).
The symbolic separation between nave and sanctuary
was emphasized by a composite construction technique. The

Figure 1. Map showing the location of Mission Santa Catalina, on St. Catherines Island. The
numbered mission buildings in Quad IV were excavated by the American Museum of
Natural History (1981-1990). Previous archaeological investigations by Larson, Bonner,
and Caldwell are also indicated. Reproduced with the permission of the American
Museum of Natural History.

Figure 2. Low-level aerial photograph showing excavations in Quad IV at Santa Catalina de Guale (as of May 1984). The top of
the photograph is magnetic north, and the white tic marks are spaced at 20 m intervals. Toward the bottom center is
the church (Structure 1); the two dark linear daub concentrations (upper right) form the convento/cocina complex
(see also structure placement in Figure 1). The light-colored vertical stripes are four m wide shallow test trenches.
Reproduced with the permission of the American Museum of Natural History (photograph by Dennis O'Brien).

Figure 3. Selected Guale Indian human sculptures found at
Mission Santa Catalina. Reproduced with the
permission of the American Museum of Natural

sanctuary (northwestern) end of the church, constructed
entirely of wooden planking, was apparently elevated above
the lateral wattle and daub walls of the nave. Some evidence
suggests that the interior of the sanctuary may have been
decorated with a reredo--several decorative metal panels
which were apparently not removed before the church was
Although we have relied heavily on the available
historical documentation to date the various daub walls
encountered at Mission Santa Catalina, independent and

strictly archaeological evidence is also desirable. Ceramic
evidence helps, but we were looking for something more
precise. In consultation with Robert Dunnell (Department of
Anthropology, University of Washington), we have conducted
a pilot study of thermoluminescence dating of these wall daub
deposits. The first step was to determine the chemical
composition of daub at Santa Catalina by x-ray fluorescence
analysis; Dunnell's analysis indicates that the daub was almost
certainly obtained from nearby marshmud sources. Several
dosimeters were buried over two-year intervals around the
site, to monitor the degree of contemporary
thermoluminescent activity. Numerous archaeological
samples, which were then taken from the collapsed walls of
the iglesia, convento, and cocina, are currently being
processed in the Thermoluminescence Laboratory of the
University of Washington.
A clearly demarcated sacristy, measuring 5 m wide by 3
m deep, was built on the Gospel side of the church (the left-
hand side of the sanctuary as one faces the altar). This room
was presumably used for storage of vestments, linens, candles,
processional materials, and other ritual paraphernalia
essential to celebration of the Mass (Bushnell 1990). Inside,
we found a cache of charred wheat, which was probably
destined to be baked into the "host," flatbread used in the
Eucharist. Donna L. Ruhl (Department of Anthropology,
University of Florida) is currently analyzing these materials as
part of her more extensive analysis of paleobotanical remains
recovered from Santa Catalina (see also Ruhl 1990).
Although wheat never had assumed great dietary
importance to Spaniards living in La Florida, this inglorious
cache inside the sacristy underscores the effectiveness of the
Franciscan Order in obtaining the supplies necessary for the
proper conduct of Church ritual--even on the most remote
northern frontier of the Guale province. Amy Bushnell
(Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History
and Department of History, University of California, Irvine)
is pursuing this question in detail, analyzing the documentary
evidence of the economic support systems necessary to
sustain Mission Santa Catalina (Bushnell 1992).

The Churchyard (Atrio)

Fronting the church at Santa Catalina is a square shell-
covered subplaza, measuring about 15 m on a side. This atrio
was probably a low-walled enclosure demarcating the public
entrance to the church. Ubiquitous features of New World
religious architecture, such churchyards served not only as a
decorous entryway into the church, but also variously
functioned as outdoor chapels, areas to contain overflow
congregations, and sometimes as cemeteries (Kubler 1940:73-
75; Montgomery et al. 1949:54).
The churchyard at Santa Catalina was constructed of
water-rolled marine shell, available from naturally occurring

deposits scattered along the intracoastal waterway; these
massive shell bars, accessible only by watercraft, today
continue to provide building aggregate to an island lacking
local stone.

The Cemetery (Campo Santo)

The only known cemetery at Santa Catalina was found
inside the church, where we encountered a minimum of 431
individuals buried beneath the floor of the nave and
sanctuary. Clark Spencer Larsen (Research Associate,
American Museum of Natural History and Professor of
Anthropology, Purdue University) supervised the complete
excavation of this cemetery between 1982 and 1986; the
extensive biocultural evidence from Santa Catalina has been
discussed elsewhere (see Larsen 1990, Larsen et al. 1990, and
Larsen, this volume).
The campo santo at Santa Catalina also contained a
truly astounding array of associated grave goods, including
nearly three dozen crosses (Figure 4), medallions (Figure 5),
small medals (Figure 6), so-called "Jesuit" finger rings (with
unique sculpted Sacred Heart castings), and a cast figurine
depicting the infant Jesus with a cross in one hand and the
other raised in a gesture of blessing. The material, form, and
iconography of nearly three dozen Catholic religious items
have been analyzed by Richard E. Ahlborn (Curator,
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian
Additional grave goods in the campo santo include four
complete majolica vessels, several projectile points, a chunky
stone, a rattlesnake shell gorget in the "Tellico" style, two
complete glass cruets, two mirrors, two hawks bells, one
rosary, eight shroud pins, two copper plaque fragments, and
one large piece of shroud cloth. The cemetery also contained
literally tens of thousands of glass beads which are currently
being analyzed. Most were embroidery beads sewn onto
clothing and sashes; other beads were portions of jewelry and
ornaments. Rosary beads were commonly found
accompanying burials. The remainder of the beads are
aboriginal shell beads and lapidary beads.

The Friary (Convento) Complex

Eastward across the plaza stood the convento and cocina
complex. The convento (usually translated as monastery,
convent, or friary) comprised one or more subsidiary
buildings in which friars and lay brothers lived cloistered lives
according to the rules of their Franciscan Order.
At least two superimposed conventos exist at Santa
Catalina. The earlier structure was probably built in the late
1580s shortly after the Franciscans arrived. Second only in
size to the church itself, it measured at least 10 m by 20 m,
the long axis running roughly northwest-southeast (at an
angle of 3100). Construction was entirely of rough wattle and

daub (considerably coarser than that employed in building the
church). This early building was supported by relatively large
posts, set in holes with clean sand fill. It appears to have been
divided into at least three rooms. The kitchen and refectory
were probably housed inside the sixteenth century convento,
the other rooms probably used for living quarters and storage.
Kitchen debris and table scraps were tossed out the back
door, where a fringe of shell midden accumulated against the
rear wall--well out of sight from the church. A clearly incised
dripline demonstrates that the sixteenth century convento had
eaves extending about a meter beyond the rear wall.
This building was probably burnt by rebellious Guale in
the fall of 1597. When Fray Ruiz supervised the
reconstruction in 1604, he apparently separated sacred from
secular, because a distinct cocina was erected 20 m to the
north of the new convento. The detached kitchen was also a
common feature within urban St. Augustine (Deagan
The southeastern wall of both sixteenth and seventeenth
century conventos was built on the same location. But the
later structure was somewhat smaller, measuring only about
10 m by 9 m. Moreover, the long axis of the seventeenth
century convento is 3250; the + 150 difference in orientation
greatly facilitated separating the two buildings during
The western wall was enclosed by a well-defined arcade,
probably a colonnaded porch marking the eastern margin of
the central plaza. At least three doorways faced the church to
the west. This porch was exactly aligned with the western
wall of the cocina. An addition of some sort, apparently not
of wattle and daub, was appended to the southern wall.
The later friary consists of three well-defined and one
less well-preserved daub walls, accompanied in all cases by in
situ wall posts. Set into the clay floor of the central room was
a curious floor feature: a rectangular clay foundation,
standing 25 cm above the floor, scooped out to receive an
oval, metallic receptacle. Although this floor font might have
held holy water, this feature was more likely employed for
personal hygiene, perhaps as a foot bath.
Immediately outside the back of the convento, we found
a concentration of nearly four dozen bronze bell fragments
(other fragments have been found haphazardly scattered
about Santa Catalina). Several pieces show punch and axe
marks, indicating that the bells were deliberately destroyed; at
least four different bells are represented. The mission bell
always held a special significance, at times symbolizing the
entire mission enterprise. Like all sacred vessels of the
church, bells were consecrated and blessed, this status
continuing even after the breaking of a bell; bell fragments
were collected at missions San Miguel and San Luis Rey, in
Alta California, and sent to Mexico, ultimately to be recast
into new bells (Walsh 1934:32).
Elsewhere (Thomas 1988a:104), I have speculated that
the fragments found behind the seventeenth century convento

0 cm. 5
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Figure 4. Selected crosses found in Christian Guale graves at Santa Catalina. Note the variety in means of
manufacture, design, and size (particularly when compared to the uniformity in the small religious
medals in Figure 6). Latin inscription on upper left cross translates "Jesus, son of David, have
mercy on me." On the reverse size of this cross are six oval reserves with symbols and instruments
of the Passion (suffering) of Jesus (left to right): crossed hammer and pliers; wounds of hands, feet
and side; three crossed nails; crown of thorns and stars (?); two dice, lance and staff with vinegar in
sponge; ladder and the six (?) pieces of silver to pay Judas (Ahlborn 1991). Reproduced with the
permission of the American Museum of Natural History.

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Figure 5. Three medallions recovered from campo santo at Santa Catalina. Richard Ahlborn offers the following iconographic
interpretations (Ahlborn 1991):
(a): Cast and glass enamelled medallion with Spanish inscription that translates "Hail, Mary, conceived without original
sin." High mercury content suggests that this medallion may have been gilded. The scene recalls the popular image
of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which the Franciscan Order had successfully established in Mexico after 1531 before the
first friar reached Santa Catalina.
(b): Silver medallion with mercury gilding, found near the altar, associated with the phalanx of a two year old, some copper
links, and a textile fragment with three seed beads woven into it. It depicts the heavily robed and hooded "Sorrowing
Mother" of Jesus, seated in grief on rocks at Golgotha. In the background is a cross with three nails and a shroud.
Similar to veneras worn on clothing by fashionable women in seventeenth century Spain (Muller 1972:124).
(c): Made of sandy micaceous clay, low fired, and cast from two molds, this medallion could have been used to impress wax
Left side: The lengthy circumferential and basal inscriptions, probably in Latin, have not yet been transcribed. It
depicts a standing male in a hooded habit. He holds a thin, vertical device (a cross?) in one hand over a small
kneeling figure, and a chain in his lowered hand. Below a basal inscription (perhaps abbreviated) is a winged angel's
head. This scene recalls Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries martyred in the sixteenth century while evangelizing in
Right side: This design is similar to the obverse, but the large figure has his cowl back and his head radiates light.
He also raises a cross hand over the kneeling figure. To one side is a thin plant and above is a bird-like form, at the
bottom, below an inscription, there is a winged angel head. Reproduced with the permission of the American Museum
of Natural History.



- -


Figure 6. Selected small medals with cross-set suspension loops from Mission Santa Catalina de Guale. They contain various
inscriptions referring to specific religious concepts or identities, generally involving a prayer for protection from a
holy personage such as Jesus, His Mother in several advocations, and various saints (Ahlborn 1991). Reproduced
with the permission of the American Museum of Natural History.

If -A

were from bells broken by rebellious Guale during the
uprising of 1597. Friars who returned to Santa Catalina some
years later undoubtedly came upon some of these fragments,
and the broken bells found behind the convento may be a
deliberate cache of still-consecrated fragments, perhaps
intended for recycling into new bells.

The Kitchen (Cocina)

The new friary was about 15 percent smaller than its
predecessor, but this size differential was more than
counterbalanced by the new cocina (kitchen) built 20 m to the
northwest. The seventeenth century kitchen, measuring 4.5 m
by 6 m, was constructed of wattle and daub on three sides.
These walls were supported by squared off pine posts, placed
in pits. The southern end of the kitchen was apparently left
open, presumably to facilitate both access and ventilation.
The cooking for the friars was probably shifted to this
new structure early in the seventeenth century. Although
most kitchen debris was discarded some distance away
(probably outside the walled mission compound), some
midden accumulated in pits near the cocina, and occasional
smaller pieces of garbage were trampled underfoot, being
thus incorporated in the kitchen floor. Elizabeth J. Reitz
(Museum of Natural History, University of Georgia) and her
students have completed the identification of the non-human
bones from the cocina and elsewhere in the Mission Santa
Catalina excavations; these results, when published, will
enhance the already growing body of zooarchaeological data
from the missions of La Florida (Reitz 1990 and this volume).

The Mission Wells

Two wells were found on the eastern side of the plaza.
The first, initially located by the magnetometer survey, was a
simple barrel well, consisting of seven decomposing iron rings
above the well-preserved remains of an oak casing (item "3" in
Figure 1). The construction pit was relatively small, perhaps
1.5 m in diameter, with the much smaller barrel well located
inside. Relatively little was found in the construction pit and
well fill (some olive jar and majolica sherds, plus a metal
plate). This well obviously had a relatively short use-life, and
we think it likely that it dates from the sixteenth century.
A second, much larger well was encountered later,
directly between the cocina and the convento (Figure 7).
When first recognized, the large circular construction pit was
more than 4 m in diameter, with a dark largely circular stain
in the middle. As we excavated downward, the construction
pit narrowed, with distinct "steps" on both sides; a seventeenth
century cave-in is recorded in the southern sidewall, where
one of the sand steps apparently collapsed. Although the well
and its contents are still being analyzed, some details are now
The well was originally much smaller, having been first

constructed with standard barrels. It was subsequently
renovated using a casement constructed of two U-shaped
cypress logs which were lowered into the construction pit,
then nailed together. This later, handmade well casing was at
least 2 m in diameter, considerably larger than any of the
mission period wells encountered in Spanish Florida. This
well clearly crosscuts surrounding features in the
convento/cocina complex; it was one of the last features built
at the mission and was probably in use until the final mission
abandonment in the 1680s.
The well reached a depth of roughly 2.5 m. A fair
amount of cultural and botanical remains were included in
both the construction pit and well fill. A quantity of
waterlogged items found at the base of the well include a
broken iron hatchet (with a partial wooden handle still intact,
possibly broken during the carving of the casement), two
wooden balls (roughly the size of pool balls), at least five
reconstructible aboriginal vessels (two are unbroken, and one
is painted on the interior and exterior), most of two olive jars,
and many seeds and pits including grape, peach, and squash.
At the bottom of the well were quantities of burnt cut wood,
which may have been part of a superstructure which once
covered the well.

Exploring the Guale Pueblo and Beyond

Although we have learned a great deal about the central
mission compound at Santa Catalina, the surrounding Guale
Indian pueblo remains a mystery--both because the Hispanic
documents gloss over such mundane matters, and also
because of limited archaeological exploration of the entire
mission context.
Within the past year, we shifted the archaeological focus
of attention at Santa Catalina from the Hispanic core to the
Native American outskirts. We tested the surrounding Guale
pueblo in several places, but our concern was primarily
chronological--to be certain that this extensive habitation area
surrounding the mission buildings was occupied during the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Responding to our interest in establishing this broader
context, the St. Catherines and Edward John Noble
Foundations have generously granted us three additional
years of excavation and analysis designed specifically to learn
more about the mission period Indians on St. Catherines
Island. In this newest research phase, begun in January 1991,
our primary goal is to define the nature and extent of the
Guale pueblo at Mission Santa Catalina, and also to find out
how Guale lifeways were modified by interactions with

What Are We Looking For?

Reliable evidence regarding the appearance of either

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Figure 7. Photograph of 1988 excavations of the primary well at Mission Santa Catalina.

precontact or mission period Guale settlements is rare in the
documentary sources. Perhaps the following account of the
town of Orista in 1666 can be applied to most Guale towns:

The Ttowne is scituate on the side or rather in the
skirts of a faire forrest, in which at several distances
are diverse fields of maiz with many little houses
straglingly amongst them for the habitations of the
particular families [Sandford 1911].

In a letter dated September 22, 1602, Governor Gonzalo
M6ndez de Canzo commented that in the Guale settlements:

the natives that there are in these provinces do not
not have cities nor towns or organized villages
(pueblos avezindados) amounting to anything more
than that each cacique has a community house
where the Indians came together to hold their
dances and assemblies and to drink a brew
(brevage) of casina, which cannot be done in any
other place except in the said house of the said
cacique and they are all scattered about with their
little houses (casillas) at intervals on the edges of
the woods.

This account can probably be considered to be a
credible description because it was written by a governor who
was well acquainted with the coastal Guale villages, having
destroyed a considerable number of them.
These accounts suggest a "dispersed town" settlement
pattern, with horticultural plots and residences scattered in
the vicinity of the town center. The maize plots would have
been located behind the town center itself.
The households of the mico and other principal leaders
were located near the center of the Guale towns (Jones
1978:198), and perhaps in the mission pueblos as well. Such
towns also contained large plazas used for public activities
including the ritual chunkey game, performed with poles and
a disk-shaped stone and common to many Southeastern
aboriginal groups (Hudson 1976; Sandford 1911; San Miguel
1902). Such a playing field would certainly be expected in the
precontact Guale town, and perhaps at Guale missions as
We know that missionaries and other Spanish officials
permitted the Apalachee neophytes to participate in their
ritual ballgame in the mission context (Bushnell 1978; Hann
1988). If the chunkey game was viewed in similar fashion in
Guale territory, then we might expect to find a plaza/chunkey
field in the pueblo at Santa Catalina. In fact, Governor
Rebolledo explicitly stipulated in his regulatory code for
Apalachee that the ball game be permitted in Apalachee
(Hann 1986:89).
Clearly the most remarkable feature of any Guale town
was the large community building (buhio) in which periodic

councils and inter-community feasts were held. The council
house, in mission times and well before, symbolized and
enshrined critical sociopolitical bonds. Friars recognized the
importance of the council house, and sanctioned its
construction on the mission grounds--encouraging local
Indians to think of the mission as "their home."
Nobody knows what a Guale council house looked like.
Ayll6n's expedition of 1526 into Guale territory reported an
abandoned, rectangular buhio (measuring about 4 m 8 m
wide by at least 80 m long) constructed of lashed pine
uprights and big enough to accommodate 300 men; but this
description has been discounted by Swanton (1946:406), Jones
(1978:199), and Shapiro and Hann (1990:515). Subsequent
accounts consistently describe Guale council houses as round
structures, varying in size from less than 25 m to more than 60
m in diameter (Jones 1978; Shapiro and Hann 1990). These
would have been conspicuous features on the mission
landscape, and evidence must have been preserved at the
Guale missions.
The nature of aboriginal domestic dwellings along the
Georgia coast is even more uncertain. Laudonnibre (1975:43)
described one Guale house with a lavish interior "decorated
with tapestries of various colored feathers up to the height of
a pike. The place where the king slept was covered with
white coverlets embroidered with fine workmanship and
fringed in scarlet." In 1595, Fray Andr6s de San Miguel
(1902) noted that Guale houses at Asao were constructed of
wooden timbers and covered with palmettos. Jones
(1978:199) suggests that the precontact Guale houses were
circular, built on the same general principle as the buhio, only
Limited archaeological evidence suggests otherwise for
Guale dwellings during the mission period. At the north end
of Harris Neck, Larson (1980) encountered several squarish
and overlapping Spanish period aboriginal structures, aligned
on a grid system approximately 100 west of north. Several
wall trench outlines of Spanish period aboriginal domestic
structures were also uncovered by S. K. Caldwell at Fort King
George, near Darien (Caldwell 1953, 1954; see also Larson
1980; Thomas 1987:95-97). These seem to be wattle and daub
structures built with shallow wall trenches and small round
postholes, divided into several rooms. Incidentally, we are
currently reanalyzing all mission period materials recovered
by Caldwell from Fort King George, in the hopes of more
firmly defining the context of these important structures.
These skimpy data suggest that the pueblo at Santa
Catalina probably consisted of rectangular buildings,
constructed of wattle and daub and/or wall trenches, perhaps
separated by "streets." The Native American sector was
probably built as an extension of the initial Spanish gridwork.

So How Do We Find These Things Archaeologically?

Virtually all we know about Santa Catalina comes from

a decade of digging around the plaza in the central part of
Santa Catalina--the church, convento, and cocina complex--an
area of about 5000 m If we are to address the pueblo
periphery, the research frame must be expanded to at least 10
ha--and this is a very conservative estimate. Since our
proposed pueblo project must, of necessity, cover at least
twenty times the area investigated in our 1980-1990 research
and this work must be completed within just three years--a
different archaeological strategy is clearly in order.
Once again, we think that remote sensing provides part
of the solution. In collaboration with John Weymouth
(Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of
Nebraska), we are at present developing a multivariate
approach to geophysical prospection at Santa Catalina. We
feel that the value of remote sensing studies has not been fully
realized in modern archaeology, and hope that the pueblo at
Santa Catalina can serve as a case study to demonstrate the
potential of such methods.
Fifteen years ago, in our initial search for Santa
Catalina, we employed three primary remote sensing
techniques: proton precession magnetometry, soil resistivity,
and ground penetrating radar (Thomas 1987, 1989:chapter 7).
In the ongoing work at the pueblo, we will still use these
techniques, but will also employ several others--not only to
learn more about the pueblo, but also to better understand
the strengths and weaknesses of various geophysical
currencies and approaches. To date, our most recent efforts
(1990-1991) on the Santa Catalina pueblo have already
utilized paired proton precession magnetometry, gradiometry,
high-speed soil resistivity, and soil conductivity--other
techniques are being considered. We have every confidence
that at least some of this technology will prove fruitful.
Preliminary testing also suggests that the pueblo contains
huge samples of faunal remains. In continued collaboration
with Elizabeth J. Reitz, we are expanding our investigation of
vertebrate utilization during the late prehistoric and mission
periods. We are particularly interested in exploring the
nature of intra-site variability at Mission Santa Catalina.
Relatively large zooarchaeological samples have already been
studied from the cocina and other "central" mission contexts;
the proposed 1991-1993 excavations should produce
comparable samples from the Mission Santa Catalina pueblo.
We also think that important data lie outside the mission
compound proper and even outside the pueblo. When
Captain Dunlop visited the ruins of Santa Catalina in 1687, he
reported "... the ruins of several houses which we were
informed the Spaniards had deserted for ffear of the English
about 3 years agoe; the Setlement was great, much clear
ground in our view for 7 or 8 miles together" (Dunlop
Even allowing for considerable exaggeration, this rare
eyewitness account demonstrates that Mission Santa Catalina
was surrounded by a huge agricultural field complex. But
what did these fields look like? How were they organized?

What crops were grown there?
Once again, we are required to shift the scale: the 5000
m2 around the mission plaza covers only the religious
precinct; the 10 ha area surrounding the plaza contains only
the aboriginal pueblo. But in order to obtain a more
complete view of Mission Santa Catalina as an economic
entity, we must be willing to operate on the scale of several
dozen ha.
Large-scale patterning is one way to look for the
potential residues left from mission period agriculture.
Recent investigators using the techniques of landscape
archaeology have enjoyed some success by analyzing the
distribution of plant opal phytoliths, as for example Irwin
Rovner's recent (1988) successful reconstruction of Thomas
Jefferson's gardens and fodder fields at Monticello, Virginia.
We would like to do the same at Santa Catalina.
But in these days of conservation-oriented archaeology,
nobody should contemplate digging several hectares (even if
the resources and the sites were available). Instead, we
should be seeking ways to monitor variability on a scale
previously unattainable in archaeology.
Our specific objective here is to reconstruct the
distribution and configuration of the agricultural field systems
surrounding Mission Santa Catalina. To do so, we are
required to conduct considerable baseline studies of phytolith
taxonomy and depositional processes. In collaboration with
Irwin Rovner (North Carolina State University), we have
begun a comprehensive study of plant phytoliths at Santa
Catalina (and other contact period sites on St. Catherines
Although this landscape approach is far reaching indeed,
we wish to expand the scope still further. In collaboration
with Joseph Jimenez (City University of New York), we
intend to explore the nature of socioeconomic change
between late prehistoric and the early contact periods. To
complement our expanded studies at the Santa Catalina
pueblo, we have selected five additional sites on St.
Catherines Island for detailed investigation: three mission
period sites, plus two Irene period (late precontact) sites. We
are at present using geophysical techniques at these sites, and
they will be further mapped and tested in conjunction with
our expanded work at the Santa Catalina pueblo.
We also continue our collaboration with Clark Spencer
Larsen, to further refine our previous biocultural findings. In
1991, Larsen returned to South End Mound, previously
excavated by C. B. Moore and re-tested by the American
Museum of Natural History (Larsen and Thomas 1986), in
hopes of expanding the Irene period mortuary sample. We
are simultaneously exploring several other late prehistoric
and mission period St. Catherines Island sites in the search
for additional mortuary evidence.
We hope that this expanded regional approach will not
only enable us to determine the nature of precontact Guale
adaptations, but also to see whether the mission system was

able to exert significant social and economic control beyond
the confines of Mission Santa Catalina proper. We also
believe that intensive investigations at these key sites will
enable us to assess changing social relations between
precontact and contact period villages, to trace intra-village
changes through microanalysis of ceramic traits, to refine the
late precontact and contact period ceramic chronologies, and
to perfect archaeological indicators of seasonality.
Without question, our inquiry will not prove equally
successful in all these potential directions. But we are
confident that by extending our mission research far beyond
the Hispanic hub, we can learn more about the lifeways of the
majority of people living under the umbrella of Mission Santa
Catalina de Guale.

Acknowledgments. I express my sincerest thanks to the
Trustees of the St. Catherines Island and Edward John Noble
Foundation for providing both the opportunity and support to
conduct the archaeological research described here. We are
particularly grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Y. Larkin for
their truly extraordinary level of interest and benefaction.
Additional funding for our excavations has been
provided by the Richard K. Lounsbery Foundation, the
National Science Foundation, the Georgia Endowment for
the Humanities, Mr. Donald McClain, the James Ruel Smith
Fund, the Geiger Lumber Company, the Sander and Ray
Epstein Charitable Foundation, Inc., the General William
Mayer Foundation, the Ogden Mills Fund, and Earthwatch.
I also thank Mr. Royce Hayes, superintendent of St.
Catherines Island, who made our work both effective and
pleasurable; we are also grateful to his able-bodied staff for
always being willing to lend a hand. I am likewise grateful to
the special people who helped supervise the excavations at
Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: Stacy Goodman, Debra
Guerrero, Joseph Jimenez, Clark Spencer Larsen, Deborah
Mayer O'Brien, Dennis O'Brien, Lorann S. A. Pendleton,
Donna Ruhl, William Sandy, and Rebecca Saunders. This
manuscript benefited considerably from the editorial and
substantive suggestions provided by Margot Dembo, Lorann
Pendleton, and three anonymous reviewers. Nicholas
Amorosi and Dennis O'Brien prepared the artwork for this
We also thank Richard Ahlborn (National Museum of
American History, Smithsonian Institution) for allowing us to
draw upon his iconographic research on the Santa Catalina
religious artifacts.


1Some years ago, we published an overview of the
natural and cultural history of St. Catherines Island (Thomas

et al. 1978), and that monograph serves as a backdrop for this
discussion as well.
Although the archaeology of Mission Santa Catalina has
consumed much of our research energies on St. Catherines
Island, we have spent considerable effort looking at the
precontact archaeological remains as well. We began our
research on the island in 1974, by focusing on the Refuge and
Deptford phase mortuary complex (Thomas and Larsen
1979). Larsen (1982) subsequently conducted a detailed
examination of prehistoric biocultural adaptations on St.
Catherines Island (see also Larsen, this volume). This
program in mortuary archaeology continued in 1977 and 1978,
when two St. Catherines period burial mounds (Johns and
Marys Mounds) were also studied. Both mounds were
initially excavated by Joseph Caldwell and his students at the
University of Georgia, and we combined their results with our
own (Larsen and Thomas 1982). More recently, we reported
on excavations at two additional prehistoric burial mounds
(Larsen and Thomas 1986). South End Mound I, an Irene
period mortuary site, had been initially excavated by C. B.
Moore during the winter of 1896-1897. South End Mound II,
a previously unrecorded St. Catherines/Savannah period
burial mound, was discovered not far from Moore's
excavations. Other related mortuary excavations are reported
elsewhere (Thomas et al. 1977).

2We must emphasize the sensitivity required when
excavating such mission period human remains (see Thomas
1987:147-148; 1988b:124-125). Since we could establish no
biological descendants of those buried at Santa Catalina--the
Guale people disappeared in the eighteenth century--we
focused on working with those who maintained the closest
cultural and religious affinity with the remains. From our
earliest tests in the campo santo, it was clear that this was a
Catholic cemetery, containing the remains of hundreds of
Guale Indians who had explicitly opted for Christian burial.
Accordingly, we established contact with Father
Raymond Lessard, Bishop of Savannah. Bishop Lessard
assured us that the Catholic church supported and
encouraged our excavations. On May 25, 1984, Bishop
Lessard returned to St. Catherines Island to conduct a service
dedicated to "Reblessing the Ground and Re-burial of
Remains" and he has assisted in the on-site reburial of
remains. Further, recognizing that two Franciscans had been
martyred at Santa Catalina in 1597, the Franciscan Order also
sent a representative, Fr. Conrad Harkins, to participate in
the excavations at the iglesia and convento (see Harkins 1990).

3It remains possible, however, that this unusual feature
was a brazier, designed to hold glowing embers to ward off
the wintertime cold; but a more likely charcoal-filled "brazier"
was discovered along the southern margin of the convento.

