2000 Florida Anthropological Society Inc.
The Florida Anthropological Society Inc. holds
source text of the Florida Anthropologist
considered the copyright holder for the text
all rights to the
and shall be
and images of
The Florida Anthropological Society has made this publication
available to the University of Florida, for purposes of
digitization and Internet distribution.
The Florida Anthropological Society reserves all rights to this
publication. All uses, excluding those made under "fair use"
provisions of U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 107 are restricted.
Contact the Florida Anthropological Society for additional
information and permissions.
AN TH OPO OGIST
PUBLISHED BY THE
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGCAL SOCIETY, INC.
NUMBER 2 PART
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published quarterly in March, June
September, and December by the Florida Anthropological Society,Inc., c/o
Room 102, Florida State Museum, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
Subscription is by membership in the Society for individuals or institutions in-
terested in the aims of the Society. Annual dues are $6. 00; student members
$4.00. Requests for memberships and general inquiries should be addressed to
the secretary; subscriptions, dues, changes of address and orders for back issues
to the treasurer; manuscripts for publication to the editor; and newsletter
items to the president. Second class postage paid at Gainesville, Florida.
No. 1, Part 1
A Reconsideration of Freshwater Shellfish Exploitation in the
Florida Archaic by Stephen L. Cumbaa . . 49
A Comparative Study of Palmar Dermatoglyphics on Pasi and
Chamar by Nisha Pandey and V. K. Tandon .. . 60
Where Has All The Deer Tongue Gone ? by Alice H. Murphree .64
The Weekiwachee Site, Hernando County, Florida by George
R. Ferguson .............. ......... .69
Manufacturing Techniques of Maximo Point Microliths by James
D. Knight . . . . . . 84
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
President Wilma B. Williams
2511 McKinley St., Hollywood, FL 33020
1st Vice President Raymond Williams
Dept. of Anthropology, University of
South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620
2nd Vice President Jerald T. Milanich
111 SW 23rd Terrace, Gainesville,
Secretary George W. Percy
Div. of Archives, History, and
Records Management, 401 East Gaines
Street, Tallahassee, FL 32304
Treasurer Norcott Henriquez
1510 Dewey St., Hollywood, FL 33020
Directors at Large
Three years: Robert E. Johnson
4250 Melrose Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32210
Two years: Ray C. Robinson
1020 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
One year: Wesley Coleman
10 NW 124 Avenue
Miami, FL 33126
Editor Ripley P. Bullen
102 Florida State Museum,
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
A RECONSIDERATION OF FRESHWATER
SHELLFISH EXPLOITATION IN THE FLORIDA ARCHAIC
Stephen L. Cumbaa
The changing pattern of man's subsistence at the end of the Pleis-
tocene in Florida is reflected by long-term environmental changes. Sea
level and interior lake, river, and spring levels rose, and deciduous and
coniferous woodlands replaced widespread savannah conditions which form-
ed the major habitat of the large Pleistocene herbivores upon which the
Paleo-Indian hunters depended. As these large herding mammals disappeared,
man gradually found more dependable sources of food in environments rel-
atively unchanged from those which are found in Florida today. This period
has become known archaeologically as the Archaic.
Willey and Phillips (1957) characterize the Archaic as a transition in
the nature of cultural materials which reflects the exploitation of a wide
range of potential food resources available within given life zones (micro-
environments). Not a great deal is known about Early Archaic subsistence,
but what evidence there is points to upland hunting and collecting, with in-
creasing use of lowland aquatic resources later in the period. The Late
Archaic is characterized by a highly efficient use of these aquatic resourc-
es, particularly in interior river valleys but also on the coast. The most
obvious of these intensively exploited resources were shellfish, the shells
of which were left with other refuse at some sites in deep middens cover-
ing several acres.
There has been a great fascination with shell mounds since the work
of Jeffries Wyman (1875) and C.B. Moore (1892-94) in the St. Johns River
valley in Florida, but most of the literature concerning Florida and the South-
east has been merely descriptive, marveling at the size of the middens and
what seemed to be man's overwhelming dependence on the mollusc as a food
source. Caldwell (1958:12) and others have pointed out the fact that the Arch-
aic exploitation of shellfish has been overemphasized, but quantitative nutrit-
ional studies have not generally been undertaken in the Southeast to give a
solid foundation of fact to this premise. A notable exception is a recent
paper by Parmalee and Klippel (1974) on the food value of molluscs in the
A considerable body of this quantitative information on shell mounds
has been accumulated elsewhere, primarily in California and in New Zealand
The only other area which has to my knowledge received any systematic,
quantitative steatment is the Marismas Nacionales area of west Mexico
(Schenkel 1971). The value of shellfish to archaeological interpretation
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 29, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1976
FRESHWATER SHELLFISH EXPLOITATION
has long been appreciated in terms of the reconstruction of environments,
trade routes, etc. It is the purpose of this paper to attempt quantifi-
cation of food remains from shell middens and to bring together other
information which will enable us to more accurately assess the value of
shellfish in the Archaic riverine food economy of the Indians of Florida
specifically and the Southeastern United States in general.
Shell Mound Volume and Composition
For the purposes of this study I chose the Kimball Island midden in
Lake County in the middle St. Johns River valley (Bullen and Bryant 1965).
This midden was chosen because it had been previously tested, was "typical"
of the freshwater riverine shell middens in Florida, and especially for the
fact that an accurate survey had been drawn up of the midden and a large
contour map was available for volumetric calculations (Benson and Green
The Kimball Island midden is some 700 feet long, 360 feet wide at
its widest points, and reaches a maximum height of 17 feet above the sur-
rounding ground (Bullen and Bryant 1965:18). As pottery (St. Johns series)
was found only in the upper six inches of their test pits, Bullen and Bryant
(1965:20) assigned the mound culturally to the Mt. Taylor period (precer-
The midden is reported to be comprised principally of the small fresh-
water snail called the pond snail (Viviparus georgianus Lea), with some
apple snail (Pomacea paludosa Say) and mussel (Elliptio sp.) present (Bul-
len and Bryant 1965:19). They note the similarity of the Kimball Island
midden to the two other shell middens reported in their paper, of which
Viviparus shells comprise 99 and 98 per cent of the volume of the middens
(Bullen and Bryant 1965:11). They do comment that there are somewhat
more Pomacea and Elliptio shells present, as well as somewhat more dirt
in the form of lenses present in the Kimball Island midden (Bullen and Bry-
The volume of the midden was calculated from a large map drawn
from a survey by Benson and Green (1962). The Kimball Island midden
contained approximately 1,621,000 cubic feet, or more manageably, 45,400
cubic meters (figures derived from a combination of formulae based on
solid geometry). If we assume that perhaps 70% of this volume is shell
(Ripley P. Bullen, personal communication), then shellfish remains comprise
some 31,920 cubic meters. These snails are quite small and I was able to
fill a cubic foot measure with roughly 4,000 archaeological specimens weigh-
ing about 7 kilograms. There should then be roughly 98,840 Viviparus shells
weighing 173 kg. in a cubic meter, or some 4.5 billion Viviparus shells
weighing approximately 7,850 metric tons in the entire Kimball Island Mid-
den. If anything the estimate is conservative due to my not allowing for
Nevertheless, mere numbers of shells do not carry us very far in
the understanding of the complex interactions between man and the environ-
ment in the Florida Archaic. We must know something about the ecology
of the mollusc in question to determine the location of colonies, the prob-
able method of its collection, the numbers of individuals present in a col-
ony, and something of the population dynamics of these snails to determine
the possible frequency of harvests and therefore their suitability through
time as a dependable food resource. We should also know the caloric, pro-
tein, and other nutritional value of the mollusc and be able to get compar-
ative values from other food resources in use at the time.