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David Hurst Thomas
Department of Anthropology
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Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, New York 10024-5192


Rebecca Saunders

During the seventeenth century, the Harrison
Homestead site (8NA41; the northern three acres has been
renamed the Dorion site, 8NA41d) was the location of two
successive Spanish missions. Excavation of portions of both
those missions has produced data on Spanish mission
settlement location, settlement plans, and building design,
construction, and function. Though most proveniences were
disturbed by erosion or subsequent occupations, sufficient
data remained to suggest that both Amelia Island missions
deviated from the "ideal" to a significant degree.

A Brief History of the Mission Period on Amelia Island

The Harrison Homestead site housed the remains of
two Spanish missions. One of these has been positively
identified as the site of Santa Catalina de Guale by the
recovery of the seal of Santa Catalina from the convent.
Several other areas, including a cemetery, can be associated
with Santa Catalina on the basis of alignment and proximity.
A second cemetery and the substructural remains of an
overlying church have been posited to be the earlier mission
of Santa Maria de Yamassee.
As the name reflects, Santa Maria de Yamassee was
occupied by Yamassee Indians, peoples originally inhabiting
the interior of Georgia. The Yamassee began filtering into
Florida around 1650. The exact date of the foundation of
Santa Maria is unknown; it was not listed among the missions
extant during 1655 (Geiger 1940:125), but did appear in 1675
on Bishop Calder6n's mission enumeration (Wenhold 1936).
Later that same year, Pedro de Arcos (Boyd 1948) noted no
functioning missions on the island and described Santa Maria
as a place with about 40 "infidels."
It may be that at the time of Arcos' visit, the mission
simply lacked a priest, for references continue to be made to
Yamassee in the mission on Amelia until they departed in
1683 (Bushnell 1986:4-5). In that year, the Amelia Island
Yamassee were to be relocated by the Spanish governor to St.
Catherines Island off the northern Georgia coast. The
mission on St. Catherines, once the administrative center for
the Province of Guale and a breadbasket for St. Augustine,
had been completely abandoned after an attack by British-led
Yamassee Indians in 1680 (Hann 1990:25). It is strange that
the Spanish thought to re-establish the mission with other
Yamassee Indians; the Amelia Yamassee apparently failed to
appreciate the irony and, fearing that St. Catherines Island
was too dangerous, "went north" to join their rebellious
brethren (Bushnell 1986:5).

Meanwhile, the Guale population of the St. Catherines
Island mission, along with other refugees from the northern
and middle Georgia coast, had settled on Sapelo Island. In
1686, the St. Catherines Island Guale, along with the people
of Satuache, were relocated to Amelia Island. The other
groups on Sapelo abandoned the Spanish settlements for the
interior; after 1686 there were no Spanish missions in
operation north of the St. Marys River. Amelia Island thus
became the northern frontier of Spanish holdings along the
eastern seaboard and the doctrine, or administrative center,
for the Province of Guale. The name for the old
administrative center of Guale, Santa Catalina, was
transferred to the new settlement, a common Spanish
practice. However, the name Santa Maria continued to be
used to refer to the island. It was also used in both the
Dickinson narrative (1696; Andrews and Andrews 1946) and
a 1695 visitation (Bushnell 1986:6) to refer to a town,
suggesting the continuation of a local place name despite the
administrative title.
Santa Catalina on St. Catherines Island appears to have
been a productive mission, and the Guale transferred to
Amelia should have been cognizant of the expectations of the
Spanish. The neophytes at Santa Catalina on Amelia,
however, did not fulfill their "obligations." Documents from
the 1695 visitation indicate that the Indians neglected to plant
the two required communal fields (one for the support of the
indigents and those "busied in His Majesty's service" and the
other for the acquisition of church ornaments). Of more
concern to the Spanish official conducting the visitation, the
stockade planned in 1691 had not been completed. The
Indians defended their inaction by complaining that wood had
to be carried from too far away and that they had neither the
manpower nor the food to support such an endeavor (Hann
1986). Other documents of the period also convey an
impression of low mission populations and labor shortages
exacerbated by the continual movement of individuals from
one town (and one chief) to another (Boyd 1948; Bushnell
1986; Hann 1986). This indicates a breakdown of authority of
both the priests and the native leaders.
In 1700, Zfiiiiga y Cerda reported fewer than 200 Indians
on all of Amelia; the stockade still had not been completed
(Bushnell 1986:10-11). There is no record indicating whether
it was completed by 1702, when the island was the first to be
burned in South Carolina Governor James Moore's strategic
attack on St. Augustine. The documents do not detail
precisely what was ultimately accomplished, though the
narrative of the destruction of 1702 alluded to both a guard
house with a thatch roof and an enclosed convento (Bushnell


Vol. 44 No. 2-4

June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

1986). In an account of the attack, the lieutenant in charge of
Santa Catalina provided a population estimate for the last
days of the mission on Amelia. Captain Fuentes attributed
this quote to the chiefs of the town: "Sefior teniente, we cannot
stay here and hold this enclosure with nine Indians (and five
of them no good) and these children and women..." (quoted in
Bushnell 1986:11). The population of the settlement
abandoned the mission just as the British arrived. No lives
were lost (Arnade 1959:15), but the mission was burned.
Santa Catalina de Guale would be re-established again at
Nombre de Dios near St. Augustine (Larson 1978:20). After
1702, no attempt was made to settle any missions along the
Atlantic outside the purview of St. Augustine.

Previous Excavation

The Harrison Homestead site was first identified by
Bullen and Griffin in their 1950 survey of Amelia Island.
Their surface survey (Bullen and Griffin 1952:56) indicated
that the site was spread over some 10 acres; they noted that,
except for the Oldtown site on the north end of the island,
8NA41 was the only site on the island to produce olive jar
The site remained untested until 1971, when Hemmings
and Deagan (1973:4) dug three exploratory trenches
approximately 800 feet south of the Santa Catalina mission
compound. The area was determined to represent a Mission
Period Indian village. At present, however, it is not known
whether this village area was associated with the Santa Maria
or the Santa Catalina mission (or both). An archaeologist for
the State of Florida, Calvin Jones, also visited the site in the
early 1970's (Hardin 1986; Calvin Jones, personal
communication 1987).
More recent investigations were initiated in 1985 at the
behest of the present landowners, George and Dottie Dorion.
The Dorions were planning to build on the property when
human skeletal remains were discovered in the roots of trees
being cleared for their homesite. They contacted Kenneth
Hardin of Piper Archaeological Research. Hardin (1986)
chronicled the evolution of the project from its inception until
1986, when stewardship of the site was transferred to the
Florida Museum of Natural History. The final field season
was in the summer of 1990 (see Larsen and Saunders 1987;
Milanich and Saunders 1986; and Saunders 1987, 1988, 1990;
a more detailed version of this report is on file at the Florida
Division of Historical Resources).
During eight field seasons at the site, the Santa Catalina
cemetery was completely excavated, the convento associated
with the Santa Catalina mission was exposed, three activity
areas (one of which may be the kitchen), were explored, and
an aboriginal structure was located and excavated. In
addition, another mission church, probably that of Santa
Maria de Yamassee (Saunders 1987), and associated burials,

was excavated. The amount of data recovered was enormous,
and the diversity of data, from site layout to human skeletal
remains to material culture, will be invaluable for addressing
questions about transculturation between the Spanish and the
southeastern Indians. This paper is limited to disclosing
information pertaining to the architectural (in the broadest
sense of the word) aspects of the site.

Site Location and Layout

It was no accident that Mission Santa Maria and Mission
Santa Catalina were built only 40 m apart (Figure 1). The
Harrison Homestead site was located on the lee side of
Amelia Island in the only place that Harrison Creek abutted
the island (elsewhere salt marsh separates the two). Artesian
fresh water was also present in the area. This environmental
situation--a central location on a barrier island with access to
the intracoastal waterway and fresh water--was common to
several Atlantic coast missions established after 1606. Such a
location had obvious advantages for both supply and defense.
The site base map with relevant Mission Period features
associated with Santa Maria and Santa Catalina is presented
in Figure 2. These features were extracted from a
bewildering array of post-Mission Period "disturbances"; all
Mission Period components sustained a greater or lesser
degree of disturbance from subsequent site use, which began
when a British planter moved to the site in 1790 and
continued to the present.
For Santa Maria, only the church is known. The layout
of the mission compound is more complete for Santa
Catalina. Architecturally-speaking, the most complete
building for the later mission is the convento. South of that
building was a plaza with a series of features of unknown
function. While lacking adequate architectural features to
describe the building, the church is believed to have been over
the cemetery. The mission kitchen may have been north and
west of the convento. Another activity area was excavated
east of the convento. Each of these blocks will be discussed
below. In addition to those just cited, two other areas were
intensively excavated. A portion of a possible palisade line
was uncovered and an aboriginal structure were also located
on the four acres examined during this project. These will not
be discussed in detail in this paper.
Few archaeologists are provided with primary
documents picturing the layout of their sites. However, a
map purporting to depict the mission of Santa Catalina on the
island of Santa Maria (Amelia Island) in 1691 does indeed
exist (Figure 3). In actuality, the map may have been the
"plan" of the stockade cited in the 1695 visitation (see above).
As such, it represents an idealized settlement layout for
Spanish missions in the area (Saunders 1990; Thomas
1987:76, 1990). When the 1691 plan was scaled to the site
base map (Figure 4), it became clear that there were some

rather large discrepancies between the so-called ideal and our
interpretation of the features of the site. First, we found no
evidence for a moat, but a coastal location probably obviated
the need for one. Second, we had no evidence for a garrison
house on the tracts we investigated. The overlay suggested
one possible reason--it may have eroded into Harrison Creek.

It is more likely, however, that the inevitable competition and
animosity between the military and the religious orders
accounted for the fact that a garrison house has not been
found in close proximity to other mission buildings anywhere
in La Florida except at San Luis. The garrison house may
have been uncovered by Robert Johnson (personal
communication 1989) on property some 60 m north of the
The buildings that were located were aligned with one
another at 21 degrees east of north. This orientation was
unusual with respect to the orientation of missions in

Figure 1. Site location.

Figure 2. Base map showing excavation
Mission Period features.

blocks with major

Apalachee, most of which lay between 45 and 81 degrees east
or west of north (Jones and Shapiro 1990:505). An
orientation of 21 degrees east of north aligns the Spanish
structures more or less with the modern orientation of the
bluffline. Santa Maria was built with its long axis 30 degrees
east of north, the present-day orientation of the bluff where it
was constructed. While more published data are needed on
local topography for the sites in question, I would hypothesize
that, after the Council of Trent when east-west church
orientation was abandoned, structural orientation was
determined principally by local physiography. The conformity
noted in Apalachee may be due to the directionality of the
Tallahassee Hills. Finally, the buildings of Santa Catalina de
Guale on Amelia were not arranged in a quadrangle pattern
like that of Santa Catalina on St. Catherines Island, or even a
right triangle like the plan modeled for Apalachee (Jones and
Shapiro 1990:504). If our functional attributions are correct,
the kitchen, convento, and church were arranged almost
Documentary and archaeological evidence (the latter
most especially from San Luis) indicated that the mission
complex would have been situated on one end of a large town
plaza; an aboriginal council house would have been at the
other end of the plaza, facing the church (e.g., Shapiro 1987).
Though we found no archaeological evidence for a council
house either on- or off-site (in road cuts to the south and

east), Jonathan Dickinson mentioned that one existed at
"Santa Maria" in 1696 (Andrews and Andrews 1946).

The Convento

The convento was a wattle and daub structure erected on
surface foundations (sleepers) of dense shell midden or
scattered shell (Figure 5). Major support posts were of pine;
each had been squared, indicating the presence of metal tools
and the supervision of the Spanish in the construction. Both
cane and what appeared to have been lathing were used to
create the wattle fabric of the building. Wrought nails and
spikes were common throughout the construction; 108 nails

.. ,4 ,.., f *

Figure 3. The 1691 plan.

Figure 4. Base map with 1691 plan overlay.

and 26 spikes were recovered.
Burned daub distribution indicated that only the interior
portion of the building was enclosed by wattle and daub walls;
this area was floored with clay as well. This walled portion of
the structure, then, measured about 7 X 12 m. These
dimensions were quite close to the 13.5 X 7.5 m convento
drawn on the 1695 plan.

There were doorways through both the north and south
wattle and daub walls. The north door was over the sleeper
but had a wooden sill laid over the shell. Burned posts were
found on either side of this sill, which was affixed to them
with large wrought nails (this feature was removed as a block
and is on display at the Amelia Island Museum of History).
Directly opposite the sill, on the south side of the wattle and



- 18I

- 20S




melIer 24S
I 2


V posthole
S2W 5W SOW W 4W J* 4W w Mw

Figure 5. The Convento of Santa Catalina. (Note: post-Mission Period and some Mission Period features not



o @



daub structure, the sleeper stopped, suggesting another
The doorways led out onto broad porches on the north
and south sides of the building. The roof probably extended
to the north side of the northernmost sleeper and either to or
slightly beyond the southernmost sleeper. In any case, the
covered portion of the structure appeared to have been about
16 X 12 m. (Another row of postholes 4 m north of the north
edge of the convento [Figure 2] appeared to be outside the
building, but because these were exposed in a bulldozer cut,
we cannot be sure.)
The sleepers took two forms (Figure 5). The north and
south wattle and daub walls were elevated on thin (ca. 40 cm
wide and 10 cm deep) sleepers composed of moderately
dense shell. North and east of these sleepers, however, was a
broad, 2 m wide, 10 cm deep shell "sidewalk" composed of
dense midden. On the north side, the "sidewalk" extended
only a little over half the width of the building, stopping just
west of the north doorway. After a hiatus of about 3 m
(another doorway?), shell continued west, but this deposit
was composed of finely crushed shell in a very shallow
deposit. A small brass hat badge, the only religious artifact
recovered from the convento other than the seal of Santa
Catalina, was discovered on the surface of this feature. The
seal was found in the general Mission Period stratum within
the wattle and daub portion of the building.
The fact that shell extended over the postholes (spaced
approximately every 2 m) indicated that all sleepers were laid
down after the posts were set. The northern "sidewalk"
sleeper also overlay a large daub processing pit, indicating
that the wattle and daub portion of the building was
completed before the so-called sidewalk was put down. This
evidence, coupled with the fact that the northern sleeper did
not extend to the west side of the building, suggested that the
wider sleepers represented an addition; one that perhaps was
not completed.
The more elaborate treatment of the north side of the
building (in the silled doorway and the "sidewalk") led me to
consider it the front of the building, which would be expected
to face the church across a small courtyard. However, in the
absence of any evidence of a church to the north (and pits
were put in where a church would have been either according
to the 1691 plan or by analogy to the relationship of structures
on St. Catherines Island as well as other locations suggested
by artifacts or artifact densities), the church must have been
over the cemetery to the south (see below). The
northernmost third of the convento, then, may have had a
specialized function. Ongoing analysis into vessel forms, and
other data recovered from the excavation, suggested that the
function may have been storage. That might explain the
"sidewalk" surrounding this portion of the building; it would
have provided extra security against dampness. One would,
however, expect walls around a storage area. Another
hypothesis, which would not necessarily preclude the storage

function, was that the area served as a cloister.

The Plaza

In the 1691 plan, the area between the convento and the
church was labeled a plaza area. How this area was
traditionally used in La Florida is unknown, though in most
archaeological reports, the plaza is defined as relatively free
of debris (e.g., Thomas 1987, Fig. 27). Our data suggested
that the plaza (Figure 6) was a heavily used activity area.

Figure 6. The plaza at Santa Catalina. (Note:
Period and some Mission Period

features not

Several types of features were uncovered in the block.
The most enigmatic was a square feature with gray sand fill
bordered with burned wood (Feature 44). This feature was
not aligned with either the convento or the cemetery, and in
fact was oriented almost due north-south. A number of
postholes were uncovered north of this feature, though
whether or not they were associated with it is unknown.
Feature function was never determined.
A series of pits were uncovered west and southwest of
Feature 44. These pits shared a similar configuration--
subrectangular, over 1.5 m long, and just under 1 m wide
(Features 187, 202, 207, and 266). All of these features had a
sandy fill with scattered shell except for Feature 187 which
was midden-filled. One of these features, Feature 202,
contained a possible colono-ware stemmed cup or goblet.
Our excavations shed little light on what specific
activities might have taken place in the mission compound
courtyard. Nevertheless, the concentration of Mission Period


features and the fact that pottery was as abundant in this area
as in most other areas indicated that it was heavily used. It
may have functioned as an atrio; in Mexico, atrios were used
for processions of cofradias and for religious instruction. The
11 wrought nails and 8 spikes recovered suggest some minor
building activity, perhaps for stations of the cross or other
small constructions. Burials also took place in the Mexican
atrio; however, there were no human remains in the area we

The Kitchen

North and west of the convento were a set of features
suggesting the presence of a kitchen (Figure 7). This area
contained the only Mission Period midden and the highest
frequency of Mission Period pottery on the site. Three large
midden-filled pits were uncovered here. These features were
hypothesized to have been postholes; a fourth (for the
southwest corner) probably eroded into the marsh. It would
have completed a rectangular structure. The southern
posthole was intruded on by a midden-filled trench that
followed the Spanish grid. There was some question,
however, as to whether this trench was Mission Period.
Similar features in the excavation block east of the convento
(see below) were also suspect (see below).

Figure 7. The possible kitchen of Santa Catalina. (Note:
post-Mission Period and some Mission Period
features not shown.)

Burned clay was scarce in the kitchen area; five wrought
nails were the only iron hardware recovered. These data
indicated that, if a structure existed, it would have been an
open, ramada-like structure, with members held together by
lashings and perhaps with a thatch or palm roof (e.g., Manucy
1962, 1985). Such a light structure associated with a midden

was consistent with a kitchen. However, the dimensions of
this hypothetical structure, about 6 X 3 m, made the building
considerably smaller than the 12 X 7 m kitchen drawn on the
1691 plan. Our excavations may not have uncovered the
entire structure. Just south of the "structure" there was a
possible hearth that contained particulate charcoal, as well as
charred wood and seeds (including sable palmetto, corn,
bean, and grape; Donna Ruhl, personal communication
1991). There were also several inclusive deposits of shell and
bone near this possible hearth, though none of these
materials were burned.
While locating a kitchen on the bluff would have obvious
advantages for fire control, the Laws of the Indies state that
the church, not the lowly kitchen, was the structure that
should be seen from the water (see below). An alternative
hypothesis for this complex of features is that the pits were
used for storage and then backfilled. This would not be
inconsistent with the hypothesis that a kitchen was in this
general location. Finally, if the row of postholes (mentioned
above) located north of the convento were part of a fence or
palisade enclosing the mission compound, our "kitchen" would
have been outside the compound proper; a lookout platform
may have been established there.

Activity Area

The area excavated grid east of the convento (Figures 2
and 8) was originally believed to be the kitchen: if the 1691
plan were reversed, the location of this area relative to the
convento was almost identical to that on the old map.
However, though the area had been deeply plowed, it still
seemed that there was too little organic material in this area
to have been a kitchen. A patchy shell midden with a
maximum thickness of 20 cm overlay the features. This
midden contained a mixture of Plantation and Mission Period
artifacts and was probably a Plantation Period deposit
associated with the Harrison House. A small (relative to the
convento) amount of daub and burned clay was recovered, but
feature patterning did not suggest a structure. These data
notwithstanding, this was an activity area of some sort. There
was a 1 m deep midden-filled feature at the western edge of
the block. There were also five other, smaller and shallower
Mission Period shell-filled pits, one of which held a cache of
23 wrought iron spikes or nails and a Spanish hoe blade.
Other features included four narrow, shell-filled trenches like
the one encountered discussed above; these trenches
appeared to have been associated with postholes. The
similarity of these features to those identified by South (1983)
at Santa Elena, suggested that they may be vineyard ditches.
Nevertheless, they could be attributable to either the Mission
Period or the early Plantation Period.
This excavation block lay east of a line of postholes
which may have been part of an eastern fence or palisade
(Figure 2; these postholes corresponded with the eastern

Figure 8. Activity area outside the mission compound.
(Note: post-Mission Period and some Mission
Period features not shown.)

palisade line as depicted in the 1691 plan--Figure 4). If these
postholes in fact represented the boundary of the mission
compound, this activity area would have been outside the
compound proper. Whatever specific activities occurred
immediately outside the mission compound are still obscure,
though activities related to horticulture are a possibility.

The Church/Cemetery

Testing of the Santa Catalina cemetery (Figure 9) began
under Piper Archaeology in 1985. Because it was necessary
to determine quickly whether or not a mission cemetery was
involved, and therefore convince the private landowner of the
sites' significance, a series of backhoe trenches were dug to
define the limits of the cemetery. Once the boundaries were
established, a bulldozer was used to remove the modern and
Plantation Period deposits overlying the Mission Period
stratum. While this strategy allowed for the efficient removal
of almost 180 burials (see Larsen, this volume), the trenches
and bulldozing may have destroyed evidence of a structure.
However, it is more likely that the area was cleared of
Mission Period surface debris by Samuel Harrison, who built
a house over the western part of the cemetery in 1790.
What structural evidence remained was meager at best.
Some burned clay and daub was recovered, as were 14 nails
and 3 spikes. More of these construction materials were
recovered from the cemetery area than any other area on the
site except the convento/plaza excavations. Post-depositional
disturbances, both Plantation Period and Modern (including
archaeologists), made assessment difficult, but these data did
suggest the presence of a structure.

The most convincing evidence that the interments were
within a church was that most burial pits had raw clay in
them. A small, angular patch of the same kind of clay overlay
the top of the ossuary (see Larson, this volume) the northeast
corner of the cemetery. These data suggested that burial pits
were dug through the clay floor of a church, though it is not
impossible that an outdoor area was surfaced with clay,
particularly if it functioned as an atrio.
The most problematical aspect of the proposition that
the church was over the cemetery was the lack of postholes
around the edges of the cemetery. Several Mission Period
postholes were uncovered along the eastern edge of the
cemetery (Figure 9); however, these might be associated with
the palisade or fence proposed earlier. Conversely, the
church might have been built into the fence. Another, very
deep Mission Period post was found several meters east of
the projected palisade. This post might have been part of a
facade, though the front of the church should have been on
the western end of the church if the burials faced the altar.
No other positively identifiable Mission Period postholes
were exposed along the edges of the cemetery. No other
features were as large or as deep as those along the eastern
edge of the cemetery; nor did they have the clean sand fill
characteristic of those postholes.
One argument against a structure over the cemetery was
that the size of the burial area was much smaller than the
average 10 X 20 m of most mission churches in La Florida
(Jones and Shapiro 1990). However, the aforementioned
average included structures identified as churches that did not
contain burials. Evidence accruing from recent excavations
suggests that all Mission Period churches contained burials
and that those structures previously identified as churches
with no burials may not have been churches (Marrinan 1990;
McEwan 1991). The Santa Catalina cemetery was only 12 X
10 m (or 13 X 10 m if the length was measured to the eastern
postholes), and the area was more nearly square than
rectangular--a highly irregular configuration for a single nave
church. The long axis of the burials did correspond to the
long axis of the hypothetical structure, as did all burials
located within known churches.

Santa Maria

The Laws of the Indies state that coastal churches
should be built so that they might be seen by sailors putting
out to sea. The location of the church of Santa Maria de
Yamassee (Figure 10) conforms more exactly to this decree
than the hypothetical church of Santa Catalina. Its placement
on the bluff has been detrimental to its preservation,
however; a substantial portion of the western half of the
structure, and the burials interred within, have eroded into
Harrison Creek. Except for this erosion, disturbances to the


~ -34N

N_ --30N

o 1 2N

Figure 9. The Church/Cemetery of Santa Catalina. (Note: post-Mission Period and some Mission Period Features not shown.)
-^^^P "'"
Qe \r ;O. 4^~B S

Figure 9. The Church/Cemetery of Santa Catalina. (Note: post-Mission Period and some Mission Period Features not shown.)


Figure 10. Santa Maria.

church have been minimal. A modern privy, constructed of
green-painted planks and galvanized wire nails was the only
major intrusion (see also Saunders 1988).
The earlier mission of Santa Maria shared some of the
architectural peculiarities of Santa Catalina in that it was
built, at least partially, on shell sleepers. This occurred
despite the fact that the two missions did not have personnel
in common (Geiger 1940). However, it is likely that the
remains of the Santa Maria mission were still visible when
Santa Catalina was established. The Santa Catalinans may
have appreciated and adopted the innovation.
As Figure 10 illustrates, a shell sleeper ran under the
east wall; large postholes and a sleeper defined the south wall.
The north wall, however, had no sleeper; the reason for these
differences are unknown.
Shell midden was used for other purposes besides the
sleepers. All the postholes for the north, east, and south walls
were backfilled with shell. Since there was no midden
overlying the church, this shell must have been brought in
from elsewhere. Presumably the midden would hold a post
more firmly than sand; the sweetened soil may have preserved
posts longer than the more acid sand matrix.
The two posts exposed on the bluff line and the two
postholes just east of them were much deeper than the others
excavated. This suggested that these four postholes held
central support posts (and indicated, further, that up to half
of the structure had eroded away). The total area of the
church was projected to be about 18 to 20 m long and 12 m
Several pieces of evidence argued for the entrance at the
south end of the church and the altar at the north. First, the
large postholes on the south wall may have supported posts of
a more elaborate facade than the shallower postholes on the
north wall. In addition, burial density was lower in the
northern one-third of the building, reinforcing notions of
status differences in spatial location of burials within Catholic
churches (Thomas 1988:113). Tradition dictated that burials
usually faced the altar; the altar would be on the north wall if
that were the case for the burials at Santa Maria. Finally,
while there was a great deal of raw clay both in the matrix
and in the burial pits of those individuals interred in the south
half of the building, there was relatively little clay in the north
half. This indicated that the (relatively shallow) nave was
floored with clay and the sanctuary had a different floor,
perhaps wood.
There was little evidence with which to construe the
fabric of the church walls. We found no evidence of daub
processing pits; however, no proveniences exterior to the
church were excavated to sterile. Raw clay walls surely would
have eroded away through time, but one would expect that
the clay from the walls would be at least as well preserved as
that of the floor--there was no raw clay either on or adjacent
to the shell footer. These data suggest that the walls were of
wood or thatch.

Though intensive excavation at Santa Maria was
restricted to the church interior, we did attempt to discover
more about the layout of the mission compound with two
transects of posthole tests. If the mission compound had
been laid out like the one on St. Catherines Island or like the
1691 plan, we should have intersected a building. In fact,
little Mission Period material was recovered, and what was
recovered came from the westernmost postholes. Inspection
of the extensive footer trenches for the house subsequently
built by the gracious landowners of this property, Gusand
Marion Heatwole, revealed no Mission Period features and
few Mission Period artifacts.
Though our tests were too limited to demonstrate the
absence of other buildings, they were suggestive. The
documentary record suggested that the Spanish presence at
Santa Maria was tenuous at best and that there may have
been no Spaniards at the site for long periods of time (see
above). It may be that a mission compound was never
completed at Santa Maria. Alternatively, we may have
misidentified the occupation, and the structure excavated was
an early visit, which would not have had accompanying
Spanish structures.


While all the artifacts from the Harrison Homestead site
have been analyzed, it will be years before the site is fully
understood. Certainly a better understanding of the site
layout will come when other mission excavations are
completed so that current hypotheses, such as an ideal layout,
can be confirmed or discarded.
At present, it appears that the Amelia Island missions
deviated from a theoretical "ideal" on several levels. If our
structure functions are correct, there was no quadrangle or
triangular plan for the Santa Catalina mission. Building plans
also diverged. While the convento was within the prescribed
Franciscan guidelines of about 14 X 16 m (Saunders 1990:528;
Kubler 1948), the cemetery/church was much smaller than
the (possibly erroneous) "average" for La Florida or the
church on the 1691 plan. This may mean that there was no
church over the cemetery, but it is more likely that the small
size reflects the dwindling Indian population on Amelia Island
in the late seventeenth century. Church size was a reflection
of projected burial population in Mexico (Kubler 1948:24, fn);
recent archaeological data for La Florida seems to indicate
that church size did fluctuate to a far greater extent than
previously recognized.
The church constructed for the Santa Maria mission
does fall within the predicted range of mission churches in La
Florida. If other Spanish buildings existed for Santa Maria,
our posthole testing indicated that they were not arranged in
a quadrangle plan. On the other hand, because of the
ephemeral nature of the Spanish presence at Santa Maria

(Bushnell 1986; see above), it may be that a convento and
kitchen were never built.
Several mission researchers (Marrinan 1990; McEwan
1991; Saunders 1990) have become increasingly skeptical of
the model of mission layout (Jones and Shapiro 1990) as it is
currently used. In general, the model has been imposed on
the data, so that, for instance, a structure measuring about 10
X 20 m is always considered a church, with no independently-
derived data to support the ascribed function. The model,
which should have been considered a testable hypothesis, has
become "self-fulfilling" (Marrinan 1990:12). Data from our
excavations on Amelia Island, in conjunction with that derived
from other, on-going excavations, might be used to indicate
that the social environment was too variable over time and
space to support ideal mission layouts in every location
(Saunders 1990). In any event, it is a testable hypothesis.

Acknowledgments. This work could never have been
started, let alone completed, without the good will and
patience of George and Dottie Dorion and Gus and Marion
Heatwole, on whose property the remains of the two missions
lie. In addition, the Dorions provided substantial funds for
several seasons of fieldwork; the Heatwoles also gave with
money and logistical support. Mission Period researchers will
always be in debt to these understanding individuals.
Financial assistance was also generously provided by the
Florida Department of State, Division of Historical
Resources. My thanks to all.

References Cited

Andrews, Evangeline W., and Charles M. Andrews (editors)
1945 Jonathan Dickinson's Journal or, God's Protecting
Providence. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Arnade, Charles W.
1959 The Siege of St. Augustine in 1702. Social Sciences
Monograph No. 3. University of Florida Press,

Boyd, Mark F.
1948 Enumeration of Florida Spanish Missions in 1675 with
Translations of Documents. Florida Historical Quarterly

Bullen, Ripley P., and John W. Griffin
1952 An Archaeological Survey of Amelia Island, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist 5(3-4):37-64.

Bushnell, Amy T.
1986 Santa Maria in the Written Record. Miscellaneous
Project Report Series No 21. Department of
Anthropology, Florida State Museum, Gainesville.

Geiger, Maynard
1940 Biographical Dictionary of Franciscans in Spanish
Florida and Cuba (1528-1841). Franciscan Studies 21.

Hann, John H.
1990 Summary Guide to Spanish Florida Missions and Visitas
with Churches in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth
Centuries. TheAmericas Vol. XLVI(4).

Hann, John H. (translator)
1986 General Visitation of the Provinces of Guale and
Mocama made by the Capt. Don Juan de Pueyo. Ms. on
file, San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site,

Hardin, Kenneth W.
1986 The Santa Maria Mission Project.
Anthropologist 39(1-2):75-83.

The Florida

Hemmings, E. Thomas, and Kathleen A. Deagan
1973 Excavations on Amelia Island in Northeast Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum in
Anthropology and History No. 18. Gainesville.

Jones, B.Calvin, and Gary N. Shapiro
1990 Nine Mission Sites in Apalachee. In Columbian
Consequences, Volume 2: Archaeological and Historical
Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands East, edited by
David Hurst Thomas, pp. 491-509. Smithsonian
Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Kubler, George
1948 Mexican Architecture of the Sixteenth Century. 2 vols.
Yale University Press, New Haven.

Larsen, Clark Spencer, and Rebecca Saunders
1987 The Two Santa Catalina Cemeteries. Paper presented
at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern
Archaeological Conference, Charleston.

Larson, Lewis H.
1978 Historic Guale Indians of the Georgia Coast and the
Impact of the Spanish Mission Effort. In Tacachale:
Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeastern
Georgia During the Historic Period, edited by Jerald T.
Milanich and Samuel Proctor, pp. 120-140. University
Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

Manucy, Albert C.
1962 The Houses of St. Augustine: Notes on the Architecture
from 1565-1821. St. Augustine Historical Society, St.

1985 The Physical Setting of Sixteenth Century St. Augustine.
The Florida Anthropologist 38(1-2):34-53.

Marrinan, Rochelle A.
1990 An Overview of Settlement Plan in the Missions of La
Florida. Paper presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of
the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Mobile.

McEwan, Bonnie G.
1991 San Luis de Talimali: The Archaeology of Spanish-
Indian Relations at a Florida Mission. Historical
Archaeology 25(3):36-60.

Milanich, Jerald T., and Rebecca Saunders
1986 The Spanish Castillo and the Franciscan Doctrina of
Santa Catalina, at Santa Maria, Amelia Island, Florida
(8Na41d). Miscellaneous Project Report Series No. 20.
Department of Anthropology, Florida State Museum,

Saunders, Rebecca
1987 Investigations of the 1686-1702 Mission/Castillo of
Santa Maria on Amelia Island, Florida. Paper presented
at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Historical
Archaeology Conference on Historical and Underwater
Archaeology, Savannah.

1988 Excavations at 8Na41: Two Mission Period Sites on
Amelia Island, Florida. Miscellaneous Project Report
Series No. 35. Department of Anthropology, Florida
Museum of Natural History, Gainesville.

1990 Ideal and Innovation: Spanish Mission Architecture in
the Southeast. In Columbian Consequences, Volume 2:
Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish
Borderlands East, edited by David Hurst Thomas, pp.
527-542. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington,

Shapiro, Gary N.
1987 Archaeology at San Luis: Broad-Scale Testing, 1984-
1985. Florida Archaeology No. 3. Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research, Tallahassee.

Thomas, David Hurst
1987 The Archaeology of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: 1.
Search and Discovery. Anthropological Papers of the
American Museum of Natural History 63(2). New
York, New York.

1988 Saints and Soldiers at Santa Catalina: Hispanic Designs
for Colonial America. In The Recovery of Meaning:
Historical Archaeology in the Eastern United States,

edited by Mark P. Leone and Potter B. Potter, Jr., pp.
73-140. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

1990 The Spanish Missions of La Florida: An Overview. In
Columbian Consequences, Volume 2: Archaeological
and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands
East, edited by David Hurst Thomas, pp. 357-397.
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Wenhold, Lucy L. (translator)
1936 A 17th Century Letter of Gabriel Diaz Vara Calder6n,
Bishop of Cuba, Describing the Indians and Indian
Missions of Florida. Smithsonian Miscellaneous
Collections 95(16):1-14.

Rebecca Saunders
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


Kathleen Hoffman

For the past 300 years, the Convento de San Francisco
has occupied a prominent position along the Matanzas Bay at
the northeastern edge of the colonial city of St. Augustine.
This friary served as the center of operations for the
Franciscan mission effort in La Florida during the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. In this capacity, the monastery
played a vital role as an intermediary between the outlying
missions and the secular town of St. Augustine. As mission
headquarters, it also served as a guest house for visiting
church officials, and it functioned as both a training center for
new friars prior to their departure for their respective mission
stations in the provinces of Timucua, Guale, and Apalachee,
and as a hospice for ill and elderly friars (Matter 1972:11).
Although it was administratively and ecclesiastically
linked with the missions, the monastery differed from them in
two important ways. First, it was located within the urban,
Spanish town of St. Augustine, not in a remote Indian village.
Second, the Convento de San Francisco consisted of a
community of friars who articulated on a daily basis with the
predominantly European population of the Spanish town of
St. Augustine, whereas the Franciscans assigned to the
missions were isolated not only from fellow missionaries but
also from other Spaniards. This paper is intended to
document the spatial organization and material culture of the
monastery in order to shed light on its role as a center for
religious activity in La Florida and as a formal institution
organized by the Crown of Spain.
The site (SA-42A) of this Franciscan monastery is
located in modern St. Augustine at the corners of St. Francis
and Marine Streets, property that today houses the State of
Florida Department of Military Affairs Headquarters (Figure
1). In 1988, the Florida Museum of Natural History, under
the direction of Kathleen Deagan as Principal Investigator,
conducted extensive test excavations in that area of the
property known as the quadrangle (Hoffman 1990). These
excavations yielded a considerable amount of information
regarding the spatial organization of the monastery and
provided a glimpse into the material life of the Franciscan
friars who lived in La Florida during the First Spanish Period.


Little is known documentarily about the sixteenth
century monastery, except that it was constructed in 1588
(Table 1), one year after the arrival of the first significant
group of Franciscan missionaries. It included a chapel and
convento of red cedar logs and planks with a thatched roof

(Cooper 1962:5; Gannon 1983:37; Eugene Lyon, personal
communication 1988). Its location within the colonial city was
mandated by the City Planning Ordinances of the Laws of the
Indies and the friars assigned to the new monastery fell under
the jurisdiction of New Spain (Crouch et al. 1982:114; Geiger
1937:43; Haring 1947:168). No known maps illustrating its
configuration exist, but monasteries in other Spanish colonial
regions shared a common type of plan which included a
courtyard, church, convento and cemetery (Kubler 1948:314-
344; Markman 1966:74). Recent investigations at several
mission sites in Florida and Georgia have suggested that
these mission compounds consisted of three or four
rectangular buildings arranged around a quadrangle
(Saunders 1990:531), a plan that may have been adhered to
during the initial construction of the Franciscan monastery in
St. Augustine.
The friary was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception
(La Concepci6n) in 1592, and two years later, the Governor
of Spanish Florida, Domingo Martinez de Vendano, died.
Following Spanish custom (Koch 1983:221), he was buried in
the Franciscan chapel (Geiger 1937:65). Five years later, in
1599, a fire destroyed both the convento and chapel and
neither was rebuilt until the very early years of the
seventeenth century (Table 1). Apparently, the new chapel
was constructed by 1603 since at this time the remains of
three Franciscan friars, who had been killed in present day
Georgia by the Guale in 1597, were brought to St. Augustine
and interred in the friary chapel (Harkins 1990:461,471). In
1606, the Custody of Santa Elena de la Florida was formed
and the mission field was extended west to encompass
Apalachee Province. The Convento de San Francisco became
the principal convent of this newly formed custody, which
included convents in Florida and Cuba (Geiger 1937:227). By
1610, construction of the second monastery had been
completed, and two years later King Phillip of Spain
expanded the administrative duties of the friary when he
designated it as a Capitular or Province House (Geiger
1937:187; Mohr 1928:221). By mid-century, between 35 and
40 missionaries were attached to the monastery (Charles
1928:222; Gannon 1983:57; Thomas 1990:378). The actual

Table 1. Summary of Known Construction Periods at SA-42A

pre-1588 Initial construction of non-masonry church and convento
1599-1603 Destroyed by fire and rebuilt
1702 Burned by retreating British troops
circa 1750 New monastery constructed of coquina


June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

Vol. 44 No. 2-4


Building 2


- a i Project Area

r------- --

------ ------------ ------- .---.. .

Building 1



r. 77
^ 'f-'^
-'*. **' '" ;


0 20



Figure 1. Location of project area within the National Guard Headquarters property (arrow indicates project location).


i ;.


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number of priests who permanently lived at the friary remains
unclear, as does the number of lay persons attached to it.
During his 1675 visit, Bishop Gabriel Diaz Vara Calder6n
reported that "three monks, a superior, a preacher, a lay
brother, and ... three curates for the three principal languages
of these provinces" resided at the Franciscan convent and
administered to the Indians living in St. Augustine (Wenhold
1936:7). The historical record also indicates the presence of
an African servant as early as 1589 (Cooper 1962:7) and,
given the use of Indian laborers by the Franciscan
missionaries in general (Lyon 1976:118-119; Matter 1973:31),
it is possible that Indians also may have been among the
residents of La Concepci6n.
In 1702, the church and convento were briefly occupied
as headquarters for the British army during Colonel Moore's
siege of St. Augustine and consequently destroyed by fire
during the British retreat from the town, less than two months
after their initial attack (Table 1; Arnade 1959:37,53-61). An
English soldier, attached to one of Moore's regiments,
described the church and convento as "large enough to hold
700 to 800 men" (Boniface 1971:78) and several documents
mention a library of "Greek and Latin Fathers" as being lost
in the fire (Shea 1886:460).
A letter from Governor Antonio de Benavides to the
Crown in 1724 noted that the foundations of the burned
convento measured 56 varas long, 6 varas wide, by 6 varas
high (one vara equals approximately 0.84 m; after Manucy
1978:165) and mentioned the existence of a sacristy and a
tower, presumably associated with the convent church
(Benavides 1724). Although the King of Spain appropriated
funds for the construction of a new (the third) monastery in
the 1720s, it was not rebuilt until the 1750s (Joyce 1989:74;
Mohr 1929:225). From 1702 until that time, the friars lived in
wooden huts and used a small coquina structure for their
chapel (Gannon 1983:77).
The third friary was constructed of coquina and it is
most likely this monastery that appeared on the 1764 Castello
map of St. Augustine, the first known depiction of the
compound (Table 1; Figure 2). In 1763, the Franciscans
vacated the property when Spain ceded La Florida to England
under terms of the first Treaty of Paris. During the
subsequent British Period (1763-1783), the former monastery
housed British soldiers and several renovations occurred. In
1766, the commanding officer recommended that the church
and convento be converted into barracks and construction
began in 1767. A two-story building was constructed adjacent
to the convent and incorporated the former chapel into its
Spain once again gained control of Florida in 1784.
During the Second Spanish Period (1784-1821), no known
construction occurred at the site. Several Franciscan friars
briefly re-established themselves in the monastery from 1786
until 1792. Following this, Spanish soldiers took possession of
the property and remained there until Florida became a

United States Territory in 1821 (Mohr 1928:226).
During the first decade of the Territorial Period, the
property was used briefly for a jail. In 1832, it was established
as a United States military reservation and occupied as such
until 1900 when the United States Army abandoned the
property. After a temporary occupation by orphans and
sisters from the Sisters of St. Joseph convent (Cooper
1962:40), the property was leased to the State of Florida as
the State Military Headquarters. Today, the property
continues to function as Headquarters for the Florida
National Guard.

Spatial Organization

Although no complete structures were uncovered during
the excavations, sufficient evidence was recovered to
determine the construction material utilized and to estimate
the dimensions, plans, and orientations of several buildings
associated with the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth
century monasteries. Archaeological evidence for these
structures and associated activity areas included postmolds,
post and trench footings, construction trenches, tabby
footings, a crushed coquina walkway, wells and trashpits.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to ascertain the original
functions of most of the structures due to the plethora of
construction and renovation activities that took place during
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Sixteenth Century Monastery (circa 1588)

Associated with the sixteenth century monastery were a
portion of a small wooden post structure (Structure "A") and
a well construction pit (Feature 36), both of which were
probably constructed shortly after the establishment of the
monastery in 1588. As shown in Figure 2, Structure "A"
consisted of three postmolds, with diameters of 15 to 20 cm,
spaced 40 to 45 cm apart. Their alignment suggests that the
building represented by these postmolds was rectangular or
square in plan, and the absence of associated daub indicates
that it was probably constructed entirely of wood. Both this
structure and the well pit, which was approximately 22 m to
the northwest, were located in the western half of the
quadrangle and appeared to be oriented on a northwest by
southeast axis. This and the absence of any circa 1588
features anywhere else on the site suggest that the initial
Franciscan occupation was confined to the western half of the
property (although this could be a function of sampling bias
and postdepositional disturbance).

Early Seventeenth Century Monastery (circa 1600)

In contrast to the brief, early occupation of the circa
1588 phase, a tremendous amount of activity occurred during




ra ULI





Figure 2. Configuration of the monastery as depicted on the 1764 Castello Map (arrow indicates monastery compound).





7- -~-1----



~3 C

the seventeenth century. The amount of construction
undoubtedly reflects the growth of mission activity in Florida
and the elevation of the monastery to headquarters status.
Two discrete occupational phases were identified, dating
respectively to circa 1600 and circa 1650.
The first phase represents the rebuilding of the
monastery following the 1599 fire that destroyed the convento
and chapel. Evidence for two post and trench structures
(Structures "B" and "C"), two trashpits and a barrel well were
identified (Figure 3). Both of the structures and the well
were located on the eastern half of the project area, while the
trashpits were situated in the far northwestern corner of the
site, approximately 23 m from the seventeenth century
buildings. Previous archaeological research in St. Augustine
has demonstrated that trashpits are consistently located to the
rear of structures, usually at a distance of 7 to 9 m (Deagan
1983:77). While the great distance between the circa 1600
trashpits and structures may represent an anomaly, it may
also indicate that either a circa 1600 structure existed on the
western half of the property or that the trashpits may in fact
be associated with the circa 1588 occupation, which appeared
to be concentrated on the western half of the property.
Artifacts recovered from these trashpits were consistent with
material found in late sixteenth century assemblages.
Only a small remnant of Structure "B" was identified,
making it difficult to say little more than that it appeared to
be a wooden building supported by posts. The posts
measured approximately 15 cm in diameter and were set into
a narrow trench approximately 12 cm wide (Figure 3). This
structure was located in the southern end of the quadrangle at
a distance of approximately 19 m from the second and larger
post structure discussed below.
As seen in Figure 3, seven postmolds were associated
with Structure "C", which was located in that area of the
quadrangle adjacent to present day Building 1. These
postmolds ranged in diameter from 50 to 70 cm, were at least
1 m deep, and were spaced approximately 1 to 1.5 m apart.
They also appeared to be oriented approximately 20 degrees
west of north on a northwest by southeast axis. The size and
depth of these postmolds suggests that they at one time held
large posts of 50 to 60 cm in diameter and that they supported
a substantial amount of weight. Five of these postmolds are
in alignment and form a rectangular area that measures
approximately 8.3 by 10 m. The other two postmolds, which
were about 3 m to the east and parallel to the rectangular
alignment, may have formed the northern boundary of a
colonnade which measured about 3 m in width.
Postmolds exhibiting similar dimensions and depths
have been reported from several religious sites in Florida and
the Caribbean. Thomas noted similar large and deep posts at
the seventeenth century mission of Santa Catalina de Guale
on St. Catherines Island in Georgia in association with a
structure believed to be the mission chapel (Thomas 1988:94-
110; David Hurst Thomas, personal communication 1989).

Marrinan also recorded the existence of "post pits" of a
similar size and dimension from the Patale mission near
Tallahassee and the area believed to be the sixteenth century
church of Puerto Real, a Spanish colonial town located along
the north coast of modern Haiti (Marrinan 1982:10-12;
Rochelle Marrinan, personal communication 1990).
Although the precise function of these "post pits" was not
defined, Marrinan postulated that the large pits found at
Puerto Real might represent a footing for a colonnade or
covered walkway similar to those identified at the fifteenth
century Portuguese town of Osar es-Seghir off the north coast
of Morocco (Marrinan 1982:10-12; Redman 1986).
Although the large postmolds found at the National
Guard Headquarters site may simply represent supports for
wooden plank walls to a post and board structure, which is
not inconsistent with the findings of other buildings in St.
Augustine or the other known mission sites, their massive size
and wide spacing make it more likely that these postmolds
may have functioned as footings for a colonnade, as suggested
by Marrinan and Redman. Colonnades or arcades, which are
defined by Kubler (1948:283) as a row of arches on columns
or pillars that support a roof, were common features of
sixteenth century Spanish colonial religious and secular
architecture (Baird 1962:23; Manucy 1978:91-92; Markman
1966:74; Newcomb 1973:ix). Ruins of the fifteenth century
Convento de San Francisco at Concepci6n de la Vega in the
Dominican Republic, as well as plans of the Convento de San
Francisco in Santo Domingo and of several sixteenth century
monasteries in Mexico (specifically those associated with
Huejotzingo, Yecapixtla, Tepeyango, Tlaquiltenango,
Tezontepec, and Zempoala) all show the existence of arched
passageways which often surrounded a square courtyard
known as a claustro or cloister (Kubler 1948:314-320; Ortega
and Fondeur 1982:131). Similar covered passageways and
courtyards were also common features of eighteenth century
Franciscan mission architecture in California (Newcomb
1973:Plates 30-32, 46, 62). There is ample precedent for the
existence of claustros in the religious architecture of the
Franciscans in the Americas, and it is therefore possible that
the Franciscan monastery in St. Augustine, which functioned
as the headquarters for the entire mission effort in La
Florida, would have exhibited similar architectural details.
Based on this, it is suggested that the postmolds represented
by Structure "C" may have functioned as column supports that
formed an arched passageway, approximately 3 m wide, that
surrounded a claustro.

Late Seventeenth Century Monastery (circa 1650)

No complete structures associated with the circa 1650
building phase were identified but portions of at least two,
and possibly three, distinct post and trench structures
(Structures "D", "E" and "F'), three trashpits, and a possible

S 120


1o |-- -____ ___
S 14

----____________- --_ a- _____-




r~---- 71

L _.----j

L- J


SA 42 A
Conducted by AREA
o EurrERS

Figure 3. Late sixteenth and early seventeenth century structures.


[:3 0I3

well construction pit can be associated with the third building
phase (Figure 4). With the exception of the possible well and
one trashpit, all of these features were concentrated in that
portion of the quadrangle adjacent to Building 1. As in the
previous two phases, all of the structures appeared to be
oriented on a northwest by southeast axis.
The first structure, Structure "E", consisted of a footing
trench associated with a wooden post and trench building that
was constructed in the approximate location and on top of the
earlier circa 1600 claustro. Its east-west dimensions are
unknown but it measured at least 9 m along its northwest-
southeast axis, which appeared to be oriented approximately
20 degrees west of north. The posts were approximately 15-
20 cm in diameter and were spaced approximately 20-30 cm
apart. Smaller posts, 3-5 cm in diameter, were found only in
the easternmost section of this structure. The trench itself
measured 20 cm in width. The absence of daub in or
surrounding the trench suggests that the walls consisted of
wooden planks.
The second post and trench structure, designated
Structure "F', could conceivably align with the first to form a
small 4 by 4 m rectangular room attached to the southeastern
end of Structure "E", but the morphology and depth of this
second structure suggest that it instead represents a separate
The third building, Structure "D", was situated 5 m to the
east of Structure "E" and appeared to be a two room
rectangular building of the common St. Augustine plan
described by Manucy (1978:50-53). Because only a portion of
this structure was identified, its dimensions remain uncertain,
but it measured at least 2.10 m east-west. The presence of
two trashpits, 3 m to the northwest of the buildings, indicates
the presence of a separate activity area used for trash
disposal. Because trashpits on Spanish colonial sites (Deagan
1985) are always located outside and to the rear of buildings,
the proximity (3 m east) of these trashpits to Structure "D"
suggests that either the structure was less than 3 m wide,
which seems unlikely, or that the remainder of this building
extended to the west.

Eighteenth Century Monastery (circa 1750)

This phase corresponds to the rebuilding of the
monastery following Moore's burning of St. Augustine in
1702. Documentary and cartographic evidence indicated that
during this time period, three rectangular coquina structures
were constructed in the approximate locations of existing
Buildings 1, 2, and 3 of the National Guard Headquarters
(Figure 5). The chapel and convento, as identified on the key
to the Elixio de la Puente map, were arranged around a
courtyard with a "box-like" chapel forming the eastern border
and two buildings, labelled only as the "stone convent of San
Francisco", forming the southern and western boundaries of

the courtyard (Figure 5; Manucy n.d.:17). A fourth
rectangular structure, again labelled only as the "stone
convent of San Francisco" (Manucy n.d.:17), was
approximately 14 m to the southeast of the chapel, a location
which would place it under Marine Street and under a portion
of the modern parking lot which fronts the Matanzas River.
Burials found to the north of this building during the
installation of utilities in 1968 and 1972 (St. Augustine Record
31 January 1968, 24 September 1972), suggest that it was
associated with the cemetery, which appears on the historic
maps as a walled enclosure, now located underneath Marine
Street and the current parking lot situated on the bayfront.
Archaeological excavations confirmed that the central
wing of Building 1 was built on top of the tabby footings
associated with the circa 1702-1750 chapel. In addition, the
identification of a coquina and limerock column support and
an associated trench for a second column suggest that a
covered passageway or loggia may have existed along the west
elevation of the chapel. This loggia was approximately 90 cm
wide and the floor was covered with a crushed coquina
surface. The identification of two coquina footings in the
southwestern corner of the quadrangle suggests that the
eighteenth century convento also lies under extant structures
(Buildings 2 and 3).

Material Assemblages

In order to make comparisons between the assemblage
from the St. Francis monastery and other sites, the material
has been organized by functional categories that follow those
developed by South (1977:88-106) and adapted for Spanish
colonial sites by Deagan (1983:231-241, 1985:20). Table 2
shows the relative frequencies, by major functional groups, of
the material associated with the various stages of the
Franciscan monastery. It is clear that throughout this
occupation, ceramic items comprise the major proportion of
the assemblage. This is not surprising given the
predominance of ceramics on Spanish colonial sites in general
(Fairbanks 1972:141-142) and the relatively high frequency of
ceramics noted for other sixteenth, seventeenth, and
eighteenth century Spanish sites in St. Augustine (Deagan
1983, 1985; King 1984). It is somewhat informative, however,
to note the changing frequencies of specific categories of
these ceramics through time.
The majority of the European ceramics associated with
the establishment of the monastery (circa 1588) were Spanish
in origin, and in fact, only five items from the entire ceramic
assemblage were non-Spanish. These included one sherd of
Guadalajara Polychrome and four unidentifiable coarse
earthenware sherds. With the exception of one El Morro
sherd and one piece of Redware, all of the utilitarian vessels
consisted of fragments of glazed and unglazed Olive Jars,
vessels which functioned as storage containers. Majolica, a


S- ------- C _------- C------- --a_ L Q -_. a --

L- I

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. .
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C' J

L~- ~





SA 42 A
Conducted by
Figure 4. Late seventeenth century strucTEs.

Figure 4. Late seventeenth century structures.

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Figure 5. Configuration of the monastery as depicted on the 1764 Elixio de la Puente Map (arrow indicates monastery compound).




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Table 2. Distribution of Material Associated with the Convento de San Ft

circa 1588 circa 1600
Group # % # % #

Majolica 88 12.9 14 10.6 2
Spanish Tableware 5 0.7 1 0.7
Euro-Tableware 1 0.2 0 0
Spanish Utilitarian 218 32.0 13 9.9 2
Euro-Utilitarian 4 0.6 2 1.5
Aboriginal 366 53.7 101 77.1 14.
Subtotal 682 94.0 131 77.4 204
Non-Ceramic Kitchen 15 2.1 6 3.6 1
Architecture 20 2.8 26 15.4 2
Arms 1 0.1 0 0
Clothing 5 0.7 3 1.8
Personal 1 0.1 0 0
Activities 1 0.1 0 0
Metal 1 0.1 3 1.8
Total 726 100.0 169 100.0 253

tin-enamelled ware, was the major tableware used by the
Spanish throughout the First Spanish Period and it was a
consistent element of all of the assemblages associated with
the Franciscan monastery. During the sixteenth century
occupation, Columbia Plain dominated the majolica group,
which accounted for 12% of the entire assemblage, but Sevilla
Blue on Blue, Yayal Blue on White, Isabela Polychrome and
Santo Domingo Blue on White were also represented. The
majority of both the majolica and Olive Jar fragments were
recovered from the circa 1588 well construction pit found on
the western half of the quadrangle. Aboriginal pottery and
Spanish utilitarian vessels accounted for 53.7% and 31.97%,
respectively, of the total sixteenth century ceramic
St. Johns pottery, a chalky ware that was manufactured
by the Timucuan Indians who resided in and around St.
Augustine (Goggin 1952:99-105), represented 72.4% of the
aboriginal pottery while San Marcos, a coarse, quartz-
tempered ware believed to have been made by the Guale
Indians of coastal Georgia (Smith 1948:314-316), represented
19.1% (Table 3). Previous research has demonstrated that
San Marcos wares supplemented European cooking and
storage vessels that were often not available in colonial St.
Augustine (Otto and Lewis 1974:102-103) and it has also been