The distribution of Viviparus georgianus, the dominant mollusc in
the middens, is somewhat spotty. It is generally not found in the larger
rivers, but in marginal sloughs or in smaller creeks, oxbow lakes, ponds,
springs, and lakes. There may be considerable distance between the colon-
ies, and each colony is rather internally consistent as to size, shape, and
coloration. Colonies can exist where there is a great deal of soft mud and
vegetation in quiet water, as well as in nearby sandy areas (Clench and
Probably the most suitable method of collecting Viviparus snails is by
hand in clear shallows. Under optimum population conditions, a bushel (1.24
ft3) of live snails from a short stretch of shallow stream could be gathered
by hand by two individuals in an hour or two, but with the risk of at least
temporary extirpation of the colony (Fred W. Thompson, personal commun-
ication). Populations would obviously decrease most rapidly in very clear
shallow water, but would continue to be replaced by movement of snails
from deeper or less clear waters. Local populations would probably come
back from "overkill" in 1-5 years due to the very high reproductive potent-
ial of these snails (Fred W. Thompson, personal communication). This data
is of course based on present population levels for the species, which may
have been in greater abundance 5,000 6,000 years ago. A dugout canoe
for transport and a collecting basket would have been the only necessary
tools, although some sort of scoop or rake may have been utilized as a
labor-saving device. If so, such a device has yet to be recovered or identi-
A glance at a detailed map of the middle St. Johns River valley (see
FRESHWATER SHELLFISH EXPLOITATION
Figure 1, taken from Bullen and Bryant 1965:3) shows innumerable potent-
ial collecting spots for Viviparus, as well as numerous large shell mid-
dens which would seem to indicate several thousand years of intensive
I would propose that the number of these mounds indicates that a
band would stay in an area until the exploitation of local shellfish resources
and the energy expended to travel farther to collect them brought increas-
ingly diminished returns. Perhaps then the band moved a few miles farther
on, camped for a few months, and moved on again, returning to start the
cycle over again as the molluscan and other animal and plant populations
re-established themselves. This would establish a pattern of central-based
nomadism closely tied to the exploitation of selected, closely-spaced life
zones supplying aquatic and adjacent ecotonal resources.
Shellfish as an Energy Base
The large quantity of snails harvested is a direct reflection of the
relatively low caloric and protein values obtained from individual snails.
100 grams (wet weight) of the edible portion supplies only 72 calories and
11.1 grams of protein. In contrast, the same weight of venison supplies 12o
calories and 21 grams of protein; rabbit, 135 calories and 21 gms. protein;
catfish, 103 calories and 17.6 gms. protein; pokeberry leaves 23 calories
and 2. 6 gms. protein; and hickory nuts, due to the oils and fats, 673 cal-
ories and 13.2 gms. protein (Watt and Merrill 1963: Table 1).
Experiments with live snails collected in local rivers and lakes
indicates an average total live weight of an individual Viviparus at 4.0
gms., of which the operculum and shell weigh 1.60 gms. or 45%. Thus the
edible portion of an individual snail is roughly 2.4 gms. (wet). This means
that almost 60 snails would have to be consumed to provide 100 calories,
or roughly 1800 snails for the currently accepted 3000 calorie daily adult
The total Viviparus content (essentially the total shellfish content)
of the Kimball Island midden (70% of the total volume) represents calor-
ically then about 2.5 million man-days or nearly 6,850 man-years. If we
use a figure of 50 as a top population estimate of a band-level hunting and
gathering group (Lee and DeVore 1968:11), then we could arrive at a figure
of 137 years for the entire deposition of the Kimball Island midden by one
social unit, assuming they ate only shellfish. With a 50% food supplement
we could double the figure to about 275 years, but of course this is playing
games. Nevertheless it is somewhat staggering, even in speculation, that
45,600 cubic meters of midden debris could have been deposited by as few
as 50 persons in about 275 years if 50% of their diet was shellfish.
This is not to suggest that this is the case, for as indicated earlier,
the shell mounds in the middle St. Johns river area are probably artifacts
of the seasonal base camps of a semi-nomadic people. Probably none of
the mounds was a habitation base for more than a few months of any given
year because of the temporary depletion of local populations of shellfish,
and some sites might have been abandoned for as much as 3-5 years. This
type of exploitation would have increased the time required for the accum-
ulation of the midden considerably, and would be extremely difficult if not
impossible to detect archaeologically.
Quantification: Shellfish Food Value in Perspective
To really put the proper perspective on dietary implications of shell-
fish collecting we need to compare the value of shellfish nutritionally with
other animals recovered in the middens. Other than shellfish, the most
frequently consumed (based on quantity of usable meat) animal species was
the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). It takes an investment of
2-4 man hours to collect a bushel (5000 individuals) of snails. This bush-
el of snails would produce roughly 8,600 calories, or the total daily cal-
oric intake of 2.8 individuals. By way of comparison, a 140 lb. white-tailed
deer, of which 50% (70 lb. or 32 kg.) is usable weight (White 1953:397),
would produce 40,300 calories (100 gm. = 126 Cal.), or the total daily cal-
oric intake of 13.4 individuals. Figures for man-hours required to success-
fully hunt a deer under aboriginal conditions would be speculative, but the
equivalent caloric intake in snails would require collection of nearly 24,000
snails and an expenditure of 10-20 man-hours.
Faunal materials were not available for study from the Kimball Is-
land midden, but by way of comparison a cubic meter section from another
St. Johns River drainage Viviparus shell midden, Colby's Landing (Mr-57),
was analyzed (three 6-inch levels of a 5-by 5-foot pit very nearly approx-
imate [1.05 m3] one cubic meter). There is also a time difference involved
here, as the sample from the Colby site is in a late fiber-tempered cer-
amic context. This is unfortunate, but the quantities of shell and animal
bone present do not seem to differ significantly from the preceramic mid-
dens. Suitable faunal collections from preceramic middens are at the pres-
ent time not available for study, but those which we have on record rep-
resent essentially the same faunal exploitation (Bullen 1955:12; Neill, Gut
and Brodkorb 1956).
Assuming 70% Viviparus composition by volume of the Colby midden
(Thomas H. Gouchnour, pers. comm.) as estimated for the Kimball Island
site, a cubic meter of midden material represents about 156,500 calories
from shellfish. Present in the same volume* of midden material were bones
representing 4 deer, 10 smaller mammals, 1 bird, 2 alligators, 24 turtles,
FRESHWATER SHELLFISH EXPLOITATION
2 snakes, and 11 fish. From the elements present and the number of frag-
ments, I am assuming essentially complete individuals were present in the
Using standard food composition tables (Watt and Merrill 1963) we can
calculate dietary values based on usable weight figures (White 1953:397-8;
Cumbaa ms.) which are condensed and averaged from individual species
studied (see Table 1). The non-shellfish caloric value of the contents of one
cubic meter was calculated at roughly 303,000 calories. Shellfish from the
same unit provided about 156,500 calories. If we ignore for a moment the
obvious but unknown degree of dependence on seeds, nuts, roots, and other
vegetal foods, then these figures would seem to show a 34.1% dietary de-
pendence on shellfish.
Dietary Percentages in Ethnographic Perspective
The Florida Archaic peoples are characterized as hunter-gatherers.
Unfortunately very few plant remains have survived, and so a part of
the gathering aspect of their subsistence has been ignored. From ethnog-
raphic studies on a world-wide basis among contemporary hunting-gathering
groups, we know that hunting actually contributes a smaller percentage to
the diet than had been supposed; in fact for a worldwide sample of hunter-
gatherers at all latitudes (with the exception of the Arctic), hunting de-
pendence ranges from 20-45%, with the mean, median, and mode converg-
ing on 35%. Lee (1968:42) has defined gathering as "...collecting of wild
plants, small land fauna and shellfish" and treats hunting and fishing sep-
arately. He notes a range of 0-70% for gathering dependence of New World
groups with an average dependence of 55% for those in the lower temperate
regions (derived from Lee 1968: Table 10).
Utilizing Lee's tripartite hunting/gathering/fishing division of subsist-
ence dependency, we can begin to approximate the amount of plant foods
collected by the Archaic riverine-based hunter-gatherers in Florida. When
we separate fishing from hunting it becomes a minor activity, supplying
some 11,000 calories from the cubic meter sample at the Colby site. I be-
lieve that all other non-shellfish animals present in the sample were either
hunted or trapped with the exception of several gopher and box turtles.
These slow-moving land turtles could be picked up easily and would fit in
well with Lee's definition of gathering. Subtracting their total caloric value
and the fish from the non-shellfish animal totals leaves us with a dietary
intake of about 287,000 calories from hunting.
The remainder we must attribute to gathering. Here we are still stuck
with the problem of discrimination against plant foods, which are an import-
ant food source in virtually every known hunting-gathering group. I will
Figure 1. Map of part of the St. Johns River Valley.
Table 1. Colby
site, dietary value of fauna/m3
av. live % us. tot. us. cal. / gm. proJ
animals mni st. (kg) wt. wt. (kg) 100 gm. tot. cal. 100 gm. tot. pro
deer 4 63.56 50 127.12 126 160,171.2 21.0 26,695.2
small mammals 10 9.03 60 54.21 135 73,183.5 21.0 11,384.1
bird 1 1.36 70 .95 193 1,833.5 22.6 214.7
turtles 24 1.59 50 19.16 100 19,160.0 19.2 3,678.7
snakes 3 1.36 80 3.27 100 3,270.0 19.2 627.8
alligator 2 34.05 50 34.05 100 34,050.0 19.2 6,536.6
Eish 11 1.32 75 10.90 103 11,227.0 17.6 1,918.4
shellfish 98,840* .004 55 217.45 72 156,564.0 11.1 24,137.0
totals 467.11 459,459.2 75,192.5
NEstimated from %of volume.
, Table 2. Contribution to diet by subsistence activity. Colby site.
Activity Resource Calories/m3 % of diet
aquatic turtle s
Totals 662,564.0 99.9
*Estimate from ethnoeranhic analoav.
FRESHWATER SHELLFISH EXPLOITATION
not attempt to carry this argument further than to suggest that with a reas-
onable plant food supplement the dietary intake from gathering would reach
the 55 % average of lower temperate zone hunter-gatherers cited by Lee
We can arrive at tentative figures for caloric intake of plant foods by
assuming this 55% gathering figure as fact, relegating the hunting and fish-
ing measured caloric values to a total of 45%. In so doing we solve for the
unknown quantity of plant foods by arriving at a total caloric value for
all foods contained in the cubic meter sample of something over 662,000
calories; then we subtract all measured values and are left with the plant
foods supplement to the diet of some 203,000 calories, or 30.6% (Table 2).
On a 3,000 calorie per individual per day basis, these percentages
would mean that an adult might consume daily 420 individual snails (1008 gm.)
576 gm. venison, 244 gm. small mammals, 234 gm. of aquatic turtle,
snake, or alligator, 50 gm. of fish, 21 gm. of meat from land turtles, 4.6
gm. of bird, and for plant food, enough hickory nuts, berries, and greens
to supply just over 900 calories. There are obvious rough spots in these
calculations, but the only surprising figure would be the unusually high pro-
tein intake indicated. Such a high intake of animal protein, if continued
over a period of years, could lead to kidney failure from ammonia build-up
and be a significant contributing factor to a short life span (Howard Apple-
dorf, personal communication.)
As was indicated earlier, shell midden debris can build up more
quickly than is generally supposed. Revised figures indicate that the cubic
meter sample for all food sources represented more than 662,000 calories,
or 220.8 man-days of debris, based on a 3000 calorie per day ration. The
cubic meter sample would amount to 4.4 days of debris for our hypothetical
band of 50. If this figure derived from the Colby site data is a represent-
ative sample of St. Johns drainage Archaic shell middens, then the Kimball
Island midden was accumulated in a minimum of 10,024,320 man-days or
27,464 man-years. This represents some 550 years of continuous occupation
by our hypothetical band of 50. The minimum time required for the accum-
ulation of a smaller St. Johns River shell midden, based on radiocarbon
dates obtained by Bullen and Bryant (1965:23) was 950 years, lending cred-
ence to the hypothesis of cyclical site use and abandonment through time,
therefore "stretching," in effect, the length of occupation.
This methodology of arriving at probable dietary percentages of a
riverine Archaic hunting-gathering group in Florida obviously has some
problems, but at least it is an attempt to measure what can be directly
recovered and to extrapolate values for plant foods lost through total con-
sumption or other physical and chemical destruction through time. The re-
sults tend to temper somewhat the view of man's overwhelming dependence
on shellfish resources in the middle to late Archaic, but at the same time,
to underscore the value of the lowly snail as a steadily harvestable, renew-
able basic food source through time. The shellfish population enabled man
to focus on the productive aquatic and adjacent ecotonal resources to the
point where he became semi-sedentary, or at least only semi-nomadic,
moving within a general area according to the population dynamics of the
snail and the energy return per energy expended in its collection.
If women and children of both sexes were indeed the gatherers as
they seem to be in all hunting-gathering societies, then the data here only
serve to reinforce the conclusion that women (with the help of children)
were the mainstay of subsistence activity.
The apparent abandonment of the inland riverine shell middens in the
early ceramic period may reflect local ecological or hydrological changes
which effected shellfish populations at specific sites (Bullen and Bryant
1965:28), but on a broader level probably reflects the consequence of an
increasing aboriginal population on dwindling shellfish resources. The sys-
tem became overtaxed and was no longer dependable for a sustained, even
Goggin (1952:69,76,80) suggests that by St. Johns I the oyster beds
on the coast had begun to develop, attracting a large segment of the pop-
ulation. I would suggest that the population movement to the coast at this
time was the consequence of the depleted river valley snail populations no
longer being able to support the aboriginal population; not, as Goggin seems
to imply, because oysters were a more attractive food resource.
Observations from the time of Wyman (1875) and Moore (1892,1893,
1894) to the effect that snails in these riverine middens show a noticeable
decrease in size from basal to upper levels tend to support the hypothesis
that overharvesting changed the age structure and eventually the reproduct-
ive potential of the shellfish populations. When food energy represented by
the harvested snails consistently failed to return even the amount of energy
expended in the harvest, it was time to move on.
Benson, Carl A., and Howard Bruce Green II
1962 The Kimball Island Midden, Lake County. Florida Anthropol-
ogist 15(4) :113-14.
FRESHWATER SHELLFISH EXPLOITATION
Bullen, Ripley P.
1955 Stratigraphic Tests at Bluffton, Volusia County, Florida.
Florida Anthropologist 8(1) :1-16.
Bullen, Ripley P., and William J. Bryant
1965 Three Archaic Sites in the Ocala National Forest, Florida.
American Studies, Report no. 6. The William L. Bryant Foundation.
Caldwell, Joseph R.
1958 Trend and Tradition in the Prehistory of the Eastern United
States. Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association, no. 88.
Clench, William J., and Ruth D. Turner
1956 Freshwater Mollusks of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida from the
Escambia River to the Suwannee River. Bulletin of the Florida State
Museum, Biological Sciences, vol. 1, no. 3. Gainesville.
Cumbaa, Stephen L.
ms. A contribution to usable weight calculations in paleonutritional
studies. On file, Florida State Museum Zooarchaeology Laboratory.
Goggin, John M.
1952 Space and Time Perspective in Northern St. Johns Archeology,
Florida. Yale University Publications in Anthropology, no. 47.
Lee, Richard B.
1968 What Hunters Do for a Living, or, How to Make Out on Scarce
Resources. In Lee and DeVore, eds., Man the Hunter, pp.30-48.
Lee, Richard B., and Irven DeVore
1968 Problems in the Study of Hunters and Gatherers, pp. 3-12 in Lee
and DeVore, eds., Man the Hunter, pp. 3- 2. Aldine. Chicago.
Neill, Wilfred T., H. James Gut, and Pierce Brodkorb
1956 Animal Remains from Four Preceramic Sites in Florida.
American Antiquity 21 (4):383-95.
Moore, Clarence B.
1892 Certain Shell Heaps of the St. John's River, Florida, Hitherto
Unexplored. American Naturalist 26:912-22. Philadelphia.
1893 Certain Shell Heaps of the St. John's River, Florida, Hitherto
Unexplored. American Naturalist 27:8-13, 113-17, 605-24, 708-23.
1894 Certain Shell Heaps of the St. John's River, Florida, Hitherto
Unexplored. American Naturalist 28:15-26. Philadelphia.
Parmalee, Paul W., and Walter E. Klippel
1974 Freshwater Mussels as a Prehistoric Food Resource. American
Schenkel, James Richard
1971 Cultural Adaptation to the Mollusk: A Methodological Survey of
Shellmound Archaeology and a Consideration of the Shellmounds of the
Marismas Nacionales, West Mexico. Unpublished PhD. dissertation in
Anthropology. State University of New York. Buffalo.
Watt, Bernice K., and Annabel L. Merrill
1963 Composition of Foods Raw, Processed, Prepared. Agricultural
Handbook no. 8, Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics,
Agricultural Research Administration. U.S. Dept. Agricultural.
1953 A Method of Calculating the Dietary Percentage of Various
Food Animals Utilized by Aboriginal Peoples. American Antiquity
Willey, Gordon R., and Philip Phillips
1957 Method and Theory in American Archaeology. University of Chicago
1875 Fresh-Water Shell Mounds of the St. Johns River, Florida.
Memoir of the Peabody Academy of Science, no. 4. Salem.