Table 3. Distribution of Aboriginal Pottery at the Convento de San Francisc

circa 1588 circa 1600 circa 1650
# % # % # %

St. Johns 265 72.4 50 49.5 519 35.9
San Marcos 70 19.1 23 22.8 463 32.0
Non-Local 31 8.5 28 27.7 465 32.1
Total 366 100.0 101 100.0 1447 100.0

suggested that St. Johns
rancisco, 1588-1763. pottery served a similar
function during the early
circa 1650 circa 1702 years of the colony
% # % (Herron 1986). Although
some of the cooking pots
68 13.1 264 12.1 may have been metal
10 0.5 13 0.6 (which is poorly repre-
20 1.0 60 2.8 sented in the archaeolo-
53 12.4 277 12.7
48 2.4 48 2.2 gical record due to poor
47 70.7 1524 69.7 preservation conditions),
6 80.8 2186 738 the frequency of these
07 4.2 289 9.8 two types of pottery and
59 10.6 397 3.4 the absence of identifi-
6 0.2 10 0.4
87 3.4 44 1.5 able European cooking
15 0.6 23 0.8 wares suggests a reliance
3 0.1 7 0.2
2 0.1 4 0.1 on Indian food prepara-
5 0oo.o 2960 100.0 tion technology.
Distinctive changes
in the ceramic assem-
blage took place in the early seventeenth century. Although
the proportions of most of the categories remained relatively
similar, Indian pottery appears to have almost completely
replaced Spanish utilitarian wares. The proportion of Spanish
utilitarian wares decreased in the assemblage from 32.0% to
only 9.9%, and the proportion of aboriginal wares increased
from 53.7% to 77.1% (Table 2). In addition, although St.
Johns pottery continued to dominate the Indian pottery
assemblage (49.5%), the frequency of San Marcos pottery
increased (from 19.1% to 22.8%) and the proportion of
unidentified types increased substantially (from 8.5% to
As in the earlier phase, kitchen items dominated the
mid-seventeenth century assemblage with majolica accounting
for 13.1%. Spanish utilitarian wares comprised 12.4% and
other European ceramics comprised less than 5% of the total
ceramic assemblage. The frequency of Mexico City and
Puebla-type majolicas and of non-Spanish tablewares also
increased, no doubt related to the shift in responsibility for
the Florida situado from the treasury of Spain to that of
Mexico City in 1594, and the emergence of majolica
production centers in New Spain during the late sixteenth
century (Lister and Lister 1974,1982; Sluiter 1985:3).
Indian pottery comprised 57% of the total assemblage
during the circa 1650 phase and the relative
o, 1588-1763. proportions of St. Johns, San Marcos and
non-local wares were remarkably similar
circa 1702 (Table 3). The non-local wares category,
# % however, contained a greater variety of types
than in earlier phases. Although sand
63 4.1 tempered plain and grit tempered wares
72 4.7 continued to be the dominant elements,
1389 91.2
1524 100.1 grog tempered pottery, red filmed, Lamar-
like incised, Ocmulgee Fields and Altamaha

ceramics were also recovered from the late seventeenth
century contexts.
In his analysis of Indian pottery from the Trinity
Episcopal site in St. Augustine, Piatek reported a similar
increase in the frequency of non-local wares during the
seventeenth century and suggested a correlation between the
presence of non-local wares and changes in the tribute system
(Piatek 1985:81-89), which was initially introduced by Pedro
Men6ndez de Avil6s as a source of labor and material
commodities (Deagan 1983:293; Lyon 1976:118-119).
The increased frequency of non-local wares at the
Franciscan monastery during the seventeenth century most
likely reflects the increased mission activity that occurred
during this period. The early 1600s saw a steady increase in
the number of Franciscans stationed in Florida and in the
number of doctrinas established along the coastal region of
Georgia and Florida. By 1632, approximately 40 missions
were established and a mission road existed that connected
these outlying missions with the Franciscan monastery in St.
Augustine (Gannon 1983:49).
Indians from the provinces of Timucua and Guale were
brought to St. Augustine throughout the late sixteenth century
to provide construction, agricultural, and other services for
the Spaniards. This practice of drafting Indian labor
continued into the seventeenth century and eventually
included Indians from Timucua, Guale, and Apalachee
(Bushnell 1981:14-15). The increase in non-local Indian
pottery may represent earthenware purchased by the
Spaniards (Bushnell 1981:11) or a form of tribute collected
from the mission Indians, as suggested by Piatek (1985:81-89).
However, it may also be indicative of the movement and
consolidation of the various Indian groups to the St.
Augustine area. The relatively high proportions of non-local
wares in the late seventeenth century assemblage suggests
that the monastery may have served as a refuge for the
various displaced Indian groups.
Only two pieces of colono-ware, an unglazed, hand-built,
coarse earthenware pottery made either by African slaves or
Indians in imitation of European vessel forms (Ferguson
1978:68), were identified. This type of ware, which can be
plain or decorated with a red film, represents a consistent and
significant element of the seventeenth century mission
assemblages of San Luis de Talimali in Tallahassee (Vernon
1988:76-82) and of Santa Maria on Amelia Island (Rebecca
Saunders, personal communication 1990). In contrast to the
situation at these outlying missions, colono-ware was found in
a significantly smaller quantity at the Franciscan mission
headquarters site where only one plain handle and a red
filmed plate marley were identified. Other red filmed wares
were identified from late seventeenth and early eighteenth
century contexts but the sherds were too small to determine
whether they exhibited characteristics of European vessels.
The most dramatic shift in ceramic frequencies occurred
during the early eighteenth century occupation. Although the

proportion of aboriginal pottery for the whole assemblage
was 73.8% (lower than that recorded for the earlier phases) a
closer analysis of the aboriginal pottery revealed a dramatic
increase in the number of non-local wares. St. Johns and San
Marcos pottery, combined, accounted for only 4.1% of the
total aboriginal pottery, whereas 92% of the Indian pottery
consisted of non-local wares. This dramatic increase
corresponds to the collapse of the mission system in Florida
and may reflect the consolidation of the various Florida
Indian groups into St. Augustine following the destruction of
the missions in 1702-1704 (Boniface 1971:85; Chatelaine
Other than ceramics, the material assemblage of the
various Franciscan occupations was sparse. The Franciscans
were a mendicant order and relied on alms and the situado
for their support (Bushnell 1981:65-66; Gannon 1983:37-38).
Therefore it is not surprising that there is little in the material
culture to indicate material wealth or surplus. Architectural
items, specifically nails and spikes, accounted for 2.8% of the
circa 1588 assemblage, 15.4% of the circa 1600 assemblage,
10.6% of the circa 1650 assemblage, and 13.4% of the circa
1702 assemblage. These increased frequencies of
architectural items in the later phases most likely reflect the
numerous rebuilding episodes following the 1599 fire and the
destruction of the monastery by English troops in 1702.
Evidence for non-food related activities, such as
clothing, arms, personal and ornamental items, were also
equally scarce. Throughout the Franciscan occupation, these
groups accounted for less than 2% of the total assemblages.
Several pieces of bordado, a metallic thread used to adorn
clothing, several straight pins, one aglet (lacing tip), eleven
clay pipe stems and a lead fishing weight were identified.
Notably absent from all of the assemblages were
explicitly religious items. Although a brass book clasp
recovered from a circa 1650 barrel well could have been part
of a religious missal, and pieces of bordado (metallic thread)
could have adorned vestments or altar clothes, these items
cannot be directly associated with a sacred function.
However, the recovery of a brass book clasp from Santa
Maria on Amelia Island, which was similar in size and shape
to the one identified at the Convento de San Francisco site,
suggests that these book clasps may be standard mission-
related items.
This absence of sacred objects is in striking contrast to
the assemblage reported from Santa Catalina de Guale where
a number of religious medallions, crucifixes and other items
have been reported (Thomas 1988:99-102). However, almost
all of the religious items recovered from Santa Catalina were
associated with the burials. Most likely, the absence of
religious paraphernalia at the monastery is related to the fact
that the cemetery associated with the monastery was not
excavated and to the manner in which this site was
abandoned. Unlike the missions, which were forcefully and
abruptly abandoned as a result of English raids, the departure


of the Franciscans from the monastery in St. Augustine came
about because of the transfer of Florida to the British in 1763
(Siebert 1940:148). Because their exodus was planned, the
friars had time to pack their possessions and would have
taken any sacred paraphernalia and ornaments with them
when they departed for Havana.

Concluding Remarks

Excavations at the Convento de San Francisco have
increased our understanding of Franciscan architecture and
spatial organization and have provided important information
regarding the location of activity areas and how these areas
shifted through time. In general, this research showed that
the architectural history of this particular site paralleled that
which has been previously documented for the St. Augustine
colony (see Manucy 1978). The identification of several
footing trenches in sixteenth and seventeenth century contexts
revealed that the earliest monastery buildings were
constructed of posts set into shallow trenches and the absence
of any associated daub suggests that these posts supported
wooden plank walls. Although no archaeological evidence of
roofing material was found, the documentary record suggests
that these buildings had thatched roofs which were probably
constructed with palmetto fronds (Gannon 1983:44-45).
Wood remained the dominant building material until circa
1702 when the monastery was rebuilt following Moore's raid
on St. Augustine. At this time, tabby and coquina replaced
wood as a building material, as evidenced by the discovery of
tabby footings associated with the circa 1702 chapel. The
locations of structures, when grouped with that of the many
wells and trashpits found during the excavation project, have
suggested that the initial 1588 occupation may have been
concentrated along the western half of the quadrangle but
that by circa 1600, this occupation had expanded to the
eastern half of the property. Trashpits and wells were
situated to the rear of these early structures but, by the
eighteenth century, trash disposal within any area of the
quadrangle seems to have stopped, as no post-1702 trashpits
or wells were identified.
These excavations have also demonstrated dramatic
differences between secular, domestic households in St.
Augustine, the outlying mission settlements and the religious
community represented by the monastery. Most provocative
are the relative absence of colono-wares at the monastery and
the changing frequencies of various types of non-local Indian
pottery in the material assemblage associated with the
Convento de San Francisco. Unlike the situation at the
outlying mission sites, where colono-ware appears to have
replaced European tablewares, Spanish tablewares remained
a consistent, if small, element of the convento assemblages
throughout the First Spanish Period. Because provisions for
the friars were sent to St. Augustine, where they were stored

in the royal warehouse by the Franciscan custodian (Bushnell
1981:106), the monks living in St. Augustine, like the
townspeople, undoubtedly had greater access to European
supplies than those in the mission field. Despite their
potential for greater access to provisions, the Franciscans
residing at the monastery increasingly relied on Indian
utilitarian wares for storage and cooking vessels, which
suggests a high degree of Franciscan-Indian interaction.
Although the exact nature of this interaction remains unclear,
previous research in St. Augustine has demonstrated a
correlation between Indian food preparation technology and
the intermarriage of Spanish males with Indian females, a
process known as mestizaje (Deagan 1973). Marriage was
forbidden for members of the Franciscan community, but the
presence of Indian utilitarian wares at the Convento de San
Francisco suggests that American Indians, possibly women,
played an important role in food preparation at the
Not surprisingly, the monastery assemblage also reflects
demographic changes in the Indian population of St.
Augustine. It is already known that the decimation of the
Timucuans by epidemics and the relocation of the Guale and
Mocama to St. Augustine, following the destruction of their
missions by the English during the latter half of the
seventeenth century, can be seen archaeologically at domestic
sites by the replacement of St. Johns with San Marcos wares
(Deagan 1990:308; King 1984; Piatek 1985). This is reflected
also in the material recovered from the Convento de San
Francisco. The movement of several diverse Indian groups to
the St. Augustine area following the collapse of the mission
system in 1704 has previously been documented, and can be
seen in the material assemblage of the monastery as a rather
startling increase in the proportion of non-Timucuan and
non-Guale pottery associated with the post-mission
occupation. This stands in contrast to the assemblages of
domestic non-secular sites in the town (Deagan 1990:308),
and suggests that the Convento de San Francisco continued to
be a center of religious activity for the post-mission Indian
population of St. Augustine. On a more personal level, it may
also indicate the Church's sense of responsibility for the
spiritual and physical welfare of the rapidly declining Indian

Acknowledgments. This study was done as part of the St.
Augustine project of the Florida Museum of Natural History,
with Kathleen Deagan as principal investigator. Funding for
this project was provided by the State of Florida Department
of Military Affairs, Florida National Guard under Contract
Number 770 and the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The assistance and support of the Florida National Guard
and the Florida Museum of Natural History is gratefully
acknowledged as is the help and cooperation of the
Archaeological Advisory Board, the St. Augustine Historical
Society, the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board and

the St. Augustine Archaeological Society. A special
acknowledgement is extended to Kathleen Deagan for her
ongoing support and advice throughout this project.

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Kathleen Hoffman
Department of Anthropology
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


Kathleen Deagan


The Spanish Franciscan missions of the Southeastern
United States have long been recognized as the most
important Spanish institution for effecting change in
seventeenth century Southeastern Indian cultures (Bolton
1917; Fairbanks 1985; Hann 1988; Sturtevant 1962; Thomas
1990a). From a European perspective the missions served
not only as a religious agent, bringing conversion, Christianity
and civilization to the Southeastern Indians, but also as an
efficient and essential mechanism for taming, controlling and
exploiting the vast hinterland holdings of La Florida (Bolton
1917; Sturtevant 1962; Thomas 1990a).
In all of these capacities, the Florida mission system was
inextricably bound to the colony's capital and only major
town, St. Augustine. For more than two centuries, the tiny
community of St. Augustine was the ecclesiastical, military,
economic and cultural center for the territorial holdings
defined largely by the missions. It was from St. Augustine
that friars and their essential supplies were sent to the
mission field, and, theoretically at least, to St. Augustine that
the economic products of the missions accrued.
This frontier relationship of the missions to the town,
however, and particularly the ways in which this relationship
influenced colonial life in St. Augustine, have been addressed
only peripherally in the abundant historical and
archaeological literature pertaining to both St. Augustine and
to the missions (see, for the missions, Thomas 1990b and for
St. Augustine, Deagan 1991). Much of the mission frontier's
impact on town life was brought about by the presence of the
many Indians who made their way to St. Augustine by virtue
of their associations with the missions. These American
Indians made direct and indirect choices in their interactions
with Spanish colonists, which appear to have had subtle but
important influences on both the mission frontier and in St.
Augustine itself. It is thus relevant to our understanding of
the mutuality of Spanish and Indian participation in colonial
life in general to consider the nature and effects of the
Indians' active participation both in the organization of
mission life, and in the evolution of frontier society in La

Indian Influence in the Missions

It is increasingly evident from mission research
underway in both the southeastern and southwestern regions
of the United States that the establishment and use of the

missions themselves was a process of mutual accommodation
between the Indians and friars (see, for example, Hann 1988;
Kessell 1989; Thomas 1990a; Weber 1990). The Florida
missions were organized first to bring about conversion, and
more or less secondarily to support the friars, provide labor
and food for the garrison in St. Augustine, and defend the
frontier. These ends were to be achieved by a very small
number of Spaniards working with an Indian population many
hundred times larger than their own. Given the enormous
discrepancies between the Spanish and Indian population
sizes on the mission frontier, it was undoubtedly useful, if not
essential, for friars to work through an existing system, and
take care to avoid serious disruption of traditional lifeways.
The archaeological work reported in this volume and
elsewhere (Thomas 1988, 1990a) has documented
considerable variation in the flexibility of Franciscan
adaptations to diverse Native American political and
economic organization. Most of the southeastern people met
by the Spanish friars were organized in hierarchical
chiefdoms, and spent at least part of the year in settled
villages (see Milanich 1990; Milanich and Fairbanks 1980;
Milanich and Proctor 1978), and the first major missions both
conformed to and took advantage of the settlement and social
hierarchy of the Indians.
Although the first Franciscan missionaries of La Florida
were able to adapt the locations and organization of their
missions to pre-existing Indian settlement and social patterns,
we can also identify many other cases in which American
Indian groups made such adaptation impossible, and forced
the friars to alter their strategies. California, Sonora and the
Texas coast are a few examples of areas in which the
Spaniards resorted to reducci6n and occasional violence to
"convert" the nomadic inhabitants. Reducci6n was also
adopted as a strategy by Franciscan missionaries under
circumstances of population decline and social upheaval, such
as that seen in seventeenth and eighteenth century Florida
(see Hann 1986, 1989). In yet other areas, such groups as the
Karankawa, Ais and Seri in Texas used the mission only when
they found it convenient (Corbin et al. 1980; Gilmore 1989).
And in some areas, such as those inhabited by the Georgia
Guale (Jones 1978:182-185) and the New Mexico Puebloan
peoples (Kessell 1979:84-110), the Indians simply refused to
accept the missions and the missionaries were forced to
retreat until introduced disease had decimated those groups.
The conformance of the initial Florida missions to pre-
existing Indian organization of the area was related to the
general recognition by the Spaniards of the Indian tribes of
Florida as legitimate political entities (see Bushnell 1983 for a


Vol. 44 No. 2-4

June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

general discussion of this phenomenon, and Hann 1987 for
illuminating specific examples). Caciques were recognized as
heads of state and treated accordingly, and it is clear that as
late as the late seventeenth century, special recognition and
privilege were accorded in the mission communities to the
chiefs, their families, talented ballgame players, and medicine
men (Boyd et al. 1951:34-35; Bushnell 1979, 1983:10; Hann
Indian land rights and traditional territorial holdings
were also generally acknowledged by the Spaniards (see
Hann 1988:138), and only as the formerly occupied areas
became depopulated were the lands taken by Spanish
entrepreneurs. Use of hunting lands and gathering areas
were carefully guarded and maintained by the Indians of the
mission towns, even to extracting promises from the
Spaniards to recognize rights to previous hunting and
gathering lands after groups relocated (Bushnell 1983:6).
Clearly the caciques of La Florida perceived some
benefit in allying themselves with the friars. Political and
military assistance against other tribes was an important
factor in the initial alliances with Spanish interlopers (see, for
example, Deagan 1978:105), and these alliances continued to
function as a mechanism for the maintenance of chiefly
position through much of the colonial period (Hann 1987:13-
After missions were established, Indian war councils
continued meeting in the traditional manner in the council
houses, with Spaniards frequently present (Boyd et al.
1951:35; Bushnell 1983; Jesfis 1633). Raiding over land
disputes continued among the Western Timucua and
Apalachee into the seventeenth century, and occasionally the
Indian fighters would be joined by Spanish soldiers if the
offense was made by an "English" Indian, or if retaliatory
raids on Spanish enemies were required (Bushnell 1983:10).

Mission Impacts on the Frontier Economy

The opportunities to acquire livestock, European
technology, and new cultigens were potential and in many
cases abundantly realized economic benefits to the missions
and town alike. The introduction of cattle to the Indians of
La Florida produced an important change in pre-mission
subsistence activities, in that Western Timucuan and
Apalachee villages came to own and maintain communal
herds of cattle (Bushnell 1978a, 1978b, 1979; Hann 1988:240-
241). The cattle were an important resource, and could be
sold to Havana or to St. Augustine, with the proceeds used
for the good of the village or the mission. As skill in handling
cattle developed, numbers of Indians left the mission villages
to work as hired hands on the Spanish cattle ranches of the
interior (Bushnell 1978b; Hann 1988:147), sometimes
reducing the available labor pool in the mission towns.

This enthusiastic and successful entry into cattle
ranching by Florida Indian frontiersmen assisted by
Franciscan friars did not apparently serve to benefit the
administrative town of St. Augustine in a demonstrable way.
Analysis of faunal assemblages from seventeenth century St.
Augustine households occupied at the peak of mission activity
shows no increase (as compared to earlier and later periods) -
and in fact shows a slight decrease in the quantity of beef
consumed in the seventeenth century, when the missions and
ranches were active (Reitz 1992).
Large numbers of cattle, cowhides and other animal by-
products were exported directly to Havana via the Suwannee
and St. Marks rivers from the Florida interior during the
seventeenth century (Bushnell 1978a, 1978b, 1979; Hann
1988:240-241) and the faunal record of St. Augustine suggests
that the garrison families of the town did not find beef more
available during the peak of the mission-ranching activity.
This situation underscores a unique aspect of St.
Augustine's role as hub of a frontier system, and one that may
be related to the fact that the frontier was defined by the
missions. Unlike many comparable situations of town-
frontier interaction (see for example, discussions in Lewis
1984:13-17, 297-300), St. Augustine did not appear to accrue
the economic benefits particularly in raw materials that
might be expected by virtue of its administrative and
economic centrality. Not only can this be seen in the cattle
industry bypass of St. Augustine, but also in Indian trade,
particularly during the seventeenth century. The Apalachee
and Western Timucua regions had the largest concentration
of mission and ranch activity at that time, and there were
several routes to St. Augustine from these areas (Hann
1988:149-151). Indian trade with these areas, however, was
often controlled by the friars themselves (Hann 1988:141-
142), thereby restricting the St. Augustine entrepreneurs'
access to Indian trade goods (particularly deerskins).
Although this proposition is difficult to test
archaeologically, it can be documented that ceramic types
traditionally associated with the Apalachee and Western
Timucua peoples (particularly the Leon-Jefferson series) are
among the least frequent Indian wares occurring in St.
Augustine's seventeenth century households (see summary
tables in Deagan 1990:300; King 1984). This may be due in
part to the diversion of frontier resources by friars and
ranchers on the frontier itself, suggesting that the
organization and operation of the mission frontier may have
altered or inhibited the expected economic roles and controls
of the frontier's capital. It might also be argued that
ceramics, being more breakable than other kinds of frontier
commodities, were not included as commonly in the overland
transport system from the Florida interior. Thus, ceramics
from this region might be expected to enter the town at a
lower rate than ceramics from Guale, from where goods
could be shipped with less danger of breakage by water.

Although there is little evidence that the town of St.
Augustine benefitted materially from the mission-based cattle
and trade industries, there is no doubt that at least one
frontier resource that of labor was consistently present in
the town. The long term incorporation of a transient labor
force from the mission frontier had dramatic impacts not only
on fluctuations in St. Augustine's demographic profile over
the centuries, but also in the material world of its Spanish
This transient labor force (mostly men) came for
periods of up to a year as part of the repartimiento system
organized through the friars and caciques to bring labor and
goods to St. Augustine from the frontier. Workers came as
bearers from the interior, and stayed as minimally-paid (if
paid at all) laborers in agricultural fields and on public works.
Each doctrine, working through the chiefs, was responsible
for sending a quota of workers to St. Augustine each year.
This practice may have resulted in alterations in
traditional sex roles and division of labor, owing to the
absence of a relatively large proportion of adult males each
year from the villages (Bushnell 1979:5; Deagan 1985:294).
John Hann (1988:142-144) suggests that among the
Apalachee the organization of repartimiento labor was
complicated by increasing numbers of Indian men who chose
to leave the villages to become contract labor on Spanish
ranches, thereby reducing the traditional labor force in the
villages even further.
Pedro Men6ndez de Avil6s had originally established an
obligatory tribute of goods and labor from the Timucua and
Guale Indians during the late sixteenth century. This was
extended to the Apalachee in 1647, at which time the
Governor of Florida admitted that all of the other Indians
were "nearly used up" (Bushnell 1979:5, 1983:14-15). This
repartimiento tribute was continued until some unknown date
in the early eighteenth century, although the flow of goods
seems to have been less significant by the mid-seventeenth
century. It was generally paid in the form of corn, animal
skins, and labor (Bushnell 1981, 1983; Deagan 1985; Hann
1988:140-146; Lyon 1976:118-119), and resulted in the
intermittent presence in St. Augustine of non-local Indians
and Indian material.

Indian Populations in St. Augustine

The initial settlement of St. Augustine by Pedro
Men6ndez de Avil6s in 1565 was established near the
important chiefly town of Seloy (Chaney 1987; Lyon 1976),
about one mile north of the present-day Castillo de San
Marcos. The first sustained interaction between Spaniards
and North American Indians, and probably the earliest
attempts at conversion, took place there. The mission of
Nombre de Dios was established near this site during the
sixteenth century, although the date of its formal beginning is

not certain (Gannon 1965:27; Hann 1990:426-427; Seaberg
Two very densely-occupied Christian Indian burial areas
have been identified and excavated at the site (Goggin
1968:65; Seaberg 1991). The excavations have yielded
remains (majolica and beads) that indicate a late sixteenth
and seventeenth century use of the area.
Conflict with the Timucua of Seloy forced the Spaniards
to abandon the first settlement after a year, and re-establish
their town to its present location (about 3 km to the south).
Those Indians who chose to live in proximity of the town
remained in small, primarily Christian villages, just outside
the walls of St. Augustine. Over the centuries there were
always between two and ten of these villages within two miles
of the town (see Deagan 1973, 1990:330).
Although the native Saturiwa Timucua population of the
St. Augustine region declined steadily after contact, the
Indian population of the town did not. This was largely a
consequence of mission activities on the frontier. Not only
were the temporary repartimiento work forces present in the
town, but new permanent Indian residents arrived as English
encroachment forced the mission frontiers to contract toward
St. Augustine (Deagan 1978; Hann 1986, 1987, 1989). Guale
mission Indians, for example, were steadily relocated to the
St. Augustine area from the 1620s onward (Hann 1987,
1990:501), and a major increase in the Indian population of
the town took place after the English invasion of 1704.
These devastating raids led by James Moore brought an
end to the Spanish mission system outside of St. Augustine
(Arnade 1959; Boyd et al. 1951; Hann 1987), and refugee
Indians from many tribes and areas were relocated to the
town. These events taking place largely on the mission
frontier dramatically affected the population composition of
St. Augustine after 1700.
The processes of demographic amplification and
diversification in post-1700 St. Augustine can be seen most
clearly in the census figures for the refugee mission Indian
towns around St. Augustine (see Deagan 1990:301, Table 20-
2; Hann 1989). In 1689, during the time when the interior
Florida missions were still functioning, there were some 100
Timucuas living at Nombre de Dios, with some 125 Guale
about eight miles north of St. Augustine at Tolomato. There
were 300 more Guale at Santa Cruz de Obadalquini, possibly
near St. Augustine at that time, although its locations through
various moves during this period is uncertain (Ebelino de
Compostela 1689; Hann 1987:6-8, 1990:500-501).
In 1703, just after James Moore's first raid on Florida,
there were reported to be eight mission and refugee towns
near St. Augustine, including Nombre de Dios at Macaris,
Nombre de Dios Chiquito, Timucua, Tama, Jororo, Costa,
and Tolomato el Nuevo (Valdds 1729). In 1711, the
population was recorded at 401 Indians, and in 1717 the
population had risen to more than 950 (Ayala y Escobar
1717). According to Governor Benavides' account (written

ten years later in Mexico), the Indian population around St.
Augustine included 1,350 Indians (Timucua, Guale,
Yamassee, Apalachee, Costas, Macapira, Pojois, Chiluca)
living in six villages (Benavides 1738). There were also
"about" 10 households of Indians living within the city at this
date (Benavides 1738).
After this time, however, the Indians in the St.
Augustine vicinity began a rapid decline. In 1736, only 466
Indians were counted, and by 1752, there were only 150 adults
in five towns (see Deagan 1990:301 for sources). At the time
of Spanish departure in 1763, there were just 86 Indians left in
St. Augustine.
The consolidation of native American populations at this
predominantly European community greatly increased the
natives' susceptibility to European diseases. A series of
disease encounters continued to reduce the relocated Indians'
numbers, including the smallpox epidemics of 1703 and 1727
(Tepaske 1964:67, 112) and the measles epidemic of 1732,
which also ravaged the Spanish population. During this same
period, the seriously weakened demographic circumstances of
the Indian populations was exacerbated by repeated raids by
English and English-allied Indian enemies (see discussion by
Waterbury 1983).

Indian Influence in Spanish St. Augustine

The Indian inhabitants of St. Augustine nevertheless
interacted with the Spanish residents and influenced the life
of the Spanish town, particularly through labor arrangements,
trade, intermarriage and concubinage. While the decision to
cooperate with the friars and participate in economic
activities in the mission community may have primarily
benefitted the caciques, there was a certain amount of
economic opportunity to be had on an individual level in the
capital of St. Augustine. This was particularly true for
women, who could choose to work in Spanish households, sell
pottery or other crafts in the town, or enter into a relationship
with a Spanish man.
Spanish-Indian intermarriage began immediately and
continued consistently through the two centuries of Spanish
occupation (Deagan 1973). A major material consequence of
this interaction revealed dramatically in the archaeological
record was the incorporation of native pottery into Spanish
households as a primary cooking ware.
Various studies (Deagan 1990; King 1981; Piatek 1985)
have demonstrated that this phenomenon manifested itself
archaeologically in close association with fluctuations in
Amerindian populations in St. Augustine. As various Indian
peoples declined or increased, Spanish kitchen assemblages
adjusted accordingly (Deagan 1990:300-301; Piatek 1985).
The well-documented extent of Indian tradeswomen,
cooks, servants and wives in Spanish St. Augustine as well as
Spanish predisposition to cook in earthenware pots

(Fairbanks 1972) predicts the occurrence of Indian
cookware in the town's kitchens, and is not remarkable in
itself. There are, however, certain particularly notable
aspects of the way in which this material evidence of Indian
influence is manifested.