February 20, 1975
A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PALMAR DERMATOGLYPHICS ON PASI AND CHAMAR
Nisha Pandey and V.K. Tandon
The aim of this paper is to make a comparative study of the palmar
dermatoglyphics of two endogamous groups of the lower castes Kureel
Chamars and Gujar Pasis. These groups are traditionally recognized as
untouchable. The material treated includes palm prints of 150 Chamars
( 100 males and 50 females) and 150 Gujar Pasis ( 100 males and 50 females).
The prints were collected from villages around Utaratia district Lucknow.
Every care was taken to avoid related subjects. The method for analys-
ing, interpreting and formaulating the prints was used as proposed by
Cummins and Midlo (1961).
There are 46 and 59 different combinations of main line formulae in
the entire Gujar Pasi and Kureel Chamar series. The occurance of com-
binations of main line formulae is not the same in the two palms, but
degree of disparity is not very high. From Table 1 it is evident that both
these populations are characterized by high frequency of 11.9.7. The other
formulae which occur with appreciable frequency are 9.7.5 and 7.5.5.
Neither of these population exhibits sexual dimorphism nor bimanual nor
group difference. The Chi-Square value for three principal main line for-
mulae among Pasis and Chamars is insignificant.
The D A main line index gives a comprehensive idea about the occur-
of extent of transversality of the main lines. A smaller value of index
shows more longitudinal alignment while greater value of the index indi-
cates more transversal inclination. Table 2 shows that the values of main
line index differ in the two sexes. Males show a greater degree of trans-
versality than females as indicated by their values. The mean index val-
ue in Chamars is slightly higher as compared to Pasis. Statistically there
is no bisexual, bimanual or group difference.
In the case of pattern types in different configurational areas, a close
observation of Table 3 reveals that presence of patterns is most frequent
in IIIrd interdigital areas of females in both Pasis and Chamars. But in
Thenar/Ist interdigital area the absence of pattern types appears to be most
frequent irrespective of sex. In hypothenar area the most frequent pattern
type is Lr and in Thenar/Ist area LC and L'. In IInd, IIIrd, and IVth in-
terdigital areas of palms the most common patterns are loops. With re-
spect to presence and absence of patterns in Pasis and Chamars, there is
no statistically significant bimanual, bisexual or group difference in any
configurational area, with exception of Pasi males, in whom in thenar/Ist
and IInd interdigital areas the bimanual difference is found to be statistically
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 29, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1976
PANDEY AND TANDON
Table 1. Percentage frequencies of three main line formulae.
Types Gujar Pasi Kureel Chamar
Males Females Males Females
R L M R L M R L M R L M
11.9.7 47 35 41.0 42 10 30 b0 41 50.5 42 32 37
9.7.5 17 18 17.5 14 8 11 6 12 9.0 10 14 12
7.5.5 5 12 8.5 12 26 19 9 11 10.0 14 24 19
Rest 31 35 33.0 32 48 40 25 36 30.5 34 40 32
Pasi X Chamar X2 = 3.502, df. = 3, P .50> P>30 (insignificant)
Table 2. Values of main line index of males and females.
A-D Gujar Pasi Kureel Chamar
Males Female s Male s Females
R L M R L M R L M R L M
- 4 2.0
- 2 1.0
6 8 7.0
3 8 5.5
I0 23 16.5
9 8 8.5
15 15 15.0
4 13 8.5
13 17 30.0
io 2 6.0
Mean 9.58 8.10 8.80 8.98 7.58 8.28 9.77 8.79 9.28
't' Value for main line Index Pasi X Chamar = 0.49
9.08 8.36 8.72
Table 3. Percentage occurance of patterns in palmar configurational areas.
R L M
R L M
R L M
R L M
Chi- square value
betw een Pasi & Chai
Pasi X Chamar
X2 df. P Sign.
3 8.5 12
6 9.0 6 5 5.5 4 -
26 .3 1.7
8 .092 1.8
2 2.3 1.2
64 52 58.0 54 30 42.0 70 50 60.0 54 42 48 3.48 1.1
44 50 47.0 54 38 46.0 33 37 35.0 52 50 51 1.2 1.3
For comparison of Pasis and Chamars with certain Indian populations,
Percentage frequencies of some palmar dermatoglyphic determinants are
given in Table 4. At the same time a three coordinate graph is also
drawn in terms of frequency of ending of line D at 11, 9 and 7, in order to
bring out a clear position of these two population among other caste group
of Uttar Pradesh.
From the results of palmar dermatoglyphic analysis, it is clear that
Pasi and Chamar do not show sexual variation to a remarkable degree eith-
er in their types of main lines or pattern types. Further comparison of
Pasis with Chamars do not indicate significant difference. These two groups
are homogeneous as far as the palmar dermatoglyphics are concerned.
Bhattacharya, D. K.
1964 The Palmar dermatoglyphics of the Anglo-Indians of India,
Z. Morph. Anthropologist, 55:357-367.
1901 Tribes and Castes of the North Western Provinces and Oudh.
Cummins, H., and C. Midlo
1961 Finger Prints, Palms and Soles. An Introduction toDermatoglyphics.
Dover Publications, Inc., New York.
1962 The Anus viewed from their finger and palm prints, Z. Morph.
1952 Advanced Statistical Methods in Biometric Research. John Wiley
and Sons, New York.
Sharma, A., et al.
1965 Palmar dermatoglyphics of Kashmiri Pandits. Anthropologist, 12:45.
Srivastava, R.P., and B.R.K. Shukla
1966 A quantitative study of dermatoglyphics of Purabia Chamars and
Gujar Pasis of U. P. Anthropologist, 13:45.
1963 Palmar Dermatoglyphics of the Kumauonis. Anthropologist, 10:29-38.
Shukla, B. R. K. and S. Rastogi
1970 Palmar dermatoglyphics of Rastogis of Lucknow. Eastern
Anthropologist! Vol. 23:1.
Lucknow, India January 23, 1975
Table I V
Percentage Frequencies of some palmar Dermatoglyphics determinants in different Indian People
x X I I
Population 1 Sample I 19.7- I 9.7.5- 1 7.5.5 I Rest I Mean I Termination of Line D( Author
I size I I I I I main I I
I I X XI I line I 11 9 7 I
IX I I I I Intex I I --_
Raj puts (Kulu)
Artisi an Class(Kulu)
Pathans of Malihabad
Rastogis of Lucknow
Guj ar Pasi
Dhawan ,S. 1959
50.0 26.5 23,5 Authors (Pre-
37.0 28,00 35.00 "
64.5 21.00 14.5
50.0 21.00 29.00
WHERE HAS ALL THE DEER TONGUE GONE?
Alice H. Murphree
The following descriptive vignette will serve to introduce this paper:
"The sun was just reaching the top of the trees as 'Becca stepped
gingerly to the wet ground in front of her cabin. As she avoided the
puddle left from yesterday's late afternoon thunderstorm, she saw
that the moon setting in the west was nearing full. This sign--of a
waxing moon--assured success for the planned gathering expedition.
She retrieved her missing boot from the edge of the clearing where
one of the dogs had dragged it, and called the women who were to
go with her that day. While she was at the side of the cabin finding
her stick and carrying bags, the group began to assemble. Manda, the
other woman in her middle years, had her two daughters and their
children with her. Becca noted with satisfaction that Cevie, her own
youngest daughter, and the last still living near her, had joined the
group. 'Becca commented to herself that by the next gathering season,
Cevie would be carrying that baby on her hip, instead of, as now, in
her swelling belly. As the straggling group moved out on the trail from
camp the younger women talked quietly among themselves and admon-
ished the children to stay away from the palmetto clumps where the
fearsome snakes lurked. The morning mists were rising and a slight
breeze gently moved the moss hanging from the branches of the old
great oak. With their fair share of good luck, 'Becca figured they
could get back to camp before the afternoon became terrifying with the
daily thunder, lightning, and downpour of rain. The gnats were begin-
ning to swarm in the sunlit patches along the trail and in the deepen-
ing shade, the mosquitos buzzed viciously. Several members of the
party broke palmetto fronds to fan the biting insects from their legs
and heads. Last night, when the men returned to camp from their day
along the trails in the woods, 'Becca's man had told her of a new
patch of plants he'd found. She silently reviewed the directions he'd
given and confidently stuck out to the described place. She knew they'd
find plenty--after all, the signs were right. "
The above describes, not preparations for a women's food gathering
expedition among such a group as the African bushmen, but preparations for
gathering deer tongue plants (Trilisa odoratissima) in the costal plain area
of Southeastern United States. The group are black female residents of a turp-
entine camp. The described stick is not a dibble stick, but a "snake stick"
and the carrying bags are "tote bags. "
The central object of this paper is to present an ethnographic account
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 29, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1976
of the subsistence behavior of a size-limited group in adaptation to a money
economy. These people participate in the market economy only on the pro-
duction side, in that they utilize simple technology and control no resources
other than their own labor. This behavior is among the most "primitive" of
all market economy production as it is involved only in the harvesting pro-
cess. While this group is associated with the structure of the turpentine in-
dustry (now nearing extinction), there is a group which participates at an
even less complex level. These are the "scavengers" or gatherers who col-
lect such discards of the more affluent group as deposit bottles, aluminum
cans, and/or newspapers and are paid, minimally, for feeding such products
back into the larger system.
Trisila odoratissima is one of perhaps 100 uncultivated plant materials
collected and sold by local residents of the mountain and costal areas of the
southeast. With few exceptions, these sales supplement income from other
sources. The uncultivated plant materials or "botannicals" of this area have
a variety of uses. The gensing root of the mountain areas may ultimately be-
come a talisman for an oriental mystic, while other root materials may be
used by voodoo practioners. Some plant parts are converted into folk or pat-
ent medicines or may become an ingredient in highly complex drug prepara-
tions. While the collection of "botannicals" is often associated with the moun-
tain area, deer tongue is an exception. Native to the coastal plains from
North Carolina to Texas, it may, locally, be called dog tongue, wild tobacco,
or rabbit tobacco, but the most common name seems to be deer tongue.
Early settlers reported finding Indians mixing dried deer tongue
leaves with wild tobacco as a smoking mixture. Much more recently,
deer tongue has been used in processed tobacco. It was found that the
coumarin content of deer tongue leaves improved and fixed the flavor of
tobacco products. Coumarin also proved useful in a number of drug and
cosmetic preparations and as a source of artificial vanilla flavoring.
Hence, the less common name, "pernilla leaves."
Despite its growth distribution throughout the traditionally low in-
come coastal plain sections, the collecting of deer tongue never spread
outside the turpentine area of the southeast. According to informants,
deer tongue collecting was originally an occupation of the females of the
turpentine camps. With the exception of two or three white families, the
population of the turpentine camps were black. At an early age, the male
black child began working with his father dipping the raw gum from cups
or preparing the trees for burning the woods. On maturity, he was well
qualified to assume the responsibility for a crop of turpentine, either as
a replacement for his father or to enter the labor force on his own.
Employment opportunities were most limited for the female members
of the turpentine camp family. The isolation of the camps precluded do-
mestic employment, and work in agriculture was similarly unavailable.
The turpentine camps were located in the flatwoods and the nearest farm-
ing areas were normally at considerable distances. The internal drainage
of the flatwoods soil prevented agricultural use and also essentially pre-
cluded vegebable gardenting for the turpentine camp resident. In short, the
only economic activity available to black females for supplementing family
income was to search the adjacent woodland for deer tongue or other use-
ful plants. At the same age that boys began training with their fathers to
become turpentine workers, the girls began a deer tongue collecting
apprenticeship with their mothers.
It is interesting to note that despite myths to the contrary, not all
rural southern black marriage patterns were so unstable that families fell
into the matrifocal organization. Those blacks involved in the forestry in-
dustries, including turpentine production, frequently experienced lifelong
monogamous relationships. Many of the older women informants for this
study reported having had only one or at most two husbands during their
lives. To deflate another common myth: the one that all rural Southerners
are traditional gardeners; for those who were raised in turpentine or lum-
ber camps, it was almost impossible to have learned gardening skills in
Apparently, the only male involvement in deer tongue collecting was to
direct the female members to concentrations of the plant. Customarily, groups
of women and children walked to the sites and gathered as much deer tongue
as could be carried back to camp. After drying, it was sold to buyers who
report having purchased as much as a truck load at a single camp.
There are a number of indications to associate deer tongue gathering
with black females, both adults and children. Among low income rural whites
in the deer tongue collecting area, it is considered "Negro work"--in itself
a formidable barrier to deer tongue collecting for whites. Even worse, it
is the work of "Negro" women! Deer tongue gathering seems one of the most
stigmatized occupations in our entire economy. Interestingly, while "moss
grabbing" or collecting Spanish moss is hardly a status elevating occupation,
historically it was a frequent source of additional income for both black and
white men in southern agricultural areas. The stigma associated with deer
tongue gathering, however, seems to have eliminated practically the entire
white population and all but the most destitute black men from collecting the
With blacks, in addition to associating deer tongue collection with wo-
men' s work, another stigmatizing factor is suggested. Among both urban
and agricultural blacks, turpentine workers were considered the country
bumpkins of the group. On the rare occasions of their visits to town, their
unsophistication often resulted in their being tricked out of their last cent.
Consequently, it's a unique middle class black male who will acknowledge
a turpentine camp origin. Despite having been reared in an area where it
is, or was, widely collected, equally rarely admitted knowledge concerning
the deer tongue plant. Such admissions may link his past with the turpen-
tine labor force; or, even worse, may create suspicion that he collected
with the females of his family--women's work!
Following World War II, because of changes in technology, the turp-
entine industry waned, most of the camps disappeared, and the labor force
was dispersed. The families of the turpentine workers who remained in
forestry work constitute the bulk of the group currently collecting deer tongue.
The major exception to an employment in forestry is found in the Palatka,
Florida area. Adjacent to Palatka is a large vegetable growing area, an is-
land almost completely bounded by flatwoods. The production period for veg-
etables is winter and early spring, leaving the labor force available for
deer tongue gathering during late spring, summer and fall months. However,
the deer tongue collecting in this area was introduced by turpentine workers
who migrated to agriculture.
Deer tongue gathering begins in the spring and continues until cold
weather either kills the leaves or severely retards growth. It is sought
mostly in relatively open and well drained sections of the flatwoods. Early
in the season, the leaves are high in moisture and when these first leaves
are dried, the yield may be as low as 12 pounds for each 100 pounds of
green leaves. Later in the season, the yield may increase to 25 dried pounds
from 100 pounds of green leaves.
The drying of the leaves involves reducing moisture to 20 per cent
and is accomplished by spreading the leaves on the ground in the sun and
turning them occasionally with a rake. While drying, the leaves may be
used as a play area for children and pets or a range for poultry. In the
event of a shower, the leaves must be collected hurriedly and spread out
again after the rain. The drying process, an extremely confining operation,
may last as long as three days or more.
Contemporary deer tongue collectors list a number of problems con-
tributing to the decline in harvest. Basically, these problems are traceable
to the disappearance of the turpentine camp and a shift in forestry product-
ion to pulpwood.
The major problem is the location of a deer tongue supply. Often con-
temporary gatherers must travel from 10 up to 50 miles to find a concen-
tration of accessible plants, obviously requiring vehicular transportation.
In many areas, failure to burn the woodland has allowed the undergrowth
to crowd out deer tongue and there is none. Or, land preparation for plant-
ing pines destroys the deer tongue. It may reappear for two or three years;
but after five years the growth of pines again crowds out the deer tongue.
The fencing of land has obviated some potential collecting, unless permission
can be obtained to enter the fenced area. Some major land owners refuse
permission to gatherers on the premise that they are a fire hazard. One
informant observed the dubiousness of such objections when she said,
laughingly, "...most deer tongue gatherers dip snuff--they can't afford
The stigma associated with deer tongue collecting limits the
apprentice program to young black girls. And currently, few of them
are interested in such bucolic pursuits. Additionally, the fear of snakes
may well discourage adult black women from collecting. Apparently, one
of the first requirements for successful collecting is an ability to "look
for deer tongue, instead of snakes. "
In summary, this has been a brief description of one of the integral
parts of recent rural southern black life. Deer tongue gathering was
an adaptive response to an environment which necessitated supplemental
family income. Like such other rural activities as gardening, subsist-
ance farming, fishing, collecting of botannicals, and the like, it involved
an apprenticeship system. At the present time, the individuals to whom one
could be apprenticed for such knowledge are fast disappearing. In view of
the jeopardy into which our economy is apparently falling, such income
supplementing activities may lose their stigma and may once again become
necessary. But I wonder if there will be anyone left who is able to answer
the question, "Where has all the deer tongue gone?"
April 18, 1975
THE WEEKIWACHEE SITE, HERNANDO COUNTY, FLORIDA
George R. Ferguson
A site on the Weekiwachee River, Hernando County, Florida, has
produced material of the Perico Island, Deptford, Santa Rosa-Swift Creek,
Weeden Island, Spanish Mission, Safety Harbor, Seminole, and pre-modern
white (ca. 1880-1910) periods. However, only the Weeden Island and Semi-
mole periods are well represented. In the following description of this
material, the terminology of pottery types follows Willey (1949), and pro-
jectile point types that of Bullen (1968).