The Phenomenon of San Marcos Pottery

The first of these aspects is the overwhelming
dominance (80%) of the Indian ceramic ware known as San
Marcos in the non-European ceramic assemblage of St.
Augustine during the first half of the eighteenth century
(Deagan 1990:300, Table 20-1). San Marcos ceramics are
archaeologically indicated to have been associated with (and
presumably produced by) Guale and Yamassee peoples. It is
very similar to the Lamar and Irene ceramic traditions of the
contact period Georgia and lower South Carolina coasts, and
bears no resemblance to the St. Johns ceramics produced by
the indigenous Timucua peoples of northeast Florida (Goggin
1952:58-61; Larson 1978:130; Otto and Lewis 1974; Piatek
1985; Smith 1948; Thomas 1987:61).
When it first appears in St. Augustine's archaeological
contexts dating to the late sixteenth century, this ware, which
featured stamped, incised and combinations of stamped and
incised designs, is most similar to the ceramic series known as
Lamar and Irene, and the slightly later but closely related
Altamaha ceramics (DePratter 1979; Piatek 1985). The
"Chicora Ware group" defined at Santa Elena, South Carolina
during this same period (South 1976, 1982:49, 60) also
describes this group of ceramics, associated in that area with
the Muskogean-speaking Orista people, who may have
formed part of the historic Yamassee. Exchange between St.
Augustine and Santa Elena was probably an important source
for the early Yamassee-Guale tradition Altamaha/San
Marcos wares in Florida.
Through the seventeenth century, details of vessel form
and rim treatment of this ceramic ware changed (for example,
incising became increasingly rare and was eliminated by the
eighteenth century, and circular reed punctates around the
vessel rims were replaced by half-circle or wedge-shaped
punctates); however the basic grit-tempered, paddle-stamped,
folded-rim tradition persisted. At the same time, this
Altamaha-San Marcos ware gradually eclipsed and replaced
the indigenous Timucuan St. Johns pottery in St. Augustine
(Deagan 1990:300; Piatek 1985).
It is always difficult (and often dangerous) to attempt a
correlation between archaeological assemblages and past
ethnic groups. In the case of Spanish La Florida, however,
there is a strong convergence of documentary and
archaeological evidence that permits a greater degree of
confidence in this exercise than is usually the case. Several
seventeenth century sites are both historically documented to
have had Guale mission or town occupation (Jones 1978:

Figure 17; Larson 1978), and archaeologically documented to
have contained predominantly Irene-Altamaha-San Marcos
ceramics during the contact era or later (for summary
discussions see Pearson 1977; Thomas 1987:94-107). These
include Santa Catalina de Guale (Jones 1978; Thomas
1987:102-107); the Fort King George site at Darien, Georgia
(Kelso 1968:20; Larson 1980; Thomas 1987:98-102); the
Southerland Bluff site (possibly the Guale Tolomato mission)
and associated sites on Sapelo Island (Larson 1978; Thomas
1987:98-102); the Taylor mound on St. Simon's Island
(Fairbanks 1985:130-131; Wallace 1975:263-264); the Kent
mound on St. Simons Island (Cook 1978); the relocated
Guale mission of Santa Maria on Amelia Island (Hemmings
and Deagan 1973; Saunders, this volume), and the
seventeenth century mission (populated after ca. 1650 by
relocated Guale peoples) at San Juan del Puerto (Hann 1990:
436; McMurray 1973).
Altamaha-derived or related San Marcos ceramics
dominated the archaeological assemblages of the Spanish
households in St. Augustine after the mid-seventeenth century
(Deagan 1990:305), replacing the Timucuan St. Johns wares
that performed the same functions in Spanish kitchens earlier.
By the eighteenth century, these wares constituted more than
80% of the Indian ceramics in St. Augustine, despite the
presence of Timucua, Apalachee and other Indian groups in
the town.
The San Marcos ceramics occur in Spanish households
at a much higher level than would be predicted by the
proportion of Guale people in St. Augustine's Indian
population of the eighteenth century. The Guale and
Yamassee, according to the census figures of the same period,
comprised only between 30% and 60% of the Indian
population (1711 30%, 1717 65%, 1726 39%, 1737 41%,
see Deagan 1990:301, Table 20-2 for sources). The mean
percentage of Guale in the Indian population over this period
(calculated to provide comparability to the mean percentage
of San Marcos ceramics calculated for this period) is
43.75%. T
The potential factors leading to this discrepancy
have been discussed elsewhere (Deagan 1990:307-8), ifr
and strongly suggest that non-Guale native ceramic
traditions associated with the missions did not survive Gua
the general decimation and decline brought about by
relocation in St. Augustine. Guale peoples and
ceramics were already well-established in St.
Augustine, and may have dominated and eclipsed
other Native American traditions during this period of Apa
cultural disruption. Moe
Ethnically Guale women also dominated the
group of Indian women who married Spanish residents "Tim
of the town, but the proportion of Guale women
marrying Spaniards (48%) is not significantly different
from the proportion of Guale people in the Indian
population as a whole during that period (44%) (see Au
population as a whole during that period (44%) (see Au

Table 1). It must be noted that the marriage figures include
only those Indian women whose marriages were recorded in
the Cathedral Parish Records many more were undoubtedly
recorded in the now-lost Indian doctrina records. This was in
itself a point of serious contention between Franciscan friars
and the town's secular clergy, since the former insisted that
Indian marriages fell under their domain and not that of the
St. Augustine Parish priests, despite the continued inclusion
of Indians in the town's records (Tepaske 1964:175-177).
Additional excavation of the refugee mission villages of
the same time period will be essential to test the possibility
that Spanish preference for Guale women as marriage
partners influenced the dominance of San Marcos ceramics in
the households of St. Augustine. If this was in fact the case,
St. Augustine's eighteenth century Indian communities should
not contain predominantly Guale-origin San Marcos and
Altamaha, but rather a mix of wares known to be associated
with the various tribal groups (for example, the Leon-
Jefferson wares associated with the Apalachee or St. Johns
wares associated with the Timucua).
The very limited amount of preliminary work done to
date does not support the hypothesis that the dominance of
San Marcos ceramics was a town-specific pattern. Although
none of the eighteenth century refugee Indian sites has been
systematically and extensively excavated, the results of a series
of test projects suggest that Guale material traditions
dominated the material world of these eighteenth century
Indian settlements as well as that of the Spanish town. These
test projects have been carried out in areas thought to have
been associated with a variety of eighteenth century Indian
settlements, including portions of the Fountain of Youth Park
site occupied by the town of Nombre de Dios (Seaberg 1991;
Chaney 1986, 1987; Lucetti n.d.), North St. Augustine in the
vicinity of the 1764 Castello Map location of Macaris
(Chatelaine 1941; Smith and Bond 1981), the La Leche
Shrine, part of the Nombre de Dios mission in the eighteenth

le 1. Indian-Spanish Marriage Patterns in St. Augustine, 1700-1709.a

's Origin 170009 1710-19 1720-29 1730-39 1740-49 Total

"Guale" 1 3 1 1 2 8 30.7
"Tolomato" 1 3 4 14.8
*San Juan 1 1 3.7
(Subtotal) (2) (3) (2) (1) (5) (13) 48.1
lachee" 2 1 4 1 8 30.7
('Palica') 3 3 11.5
ucua" 2 2 7.7

Total 4 15.4 4 15.4 4 15.4 5 19.2 9 34.6 26

rce: St. Augustine Parish Register, Book of Marriages (1700-1750) and Pardos (1735-1750). St.
gustine Historical Society.


century (Chaney 1988; Lucetti n.d.), and the Abbott tract,
where Costa and other Indian settlements are shown on an
anonymous 1765 map (Chaney 1986; Luccetti n.d.; St.
Augustine Historical Society Map #133). Although only very
limited excavation has been done, all of the tests so far
indicate that Guale ceramics consistently outnumber all other
kinds of native pottery in these outlying Indian settlements.

Colono Wares in St. Augustine Households

A second arresting feature of native ceramic influence in
both the Spanish and Indian sites of St. Augustine is the fact
that the great majority of aboriginal pottery is unmodified
from its traditional forms for the overwhelming majority of
ceramics, neither shape nor decoration show European
influence. This stands in contrast to the frontier missions,
where directed change by friars and sometimes associated
settlers often led to the production of European-inspired
colono ware (see McMurray 1973:77-79; Symes and Stephens
1965:7; Rebecca Saunders, personal communication 1991;
Vernon 1988; Vernon and Cordell, this volume). This
phenomenon of directing native potters to produce European
forms is furthermore not restricted to the Florida missions,
and has been documented in the missions of the western and
southwestern borderlands where it is known as "Mission
wares" (Hoover and Costello 1985:30-32; Snow 1984).
Traditional Amerindian forms persisted in a largely
unaltered state, however, through the entire colonial period in
St. Augustine. Even after the relocation of mission groups
known to have made colono-wares to St. Augustine, such
wares are rare in the archaeological record of the eighteenth
century town. Colono-wares seem instead to have been a
mission-related phenomenon.
Either there was no serious directed effort on the part of
the Spaniards in St. Augustine to influence change in favor of
Spanish tastes, or there was native resistance to and
disinterest in this aspect of European influence. It is
furthermore likely that Indian cooks did not perceive a need
to alter their vessels in favor of less familiar Spanish forms,
particularly when European tablewares were already available
in the town.
It is nevertheless worthy of note that this native
southeastern pottery, made by people in daily contact with
Europeans, persisted unmodified for nearly 200 years of
Spanish-Indian interaction. Despite the disruption to mission
Indian society from disease, directed change, relocation and
consolidation, at least some systems for the transmission of
crafts and symbolic information persisted unaltered through
generations. This in itself implies a remarkable cultural
resiliency, at least on the part of the Guale. The implications
of this for the complex interactions among the various
relocated Indian groups, the resident Indian groups and the

European and African residents of St. Augustine are less
clear, and await archaeological study.


There is no doubt that the town of St. Augustine -
administrative, political, military and religious center for the
mission-defined frontier of La Florida was closely tied to the
missions throughout its 200-year long Spanish occupation.
There is also little doubt that the missions themselves evolved
as a process of mutual accommodation between Spanish and
Indian systems, and that actions by the Indian peoples on the
mission frontier directly and indirectly influence life in the
Spanish town center.
The economic benefits expected of an agricultural and
trading frontier cattle trade and Indian trade do not appear
to have been enjoyed extensively by the Spanish residents of
St. Augustine. Spanish (sometimes including friars) and
Indian cattle owners tended to bypass St. Augustine in the
sale of their goods, and friars appear to have diverted much
of the frontier Indian trade from the town to the missions.
There was a pronounced influence, however, in St.
Augustine's demographic patterns and fluctuations, caused by
the movements of mission groups in and out of the town
during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This is
reflected clearly in the marriage patterns and material
assemblages of the Spanish households.
The demographic impact of the missions became even
more pronounced after 1700, when the majority of surviving
mission towns were relocated to the immediate vicinity of St.
Augustine. The presence and consolidation of multiple tribal
groups, as well as European and African peoples in
eighteenth century St. Augustine pose a number of potentially
fruitful anthropological questions related to multi-ethnic
exchange, migration, competition and survival. It will require
the combined efforts of archaeology and history in the
refugee communities of eighteenth century St. Augustine -
outside the town walls to realize this potential.

Acknowledgments. This paper has been substantially
revised following a detailed and extremely insightful review
and comment by Dr. John Hann. I would also like to thank
Dr. Jane Landers and Dr. Bonnie McEwan for their helpful
suggestions, although I assume responsibility for any
remaining errors of fact or interpretation.

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Kathleen Deagan
Department of Anthropology
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611


John H. Hann


The people of south-central Florida living along the
upper St. Johns River and the Oklawaha and throughout the
lakes districts north and south of Orlando are among the least
known of the state's aboriginal tribes archaeologically and
historically. Some of that region's tribes probably
disappeared without even their names having been recorded.
But obscurity persists even for the groups whose names
appear most often in the historical record. Blurred
perception characterizes knowledge of the Mayaca in
particular, leaving in doubt the linguistic identity of the
people with whom the name Mayaca was associated in
different eras and, to some degree the location of the village
bearing that name. The people alluded to as Mayaca from
the 1560s into the early seventeenth century have often been
considered to have been Freshwater Timucua despite
evidence linking the Mayaca with the Ais. Even people who
concede that the issue is in doubt treat the Mayaca as though
they were Freshwater Timucua (Deagan 1978:110). For the
late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century Mayaca
are recognized as speakers of a language distinct from
Timucua known as Mayaca, which they shared with the
Jororo and which was probably akin to Ais (Ayala y Escobar
1717; Dickinson 1981:60; Milanich 1978:60). Erroneous
identifications of the names of other distinct villages as
variants of Mayaca have added to the confusion over the
Mayaca's identity and the presence of Yamasee at the late
seventeenth-century Mayaca mission has compounded the
The purpose of this article is to assemble and analyze
what is known about the Mayaca and Jororo to try to dispel
some of the mist in which their history has been shrouded and
to clear up some of the misidentifications and to establish
whether the Mayaca of the sixteenth and early seventeenth
centuries were one with those who bore that name later. The
close association of the Mayaca's name with the Freshwater
Timucua in accounts from the 1560s to the early seventeenth
century requires that attention be given to the Freshwater
Timucua as well. Evidence of links between the Surruque
and the Mayaca also makes passing mention of them

Historical Archaeological Background

Beginning in the 1560s the name Mayaca was applied to
a particular chief, the village he headed, two temporally
distinct missions at the same site, a province, a culture, and a

language. The name survives today in Port Mayaca, eastern
terminus for the Lake Okeechobee Waterway. The name
Myakka, given today to a river, lake, two settlements, and a
state park in west-south central Florida, may be a variant of
Mayaca. The name Jororo, also spelled Hororo, first
appeared only in the very late seventeenth century. The name
Jororo was applied to a particular village and to the people
who inhabited it and at least several neighboring villages,
which, in Spanish eyes, constituted the province of Jororo.
But those Jororo settlements were also linked with Mayaca in
what Spaniards designated as the province of Mayaca and
Eugene Lyon provided the clearest definition to date of
the boundaries of the Mayaca culture, observing "I feel that a
line drawn south of Lake George eastward to the seacoast
and one from the Orlando metropolitan area to the Cape
would probably define the northern and southern boundaries
of the Mayaca culture" (Lyon 1983:168-169, n. 15) (Figure 1).
Lyon based his "outline of the lands under direct or indirect
control of Chief Mayaca" on two Spanish derroteros. One is
from 1566, the era when the name Mayaca first appeared.
The other is the Mexia derrotero of 1605.
The 1566 guide was composed for Gonzalo de Gay6n
when Pedro Men6ndez de Avil6s sent the pilot Gay6n south
"from St. Augustine to seek Mayaca from the seacoast" to
ransom some Frenchmen who were reported to be with Chief
Mayaca and in his territory. Gay6n "stated that the villages
near the coast owed allegiance to Mayaca" (Lyon 1983:169, n.
15; Provanza 1566:60-61). Spaniards then considered Mayaca
a village of some importance. Alvaro de Mexia identified
what may be those coastal villages. He recorded that
"midway on the trail [from Nocoroco to Caparaca] a small
sweet-water river enters, which descends from the hinterland
and there are many clusters of villages (rancherias) by the
mouth of said river to which one may go from the Mayaca
village located on the San Mateo River [the St. Johns] in one
day (Griffin and Smith 1949:340-343; Mexia 1605a). Irving
Rouse (1951:270, n. 16) placed the location of those villages
as "probably Turnbull's Bay and Creek."
References in the two derroteros along with data from
explorations of the St. Johns River by Men6ndez de Avil6s
and by Frenchmen under the jurisdiction of Ren6 de
Laudonninre converge to indicate a location for Mayaca just
south of Lake George where the river begins to narrow.
Mexia's Nocoroco is in today's Tomoka State Park and his
Caparaca at New Smyrna (Griffin and Smith 1949:340-343;
Rouse 1951:270) (Figure 1). Laudonniere's account reveals
that the French expedition that pushed farthest upriver


Vol. 44 No. 2-4

June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

0 50 KM

Figure 1. Map of northeastern Florida showing tribes and places mentioned.

reached the lake but did not cross it. Menendez, sailing fifty
leagues upriver and advancing two leagues farther than the
French had gone, went to a point where the river began to
narrow in a land under the jurisdiction of a chief Mocoya or
Macoya, alluded to as "very powerful throughout this region"
(Barrientos 1965:117-118; Bennett 1975:114-115; Solis de
Merfs 1923:204-205). Menendez's Macoya is undoubtedly
Mayaca. Men6ndez gave the village's name as Mayacuya
(Hann 1991). When the original mission at Mayaca was last
mentioned in 1655, its name was given as San Salvador de
Macaya (Serrano y Sanz 1912:133). The Macaya of 1655 was
thirty-six leagues from St. Augustine, a figure compatible with
Men6ndez's fifty-league sail up the river and identical with
that given for the late seventeenth-century Mayaca mission.
Charles Hudson and Jerald Milanich noted a dense
distribution of sites south of Lake George, observing that it
was "most likely the territory of Mayaca and other south
Florida native groups" (Milanich and Hudson 1991). To date
no site has been registered in Florida's Master Site File as the
location of the 1560s village or the two missions bearing the
names San Salvador de Macaya and San Salvador de Mayaca.
The name Mayaca as such does not appear in French
sources from the 1560s, but those sources' Mayarqua and
Mathiaqua or Mathiaca have been construed as variants of
Mayaca (Lussagnet 1958:115, 131, 136, 262; Milanich and
Proctor 1978:68, 212). There are problems with both French
candidates. The Le Moyne map (Lorant 1946:34-35) depicts
Mathiaca and Mayarqua as distinct sites, both downriver from
Lake George. Lussagnet (1958:136, n. 4) also noted that
Mayarqua was distinct from Mathiaca. Laudonnisre's
description of Mathiaqua as thirty leagues north of Lake
George seems to rule it out definitively (Bennett 1975:114-
115). Although Mayarqua's given distance of eighty leagues
from Fort Caroline seems compatible with its being the
Spaniards' Mayaca, the distance is obviously an exaggeration
as Lussagnet (1958:115, n. 2) has observed. Mayarqua seems
to have been visited by the French prior to the trip that took
them to Lake George, that is, during the expedition that
Laudonnisre dispatched to send prisoners back to the
Freshwater Timucua Chief Outina. If the French Mayarqua
was the Spaniards' Mayaca south of Lake George, that would
eliminate the need for the subsequent voyage on which the
French discovered the lake (Bennett 1975:90-91, 114-115).
Additionally, the Le Moyne map places Mayarqua well
downriver from the lake, farther down indeed than Mathiaca.
If any of the villages named by the French are variants of
Mayaca, Mayrra seems the most likely candidate, although no
one seems to have suggested such an identification. Le
Moyne depicts Mayrra as farther upriver than either
Mayarqua or Mathiaca, but still downriver from the lake.
Mayrra was three long day's journey upriver from the village
of Molona, which was subject to Chief Outina. Mayrra's chief
was described as "rich in gold and silver" (Lussagnet

1958:100). That description is applicable to Mayaca as will be
seen below from Fontaneda's remark about Mayaca.
More difficult to resolve than uncertainties about
Mayaca's general location are the uncertainties relating to its
inhabitants' linguistic affiliation in the sixteenth and early
seventeenth centuries. Kathleen Deagan (1978:110)
remarked that "it is not clear whether Mayaca was considered
part of the Agua Dulce province by the Spanish." But after
that prefatory caution she added, "Since they shared material
culture and, possibly, linguistic elements with the Agua Dulce,
however, they will be considered part of the Agua Dulce
here." In the light of the evidence from the 1560s and above
all that from the early seventeenth century, which provides
most of our knowledge about the Freshwater missions, her
position is not unreasonable.
Both in the 1560s and the early seventeenth century the
evidence for Mayaca's linguistic affiliation is equivocal. For
the 1560s it is scant and largely circumstantial. Macoya was
an ally of the Saltwater Timucua chieftain Saturiwa and an
enemy of the Freshwater chieftain Aotina. Twenty leagues
upriver from Macoya's village was definitely Ais territory.
Men6ndez's guide and interpreter for his trip upriver had
once been a slave of the above-mentioned Ais chief and knew
Macoya. That suggests friendly relations between Macoya
and the Ais (Barrientos 1965:117-118: Solis de Meris
1923:205-207). Remarks by Fontaneda suggest linguistic and
political ties between the Mayaca and the Ais. Speaking of
another Spaniard who had been a captive among the Indians
like him, Fontaneda remarked, "He understands well the
language of the Ais and the language of other places
mentioned which are spoken as far as Mayaca and
Mayajuaca, places toward the north" (Fontaneda 1944:18).
His remark indicates that in moving northward beyond
Mayaca one crossed a linguistic frontier. Fontaneda also
noted that Mayaguaca and Mayaca were among the chieftains
with whom the cacique of Ais divided the gold and silver from
shipwrecks along the southeast coast. Such a distribution
suggests a political tie.
The somewhat fuller evidence from the early
seventeenth century is more equivocal with some Spaniards
seemingly viewing Mayaca as part of the province of Rio
Dulce. Before considering that evidence it is advisable to
look briefly at the upriver villages mentioned. For the 1560s
French and Spanish sources identify Mathiaca, Mayaguaca,
Mayarca, Outina or Aotina, Coya, Edelano, Patica, Chilile,
Calanay or Calabay, Enaguape or Encacque, Molona,
Mayrra, and Mayaca or Macoya or Mayacuya as villages
located on or close to the river. Outina's Olata Ouae Outina
was head chief for most of those upriver villages with the
exception of Mayaca. Laudonniere mentions others as vassals
of Outina but does not indicate where they were located. In a
1602 inquiry Spaniards with long service in Florida identified
Tocoy, San Julian, Antonico, Calabay, Nyaautina, Filache,


and Mayaca as villages along upper portions of the river in
which Christianization had begun. Other early seventeenth
century sources mention Equale, Anacabile and Enacape
similarly. Enacape and Anacabili may be one and the same
(Montes 1602; Or6 1936:126; Valdes 1602). In 1602 Antonico
was the head chief for the Rio Dulce rather than Nyaautina,
who seems to represent Aotina or Outina of the 1560s.
During the 1602 inquiry, when witnesses mentioned
Mayaca, they always did so in conjunction with their mention
of the Freshwater missions and visits. But some witnesses
omitted mention of Mayaca or mentioned Mayaca separately
in ways that could be interpreted as meaning that Mayaca was
not part of the Rio Dulce province. For example, the first
witness mentioned a number of Rio Dulce villages without
mentioning Mayaca. But in a separate context in which the
witness spoke of principal chiefs from the region whom he
had seen visit St. Augustine, he mentioned the chief of
Antonico as head chief for Rio Dulce province and then
remarked separately, "similarly I have seen the cacique of
Mayaca and some of his vassal Indians come to this presidio
daily from their land as friends." On the other hand several
witnesses seemed to include Mayaca as part of the Rio Dulce,
as did the fourth witness. He remarked that "in the Rio
Dulce and San Sebastian, where Gaspar, Antonyco, and
Mayaca are chiefs ... there is a number of Christian Indians."
However, in using the term Rio Dulce, he and the others may
have been thinking of those riverine settlements only in
geographical terms rather than intending to make a statement
about their sharing a common tribal affiliation. And the
fourth witness' mention of Mayaca's chief in conjunction with
Chief Gaspar and Chief Antonico, head of the Freshwater
province, raises the possibility that Mayaca also was a head
chief in a distinct polity (Vald6s 1602). The eight leagues that
separated Mayaca from villages identified clearly as part of
the Freshwater province might be interpreted as a buffer zone
indicating that Mayaca was part of a separate entity (Montes
1602). That Mayaca of the 1560s was an enemy of the
Freshwater head chief, Outina, points in the same direction.
A 1605 service record for a soldier-interpreter killed by
the Surruque in 1597 while he was on his way to Ais links
Mayaca's cacique more definitely with both the Surruque and
the Ais. Mayaca's cacique in 1597 was a father-in-law of the
cacique of Ais. The Surruque killed the soldier-interpreter
because he had made war earlier on the cacique of Mayaca,
killing or imprisoning many of Mayaca's people (M6ndez de
Canzo 1602; Worth 1991). The Indians then reportedly
quartered and roasted the interpreter's body, presenting each
quarter to their chief, after which they ate him (Junco 1605).
Sources from the late seventeenth century and early
eighteenth century clearly indicate that the Mayaca were
more closely related to the Ais and other south Florida
peoples than to the Timucua. There is little reason to believe
that the name Mayaca was applied then to a different people
than it had been in the earlier periods. The Mayaca of the

late mission period along with the Jororo spoke a language
distinct from Timucua. In a 1717 census of the mission
villages in the vicinity of St. Augustine the Jororo, who had
been neighbors of the Mayaca in the 1690s and had been
spoken of then as belonging to the province of Mayaca and
Jororo, were described as Mayaca-speakers (Ayala y Escobar
1717). In mentioning the killing of a friar working among the
Jororo in 1696, Jonathan Dickinson (1981:60) described the
friar as having been "murdered by some of the Cape Indians."
In authorizing departure from Spain of a 1695 mission band
destined for Florida, the crown specified that they were to
work exclusively among the Calusa and the Ais. Upon their
arrival, those not sent to Calusa were assigned to the missions
of Mayaca and Jororo (Hann 1991). This suggests that
Mayaca and Jororo were considered to be missions among
the Ais (Figure 1).
If that is the case, as it seems to be, the Mayaca and the
Ais in general on the Timucua's southern borders are
analagous to the Mocama and possibly other Timucua on
Guale's southern border. The Mocama's ceramics are of the
San Marcos type that characterize the Guale, but the
Mocama spoke Timucua rather than the Guale's Ibaja
language. The Mocama example shows that ceramics are not
always a reliable indicator of linguistic boundaries.
Therefore, in the face of other evidence linking the Mayaca to
the Ais, the Mayaca's sharing of the Timucua's St. Johns
ceramic tradition need not be interpreted as meaning that the
Mayaca were Timucua.
After Men6ndez de Avil6s's time no contact appears to
have been made with Mayaca until the beginning of mission
work among them and the Freshwater Timucua of the St.
Johns Valley in the 1580s or early 1590s. A friar or friars
worked intermittently in Mayaca sometime before 1597,
baptizing the chief and an undetermined number of his
people (M6ndez de Canzo 1602; Vald6s 1602). Of that effort
Fray Bias de Montes (1602) wrote, "to the south of this city at
the edge of a freshwater river at a distance of twenty-four
leagues there are seven villages of Christians whose names
are Tocoy, San Julian, Filache, Antonico, Equale, Anacabile,
and Mayaca, and they would have something like two
hundred Christian Indians. And in the last village, as it is
eight leagues away from the nearest of the six, there would be
more than 100 yet to be baptized." Governor Gonzalo
M6ndez de Canzo revealed a reason for the relative lack of
progress at Mayaca down to 1602, noting that since his arrival
in 1597 no friar had gone to Mayaca. He attributed the friars'
neglect to their "lack of enthusiasm (tibieza)" toward both the
people and the land "as being cursed (mal dicta) and swampy
and [having] other problems" (M6ndez de Canzo 1602). A
similar distaste of friars of a later era for working with the
Jororo and other Indians from south Florida suggests that
one of the "other problems" was that the Mayaca were
seasonally nomadic fisher-hunter-gatherers rather than
agriculturalists (Hann 1991). In view of the earlier Spanish

conflict with Chief Mayaca and Mayaca's ties with the Ais and
Surruque, simple prudence may have deterred the friars from
going to Mayaca after 1597. Soon after his arrival in 1597
Governor Mendez de Canzo had sent Juan Ramirez de
Contreras, the above mentioned soldier-interpreter, to visit
the Ais chief. In retaliation for the Surruque's killing of
Contreras, the governor sent soldiers who killed up to eighty
of the Surruque and brought fifty-five women and children to
St. Augustine as captives (Alas 1599; Geiger 1937:137-139;
Rouse 1951:53). Surruque's proximity to Mayaca and ties to
it make the friars' reluctance to venture there understandable,
especially in the wake of the killing of five friars in Guale in
Nothing more is known about relations between Mayaca
and the Surruque. No mention of Mayaca appears in the
documentation of the intensive contact between the Surruque
and the governor in the first years of the seventeenth century
following the above-mentioned incidents. At the start of the
seventeenth century the Surruque were allied to the Ais and
enemies of the Timucua of Nocoroco as the Mayaca had been
of Chief Outina a generation or so earlier (Mexia 1605b).
The Surruque at Turtle Mound appear to have been the
coastal equivalent of the Mayaca in the sense of being border
chieftains with the obligations typical of the leader of a march
Whether the natives of the upper St. Johns River were
horticulturists or simply fisher-hunter-gatherers is another
matter for which the evidence is seemingly contradictory, at
least temporally. In separate contexts Governor M6ndez de
Canzo characterized Freshwater Timucua in general as well
as the Mayaca as non-agriculturalists. Noting that in 1602 no
religious lived at Tocoy, Antonico, or Mayaca, he remarked
that "it is a wretched (miserable) people who sustain
themselves with nothing but fish." In a similar vein he
observed later that the natives "of the Freshwater district,
Tocoy, Antonico, and Mayaca, never paid tribute, as they are
people who live solely from fish and roots from the swamps
and woods" (M6ndez de Canzo 1602). For Tocoy and
Antonico at least either the governor was exaggerating or
native life-styles had changed drastically since the 1560s. The
latter could well be the case. The 1602 figure of only about
200 Christians among the Freshwater Timucua and Mayaca
combined and the small number of villages mentioned as
compared to the 1560s suggests a drastic decline in
population had occurred, which may have disrupted
established cultural patterns.
Both French and Spanish sources from the 1560s
indicate that maize was grown in Freshwater Timucua villages
and French sources record the planting of maize as far
upriver as Outina. But horticulture conceivably was not a
major source of their food supply. The foodstuffs Outina and
his people furnished to the French when the French were very
short of food indicates a considerable reliance on gathering.
On one occasion Outina sent twelve or fifteen baskets of

acorns and two of pinocqs. Laudonninre described pinocqs as
"little green fruit growing in the grass of the river and about
the size of cherries" (Bennett 1975:125; Lussagnet 1958:145).
Publishers of Laudonniere's accounts have identified pinocqs
variously as "water chinquapens, more technically named
Nelumbo lutea" (Bennett 1975:224, n. 94) andApios tuberosa
(Lussagnet 1958:145, n. 2). Laudonniere's description seems
to rule out Apios, which is harvested for its potato-like tuber.
Pinocqs are probably the pinoco of later Spanish sources (see
Hann 1986:201; Florencia 1695). In 1695 inhabitants of
Salamototo complained that ranchers were preventing them
from harvesting pinoco along the river. The growing of maize
at Aotina is attested to dramatically in its chief's request to
Men6ndez de Avilds that he pray for rain to save his parched
maize fields as he had successfully done earlier for the
cacique of Guale (Barrientos 1965:115-116). But Spanish
sources from the 1560s make no mention of maize upriver
beyond Aotina. In threatening retaliation if he were not well
received as he proceeded upriver from Aotina, Men6ndez
spoke only of burning down the villages and destroying
canoes and fish weirs.
For the Freshwater Timucua archaeology provides little
data to resolve this issue. In their excavations at Nocoroco on
the coast John W. Griffin and Hale Smith found no positive
evidence for agriculture at the site. But they concluded that
"while archaeological exploration gave direct evidence only of
hunting, fishing, and shellfish gathering, it is to be assumed
from the relatively small amount of evidence of these pursuits
in relation to the total midden bulk that agriculture and root
and seed gathering were also practiced" (Griffin and Smith
1949:345, 359).
Hontoon Island's excavations provide data for the
Mayaca-speaking region south of Lake George. Although
cultivated species were found in historic-era contexts, Lee A.
Newsom (1987:47, 77) concluded "that the inhabitants
remained primarily non-horticultural, pursuing a hunting-
gathering-fishing economy." She even suggested that maize
and the larger pepos found there may have been introduced
by native intruders from the north during the latter half of the
seventeenth century. Worthy of note is her remark that the
territory just south of Lake George is "bisected by Larson's
(1980:213) inferred southern limit for agriculture." When
Yamasee moved into the region in the late 1670s they also
pursued the nomadic life of fisher-hunter-gatherers for much
of the year (Bushnell 1990:481-482).