Environment and Site
In southwestern Hernando County, Florida, the Weekiwachee Springs
boil up through fissures in the underlying Suwannee Limestone, an Oligo-
cene marine formation. (I continue to use the original spelling Weeki-
wachee, although the etymologically incorrect variant "Weeki Wachee" has
lately been promulgated.) From the headsprings at U.S. Highway 19, the
run winds about ten miles and empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Bayport.
The Weekiwachee site is located on the south bank of the river, just a
few hundred yards upstream of the point where the water turns brackish.
In the vicinity of the site, the river is bordered with a narrow strip
of hydric hammock, characterized by red maple, water ash, red bay, and
white bay. Nearby is river swamp with bald cypress. Away from the river,
toward the higher ground, the hydric hammock passes into a wider expanse
of mesic hammock, the latter dominated by magnolia, pignut hickory, lau-
rel oak, winged elm, hop-hornbeam, cabbage-palm, and southern red ceder.
Just downstream from the site, hammock vegetation gives way to saltmarsh
in which blackrush predominates.
Throughout the entire period of human occupation of the site, the local
vegetation probably was not substantially different from what it is today,
except that the hammock trees may well have been larger and the under-
brush scantier in aboriginal times. The present hammocks along the run
are, of course, second growth.
The Weekiwachee site is approximately 125 yards long (east-west) and
100 yards wide (north-south). The north side of the site fronts on the river,
and has been eroded by wave action. The site rises to a maximum elevation
of about six feet above water level, but much of this rise is due to the
presence of a Weeden Island period shell midden.
This midden has seen a great deal of disturbance, almost all of the
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 29, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1976
surface being riddled with large and small pits, some quite deep. No
doubt the site has been dug into by amateurs and curiosity-seekers for
many years. The degree of disturbance mitigated against any attempt at at
controlled excavation. Accordingly, the area of investigation was mainly
limited to the wave-cut bank of the river, the mud beach at the waters
edge, and the river bed itself. Underwater recovery was facilitated by
a gasoline-powered compressor, which enabled a diver to remain submerg-
ed for several hours at a time.
The maximum depth of the river at the site was nine feet. Some of
the material recovered from the river bed (for example, exceptionally
large sherds) probably were thrown into the water by the Indians. How-
ever, most of this material no doubt was deposited by erosion of the mud
beach, and by the periodic collapse of the bank into the river. In this con-
nection it should be noted that sea level has risen about four feet since the
site was first occupied (Lazarus 1965:50). No doubt the river rose concom-
itantly, cutting into the site's edge.
Since most if not all of the midden dates from the Weeden Island
period, most of the faunal remains probably are of Weeden Island age.
These remains include the following: 19 White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virgin-
ianus), 2 Raccoon (Procyon lotor), 5 Black Bear (Euarctos americanus),
2 Opossum (Didelphys virginianus), 3 Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias),
8 American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis), 1 Florida softshelled turtle
(Trionyx Ferox) 12 Freshwater turtle (species of the genus Pseudemys),
18 Sea turtle (species of the family Cheloniidae), 14 Unidentified teleost fish,
and 2 Unidentified shark bones.
All animal remains are those of species still present in the vicinity
of the site, although the numbers of the black bear have, of course, been
reduced in modern times. Bear remains from the site are limited to canines
only. One of these is perforated for suspension. Perforated canines are
characteristic of the Santa Rosa-Swift Creek Period, and so this particular
specimen may be pre-Weeden Island in age. Also recovered was one mand-
ible of a domestic dog. This might date from any period of the site's occ-
upancy. One mandible of domestic cow was found and should be of Seminole
or later age.
The Pre-Weeden Island Periods
Two Hernando points, found on the river bed, are the only evidence
of occupation during the Perico Island period. Although published studies
are few, there is some reason to think that base-notched points were used
by the Indians who made the Perico Island pottery types rather than the
Deptford types. This is not the place to discuss the matter at any length;
suffice it here to say that while Perico Island and Deptford ceramics are
commingled at some localities, pure Deptford sites of the Central Florida
Gulf Coast area (as delimited by Willey, op. cit: Map 1) have not produced
Three sherds of Deptford Linear Check Stamped are the only clear in-
dications of Deptford occupancy. Five plain sherds, tempered with coarse
sand or crushed grit, may also be of Deptford age. The Santa Rosa-Swift
Creek period is represented by one large sherd of Swift Creek Complicated
Stamped, Early Variety (Fig. 1, 1),three sherds of West Florida Cord Mark-
ed, Early Variety (Fig. 1, 2), and one of Crooked River Complicated Stamp-
ed. The presence of Deptford and Santa Rosa-Swift Creek types, as well as
the Hernando points and a perforated bear canine, all recovered from the
river bottom, suggest that the midden was begun before Weeden Island
times. However, its deeper levels have been rendered inacessible by a rise
of water table, paralleling the rise of the Gulf over the millennia.
The Weeden Island Period
TheWeeden Island period is well represented. Its ceramic inventory
includes the following: 24 Weeden Island Plain, 12 Weeden Island Incised
2 Swift Creek Complicated Stamped, Late Variety; 13 Wakulla Check Stamp-
ed, 1 Tucker Ridge Pinched (Fig. 1, 4), 1 Thomas Simple Stamped, 2
Little Manatee Zone Stamped (Fig. 5-6), 2 Little Manatee Complicated
Stamped, 40 St Johns Plain, 56 St. Johns Check Stamped, 1 Papys Bayou
Incised (Fig. 1, 6), 36 Pasco Plain, and 2 Pasco Check Stamped sherds.
Non-ceramic items of Weeden Island age includes one Leon point and two
Duval points. Two hoes, made from Busycon shells and a miniature hoe
from a Melongena shell, along with several fragmentary polished stone celts,
no doubt date from this period also.
In Pasco County, which lies immediately south of Hernando, the cer-
amic inventory of Weeden Island period village middens is almost entirely
limited to Pasco Plain bowl sherds. In contrast, the Weekiwachee inventory
includes a variety of decorated types and vessel shapes. In this regard, the
Weekiwachee material resembles that from Weeden Island village middens
else where in Hernando County and in Central Gulf Coast counties farther
north. On the other hand, the Weekiwachee sherds rarely show a thickened,
heightened, or otherwise emphasized rim, so characteristic of Weeden Is-
land pottery from, say, Taylor or Wakulla Counties. No doubt further study
will show considerable regional variation in the widely distributed Weeden
Island ceramic complex.
Fig. 1. 1 Swift Creek Complicated Stamped, Early Variety; 2, West Florida
Cord Marked, Early Variety; 3, Ocmulkee Fields Incised; 4, Tucker Ridge
Pinched; 5-6, Little Manatee Zone Stamped.
Fig. 2. Partially
and three rim
Fig. 3. Shoulder notched
3 4 S' 6; 71, 8i9''jl
-- -- ----*"I' nni imi itii myitim HHz
Moore (1903:424-426) excavated a Weeden Island period burial mound
located two miles south-southeast of the Weekiwachee River. In its center
he found a mass deposit of bundle burials, most of them secondary but a
few flexed or cremated. Close to 200 people had been interred, along with
shell drinking cups, polished stone celts, hammer-stones, projectile points,
a grooved pendant, a deposit of sherds, and scattered sherds. Check stamp-
ed, complicated stamped, incised, punctated, and red-slipped pottery types
were found. Moore's site may well represent the burial mound of the Weed-
en Island Indians who occupied the Weekiwachee site.
The Safety Harbor Period
Safety Harbor period ceramics are limited to five sherds of Pinellas
Plain. One of these has a notched rim. It is of course possible that some
of the St. Johns sherds date from the Safety Harbor rather than the Weeden
Island period. Non-ceramic items of Safety Harbor age include four Pinel-
las, points and one Tampa point.
Spanish ceramics and glassware, recovered from the site, might in
theory be either of Safety Harbor, Spanish Mission or Seminole age. What
with the small amount of Safety Harbor aboriginal material, and the large
amount of Seminole, it is likely that the Spanish trade goods were in Sem-
inole possession, and such goods are described below in connection with
the Seminole artifact inventory. An Ocmulgee Fields Incised sherd
(Fig. 1, 3) certainly points to Spanish Mission times.