Missions to the Mayaca and Jororo

Little is known about the establishment of the first
mission at Mayaca. In 1602 Mayaca was not among the
places where friars had erected a church, although its chief
had been converted by that time (Vald6s 1602). In 1597
Mayaca's chief was among the native leaders who came to St.
Augustine to render obedience to newly-arrived Governor


M6ndez de Canzo. Soldiers in 1602 placed him among those
who frequented the city but did not specify the times of those
visits. There is no mention of him after that date. In 1606
Mayaca's chief did not appear on the roll of chiefs whom
Bishop Altamirano confirmed. In 1614 Or6 went only twenty
leagues upriver to San Antonio Enacape mission on his
visitation, where he met a friar who came from Avino (San
Luis de Acuera). The first phase of the mission at Mayaca
was mentioned for the first and last time on the 1655 mission
list where it appears as San Salvador de Macaya, located
thirty-six leagues from St. Augustine (Serrano y Sanz
1912:133). Neither Mayaca nor San Antonio Anacape appear
on either of the mission lists from 1675.
But both Anacape and Mayaca reappear on a listing of
the missions drawn up in December 1680 by the newly
installed governor, Juan Marquez Cabrera. He described
both as "new conversions," seemingly indicating that most or
all of the missions' earlier populations had disappeared since
1655. Marquez Cabrera placed both missions under his
heading, "Provinces of Timuqua" (Marquez Cabrera 1680).
The circumstances of the reemergence of missions at
Anacape and Mayaca are ill defined. Both sites are first
mentioned anew in passing in the latter half of 1679 by
Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar and Fray Jacinto de Barreda.
The inhabitants of both sites then were identified as Yamasee
who had left their homeland to escape attacks by Westo. The
governor spoke of heathen Yamasee at Anacape having asked
for a friar. After looking into the matter, Fray Barreda
informed the governor that the Yamasee at Anacape showed
no interest in becoming Christians, but said that he had
instructed Fray Bartolom6 de Quifiones, who was stationed in
Mayaca, to exhort and prepare the Yamasee at Anacape to
become Christians. Barreda promised to send a second friar
to Mayaca soon so that he might work with the people at
Anacape "disposing their spirits" until divine providence
should move them to desire to become Christians (Hann
1990:88-89; Hita Salazar 1680). Listing of Anacape as a
mission at the end of 1680 seems to indicate that the promise
was fulfilled. B. Calvin Jones in his several weeks of
exploration of the believed site of Anacape (Mount Royal) in
the vicinity of Palatka found much Spanish material scattered
over forty acres, which he believes belongs to the early 1600s
Spanish presence exclusively. He has not sufficiently studied
the native ceramics he found to venture an assessment
(Goggin 1952:25, n. 11; Hann 1990:23-24, 90; Jones, personal
communication 1988, 1991). By 1681 Fray Quifiones had
abandoned his post at Mayaca, having become ill from
attempting to follow the Yamasee in their wanderings
through the woods. On leaving he took the missions's two
bells as well as the church ornaments (Bushnell 1990:481-
By 1689 the mission at Mayaca had been resurrected
anew. It then contained thirty families or 150 individuals
(Ebelino de Compostela 1689). But like many other missions

during this period when many friars were being shifted to
Cuba, Mayaca appears to have been without a friar much of
the time during the first several years after 1689. At the end
of August 1690 Florida's governor spoke of Fray Salvador
Bueno as having been at Mayaca three or four months earlier,
implying that Mayaca had lacked a friar since then (Quiroga y
Losada 1690). Before April of 1692, however, persistent
orders from the crown to send friars to work among the Ais
and Calusa of south Florida moved Franciscan authorities to
return a friar to Mayaca and establish the first two Jororo
missions, Concepci6n de Atoyquime and San Joseph de
Jororo. As of April 1692, 108 people had been baptized at
San Salvador de Mayaca, thirty of them adults. Only four of
the 108 were natives of Mayaca. The remaining 104 were
natives of villages named Malao, Afafa, and Hipaha. Our
knowledge of the earlier presence of Yamasee in the area and
the name Hipaha's resemblance to de Soto's Yupaha suggests
that some, if not all, of the 104 were Yamasee. At Jororo,
Fray Francisco Camacho had baptized 53 children by April
1692. At Anacape, 18 adults and 25 children had been
baptized by then and up to 10 more people were under
instruction (Barreda 1692). By 1693 more than 400 people
had been Christianized in the four missions of Anacape,
Mayaca, Jororo and Atoyquime. The friars then were
hopeful of winning many more in territories surrounding
those existing missions. They described that land and its
surrounding territory as having "the form of a triangle
terminating on the Cape of Canaveral on the southeast side.
And on that of the east running along the coast of Florida to
the north, and along that of the south in the Keys of the
Bahama Channel and along that of the southwest and west to
the Mexican Gulf, in the inner parts and edges of which that
covered more than three hundred leagues there is an
abundance of nations, some idolaters, other heathens
(gentiles) with the provinces being differentiated in accord
with the languages" (Carmenatri et al. 1693; Men6ndez
Marquez and Florencia 1697). By 1696 a third Jororo mission
existed at Atissimi or Jizime and a people known as Aypaja or
Piaja had begun to be converted.
To some degree creation of these new missions of
Mayaca and Jororo can be attributed to Governor Hita
Salazar's interest in promoting missions among the previously
neglected natives of south Florida. He informed the crown
early in 1680 that he had promised himself that the friars
would move forward with the conversion of south Florida's
natives and that his fondest desire was to see missions
established from Ais to Calusa as a legacy of his
administration. His alerting of the crown to this unmet need
led the crown to press for a mission to the Calusa as early as
1681 and later to insist on expansion of the missions to the
Ais in terms that suggest that the Mayaca-Jororo missions of
the 1690s were a beginning of those missions to the Ais
(Hann 1991).
In 1693, after informing the crown of the progress of the

new missions, the friars asked for financial support for
expeditions to establish contact with new peoples beyond the
reach of the existing missions and for the purchase of iron
tools with which to convert the region's largely fisher-hunter-
gatherer peoples into sedentary agriculturalists. The friars'
remarks at that time that these people "on the whole do not
work at plantings" but "are able to sustain themselves solely
with the abundance of fish that they catch and some wild
fruits" suggests that some of those people engaged in
agriculture to a minimal degree (Carmenatri et al. 1693).
Although data are available for the distance between the
five Mayaca-Jororo missions of the 1690s, they do not permit
an exact location of the Jororo missions. In 1697 Mayaca was
still sixteen leagues from Anacape on or near the first-phase
mission of 1655. San Joseph de Jororo was sixteen leagues
from Mayaca and nine from Atissime. Atoyquime in its turn
was nine leagues from Atissimi (Men6ndez Marquez and
Florencia 1697). Jororo Province was largely swamp (or
subject to flooding--ahiegadiza) with places full of brambles
and an abundance of lakes, some of which were large (Torres
y Ayala 1697).
Mayaca served as headquarters for the province. By
1696 it had a resident deputy-governor and his soldier
assistants. His appointment may have been recent as
Governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala, who arrived in Florida
only in 1693, spoke of having placed the deputy-governor in
the province (Torres y Ayala 1697).
The friars' 1693 hopes for an abundance of converts and
ongoing success were dashed in 1696 and 1697. The troubles
began at Atoyquime late in October 1696 when natives there
killed their friar, Luis Sanchez, apparently because of his
having disciplined some errant natives. Dickinson's differing
account appears to be a garbled version of the events.
Dickinson observed that when "the Caseekey of this town they
gained on to embrace the Roman faith, but all his people
were much incensed against the friars, and therefore would
have their caseekey renounce his faith and put the friars to
death; but he would assent to neither; therefore they killed
him and one friar" (Dickinson 1981:60). The murdered native
leader was cacique of Aypaja rather than chief of Atoyquime,
and he was killed because of his opposition to the killing of
the friar. Two Guale boys who assisted the friar at Mass were
also killed. Initially the other villages remained calm and
permitted the two other friars in Jororo Province to withdraw
safely to Mayaca. On reaching Mayaca, Fray Salvador Bueno,
the friar at San Joseph de Jororo, informed the lieutenant
about "how the people of the said place had come to his
convent weeping and saying that the people of the said place
of Atoquime (sic) had killed the priest, Fray Luis Sanchez,
and that they had seen the habit reduced to shreds and
On learning of the event at Atoyquime, the governor
dispatched six and then an additional eleven soldiers to

restore calm, secure the church furnishings, seek to capture
the assailants, and learn what motivated the killing of the
friar. Despite the governor's instructions to the soldiers to
treat the peaceful Indians amicably and to make no demands
on them for food during their stay, the trouble spread not
long after the arrival of the second group of soldiers, when
the soldiers set out to capture those responsible for the friar's
death. When the lieutenant and the first soldiers visited the
remaining Jororo villages, they had received a friendly
reception and many of the natives of some villages offered to
assist the Spaniards in their search for the inhabitants of
Atoyquime, who were reported to have fled toward the coast
to a village named Yuamajiro. That goodwill had been
feigned, however, and the soldiers' two Jororo guides led
them astray "onto swampy and gravelly trails (caminos
varialesy cascales) that were so difficult that they were able to
advance only at the cost of much labor and delay." At a point
where the trail branched, the Spaniards sent the Jororo scouts
with a Guale Indian to try to capture an Indian from
Guamajiro who might serve better as a guide. Their guides
then abandoned them in an area full of brambles, swamps,
and ponds as did the porters who carried the provisions.
When the soldiers returned to Jororo three days after having
left it, they found the village deserted, the church desecrated,
and a soldier dead whom they had left behind to recuperate
from a punctured foot. The Jororo had also killed two Guale
who served the mission as sacristans. Although Atissime's
people were not involved in the violence, they also took to the
woods at this juncture, probably fearful of retaliation by the
Spaniards. When the soldiers withdrew to Mayaca with the
church furnishings they had salvaged, they found that
Mayaca's people had fled as well without taking anything
from church or convent or doing any harm. Convinced that
under the circumstances any further attempt then to
apprehend the assailants or to bring back those who had fled
would be futile, the soldiers returned to St. Augustine with
the church furnishings, alleging the harshness of the trails, the
Indians' residence on islands and very large lakes that made
canoes a necessity, and "that they would always be bound to
be detected beforehand."
Before the governor had completed his inquiry in
January of 1697, Mayaca's people had returned to their
village. St. Augustine's leaders in assembly decided that in
view of difficulties posed by the winter rains and the lack of
provisions no further expedition should be mounted at that
time. They advised the governor to strive to attract the
Indians back to their villages with kindness and to seek to
capture the Indian captain of Atoyquimi, who was the
principal instigator of the trouble, and his closest followers.
To that end the governor issued a general pardon to all the
Indians of the Mayaca-Jororo Province who had fled except
those directly involved in the killings and promised twenty-
five pesos for the capture and delivery of Atoyquime's

captain. The governor gave responsibility for implementation
of this policy to his lieutenant at Mayaca (Torres y Ayala
Except in the matter of apprehending those responsible
for the killings, the governor's policy was largely successful in
the short term. In response to a crown request for
information on the matter, the governor reported in
September of 1699 that friars were working in Anacape and
Mayaca, whose people he characterized as "never having
rebelled." He placed Aypaja's people in the same category,
reporting that they had been resettled at Anacape at their
own request. Two groups of Jororo had also returned, asking
to be resettled in two areas, the one called Las Cofas, where
about 100 were established, and the other, the woods of Afafa
with about sixty people. The ten or so from Atoyquime
involved in the murders had retreated "to a very unknown
region" and the rest of the thirty or so people from that village
had scattered into different areas. The governor suspected
that some of the returnees may have been people from
Atoyquime who were not party to the murders. "Out of all
this province of San Salvador de Mayaca," he concluded, "only
those of the village of Atisme remain to be resettled." He
also characterized them as having simply withdrawn to the
woods rather than revolting. His agents who were in contact
with them were hopeful of resettling them. The four existing
settlements were each two days journey from one another. At
that moment the friars from Anacape and Mayaca were
visiting Las Cofas and Afafa, but the governor had made
provisions for two friars to live in the new Jororo settlements
(Torres y Ayala 1699).
By early 1701 trouble had appeared again at Mayaca. Its
inhabitants had fled anew along with others of the Malao
nation (possibly the Malica of Laudonniere's time according
to Swanton [1922:326]). To bring back the fugitives Governor
Joseph de Zfiiiga y Zerda dispatched a mixed force of 20
soldiers plus eleven Guale and sixty Apalachee and Chacato
warriors. They were also to attempt to capture the Jororo
who killed Fray Sanchez, who had remained unpunished since
1696. In that search, if possible, they were to reconnoiter all
of south-central Florida, referred to as the rinconada, all the
way to the Lake of Maymi and the borders of the land of
Carlos. If at all possible they were to avoid hostilities and
were not to initiate them under any circumstances. And even
if hostilities proved unavoidable, they were to exercise
moderation in the hope that during the breaks in the action
the natives might have a change of heart (Zfiiiiga y Zerda
1701a). Little is known of the result of this expedition except
that some Timucua involved in it killed some natives in that
region without the consent of their leader. The incident
prompted Governor Joseph de Z6fiiga y Zerda to issue a
general ban on the taking of scalps or dancing with them
(Zifiiga y Zerda 1701b).
In September of 1704, the governor spoke of the
"provinces of the south---Rinconada, Jororo, Mayaca,

Tisimea, Tocuime, and other populations" as enjoying peace.
However he expressed fear of their being attacked by Indians
allied to the English and informed the crown that he could do
nothing to prevent such attack (Zfifiiga y Zerda 1704). Four
years later the succeeding governor reported that such attacks
had begun to affect parts of Mayaca and Jororo, and that
among the Jororo and Mayaca who had sought refuge near
St. Augustine, twenty-eight women had been captured while
out in the countryside in search of roots for sustenance. Four
of them escaped to bring word of the incident (C6rcoles y
Martinez 1708).
Mayaca, Jororo, and other Indians from south Florida
continued to live intermittently near St. Augustine in some
number over the next several decades. In 1717 a village
bearing the name San Joseph de Jororo housed thirty-three
people who spoke the Mayaca language. Their chief don
Juan Romo and four leading men were Christians. Only two
of the eleven identified as warriors were Christian and only
three out of thirteen women. Out of four children only one
had been baptized (Hann 1989:185). Between 1718 and 1723,
four children and twenty-six adults were baptized in the
Jororo village (Benavides 1723). A 1726 census of the Indian
villages near St. Augustine did not mention the Jororo. But
in a description of those villages and their inhabitants written
in 1728, a friar reported that the Jororo had been living in a
village nine leagues south of St. Augustine united with Pojoy
and Amacapira until an epidemic struck in 1727. Most of the
villagers died in the epidemic. The few survivors then
returned to their former homelands (Bullones 1728). A few
Jororo reappeared in the early 1730s. Initially they lived in a
camp described as "a rifle-shot's distance" from a village of
other south Floridians, inhabited by Pojoy, Alafaya, and
Amacapira. But at the insistence of a new governor, who
assumed office in 1734, the Jororo were united with
Casapullo in the mission of Purissima Concepci6n de
Casapullos, from which they soon fled southward again
(Montiano 1738). That is the last mention of the Jororo.
There is little mention of the Mayaca per se during these
first decades of the eighteenth century. In 1735 Franciscans
prematurely reported the complete annihilation of the
Mayaca (Deagan 1978:111). A Jesuit expedition to the Miami
area in 1743 reported that remnants of the Maymi, Santaluzo,
and Mayaca numbering about 100 were living together about
four days journey to the north (Alafia and Monaco 1743).
The Piaja or Aypaja of the Jororo territory and other
Indians from that region also migrated to the vicinity of St.
Augustine during this period. In 1726, thirty-eight heathens
of the Piaja nation from the rinconada of Carlos were living in
a village near St. Augustine (Benavides 1726). They are not
mentioned thereafter. Twenty-four Amacapiras, eighteen of
whom were recently converted Christians, were living with
Chiluca (Mocama) at San Buenaventura in 1726 (Benavides
1726). When last mentioned in the early 1730s, they were
living with Alafaya and Pojoy.

The most durable of the south Florida natives who
migrated to the vicinity of St. Augustine were people whom
Spaniards called Costas, who have been identified variously as
Ais, Keys Indians, and Alafaya (Hann 1989:198). The Costa
first appeared on a 1723 list as the "village of the Costa nation
Guasacara" in which fifteen children and thirty-nine adults
had been baptized since 1718 (Benavides 1723). In 1726 the
Costa's village of San Antonio held eighty-eight people, only
thirty-eight of whom were Christians. An imbalance of fifty-
five men to thirteen women suggests that many of the women
had been lost to slave raiders, probably while out on a foray
looking for the roots that were a staple of their diet
(Benavides 1726). By 1728 the gender imbalance had been
rectified somewhat by the disappearance of many of the men,
as there were then twenty men, eighteen women, and about
fourteen children (Bullones 1728). By 1734 the Costa village
had only ten men above the age of fourteen (Swanton
1922:105). Their village was last mentioned in 1738 and 1739.
By 1738 it had only nineteen people, the majority having died
at the hands of their enemies (Montiano 1738). Nine heathen
Costa were still living in one of St. Augustine's two native
settlements in 1759 (Ruis 1759).
The friars had a low opinion of the Costa and all the
other immigrant groups from south Florida because of their
adherence to their own nomadic ways and religious beliefs.
Of the Jororo, Amacapira, and Pojoy, Fray Bullones
remarked: "They were all idolaters and heathens except two
or three . They maintained themselves with their
Minister, although with great difficulty, because neither did
they have a secure territory, nor did they sow, nor did they
work. And they wander about all year, women as well as
men, searching for the marine life with which they sustain
themselves, killing alligators and other unclean animals,
which is delectable sustenance to them." He characterized
the Costa as "vile by nature" and useless, noting that, when
they felt like it, they left their camp to go off to eat palm fruit
and alligators (Bullones 1728).


In conclusion, there are solid indications that the
Mayaca of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries like
those who bore the name later were not Freshwater Timucua,
but people related to or identical with the Mayaca-speaking
Jororo and probably related to the Ais and other peoples of
south-central Florida. The village and mission of Mayaca was
on the upper St. Johns River a little south of Lake George
and distinct from French sources' Mathiaca and Mayarca.
The Mayaca and Jororo were mainly, if not exclusively, fisher-
hunter-gatherers rather than horticulturists. The revolt of
1696-1697 began in Jororo's Atoyquime and did not involve
the inhabitants of the Mayaca mission except for their
temporary flight from their village. St. Johns type ceramics

seem to be the Mayaca and Jororo's only significant link with
the Freshwater Timucua and is probably no more than a
parallel to the Mocama's ceramic ties with the Guale. Early
eighteenth-century raids into south-central Florida by Indians
allied with the English drove many of that region's peoples to
seek refuge near St. Augustine, where most perished in
epidemics and in warfare. The Mayaca appear to have made
their last stand on Lake Okeechobee which bears the name
Lake Mayaca on maps from the 1820s (Buchon 1825; Carey
1822; Finley 1827).

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1936 The Martyrs of Florida (1513-1616). Translated by
Maynard Geiger. Joseph F. Wagner, New York.

Provanza hecha a pedimiento de Gonzalo de Gay6n
1566 AGI, SD 11, SC.

Quiroga y Losada, Diego de
1690 Letter to the King, St. Augustine, August 31, 1690, AGI,
SD 228, doc. no. 42, vol. 4, JTLC.

Rouse, Irving
1951 A Survey of Indian River Archeology, Florida. Yale
University Publications in Anthropology 44, New Haven.

Ruis, Alonso
1759 Census of the Indian village of Nra. Sefiora de la Leche
of the jurisdiction of this Presidio of St. Augustine of
Florida for this year of seventeen hundred and fifty-nine,
made by me Fray Alonso Ruis of the order of our
seraphic father St. Francis, doctrinero of the said village,
on the fourth of February of the year mentioned. AGI,
SD 7604 (xerox copy furnished by Jane Landers).

Serrano y Sanz, Manuel
1912 Documentos Hist6ricos de la Florida y la Luisiana,
Siglos XVI al XVIII. Librerfa General de Victoriano
Suarez, Madrid.

Solis de Meras, Gonzalo
1923 Pedro Menindez de Aviles, Governor and Captain
General of Florida, Memorial. Translated by Jeannette
Thurber Connor. The Florida State Historical Society,
Deland, Florida.

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

Torres y Ayala, Laureano de
1697 Letter to the King, St. Augustine, February 3, 1697.
AGI, SD 228, JTCC, reel 3.

1699 Letter to the King, St. Augustine, September 16, 1699.
AGI, SD 228, JTCC, reel 3.

Vald6s, Fernando de
1602 The Vald6s Inquiry, St. Augustine, 1602. AGI, SD 2533
(microfilm copy furnished by Eugene Lyon).

Worth, John E.
1991 Letter to Hann, Gainesville, July 15, 1991.

Zfiiiga y Zerda, Joseph de
1701a Letter to the King, St. Augustine, March 10, 1701.
AGI, SD 840, JTCC, reel 5.

1701b Order, St. Augustine, March 14, 1701. In Here They
Once Stood: The Tragic End of the Apalachee Missions
by Mark F. Boyd, Hale G. Smith, and John W. Griffin,
pp. 35-36. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 1951.

1704 Letter to the King, St. Augustine, September 15, 1704.
In Here They Once Stood: The Tragic End of the
Apalachee Missions by Mark F. Boyd, Hale G. Smith,
and John W. Griffin, pp. 68-69. University of Florida
Press, Gainesville, 1951.

John H. Hann
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research
San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site
2020 W. Mission Road
Tallahassee, FL 32304


Kenneth Johnson

Santa F6 de Toloca was an important seventeenth
century Spanish mission station in northern Florida.
Destroyed by raids from the Carolinas in 1702, the location
was soon lost. This paper correlates the Santa F6 site
(8AL190) with the historic mission of Santa F6, summarizes
the historic background, and describes archaeological
investigations at the site. Modern scholars have assumed that
Santa F6 was a Potano mission, but archaeological evidence
(i.e., the presence of the Indian Pond pottery complex)
indicates that it was a Utina mission (also see Johnson and
Nelson 1990).
The purpose of investigation was to determine whether
or not a seventeenth century Spanish mission was present and
to describe community patterning. Initial testing was funded
by the Florida Division of Recreation and Parks under a grant
to the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of
Florida, to locate the sites of Indian villages contacted by
Hernando de Soto and the sites of seventeenth century
Spanish missions. A full field season of investigations at this
site was funded by a grant from SantaFe HealthCare, Inc.
The Division of Sponsored Research and the Center for Early
Contact Studies at the University of Florida provided
additional support. All work was conducted by the author
under the supervision of Jerald T. Milanich, Curator, Florida
Museum of Natural History, University of Florida,
Gainesville. Artifact analysis was completed by B. C. Nelson
and the author.

Correlating Site 8AL 190 with Mission Santa Fi de Toloca

The correlation of site 8AL190 with the mission of Santa
F6 de Toloca is based on several lines of evidence. These
include the distribution of seventeenth century sites in
northern Florida, artifacts and archaeological data verifying
the presence of an early seventeenth century Spanish mission
at the site, the geographic position of the site relative to other
known mission sites, and reconstructed trail routes (Johnson
1991). The heavy investment of materials (spikes and nails)
and labor (large posts and presumably sawn planks) indicate
that this was an important site. Also, the 1778 Purcell-
Stewart map of northern Florida (Boyd 1939) indicates "Santa
F6 old fields" in this vicinity.
Modern scholars have assumed that Santa F6 was a
Potano mission, based on its location on the south bank of the
Santa F6 River as shown on a 1680 map, and the modern
assumption that the river must have been the boundary
between the Potano and the Utina. However, the Spanish

documents do not actually indicate whether Santa F6 was
Utina or Potano (Geiger 1940:123). The presence of the
Indian Pond pottery complex at Santa F6 indicates that Santa
F6 was a Utina mission.

Historic Background: Mission Santa Fe de Toloca

Santa F6 operated simultaneously with several other
mission stations in northern Florida, including San Francisco
de Potano and San Martin de Timuqua (Geiger 1940:126;
Hann 1990). Santa F6 de Toloca (or Teleco or Toloco or
Seiior Santo T6mas de Santa F6 [Boyd 1939:261]) was
established between 1606 and 1616. The first recorded
reference was in 1616 when it was visited by Father Luis
Ger6nimo de Ord (Geiger 1940:123). Santa Fe's founder was
probably Father Martin Prieto who also established the
nearby San Francisco mission. Like other early missions,
Santa F6 was almost certainly established near an existing
Indian village.
Bubonic plague may have struck the native people at
Santa F6 in 1613-1617 (Dobyns 1983:278). Major epidemics
of yellow fever and smallpox struck Florida in 1649 and 1653
respectively (Dobyns 1983:279-280), and presumably included
Santa F6. In 1655, the mission was still in operation as its
name appears on the visitation list that year (Geiger
1940:126). In 1656, the western Timucuans, including the
residents at Santa F6, rebelled against Spanish authority in
what may have been a native revitalization movement.
Spanish military forces from St. Augustine put down the
rebellion, burned several villages, and hanged several chiefs,
including the chief at Santa F6. In 1659 a measles epidemic
swept through Florida (Dobyns 1983:280), probably including
Santa F6.
Other historically documented events may have occurred
at another, later site of Santa F6. The Santa F6 site (8AL190)
was occupied during the first half of the seventeenth century
since there is no archaeological evidence that it was occupied
after this time. It was probably abandoned as a result of the
rebellion of 1656 or the epidemic of 1649, 1653 or 1659. The
mission complex must then have been rebuilt at a different
location which has not been identified. Later events in the
documentary record, such as the arrival of other ethnic
groups to repopulate the mission village, Bishop Calder6n's
visit in 1675, epidemics in 1675 (Dobyns 1983:281) and 1686
(Dobyns 1983:282), and the 1702 attack and destruction of
Santa F6, evidently occurred at this later Santa F6 site. The
attack, led by Colonel James Moore, came from the British
colony of Carolina. The British led a large force of their


Vol. 44 No. 2-4

June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

Indian allies. The village and the church were burned, but the
attack was repulsed from the convento. The attack was
described in a letter from the Governor of Florida to the King
of Spain. This description of the later Santa F6 gives gives us
insights into what the earlier Santa F6 may have been like:

... they entered in the dawn watch and burned and
devastated the village of Santa F6, one of the
principal towns of the Province of Timuqua,
Saturday, the 20th of May of this year 1702, making
an attack on the convent with many firearms and
arrows and burning the church, although not the
images which with some risk were saved. Finally,
the fight having lasted for more than three hours,
our force repulsed them, after the hasty strengthen-
ing of an indefensible stockade which served as a
fence to the gate of the convent. The enemy
retired with some injury, and ... our side had some
killed and wounded ... [Zifiiga in Boyd et al.

Archaeological Results: Dating

The Santa F6 site (8AL190) dates from approximately
1610 to 1650, based on documentary evidence (Geiger
1940:123; Wenhold 1936:8) and majolica production dates.
The aboriginal ceramic inventory includes mostly plain sherds
and small amounts of Indian Pond complex pottery, but no
cob-marked Alachua Tradition ceramics (Table 1). The
Indian Pond Complex was associated with the Utina Indian
group (Johnson 1991; Johnson and Nelson 1990). The
introduced Leon-Jefferson pottery series is present, but it
does not dominate the assemblage. The low number of Leon-
Jefferson sherds and the types of majolica recovered (Table
2) indicate that 8AL190 is the earlier Santa F6, not the Santa
F6 destroyed in 1702.

Previous Research

In addition to the Santa F6 site, at least 57
archaeological sites of all time periods are known in the
Robinson Sinks area of northwestern Alachua County, a
dozen of which have Spanish mission period components
(Johnson 1991). The first recorded archaeological
investigations in the Robinson Sinks vicinity were by the
Simpson family of High Springs (J. C. Simpson n.d.). John
Goggin's research in this locality apparently began when J. C.
Simpson showed him several sites. Goggin's students at the
University of Florida recorded numerous sites in the vicinity
in the 1950's, including 8AL190. They characterized it only as
a "sherd area" and did not recognize it as the location of a
Spanish mission. The interpretation changed after
investigations began in 1986 (Johnson 1991).

Table 1. Aboriginal ceramics from Santa F6, controlled surface

Type Count Percentage

Linear Marked (Brushed, Wiped or Simple Stamped) 14 13.7%
Cord Marked or Fabric Impressed 2 1.9%
Check Stamped 2 1.9%
Incised (Mostly Single Line) 7 6.8%
Roughened 1 0.9%
Curvilinear Complicated Stamped 4 3.9%
Rectilinear Complicated Stamped 8 7.8%
Complicated Stamped 6 5.8%
Leon Check Stamped 1 0.9%
St. Johns (Plain and Check Stamped) 25 24.5%
Simple Stamped? 1 0.9%
Cross Simple Stamped? 2 1.9%
Stamped 1 0.9%
Miller Plain Ring Base Sherd 1 1.9%
Miller Plain European Vessel Form 1 1.9%
(1 Beaker, 1 Bowl?)
Jefferson Rims 11 10.7%
(Folded; Folded and Notched
or with Nodes Folded and Pinched)
Other Rims 13 12.7%
(1 Flattened, 3 Rounded, 2 Notched but not Folded,
7 Others [Especially Outward Flair])
Punctated and Incised 1 0.9%

Total Decorateda 102 100.0%

aSummary of Decorated Versus Plain:
102 Total Decorated (52.0%);
94 Total Plain (47.9%);
196 Total Classified (100.0%)

Table 2. European tablewares from the Santa F6 site,
controlled surface collections and excavations,
1988 field season.