Pre-Modern White Occupancy
Pre-modern white occupancy was revealed by two concrete foundations
located to the southwest of the Midden; by 16 scraps of glassware and crock-
ery, dating from about 1880-1910; and by fig trees and clumps of fishing
pole cane, plants that were often grown around old homesteads. Some of the
badly rusted iron objects, described in connection with the Seminole com-
ponent, might actually be pre-modern white.
Lumps of coal are common on the river bottom. Their presence re-
flects the circumstance that coal-burning stern-wheelers formerly cruised
the Weekiwachee. According to local tradition, these vessels docked some-
where near the site. The aforesaid concrete foundations perhaps represent
buildings that were associated with the docks.
The Seminole component of the Weekiwachee site yielded a previously
undescribed type of brushed pottery. This is named and described here:
74 WEEKIWACHEE SITE
New type, described on the basis of 116 sherds (Fig. 2).
Method of Manufacture, Not apparent in the sherds examined; probably
coiling or some other segmental method of construction.
Temper. Fine Sand.
Hardness. Sherds average about 4 on the Mohs scale.
Color. Black throughout.
Modifications. Surface is usually brushed; fine to heavy striations are left,
some as much as 1 mm. deep. Inside is well smoothed. Temper particles
do not protrude.
Technique. Surface brushing; pinching.
Design. Body of the vessel covered with brushed lines. Brushing irregular.
Distribution. Brushing over most of the vessel; some plain areas near the
rim and the bottom. Pinching on the rim.
Rim. Recurved and flaring on jars. Bowls not seen. Rim diameter 8-15
Lip. Flattened, tapered toward the outside, rounded toward the inside.
Body. Globular, round bottomed, constricted neck, outflaring rim.
Thickness. 6 to 12 mm. Rims thicker than body.
Seen only from the Weekiwachee site. Goggin (1958, reprinted in 1964:188-190,
201) described a Seminole vessel that had been collected by Clarence B.
Moore on the Kissimmee River, and mentioned eight sand-tempered sherds
from the Spaldings Lower Store site on the St. Johns near Palatka. These
specimens, which Goggin held apart from the named Seminole types, may
be Weekiwachee Brushed.
Early 19th Century, about 1800-1835. This chronological position will
be justified in subsequent discussion.
As noted above, Goggin 1958 described a vessel and mentioned eight
sherds perhaps of the present type.
The new type is closest to Chattahoochee Brushed, the first Seminole
pottery type to be named. (Bullen 1950:103). These two resemble each
other and differ from other named Seminole types, in being tempered
with fine sand. The two differ from one another in that Chattahoochee
Brushed is light colored throughout, with temper particles that protrude
on both surfaces of the vessel. Weekiwachee Brushed sherds are dark-
throughout, and temper particles do not protrude. Cob-marking over brush-
ing, reported in Chattahoochee Brushed, is not known in the new type. In
Chattahoochee Brushed the rim is undecorated, whereas it is pinched in
Weekiwachee Brushed. Interestingly, the latter type exhibits pinching only,
not pinched punctations as in Stokes Brushed and Winter Park Brushed.
Although Chattahoochee Brushed and Weekiwachee Brushed have certain
similarities, evidently they were made by two different branches of the not-
ably composite Seminole. It can scarcely be doubted that Weekiwachee Brush-
ed was of Mikasuki manufacture. (I use the term Mikasuki to designate any
of the Hitchiti-speaking Seminole.) As will be pointed out later, the Week-
iwachee site may well have been the village of Aripeka, prominent Mikasuki
medicine-man and chief. In any event, with but two known exceptions, the
Seminole villages of the Central Florida Gulf Coast were Mikasuki, The ex-
ceptions were the Eufaula settlement of Chokkochattee, and Fakkelustee Had-
jo's Town; but the former was located near Brooksville in Hernando County,
the latter on the Aucilla River in Taylor County. One the other hand, the
center of concentration of Chattahoochee Brushed--the Flint River valley in
Georgia, and the middle and lower Chattahoochee River valley in Georgia
and Alabama--lies mostly outside the area that was occupied at any time by
the Hitchiti or their Seminole descendants.
Also recovered from the Weekiwachee site were 18 plain fire-clouded
sherds. The paste is hard and compact, tempered with fine sand as in Week-
iwachee Brushed. Both surfaces are smoothed. Thickness ranges from 5 to
9 mm. Two of these sherds are from cazuela bowls. One of the two is note-
worthy for notching on the shoulder (Fig. 3), a treatment reminiscent of
Creek and Hitchiti vessels from the Ocmulgee Fields period of Georiga. The
remaining 16 are too small to permit a flat statement, but probably they too
were from bowls. In other words, the Seminole Indians of the Weekiwachee
site were turning out brushed jars but plain fire-clouded bowls.
In his pioneering study of Seminole pottery, Goggin (1964:200-201, 208,
211) recognized that these Indians had two major styles of pottery surface
treatment, brushed and plain smoothed; and that most of the jars were
brushed, while most of the bowls were plain. Perhaps because a few brush-
ed, fire-clouded jar fragments had been found, he did not flatly suggest
that fire-clouding was a decorative technique deliberately applied to a major-
ity of bowls and a minority of jars. On the basis of material from the Week-
iwachee, and several other sites, I would so suggest.
The Weekiwachee site produced 50 Spanish olive jar sherds, the major-
ity of which were not glazed. 15 sherds were green glazed; 11 were glazed
on both surfaces and 4 were glazed on the exterior only. One olive jar
neck was recovered (Fig. 4, 1). It exemplifies what Goggin (1960) called
the Middle Style, which had its inception in the 18th Century. In Latin America
its use continued for a long time thereafter, but in Florida it was probably
not available to the Seminole after 1820; for by that time Spain had trans-
ferred the state to the United States, and the Spaniards had departed.
Other trade goods from the Seminole component of the site include
four fragments of "church warden" pipe stems made from white ball clay;
one European gunflint; nine faceted blue beads; one long blue faceted bead;
two black and four red seed beads; one shanked brass button; 27 sherds
of English or Early American china, including Staffordshire, blue feather-
edge, and plain white ironware; and 14 pieces of green glass bottles. The
last are often described as black rather than green. One of these bottles,
fairly well intact, dates from between 1800 and 1835, according to Lynn
McLarty (personal communication).
A number of items from the site may be Seminole, but could date
from the time of pre-modern white occupation. These items include a wood-
en disk with a central perforation (Fig. 4, 2), made from heart pine; sev-
en iron objects, rusted into unidentifiableness; an iron chisel (Fig. 4, 3);
an iron axe blade (Fig. 4, 4); a china doll (Fig. 4, 5); and one bit of
carved wood (Fig. 4, 6). The last specimen has perhaps the greatest prob-
ability of being Seminole.
The Seminole Aripeka
There is a good possibility that the Weekiwachee site was the village
of the Mikasuki Seminole medicine-man and chief Aripeka. Historical in-
formation about this Indian may therefore be summarized.
Aripeka was described as having been quite old at the onset of the Sec-
ond Seminole War in 1835. One source gave his age as near 100 in 1839, an-
other as 110 at the time of his death in 1860. While these figures are per-
haps exaggerations, he probably was born in one of the Hitchiti villages of
central Georgia before its removal to Florida.
His name, variously rendered as Aripeka, Arpeika, Arpeik, Appiaca,
Apeiaka, Arpiucki, or Arpiuckee, is the Creek Apayaka, or Mikasuki Apayaki.
This is the designation of the yellow ratsnake, a common reptile in Florida.
However, I shall continue to use the most familiar spelling, Aripeka. This
name is a shortened version of Aripeka's Corn Dance title, Apayaka Hadjo.
In earlier times he had been called Tastanakatafi, "Wise Warrior" (Sturte-
vant 1953: 36).
Aripeka first came to the attention of the white man in the latter 1820' s,
during the peaceful interim between the First and Second Seminole Wars. At
that time, he and his followers sold large quantities of fish to the soldiers
at Fort King, on the eastern outskirts of what is now Ocala. Soldiers at
the fort often sang a popular song that went as follows:
"It was Sam Jones the fisherman,
Was bound to Sandy Hook,
But first upon his Almanac
A solemn oath he took. ...."
The sutler at Fort King took to calling Aripeka by the name of Sam Jones
(McCall, 1868:412; Anon., 1876:172). This is why the Mikasuki war chief
was referred to in later documents as Sam Jones.