Type Date Count

Mexico City White 1550-1650+? 33
San Luis Blue on White 1550-1650 + ? 10
Puebla Polychrome 1650?-1725 3
Panama Plain 1575?-1624+? 3
Blue on White Faience 1500-18th C. 1
Unidentified Majolica 11

Total 61

Methods of Investigation

Research methods used at the Santa F6 site include the
following, listed in the approximate sequence in which they
were undertaken:

1. General surface collections
2. Shovel tests

3. 1 X 1 m test pits (nine units excavated)
4. Metal detector survey
5. Soil cores
6. Soil resistivity survey
7. 2 X 2 m test pits (nine units excavated)
8. Controlled surface collections
9. Remote sensing
10. Auger testing and posthole testing (periphery of the
11. Mechanical stripping of the plowzone (in a small
portion of the cemetery)

The site was initially thought to be a seventeenth century
farmstead or hamlet. Low numbers of artifacts and poor
surface visibility obscured the nature and size of the site.
Interpretation of the site changed during the metal detector
survey. The survey located and recovered dozens of wrought
iron nails and spikes and showed that a large structure and
thus a prominent site were present (Leader and Nelson 1989).
Later, plowing, controlled surface collecting and other
investigations revealed the size and internal arrangement of
the site.
Clear acetate overlays were produced for each class of
artifacts from the controlled surface collecting and metal
detector survey, including aboriginal ceramics, Spanish
ceramics, fired clay fragments, and each nail type (Types 1
through 10 [South et al. 1988]). Soil cores, a soil resistivity
survey and remote sensing images were used in selecting test
pit locations. Test pits produced structural evidence, such as
postholes pinpointing the location of the probable church and
of residential structures. Electronic multispectral remote
sensing images of the Santa F6 site were produced by David
Wagner, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. The images also
show the location of the old Spanish road, possible
boundaries of the cemetery, and several unexplained shaded
areas within the site.
These various lines of evidence are drawn together in
the following sections. They describe the locations of
structures, the cemetery area, residential areas, define the
community pattern, and produce estimates of the number of
residences and residents.

Structures and Burials

Structure 1. The locations of several structures and
burials were identified (Figures 1 and 2). Structure 1 was
located through soil coring, three 2 X 2 m test pits, the metal
detector survey (Figure 3), and controlled surface collections
(Figure 4). Findings at Structure 1 included at least one large
post, a small remnant of intact floor or post support pad, a
thin stratum of red-stained soil at the base of the plowzone,
and the plowzone distribution of nails, spikes, and fired clay
Just below the plowzone there was a thin layer of soil

Figure 1. Excavation plan at the Santa F6 site (8AL190).

Figure 2. Locations of clay floors, red soil cores (black dots),
and excavations at the Santa F6 site.


--- ----7 .

.1 7 7 I^'..

7 7/ /N
/ / 20M
7 t

Figure 3. Wrought iron square nails and spikes (black dots),
limits of metal detector survey (dashed black
line), and excavations at the Santa Fd site.

which was stained red by leaching from the clay fragments.
The cores producing this soil formed a rectangle
approximately 8 by 16 m, oriented generally north-
west/southeast (Figure 2). The rectangle of red soil, in
combination with the floor remnant, nails, and large post,
identified the location of a structure, Structure 1 (Figure 5).
It is possible to make two different interpretations of the size
and precise orientation of the structure, based on the red soil
and post, but the two interpretations differ only slightly
(Figure 5).
The remnant of floor or support pad was hard-packed
clayey sand rather than pure clay. This section of floor or
support pad is found immediately below the base of the
plowzone and adjacent to a large postmold. The postmold
contained a large chunk of charcoal which has been identified
as pine (Donna Ruhl, personal communication June 1990).
The postmold was 45 cm in diameter and extended to 85 cm
below the surface, apparently representing a major support
post. The location of the post in relation to the areal extent
of red-stained soil suggests that this may have been the
southern corner of the structure. The size of the postmold
suggests a large structure (e.g., a church or other large
building) rather than a small structure.
Time permitted the excavation of only three 2 X 2 m test

Figure 4. All maps combined. Surface locations of fired clay
fragments (solid black shading), Spanish artifacts
(open boxes), aboriginal sherds (diagonal
shading), and subsurface locations of wrought
iron square nails and spikes (black dots). Also
shown are the limits of metal detector survey
(dashed black line), and excavations. Controlled
surface collection units are 3.5 m in width. Chert
flakes are excluded. Santa F6 site (8AL190).

pits (TP-100, 101 and 102) within Structure 1. The soil was
screened through 1/4" mesh. The low number of artifacts per
volume of soil in Test Pit 100 (Table 3) is typical.
There is evidence for two episodes of Spanish
occupation. Below the level of the top floor in Test Pit 102,
there was a second stratum also containing Spanish artifacts.
These artifacts extended across the entire 2 X 2 m test pit at
27 to 37 cm below surface (Table 4). This may have been a
floor that predated the compact clayey sand floor, suggesting
rebuilding or refurbishing. Both episodes must have occurred
in the first half of the seventeenth century.
The structure does not appear to have had wattle and
daub walls. Fired clay fragments are present, but only in very
small amounts, suggesting that clay was used for something
other than walls. The fragments, including some with two
intact surfaces, are much thinner than walls. Cliff Nelson
suggests that the fragments may represent chinking or clay
plaster rather than true daub (C. Nelson, personal communi-

Figure 5. Interpretation of the Santa F6 site (8AL190).

cation 1990). This suggestion is based on the thin cross
sections, intact surfaces, low number of specimens across the
site, and the scarcity of wattle impressions or fiber inclusions.
These fragments are very different from the true daub found
at Structure 6 (see below). Some of the clay at Structure 1
may represent support pads for posts. A possible function of
the clay pads may have been to discourage termites. Termite
damage can occur within weeks in northern Florida. Rotting
also might account for the apparent rebuilding.
Structure 1 may represent either the church or the
convento (Spanish priest's house). It was originally identified
as a church for the following reasons. First, the relative
scarcity of non-architectural artifacts within the structure
suggests that it may not have been a residence. Second, the
structure is the focal point of the site; it sits on precisely the
highest point of the hill, even higher by a few centimeters
than the cemetery at Structure 4. Third, the structure and
overall layout of the site complex corresponds with the
general layout of other known mission complexes in Florida
and Georgia (Jones and Shapiro 1990; Saunders 1990).
Fourth, artifact distributions indicate a residential area
(Residential Area A) nearby, which is a likely candidate for
the location of the convento. Fifth, Structure 1 was identified
as the church because the cemetery (see Structure 4 below)

was found in association with it.
However, Structure 1 seems too small to be the church,
assuming that its dimensions (approximately 8 X 16 m) were
correctly identified. Recent excavations at nearby Mission
San Martin (which may have been built by the same
missionary) have shown that the church was much larger than
originally thought (Rebecca Saunders, personal
communication July 1991; Weisman 1988).
The proportions (twice as long as wide) but not the size
of Structure 1 match Mission Santa Catalina de Guale on
Amelia Island (13.5 X 26 m) (Saunders 1990:530-531) and
Santa Catalina de Guale on St. Catherines Island (11 X 20 m)
(Thomas 1988). Structure 1 is closer to the size (11.6 m2) but
not the shape (square) of the presumed convento (not the
church) at Mission San Pedro in the Yustaga province (Jones
and Shapiro 1990:500). Structure 1 is smaller than many
structures in the Apalachee province which have been
identified as churches (Boyd et al. 1951:107-136; Jones and
Shapiro 1990). Two Spanish-style structures were found at
Baptizing Spring in the Utina province (Loucks 1972, this
volume), but the functions were not positively identified.
Saunders suggests that the larger one, 8 X 10 m, was a three-
walled chapel (Saunders 1990:535). The existence of both a
chapel and a church at a single site was the normal pattern at
mission compounds in Mexico, and possibly also in Florida
(Saunders 1990:527). Perhaps Structure 1 at Santa F6 was a

Structure 4 and Burials. The burial area or cemetery was
identified on the basis of one burial which was excavated and
eighteen burial pit outlines, which were mapped but not
excavated (Figure 6). Structure 4 is identified from the large
number of spikes and nails in the cemetery area (Figures 1, 3
and 4), and one or two possible large posts (see below). As at
Santa Catalina, San Martin and elsewhere, it is possible that
the Santa F6 "cemetery" was actually located within the
church, with burials interred beneath the floor of the building.
Other possibilities are that Structure 4 was an open pavillion
over the cemetery, or other structures) within or adjacent to
the cemetery.
The Santa F6 cemetery/Structure 4 contains a
surprisingly large number of spikes and nails, which were
mapped and recovered during the metal detector survey. A
single test pit, Test Pit 106, was first excavated within this nail
cluster in an attempt to locate and identify structures, but
burial pits were encountered instead (Figure 6). Only one
burial, Burial 1, was exposed. The top of the skull was
encountered at 80 cm below the surface. Examined in situ by
Dr. William Maples, Florida Museum of Natural History, the
individual was a female, 17 to 25 years old, and most likely 20
years plus or minus 2 years. The incisors were shovel shaped,
with some double shovelling, indicating Native American
ancestry. Her hands were folded across her chest in Christian
burial fashion. No artifacts accompanied the individual.

Table 3. Results from Test Pit 100.

Depth Below Surface Count Description

0-10 cm: 22 Fired clay fragments (23.2 gmn)
50 Fragments of clay and sand mix construction material (100.7 gm)
4 Fragments of clay and sand mix, possible plaster (11.4 gm)
8 Chert flakes
18 Grog tempered sherds too small to classify
1 Gastrolith rock
2 Leon-Jefferson folded and notched rim sherds
1 Green-glazed olive jar sherd (burned?)
1 Majolica sherd (included in Table 2)

10-20 cm: 20+ Fragments of fired clay (36.1 gm)
17 Chert flakes
13 Grog tempered sherds, too small to classify
1 Grog tempered plain sherd
1 Leon-Jefferson folded and notched rim sherd
1 Green-glazed olive jar sherd

20-26 cm: 20 Fired clay fragments (24.6 gm)
20+ Possible fired clay fragments (37.6 gm)
7 Charcoal flakes
10 Chert flakes
10 Grog tempered sherds, too small to classify
1 Grog temepered rim sherd with node
1 Green-glazed olive jar sherd

26-32 cm: 50+ Fired clay fragments (158.4 gm)
100+ Fragments of clay and sand mix, some burned (177.9 gm)
2 Triangular shaped fragments of clay and sand mix
41 Charcoal flakes
5 Fragments of near ceramic (clay?)
6 Chert flakes
8 Grog tempered sherds, too small to classify

32-38 cm: 50+ Fired clay fragments
20+ Charcoal and charred wood fragments
5 Chert flakes
1 Gastrolith rock
2 Grog tempered sherds, too small to classify
1 Sand tempered sherd, too small to classify

38-42 cm: 9 Fired clay fragments (10.9 gm)
3 Chert flakes

Table 4. Layer of artifacts indicating lower level of occupation, Test
Pit 102, Zone 2, Level 1.

# on Map Description Depth Below Surface

1 Wrought iron square headed nail 28 cm
2 Unidentified metal fragment 27 cm
4 Green-glazed olive jar sherd 33 cm
5 Unidentified metal fragment 31 cm
6 Green-glazed olive jar sherd N/A
7 Majolica, too small to identify 27.5 cm
8 Wrought iron square headed nail, 8.0 cm N/A
9 Green-glazed (both sides) olive jar sherd 37 cm
10 Marine shell (fossilized?) 37 cm
11 1 Grog tempered sherd, 1 fired clay fragment, 34-37 cm
and 1 concreted mass
12 1 Fragment fired clay or chinking with fiber 39 cm

Additional Map Specimens in TP-102 found at a deeper level:

14 Wrought iron square nail, 4.6 cm long 46 cm
15 Nail fragment 49 cm

Table 5. Artifacts from Structure 5 and immediate vicinity,
general surface collection.

Description Count

Majolica, 1 burned, and 1 too small to identify 2
Olive jar sherds, including 1 neck 3
Leon-Jefferson Curvilinear Complicated Stamped, grog tempered 3
Ceramic handle, Miller Plain 1
Grog tempered plain 1
Grog tempered sherds, too small to classify 3
Chert flakes 11
Fragment of clay chinking 1
Burned bone fragment 1

Figure 6. Burial pit outlines, 40 to 50 cm below surface,
Santa F6 site (8AL190). All burial pits are
mottled tan and brown sand with small orange
clay inclusions; all pit outlines are very faint.

Feature 1, within the same test pit, had the same size,
shape, and orientation as Burial 1, but may have been a large
post. When excavated, no burial was present. The upper
levels contained a small square charred post (Figure 6), and
the deeper levels tapered to a point, unlike a flat-bottomed
burial pit. It is unclear whether this was an interior post or
outside wall post for Structure 4, because it is not known if
any additional burials are present farther to the northeast.
Subsequent to exposure of Burial 1, the question
remained whether this was a cemetery or an isolated burial.
Therefore the plowzone was removed from three small areas
in order to determine if additional burials were also present
and to determine their extent. Approximately 58 square
meters were mechanically stripped using a jeep with a blade
attachment. The stripped areas were then shovel skimmed
and trowelled to 30 or 40 cm below surface and the pit stains
were outlined and mapped in plan view. The pit outlines
were very difficult to see in the leached, sandy soils. Several
instances of charcoal and/or nails within the burial pit
outlines may be the remains of posts or wooden headstone
A total of 18 burial pit outlines were mapped in the 58
square meters. Other than Burial 1, no other skeletons were
exposed. The burials were aligned generally northwest to
southeast, matching the alignment of Structure 1. From
Burial 1 we assume that all of the heads are to the southeast.
A large rounded feature, Feature 2, was encountered beyond

which there were no more burials. The feature was not
excavated but it may be a large postmold marking the south-
western boundary of the cemetery, or wallpost of a church or
open-air pavillion. Feature 2 is 10 m southwest of Feature 1,
perhaps indicating the width of Structure 4. The length of
Structure 4 (assuming all the burials were within the
structure) was not fully determined, but is at least 11 m.
Using South's typology for wrought iron square nails and
spikes (South et al. 1988:33-47), medium-sized Type 6 nails
were the most common type at both Structures 1 and 4
(Leader and Nelson 1989). Like Structure 1, Structure 4
contained some large Type 10 spikes. In contrast to Structure
1, Structure 4 contained no fired clay. Structure 4 may have
been a different kind of construction than Structure 1.
After the beginning of archaeological field investiga-
tions, remote sensing investigations were conducted over the
site, and images were produced by Mr. David Wagner from
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's
National Technology Laboratory Space Remote Sensing
Center, Stennis, Mississippi, using a Daedalus 1260 multi-
spectral scanner onboard low-flying aircraft. The cemetery,
first located archaeologically, could then be recognized on the
remote sensing images (thermal infrared). The cemetery's
location can also be seen on the archaeologically-produced
controlled surface collection maps. There is a sparse but
distinct ring of surface artifacts marking the apparent
boundaries of the cemetery. This distribution of artifacts may
be analogous to disposal patterns around modern cemeteries
in which discarded items are thrown up against or just over
the fence to get them out of the cemetery. This technique
may also be useful for finding cemeteries (or churches) at
other sites with good surface visibility.
By using these methods it is possible to measure the
area of the burials and estimate how many burials may be
present. The controlled surface collections and the remote
sensing results produce two different but overlapping estima-
tions of burial area boundaries, and thus lead to two some-
what different estimates of the number of burials potentially
present. Based on the arrangement and spacing of the 18
known burial pits, and the reconstructed boundaries and size
of the cemetery based on controlled surface collections, the
area that is believed to be the burial area has a capacity to
hold at least 180 burials. By using the remote sensing
estimation of burial area boundaries, it is estimated that up to
320 burials may be present.
Recent computer enhancement of photographs by Cliff
Nelson indicates that there may be additional burials not visi-
ble to the naked eye and not recognized during the field
investigations. These burial pits may lie at angles of 90
degrees to the previously recognized burials. Two different
burial areas may thus be present. If so, then there are even
more burials than predicted and they may represent different
time periods. The two methods of determining burial area
boundaries -- remote sensing and controlled surface collect-

ing -- may thus both be correct, but may be identifying
different episodes.
The data from the metal detector survey also appear to
indicate the location of a fence in an otherwise "empty area"
between Structures 1 and 4. Evidence for a wall or fence is a
long row of nails. The row of nails appears to be too long to
be associated with a structure and it is in an area generally
devoid of other artifacts. The orientation of the line of nails
matches the alignment of the burials and Structure 1 but is
midway between them. One of the artifacts recovered along
this line is a small wrought iron latch, perhaps indicating the
location of a gate where a pathway led from Structure 1 to
Structure 4.

Residential Structures. Structures 2 and 3 appear to be
habitation structures within the residential portion of the site.
These residential areas are identified by the distribution of
aboriginal sherds, chert flakes and other residential-type
Structure 2 (Figure 7) may have been the convento or
another residential structure. It had a partially intact red clay

MD233 6 6

F0 Feature 2

4 1 22
MD232 Feature 5

2. act ceatre 4 floor

3. Tan sand with red staining and orange clay rubbe
4. range sand, clay ru5 e and charcoal

5. Orange claye sand
0. C l.06 Frgeaturet6 h hert

Brown sand with charcoal and rubble
STan and "brwn rattled sand
Figure 7. Comp act redt clay fl oor
3 Tan sand with red staining and orange clay rubble

range sand, clay rule and cha rcoal ae

ange clay F site (8AL90).
6 Brown and gray sand
7 Gray sand with charcoal
8 Orange sand with charcoal (possible root stain)
9 Orange clay rubble
10. Charcoal. Feature 8 is a large hearth with alternating
layers of clay and charcoal; a large but low tkrperature fire.
11. Brown sand with charcoal and rubble
"MD" and "WS" numbers refer to wrought iron square mils.
Figure 7. Compact red clay floor and associated features,
Structure 2, plan view at base of plow zone.
Santa F6 site (8AL190).

floor, and may have been surrounded by a courtyard with clay
walls (Figures 4 and 5). This house is part of Residential
Area A which is closer to Structure 1 than is Residential Area
B (see below).
Structure 2 is approximately 4 by 5 m in size and is
situated 16 to 20 m west of Structure 1, depending on how the
size and orientation of Structure 1 are interpreted. Structure
2 is much smaller than Structure 1. The plowzone was
stripped off by shovel to reveal the remaining portions of the
floor and the features which penetrate it. The edges of the
clay floor have been destroyed by plowing, and the exact
orientation of the structure is unclear.
Numerous small features penetrated the clay floor.
Some were excavated, including small posts or smudge pits, in
addition to a clay-lined hearth. The hearth contained at least
two layers of clay, representing re-use or rebuilding. The
dense, black, formless mass of charcoal fill indicates a low-
oxygen, low-temperature, slow-burning fire, thus presumably
a large smudge fire rather than a true hearth. This "hearth" is
on the south side of the structure, not in the center. The
metal detector survey indicated very few nails at this
structure. The scarcity of nails, the presence of the hard clay
floor, and the structure size indicate a different architectural
style than Structure 1.
Structure 3, slightly southeast of Structure 2 (Figures 2
and 5), is not as well defined. It consists of an area of
puddled clay, ashes and charcoal, approximately 1.7 X 2.5 m
in size. This oval shape is aligned northwest/southeast like
the cemetery and the church. Three to four small square
features, (possible square posts) frame the edges of the clay,
but they were not excavated. Majolica and olive jar sherds
were found in the plowzone at distances of 1 to 4 m east and
northeast of the clay. This "puddle" of clay is not fire-
hardened despite the abundant mixture of charcoal and ashes.
It is not clear if this large ashy clay feature represents portion
of a floor, an activity area, or simply debris such as from
cleaning out a fireplace.
Structure 3 may be a special structure of some kind,
such as a gate house, as suggested by its location on the
remote sensing images. These images show a large teardrop-
shaped pattern encompassing much of the Santa F6 mission
complex. This teardrop shape encloses all of the Structure 1,
and parts of the cemetery and residential area. The teardrop
tapers to a point at Structure 3 where the teardrop narrows
and merges into an old road, also visible on the images. This
road was a part of a major north-south trail, the Santa F6 trail
(Johnson 1991). It is visible on the aerial remote sensing
images, but not on the ground nor on the earliest aerial
photographs taken in 1937. The teardrop shape is interpreted
here as a fork in the road which encircled the mission
complex. Structure 3 is situated within this fork and is thus
interpreted as a special use structure.

Community Pattern

The sizes, location and arrangement of the known
structures can be compared with the controlled surface
collection maps and other data in order to estimate how many
other structures may have existed at the site. Based on
artifact distributions, there may be two separate residential
areas at the site, designated Residential Areas A and B
(Figure 5). The two are distinguished because they contained
different kinds of artifacts and are separated spatially.
Controlled surface collection maps show linear
concentrations of fired clay fragments which appear to
represent the locations of former clay walls. The distribution
may indicate a wall around a courtyard or small plaza with
the center of the area being essentially devoid of artifacts.
This possible courtyard separates two parts of the site, Areas
A and B.
Residential Area A contained Spanish and Indian
ceramics, nails, and heavy concentrations of fired clay
fragments, including Structure 2 with its red clay floor.
Residential Area B, in contrast, contained the highest
concentrations of Indian ceramics anywhere on the site, and
also had some Spanish ceramics, but contained very few nails
or fired clay fragments. The structures in Area A must have
been architecturally different from those in Area B, as shown
by the different amounts of nails and fired clay.
Area A is roughly rectangular, approximately 20 X 40 m
in size, situated immediately adjacent to Structure 1.
Structure 2 lies within and along the south central perimeter
of this area. This area is surrounded (at least in part) by what
seems to be clay walls, indicated by surface distributions of
small fired clay fragments. The distributions are linear but
the pattern is not the result of modern plowing. The bands of
fired clay fragments are 15 to 22 m long and 3 to 5 m wide.
One band has the same orientation as Structure 1 and the
burials. Another band intersects it at right angles,
immediately adjacent to Structure 1. If these linear bands of
fired clay had been the result of modern plowing, then
plowing in one direction would have obliterated the patterns
in the other directions.
Residential Area B is approximately 45 X 45 m or larger
in size, based on surface distributions of artifacts and
depending on how boundaries are drawn. The boundaries
used here were drawn by excluding all collection units which
contained no artifacts or only one artifact per grid unit, and
by drawing a line around collection units containing two or
more artifacts each on the surface. Collection units were 3 X
3.5 m in size, between rows of planted pine seedlings.
Area A is west of the Structure 1 and north of Area B.
Structure 1 and Area A are separated from Area B by an area
of 10 to 20 m in diameter which contains practically no
artifacts. This open area may be a courtyard or small plaza.
The distribution of fired clay fragments shown on the map

may thus indicate the locations of clay walls around the
The courtyard and its clay walls may have surrounded
the convento, not the church. If the later Santa F6 was built
on the same plan as the earlier Santa F6, then this
arrangement would help explain the events of the 1702 attack
in which the church was destroyed but the attack was
successfully repulsed from the convento.
Area A, including Structure 2, may be the Spanish
priest's residential and activity area, and Area B may be the
Indian residential area. An alternative hypothesis is that Area
B represents the cocina (kitchen).
From the concentrations of sherds and fired clay
fragments, it is estimated that Area A contained from three
to six structures, assuming that Structure 2 is typical. Area B
is estimated to have contained from 5 to 15 houses, depending
on how the boundaries of Area B are drawn. The heaviest
concentration of sherds, in the center of Area A, may
represent something more than an ordinary house. If there
were four people per household, then there may have been 20
to 60 people living in Area B, assuming that all the houses
were contemporaneous.

Additional Site Areas

An area immediately east of the mission complex, called
the East of Shealy area, contains a sparse scatter of
seventeenth century artifacts on the surface. The nature of
this occupation and whether or not it was another residential
area, is unclear. Investigations were limited to general
surface collecting. Artifact densities indicated the apparent
locations of two structures, Structures 5 and 6. Both contain
true daub, which is not found elsewhere on the Santa F6 site.
"True daub" refers to thick fragments of fired clay with wattle
impressions and abundant fiber inclusions.

Structure 5. Structure 5 is located approximately 70 to 80
m southeast of and downslope from Structure 1. It consists of
a rectangular or oval shaped area marked by a surface
distribution of slightly dark stained soil, and fragments of
charcoal and true daub. Artifact density is higher than
elsewhere in the East of Shealy area, but it is only moderate
(Table 5), roughly comparable to Residential Areas A and B.
The surface limits of the stained soil, daub, charcoal, and
artifacts within the plowed field indicate that the structure
was approximately 28 m east-west (or east-northeast by west-
southwest) and 16 m north-south, which is larger than
Structure 1. The structure is aligned slightly west of north,
similar to the alignment of Structure 1 and the burial pit
A large feature is found at each end of Structure 5.
Each is approximately 4 m in diameter and is visible on the
surface as black-stained soil and numerous small fragments of

charcoal, but no daub. Both are interpreted as hearths or
fireplaces. Another feature is a 5 m diameter surface
concentration of burned bone, sherds, small chert flakes,
charcoal, darkened soil and fired clay fragments but not much
other building rubble. Found just outside or at the northwest
corner of the structure, it is the only feature which was
observed to contain food remains (i.e., burned bone
fragments), sherds and chert flakes. This may be a food
preparation area, which suggests that Structure 5 may have
been a a residential structure such as a dormitory for
neophytes or children, or barracks for soldiers.
The flat exterior surface of more than one daub
fragment from Structure 5 is coated with a white substance
which may be lime white washing. Such white washing and
true daub were not found elsewhere at the site, suggesting
that Structure 5 received special attention.

Structure 6. Structure 6 is located 5 m south of Structure
5, and consists of an approximately 20 to 22 m diameter area
visible only as a surface scatter of daub in the plowed field.
Sherds, lithics and charcoal fragments are scarce at Structure
6, indicating a different function than Structure 5.

The Josh Site (8AL188B)

The Josh site was classified as a separate site but may be
part of 8AL190, as it is separated from 8AL190 only by a
modern road. The time period is uncertain but the site has
yielded at least one Fort Walton sherd (collected by John
Goggin's students), which may indicate a Spanish mission
period occupation. No ground surface was visible for
collecting. Three 1 X 1 m test pits were excavated, and the
number of sherds recovered (135) indicates a habitation area.
Most sherds are sand tempered plain (15), grog tempered
plain (9), or too small to classify (105). The presence of grog
tempering suggests that a Spanish period component is
Other sites also in the vicinity appear to be associated
with the Santa F6 de Toloca mission, based on artifact
assemblages, such as the Goodwin (8AL453) and Carlisle
sites (8AL2599). Some are situated within 0.5 km, that is,
within the sound of the bell which would have called the
workers to daily vespers. Other slightly more distant sites
appear to be outlying satellite settlements and farmsteads, but
are components of the larger Santa F6 cluster. Many are
distributed in a linear pattern, as though dispersed along
roads. The Palmore site (8AL189) is another large nearby
site. Palmore may have been the existing Indian village near
which the mission of Santa F6 was originally founded, and it
may have also been the village of Cholupaha which was
captured by Hernando de Soto's army 70 years before the
founding of Santa F6 de Toloca (Johnson 1991).

References Cited

Boyd, Mark F.
1939 Mission Sites in Florida. Florida Historical Quarterly

Boyd, Mark F., Hale G. Smith, and John W. Griffin
1951 Here They Once Stood: The Tragic End of the
Apalachee Missions. University of Florida Press,

Dobyns, Henry F.
1983 Th7eir Number Became Thinned: Native American
Population Dynamics in Eastern North America.
University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

Geiger, Maynard J., O.F.M.
1940 Biographical Dictionary of the Franciscans in Spanish
Florida and Cuba (1528-1841). Franciscan Studies 21.

Hann, John H.
1990 Summary Guide to Spanish Florida Missions and Visitas
with Churches in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth
Centuries. The Americas 46(4):417-513.

Johnson, Kenneth W.
1986 Archaeological Survey of Contact and Mission Period
Sites in Northern Peninsular Florida. Miscellaneous
Project Report Series No. 37. Department of
Anthropology, Florida State Museum, Gainesville.

1987 The Search for Aguacaleyquen and Cali: Archaeological
Survey of Portions of Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Clay,
Columbia, Marion, Sumter and Union Counties, Florida.
Miscellaneous Project Report Series No. 33.
Department of Anthropology, Florida State Museum,

1991 The Utina and the Potano Peoples of Northern Florida:
Changing Settlement Systems in the Spanish Colonial
Period. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of
Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Johnson, Kenneth W., and Bruce C. Nelson
1990 The Utina: Seriations and Chronology.
Anthropologist 43(1):48-62.

The Florida

Jones, B. Calvin, and Gary N. Shapiro
1990 Nine Mission Sites in Apalachee. In Columbian
Consequences, Volume 2: Archaeological and Historical
Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands East, edited by
David Hurst Thomas, pp. 491-509. Smithsonian
Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Leader, Jonathan, and Bruce C. Nelson
1989 Technometric and Functional Analysis of Metal
Artifacts from the Seventeenth Century Santa F6 de
Toloca Mission, Florida. Paper presented at the 1989
Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society,

Loucks, Lana Jill
1979 Political and Economic Interactions between Spaniards
and Indians: Archeological and Ethnohistorical
Perspectives of the Mission System in Florida. Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Florida. University
Microfilms, Ann Arbor.

Saunders, Rebecca
1990 Ideal and Innovation: Spanish Mission Architecture in
the Southeast. In Columbian Consequences, Volume 2:
Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish
Borderlands East, edited by David Hurst Thomas, pp.
527-542. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington,

Simpson, Clarence
n.d. Unpublished notebook on file at the Florida Museum of
Natural History, Gainesville. Circa 1920-1940.

Thomas, David Hurst
1987 The Archaeology of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale: 1.
Search and Discovery. Anthropological Papers of the
American Museum of Natural History 63(2). New
York, New York.

Weisman, Brent
1988 1988 Excavations at Fig Springs (8C01), Season 2, July-
December 1988. Florida Archaeological Reports No. 4.
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research,

Wenhold, Lucy L. (translator)
1936 A 17th Century Letter of Gabriel Diaz Vara Calder6n,
Bishop of Cuba, Describing the Indians and Indian
Missions of Florida. Smithsonian Miscellaneous
Collections 95(16):1-14.

Kenneth Johnson
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611


Brent R. Weisman


Fig Springs (8Col) is a seventeenth century Spanish
mission site in Ichetucknee Springs State Park (Figure 1) on a
small tributary of the Ichetucknee River approximately one
mile south of the head spring. The site contains an
underwater component, probably a refuse deposit, discovered
in 1949 by John Goggin (1949) (Figure 2) and, on the upland
adjacent to the springs, an extensive associated terrestrial
component which first came to light in limited test
excavations and survey conducted by the Florida Museum of
Natural History in 1986 (Johnson 1987, 1990). Here are
found the well-preserved remains of a seventeenth century
Spanish mission, including areas of the site interpreted as a
mission church, convento, cemetery, plaza, and the mission
In 1988-1989 the Florida Bureau of Archaeological
Research (FBAR), under contract with the Florida
Department of Natural Resources, Division of Recreation
and Parks (DNR), undertook archaeological investigations at
Fig Springs with the purposes of defining the site plan and

L..- N
0 1,000 f.

Figure 1. Fig Springs (8Col) in Ichetucknee Springs Park.

excavating the presumed church and convento as well as
aboriginal structures in the mission village. The archaeology
of these structures was to be used as the basis for their
architectural reconstruction, which was to occur in
conjunction with the construction of an interpretive center in
the park showcasing the major themes of local natural and
cultural history. Unfortunately, plans for the public
interpretation of the Fig Springs mission and Fig Springs
archaeology have since been scuttled by DNR, at least on the
scale as was originally proposed. This in no way diminishes
the significance of the site and its potential to contribute to
our understanding of the Spanish mission period in Florida.
The 1988-1989 archaeological investigations at the Fig
Springs mission produced a rich yield of new information
about architecture, site plan, and material culture of a
seventeenth century interior Florida mission. Overall
interpretation of the site was enhanced by an archaeological
approach which combined detailed architectural excavations
and the simultaneous investigation of functionally distinct
areas of the mission community. Four new points of
information about mission archaeology of the Florida interior
are of particular interest and will be briefly summarized
First, stratigraphic excavations of a structure
interpreted as a chapel-like church have revealed a
construction sequence which involved a great deal of
planning and site preparation. After the building site
had been selected, construction began by first removing
the topsoil and humus from within the building area. A
layer of clean sand then was placed where the humus
had been, and was graded to have a slight fall from east
to west. Roof support posts, vertical board walls, and a
pine sill plate or "grade beam" were placed on or in this
fill. A prepared clay floor covered the sand fill in the
north and west areas of the building. Finally, after the
building had burned and been abandoned, a mantle of
orange and yellow sand, virtually free of artifacts, was
placed to cover the building ruins.
Second, zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical
analysis of remains collected from trash-filled pits and
cooking hearths associated with a mission-period
aboriginal structure indicates that the residents of this
building shared a continuity with the basic prehistoric
aboriginal subsistence pattern of north Florida, with a
dietary emphasis on both wild plant and animal foods.
In the study of 1,165.95 gm of faunal material from
aboriginal features, it was found that wild terrestrial
animals accounted for 90.42% of the estimated
proportional biomass contributing to the diet, with deer


June, Sept. & Dec., 1991

Vol. 44 No. 2-4

Figure 2. A Goggin student using glass-bottom bucket to search for artifacts, Fig Springs, early 1950s.

alone comprising 77.99% of the biomass (Newsom and
Quitmyer 1992). Eleven plant species were identified in the
botanical analysis, including three definite Old World
domesticates (watermelon, peach, wheat), two domesticates
of New World origin (bean, maize), four wild fruits
(persimmon, maypop, cabbage palm, saw palmetto) and two
wild nuts (hickory, acorn) (Newsom and Quitmyer 1992).
A third point of interest is that while the pattern of
artifact distribution shows that certain types of artifacts are
not evenly distributed across the site (86.6% of all projectile
points obtained were found in the aboriginal structure, 78.9%
of all straight pins came from the church, see Table 1)
actually it is very difficult to tightly define presumed Spanish
and Indian site areas of the mission-period component on the
basis of artifact counts and percentages. This perhaps
suggests that mission society at Fig Springs was an open
community, where the boundaries between priest and Indian
were not maintained rigidly through material means.
A fourth notable point is that roughened, cob-marked,
and punctated pottery surface treatments, present in the
prehistoric pottery tradition in the Fig Springs area (the
Suwannee Valley series), appear as surface treatments on

about 1.8% of the grog-tempered Jefferson Series ceramics,
the aboriginal pottery of the seventeenth century mission
period at Fig Springs. This suggests that while, without
question, there was a major ceramic transformation
subsequent to the founding of the missions, there is some
demonstrated continuity between the prehistoric inhabitants
of Fig Springs and the Indians of the mission period.

The 1988 Auger Survey

The first objectives of the FBAR project at Fig Springs
were to define the area of the presumed mission site and
determine, if possible, the architectural arrangement of the
site. This delineation was to include the specific locations of
mission and aboriginal structures and an evaluation of the
potential of the archaeological remains to yield specific
information about construction techniques and building
The initial phase of investigation consisted of a power
auger survey and topographical mapping of a thirty acre area
adjacent to the springs thought to contain the mission site
(including the one acre area tested in 1986 by FMNH).


Beginning in February, 1988, ten weeks of survey work were
conducted, in which 1341 auger tests were drilled at 10 m
intervals across the site and 5000 topographical readings
taken over the same area (Weisman 1988b). With the
assistance of the Florida Bureau of Survey and Mapping
(DNR), a horizontal grid was established prior to the
archaeological survey, with grid points marked with iron rebar
and/or concrete monuments, and vertical benchmarks were
set and marked in elevations of meters above mean sea level
A total of 724 of the 1341 auger holes (54%) contained
artifacts. Of these, 324 contained only lithic flakes or tools,
while the remaining 400 (55.3%) variably contained
aboriginal pottery, Spanish materials, lithics, and faunal
remains. The densities of artifacts and the presence/absence
distributions of artifacts such as Spanish majolica and
wrought nails in these 400 tests were used to derive a

preliminary interpretation of the Fig Springs site plan. Of
particular importance for the subsequent seasons of
excavation was the contour map of aboriginal pottery density
produced at the end of the auger season. By contouring the
weights of aboriginal pottery obtained in the auger holes at 10
gm intervals, as had been done early in the San Luis project
(Shapiro 1987b), the locations and alignments of the major
activity areas of the 20 acre site began to take shape (see
Figure 4).

Cultural Identity Of The Mission Indians

In addition to providing the archaeological evidence
necessary to support an architectural reconstruction of the
mission buildings, there was some concern with determining
the cultural or tribal identity (or identities) of the Indians who
inhabited the Fig Springs mission. It had become customary

Figure 3. Season 2 excavation of the sill plate and door threshold, east end of church. Note pedestalled artifacts
and vertical wall boards perpendicular to north and south ends of sill plate. At upper left is a clay
support pad, a portion of which was uncovered in 1986. View is to the north.


150 E

Figure 4. Plan view of excavations in the central mission area. Excavated areas are indicated in black.

8Col Fig Springs
Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research
1988-1989 Excavations,
Central Mission Area

Density of Aboriginal Pottery recovered in Auger survey,
weight in grams, contoured at 10 gram intervals

\t2 Elevation contours, meters above mean sea level

( Area in Fig Springs where Goggin collected

among archaeologists (Deagan 1972; Johnson and Nelson
1990; Loucks 1979; Milanich 1978), following Swanton
(1946:201), to refer to the north Florida mission Indians as
the Utina, a term which appears in the names of several
towns encountered by de Soto in 1539 after leaving Potano,
an aboriginal center presumed to have been in the general
vicinity of present-day Gainesville.
This unfortunately has led to the conflation of the north
Florida mission Indians with the peoples encountered by de
Soto and with the Outina (Utina) Indians of the central St.
Johns River area (Gatschet 1877:627) who figure so famously
in the French narratives of the 1560s (Lorant 1946). While
there may have been some interaction and a degree of
cultural relationship between the sixteenth century Outina of
the St. Johns, the residents of the Utina-named towns of the
de Soto chronicles, and the north Florida mission Indians of
the seventeenth century, it seemed unwise to carry forward
the name Utina in referring to this latter group, particularly
in that extensive documentary research conducted by Amy
Bushnell (1988) and John Hann (1987, 1988a, 1988b, 1988c,
1989) in the early stages of the Fig Springs project indicated
that the Spanish did not use the term Utina as a name of a
mission province nor did they write of any tribal, ethnic, or
linguistic group of that name.
Instead, the colonial Spanish documents consistently
refer to the land or province of Timucua (Or6 1936), the
principal town of which in 1597 was reported in a location 50
leagues inland from the San Pedro mission on Cumberland
Island. This location fits well with the Fig Springs vicinity,
using a measurement of 2.6 miles to the league (John Hann,
personal communication, August 10, 1988). In 1597, Timucua
consisted of five major towns with an estimated total
population of 1,500 persons (Hann 1988c). References
throughout the seventeenth century persist in referring to
Timucua Province, which grew to encompass the territory
between the St. Johns River west to the Aucilla River (Geiger
1940:127-131). Thus in terms of historical accuracy, the term
Timucua is preferred over Utina to refer to the protohistoric
and historic period aboriginal peoples of the above-described
This of course does little to resolve the question of the
cultural identity of the Indians making and using the
"bullseye" complicated stamped pottery (Jefferson series) that
seems to dominate ceramic assemblages in Timucua in the
mid-seventeenth century. In archaeological terms, this
stamping appears quite abruptly and does not appear to
derive from the pottery of the prehistoric Timucua in the Fig
Springs area, which consists primarily of varieties of the type
Fig Springs Roughened, Prairie Cord Marked, Alachua Cob
Marked, varieties of Lochloosa Punctated, and other Alachua
tradition-related types.
The problem really is one of finding evidence to support
either a model of rapid population replacement in Timucua in
the early to mid 1600s or the idea that the native population

quickly adopted an entirely new pottery tradition, one with
ultimate origins to the west in Apalachee or in the Georgia
Lamar area. There is no conclusive evidence either way at
the present time. Indeed, there are indications in the
documents and from archaeological results that both
population replacement and cultural continuity were
simultaneous processes shaping the cultural landscape of
Spanish Florida. New research in the Spanish archives of
Seville by John Worth of the University of Florida promises
to go far in bringing clarity to this situation.

The Historical Identity of the Fig Springs Mission

There also was the related concern as to the historical
identity of the Fig Springs mission, particularly because the
site (as known from Goggin's collections) had been named in
the literature as the mission Santa Catalina de Afuerica (or
Ahoica) (Deagan 1972, 1987:11; Johnson 1987; Milanich
1978), a mission known from the documents to have been in
existence in the general vicinity of Fig Springs between about
1675 and 1685. Goggin's majolica seriations, however, which
have held up as being generally accurate, suggested a pre-
1650 date for the mission (Goggin 1968:74), a dating which is
generally accepted for the site (Deagan 1987:5). Either the
Ahoica mission existed much earlier than the known dates,
which increasingly seemed more improbable as more
documentary research was done, or Fig Springs was not Santa
Catalina. Working on this latter premise, the mission San
Martin de Timucua (also referred to as San Martin de
Ayaocuto, see Hann 1990), founded in 1608 by Fray Martin
Prieto in the main village of Timucua (Or6 1936) at a distance
later recorded in 1655 to be 34 leagues (88.4 miles) from St.
Augustine (Geiger 1940:126), compares well to the Fig
Springs site, located some 82 air miles from St. Augustine.
San Martin evidently was destroyed in the 1656 Timucua
Rebellion and largely abandoned then or shortly thereafter,
and fails to appear by that name on subsequent mission lists.

The 1988-1989 Excavations

Based on the positive results of the auger survey, two
seasons of archaeological excavations were funded by DNR in
areas interpreted as the central mission complex and mission
village. Fieldwork consisted of a five month season of 2 m by
2 m test excavations (Weisman 1988a) (Figure 3) in a
sampling of site areas, followed by a ten month season of
major block excavations expanded from the tested areas
(Figure 4). Results and conclusions of excavations in the site
areas shown in Figure 4 are summarized below.

The Church

Beneath a 10-15 cm layer of humus and below a second
10-15 cm layer of what appears to have been an intentionally-

placed sand cap or mantle are the ruins of what was most
likely a chapel-like mission church, indicated by areas of
prepared clay floor, charred hewn support posts, charred
vertical wall boards, and a hewn sill plate or "grade beam"
with an associated door threshold of wood (Figure 5, and see
Figure 3) at the eastern end of the structure. Major roof
support posts, each about 10 cm square, seem to have rested
on clay pads, several of which show impressed or burnt areas
where the posts actually sat. The roof appears to have
covered an area measuring about 10.5 m north-south and 8 m
east-west. Elevation of the clay floor rises in steps from west
to east, with an overall rise of some 20 cm relative to the
mission-period ground surface outside the building.
Wattle and daub construction was not used, although
clay chinking was squeezed between the vertical wall boards
at the east end of the structure. The building probably was
open on three sides, with the back (east) wall at the sill plate
closed by a board wall. Excavations to depths of over 1 m
below the ground surface through several areas of the floor
indicate that the original humus had been stripped from the
building site and a 20 cm layer of clean sand fill brought in
and graded out to serve as a subfloor. The sand floor of an
interior room was almost completely free of artifacts,
suggesting the presence of a raised floor or platform of wood.
The raised floor seems to have been open on the west side,
facing the clay floor, as there is no evidence of plank walls in
this area. The wood architecture, consisting of vertical board
walls, hewn pine posts, threshold, and pine sill plate, is
generally similar to the architecture of the excavated "church"
at the Pine Tuft (8Jel) or Aspalaga mission in Apalachee
(Morrell and Jones 1970).
Artifacts were not abundant but include majolica and
olive jar -- together combining for the highest percentage
(18.8) of Spanish versus aboriginal pottery present in any of
the excavation areas -- aboriginal pottery sherds along wall
lines, an iron sewing needle, and iron and brass straight pins
(Table 1), all of which were found in fill around burnt posts.
Charred peach pits and burnt mud dauber nests were also

The Cemetery

Burials are found along the north wall of the church and
cover an estimated area about 30 m north-south by 10 m east-
west. There is evidence of at least seven orderly rows of
burials with an eighth intrusive row on the western side.
Results of excavations in the central area of cemetery in 1990
and 1991 by the Florida Museum of Natural History (see
Hoshower and Milanich, this volume) suggest that less formal
burial practices may have prevailed here and that at least
some of the burials in the central area may be associated with
a poorly-preserved clay-floored structure.
Heads are to the east, facing west, with the burials
aligned with the presumed east-west axis of the church.

Burial pits are easily seen as areas of mottled sand and clay
fill in a matrix of tan sand subsoil. Six burials were partly or
completely cleaned in the FBAR excavations, all of which
were supine typically with hands folded over the chest.
Burials were encountered from 48 centimeters below surface
(cmbs) to 88 cmbs. None of these burials (including four
burials partially exposed in the same area in 1986) were
interred beneath the floor of a structure as is the case in other
Florida missions (Jones and Shapiro 1987), because
excavation profiles show them to be intrusive through humus
deposits, unlike the cultural deposits noted in the building
areas. All burials were backfilled in place after mapping and
photography. Only one burial (#8) was cleaned in its entirety
so as to allow an age and sex determination. This was a
female, estimated to be between 35 and 45 years of age at the
time of death (see Weisman 1992, Appendix B).
A single blue glass seed bead was found in water
screening soil from the neck region of one burial, otherwise
grave goods, personal possessions, or evidence of clothing
such as shroud pins were not found in direct association with
the interments.

The Convento

The presumed convento is east of the cemetery and
northeast of the church and is roughly defined by alignments
and/or clusters of wrought nails and spikes found in
association with majolica, olive jar, and aboriginal sherds,
glass vial fragments (see Figure 6,B), an iron trunk lock
(Figure 6,A), several straight pins, and several glass beads.
Tentative identification of this area as the remains of the
mission convento is made based on its placement in the site
plan, that is, so as not to obstruct the view of the church from
the plaza and aboriginal village, and the lack here of the
special construction sequence described previously for the
presumed mission church.
A single charred hewn post was found, the top of which
was almost 40 cm below the tops of posts in the church,
suggesting that the convento was built at an elevation lower
than the church, a relationship not immediately apparent
when looking at the present topography. The convento post,
rectangular not square, is oriented with its long axis east-west,
thus suggesting that this structure was not aligned exactly with
the church or with the burials identified in the FBAR project.
A total of 38.4% of the intact nails and spikes recovered in
the entire excavation came from the convento area, the largest
percentage of any single excavation area (see Table 1). Six of
eight "L-head" type flooring nails (viz. South et al. 1988) were
found here. Evidence of other architectural features was
elusive and it does not appear as if the building had vertical
wall board construction and a prepared clay floor as did the
church. Evidence for wattle and daub architecture is lacking.
The stratigraphy in this area of the site is disturbed and
difficult to interpret, due in part to soil mixing from tree falls

0 1 2m

8Coi Fig Springs
1988-1989 Excavations
Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research

Hewn Post
Pine Sill
Clay Pad
Vertical Board
Q Prepared Floor
@ Prepared Clay Floor
and Rubble
O Sand Floor
B Burial #

(NOTE: burials 1-4 excavated
in 1986 FMNH testing)



Figure 5. Plan view of the church excavations. Contour lines indicate surface elevations.








,~ 0 1 2 3 4 5

Figure 6. Selected artifacts from the Fig Springs excavations. A) iron trunk lock (convento), B) ornamental glass handle
(convento), C) bent nail associated with burnt post in church, D) brass finger ring (aboriginal midden), E) shell disk
(aboriginal midden), F) 5-layered heat-altered chevron bead (probable village area), G-H) Ichtucknee Blue glass
beads, I) gilded fluted bead, J-K) clay balls, L) iron chisel/knife, Feature 16 (trash-filled pit, aboriginal structure),
M) iron "awl," Feature 16, N) "Ave Maria" gold venerra medallion or pendant (aboriginal structure), 0) Fig Springs
Polvchrome maiolica sherd (aboriginal structure).

Table 1. Frequency of Major Artifact Types Found in Excavation Areas.

% of Total Found in Excavation Area
Artifact Count Cha Cob Cemc A.S.d A.M.e So. Endf Total

Nails and Spikes 112 33.3 38.4 6.3 17.8 4.5 0.0 100.0
Nails and Spikes 163 37.4 30.7 2.5 28.2 1,2 0.0 100.0
Glass (fragment) 61 27.9 24.6 0.0 47.5 0.0 0.0 100.0
Aboriginal Pottery 4,421 7.8 6.3 1.3 70.3 8.3 6.0 100.0
Majolica 57 45.6 17.5 1.8 29.8 5.3 0.0 100.0
Olive Jar 157 34.4 10.8 0.0 48.4 6.4 0.0 100.0
Glass Beads 164 1.2 2.4 1.2 90.9 4.3 0.0 100.0
Straight Pins 19 78.9 15.8 0.0 5.3 0.0 0.0 100.0
Lead Shot 12 8.3 0.0 8.3 75.0 8.3 0.0 100.0
Shell Artifacts 12 8.3 0.0 0.0 83.3 8.3 0.0 99.9
(inc. shell bead)
Projectile Points 225 2.7 2.7 0.4 86.6 4.9 2.7 100.0

"Ch = Church
bCo = Convento
CCem = Cemetery
dA.S. = Aboriginal Structure
eA.M. = Aboriginal Midden
So. End = South End of Village Excavation

and active erosion which is removing the western edge of the
cultural deposit (see the downhill "creep" of pottery from the
convento area in Figure 4). The main concentration of
convento artifacts was found in an area of about 7 m east-west
by 10 m north-south and came from a 10 to 20 cm thick
occupation stratum consisting of tan, brown, and orange
mottled sand with red clay inclusions, 20 to 30 cm below the
present ground surface.


This is an area of low artifact density separating the
church-convento-cemetery complex from the mission village
(see Figure 4). Strata in this area consist of a loose dry sand
underlain by a sticky gray to tan clay, which is a natural
deposit very close to the surface along the edge of the terrace
above the springs (defined by the 15 m contour line).

Aboriginal Structure

This is a rectangular 9 m by 13 m structure (Figure 7)
south of the plaza and at the north end of the mission village
(Figure 8). The structure is notable both for the quantity of
artifacts recovered and the number of cultural features, many
of which were filled with food refuse and discarded artifacts.
Seven types of feature were identified (Figure 9). Cob-
filled pits (total of 19) are bell-shaped and are thought to
have been smudge pits located along the inside wall of the
structure. Wood-filled pits (total of 24), also bell-shaped
(Figure 10), contain dense layers of charcoal in the pit bottom
and are associated with the cob pits.
Postholes or charred post features (total of 18) are
found along the presumed wall line of the structure and at
several places in the interior. Charred posts appear to be

round, not hewn as in the church. Major wall posts
typically are 1.7 m apart (the same distance from the
clay support pads in the church to the edge of the
floor). The remains of smaller interior posts and the
restricted placement of the smudge pits suggest that
benches lined the inner wall of the building, as has
been suggested at other historic period aboriginal
sites (Milanich 1972; Shapiro 1987a).
Just outside the north and presumed west walls
of the structure were found seven linear to oval
shaped trash-filled pits (Features 7, 16, 31, 32, 34, 42,
43, see Figure 7). These pits were particularly rich
sources of artifacts, including about 70% of the glass
beads recovered in the entire excavation and other
Spanish-derived items such as an iron chisel/knife
and iron awl (see Figure 6,L-M) which may have
been cached. An iron hoe, similar to one found
previously in the springs (Deagan 1972), came from a
shallow pit feature (Feature 31). Hickory nut shells
and an acorn hull have been identified in botanical

analysis of trash-filled pit soil, as well as peach pit fragments
and, of most interest, a single grain of wheat. Faunal remains
from trash-filled pits include deer (minimum number of
individuals present, or MNI, totalled 3), pig (1 MNI), turkey
(1 MNI), sunfishes (6 MNI), catfish (3 MNI), gar (1 MNI),
bass (1 MNI), turtle (1 MNI) and gopher tortoise (1 MNI)
(Newsom and Ouitmyer 1992).
Also on the outside of the building beyond the north
wall are two 60 cm deep oval pits (Features 10 and 60, Figure
7) interpreted as cooking or roasting pits (these are seen in
the left foreground of Figure 8). Fill consisted of layers of
midden soil mixed with charcoal and lenses of ash. Most of
the artifacts found in Feature 10 fill, including olive jar sherds
found in the single greatest density on the site, were burnt.
Botanical remains from Feature 10 consist of hickory nut and
acorn fragments, maize cob and cupule fragments, saw
palmetto seeds, maypop, sandspur, a possible hazel nut,
possible domestic bean, and four watermelon seeds. Faunal
remains include specimens of deer (1 MNI), opossum (1
MNI), gray fox (1 MNI), skunk (1 MNI), gopher tortoise,
mud turtle, and bowfin, each represented by 1 MNI.
Inside the structure, in what is interpreted as a large,
open central room (around which the benches were placed)
were found five 50 cm deep basin-shaped hearths or firepits
with layers of ash and charcoal but few if any artifacts and no
faunal remains.
The most curious feature associated with the aboriginal
structure is a dog burial located just inside the north wall of
the structure (Figure 11). The flexed articulated skeleton,
about the same size as an adult German shepherd, was found
in the bottom of a pit evidently dug solely for the purpose of
interring the animal. No artifacts were found with the
skeleton, and the pit fill contained very few artifacts,
suggesting that burial occurred relatively early in the

0 1 2m



Figure 7. Plan view of excavations in aboriginal structure.




8Col Fig Springs
1988-1989 Excavations
Florida Bureau of
Archaeological Research

0 Post
Cob Pit
Wood (charcoal) Pit

occupation of the structure. An undisturbed mission-period
cultural stratum covered the top of the pit intrusion, making it
certain that the burial dates to the seventeenth century.
Spanish-derived artifacts found in the occupation
stratum of the structure include sherds of Fig Springs
Polychrome majolica (see Figure 6,0) and a cast gold
religious medallion (Figure 6, N) with the interlocked letters
M and A topped by a crown, thought to symbolize an early
seventeenth century Virgin Mary cult.

Midden Area

Associated with all known structures at Fig Springs but
most strongly evident around the aboriginal structure are
deposits of sheet midden, containing numerous Spanish and
aboriginal artifacts and occasional faunal remains. The
midden between the north side of the aboriginal structure and
the south boundary of the plaza contains a notable density of
artifacts, which are found in a cultural deposit 30-40 cm thick
beneath modern humus. It appears that the midden in this

area accumulated in natural low spots and around trees.
Artifacts found in the midden north of the aboriginal
structure include a brass finger ring with its stone setting still
in place (see Figure 6, D) and a shell disc (Figure 6, E).

South End Village Excavations

During the auger survey an area was identified in the
southern portion of the mission village, some 200 m south of
the excavated mission-period aboriginal structure, that
contained no complicated stamped pottery and no Spanish
artifacts. Aboriginal pottery exclusively belonged to the
Suwannee Series. This area was interpreted as pure pre-
mission component. Archaeological testing here in 1989 and
again by John Worth in 1990 (Worth 1991) was instrumental
in developing the concept of the Suwannee Valley ceramic
series and the Suwannee Valley culture, which, on the basis of
a series of radiocarbon dates obtained by FBAR (Weisman
1992) and Worth (Worth 1991), was the indigenous
Woodland-like culture in existence in post-Weeden Island

- .

4! ___ *

Figure 8. East end of the excavated aboriginal structure, view to the southeast. The cooking/roasting pits (Features
10, 60) are in left foreground. Pedestal in center is charred wall post.

F 95

F 71

F 33

F 94

F 41

F 37

8Col Fig Springs
1988-1989 Excavations
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research

Brown Sand with
Charcoal Flecking
Charred Corn Cobs
Gray Sand with
Charcoal Flecking
Black to Brown Sand
with Charcoal
Brown to Black Sand
with Charcoal
and Raw Clay

F 95,45
F 33
F 71,72,94
F 37,41
F 10

Bell-Shaped "Smudges"
Linear Trash-Filled Pit
Possible 'Posts"
"Cooking/Roasting" Pit

Olive Jar
Aboriginal Pottery
Burnt Bone

F 10

0 10 20 30 40 50 cm

Figure 9. Representative feature profiles, aboriginal structure.


F 45

F 72

times from about the tenth century A.D.
through the sixteenth century.

Revised Aboriginal Pottery Typology

Early in the 1989 season a revised
typology of Fig Springs aboriginal pottery
was adopted, in large part because existing
typologies of mission-period ceramics
developed from work at San Luis,
Baptizing Springs, and elsewhere in
Timucua and Potano were not yielding the
kinds of specific information about culture
and chronology that were hoped for. The
premise of the Fig Springs typology is that
pottery temper is a good chronological
indicator, at least in Timucua, and was
based on the archaeological observation
that mission-period pottery at Fig Springs
is almost exclusively grog-tempered, while
early mission and pre-mission pottery is
sand-tempered. Use of the typology is
leading to understandings of the cultural
dynamics of the mission period,
particularly in demonstrating some degree
of continuity between the pre-mission and
mission period aboriginal Timucua
Five pottery series, based on temper,
are used to classify the Fig Springs
collections. First is the Jefferson series,
with a grog-tempered paste, containing
varieties of bullseye and other complicated
stamped motifs (Figure 12,E), check
stamping (Figure 12,D), punctated, cob
marked, incised, and roughened surface
treatments. The type Jefferson Plain
accounts for almost 49% (by count) of the
entire Fig Springs pottery assemblage.
The Suwannee series, sand-tempered
wares, contains varieties of the type Fig
Springs Roughened (Figure 12,B-C) and
types of the Alachua tradition. This is the
pottery of the pre-mission Timucua.
The third series is the shell-tempered


which is present only in mission contexts and
(Figure 12,A), incised, and cord marked type
series is Lamar, on a grit paste, and has plai
stamped, incised, and check stamped types. C
to be mission period although some late pre-
(late sixteenth century?) is indicated. The fifth
St. Johns series, which comprises a minor (gen
2% in the different site areas) but consistent p
mission and mission period assemblages.

Figure 10. Profile of bell-shaped wood-filled "smudge pit," aboriginal structure.

noggin pottery, sherds of Fort Walton Incised was found in the aboriginal
contains plain structure.
s. The fourth
n, complicated Comparison To Other Sites
ontext appears
mission dating The similarity between the wooden architecture of the
is the familiar Fig Springs and Aspalaga (Pine Tuft) "churches" has been
erally less than pointed out, with the exception that the Fig Springs building is
art of the pre- smaller and evidence for a compound wall is lacking. In
A total of ten terms of general similarities in site plan, the best comparison

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