Aripeka is supposed to have taken his fishes from the waters of Silver
Springs, about three miles east of Fort King; but in the vicinity of the springs,
no site has been located that might have been Aripeka's village. The Half-
Mile Creek site (Neill 1955:240; Goggin 1958:Appendix), just east of the springs,
yielded about 200 very small sherds of Chattahoochee Brushed pottery; but
these were all found in a single 5-by-5 square, and were from two nested
vessels that had been smashed (W. T. Neill, personal communication). There
was no Seminole village debris at the site, which could well have been merely
the temporary camp of those Indians who conferred with Gen. Wiley Thompson
in 1832 or again in 1834. They are known to have camped near the springs
Aripeka was a signatory of the 1832 Treaty of Payne's Landing, along
with such notables as Micanopy, Holata Emathla, Takos Emathla (John Hicks),
and Jumper. Obviously, Aripeka had by then acquired considerable stature
among the Seminole. According to Potter (1836:36), he was fourth in rank of
all the Mikasuki war chiefs, and his village was Okahumpka, in Lake County.
The Treaty of Payne's Landing was staged at a locality on the lower
Oklawaha River in Marion County. By its terms, the Indians agreed to send
a delegation to what was then Arkansas Territory, to inspect lands set aside
there for them. Aripeka did not make the trip. It is interesting to note, how-
ever, that Takos Emathla, who at one time had outranked Micanopy as lead-
er of all the Seminole, went to Arkansas as a representive of Aripeka, and
signed the Treaty of Fort Gibson in that capacity (Boyd, 1951:46).
In 1834 Gen. Thompson called another conference at Fort King, hoping
to persuade the Indians to emigrate in accordance with the terms of the
Treaty of Fort Gibson. Present at this gathering were Micanopy, Holata
Emathla, Jumper, Aripeka, Holata Mikko, and Tsalo Emathla ("Charley"
Emathla), along with Osceola who was just rising to power. Once again the
Indians camped near Silver Springs (David Levy Yulee in Cohen 1836:62).
John Bemrose, a soldier who was present at this conference, left a des-
cription of Aripeka (Mahon, ed. 1966:20). The Mikasuki war chief was aged,
white-haired, "ferocious-looking". Most of the time he leaned impassively
against the wall, but when Gen. Thompson spoke, he would "stamp his feet
as if in a great rage.... as if to show his utter contempt for the agent and
for the officers."
Over the opposition of Jumper, who guided Micanopy's thinking, Osceola
and Aripeka stood firm against removal. Accordingly, Jumper was instructed
to notify Thompson that emigration was out of the question (Davis 1929:338-
Neither Aripeka nor Osceola had any intention of leaving Florida; and
for this reason if for no other, the two became closely associated. After
Osceola's capture and death, Aripeka was regarded as the principal chief
of the Mikasuki, the most intractable element among the Seminole. Never-
theless, Aripeka was highly respected by the whites. McCall (loc. cit.) re-
ferred to him as "our Sam Jones", and admired his determination never to
It was Aripeka who, in spite of his great age, masterminded the Sem-
inole tactics in the 1837 Battle of Lake Okeechobee. Although this engagement
was scarcely a victory for the Indians, their losses were greatly minimized
by Aripeka's battle skills (McReynolds, 1957: 201-202).
In 1840, it was Aripeka's men who cut down the bodies of Chekika's
Spainish Indians, left hanging from trees by Col. W.S. Harney (Coe 1898:
156). A negro named Sampson, who had been captured the year before by
Aripeka, later reported the old chief to have been enraged at Harney's treat-
ment of the Spanish Indians. Aripeka was quoted by Sampson as having said,
"We have given them heretofore ..... when prisoners, a decent death, and
shot them instead of hanging them like a dog." (Sprague 1848:319).
Early in 1841, Harney again led troops into the Everglades, this time
in search of Aripeka. He used a Negro interpreter and two captured Indians
as guides. But upon reaching Big Cypress Swamp, Harney learned that Ari-
peka had gone northward, toward Lake Okeechobee, the search accordingly
was abandoned (Niles National Register, Jan. 16, 1841:307-308; April 3, 1841
Later in 1841, Aripeka's band joined with those of Hospataki and The
Prophet, and with the remnants of the Spanish Indians, in a Green Corn
Dance at Billy Bowlegs' town. At this ceremony the Indians planned their
guerrilla strategies, and discussed ways of conveying information most rap-
idly. They also decreed death for any Seminole who communicated with a
white man (Sprague, op. cit. :316-317, .349-350).
By the conclusion of the Second Seminole War, all the Seminole bands
had moved southward, most of them settling in the Kissimmee River valley
or around the northern edge of Lake Okeechobee (Covington, 1966:47). Ari-
peka's village in South Florida was sketched by Seth Eastman. The drawing,
done for Schoolcraft's (1851-1857) enormous work on United States Indians,
has been reproduced in Swanton (1946:P1. 79). Evidently the village was of
simple, palm-thatched huts, quite unlike the substantial cabins built by the
Seminoles when they lived farther north in the state.
By the time he removed to the south, Aripeka had lost many of his fol-
lowers in battle, and was no longer able to lead war parties. His former war
chief, Billy Bowlegs, became head chief, and Oscen Tustennuggee became
principal war chief.
Even so far to the south, the Indians were not left alone, but were
forced to fight more than two years longer, in the Third Seminole War of
1855-1858. This war ended when Billy Bowlegs was paid a huge sum by the
United States government, bribed to take his followers to the West. Aripeka
and most of his followers, however, still refused to emigrate. Instead, they
fell back to Big Cypress Swamp, settling in Hendry County at a spot on the
northern edge of the Big Cypress Reservation. There the old chief lived for
two years more. Following his death in 1860, his village was abandoned in
accordance with Seminole custom.
Up until a few years ago, Florida road maps, and other maps have
shown the "Ruins of Sam Jones Old Town" as a locality of historic interest.
However, there never were any ruins; the village was of pole-and-thatch
huts, which soon decayed.
So much, then, for Aripeka's career, what little is known of it. Where
did he reside, before he fell back to the south? Surely not at Silver Springs.
Ever since the days of William Bartram, that locality was under observation,
and any sizeable Seminole village would surely have been noticed. This is
particularly true for the 1820s and 1830s, when Aripeka was most active;
for during those decades, Fort King (just three miles west of the springs)
was the Indian Agency as well as the principal base of military action against
the Seminole. Contemporary documents mention four settlements of Seminole
Indians, and two of Seminole Negros, in Marion County; but none of these
was Aripeka's village, and Potter was obviously in error in placing Aripeka
at Okahumpka. This was the town of Micanopy, not Aripeka.
Although Weekiwachee is a river, the fact that it was named by the
Seminoles implies that there was a village on it; for these Indians rarely
applied a geographic name to a locality, or a natural feature such as a riv-
er, unless one or more villages were located there. Other than Aripeka,
only two Seminole leaders were clearly associated with the Central Florida
Gulf Coast. These were Takos Emathla and Fakkelustee Hadjo; but the for-
mer lived on Lake Tsala Apopka near Inverness, Citrus County; and the lat-
ter lived first on the Aucilla and later near Brooksville.
The town of Aripeka, located in the northwestern corner of Pasco County
at a point about seven miles south of the Weekiwachee River, was not named
directly of the Mikasuki chief, but rather for the Aripeka Cedar and Cypress
Company. However, the logging firm was named for the Indian, because,
according to local tradition, he once lived in the area where the logging was
done. This area was roughly the western third of Hernando County, and es-
pecially the Chassahowitzka Swamp which streches from the Weekiwachee
River northward to the Chassahowitzka River.
Accordingly, the Weekiwachee site may well have been Aripeka's vil-
lage. Its artifact iventory accords well with this view. The abundance of
Spanish trade goods as compared with English or Early American, and the
abundance of aboriginal sherds as compared with English or Early American,
suggest occupancy well before the Second Seminole War; for sites approxi-
mately of the latter time (such as Bowleg's Town of Wacahoota, Osceola's
Village, Coe Hadjo's Town, Abraham's Old Town, Abraham's New Town,
and Tsalo Emathla's Town) yield no Spanish ceramics, just a few Seminole
sherds, and an abundance of English or Early American china and glassware.
The dating of a Spanish olive jar rim and of a green glass bottle provide ad-
ditional evidence that the Weekiwachee site was occupied early in the 19th
It will be recalled that Aripeka, whatever his precise age, was quite
elderly at the outbreak of the Second Seminole War, and he must have been
living for decades at some locality that was not recorded in historical doc-
uments, perhaps the Weekiwachee site was that locality.
For their assistance, I am much indebted to several people. Wilfred
T. Neill, of New Port Richey, Florida, supplied information on Central
Florida Gulf Coast archaeology, identified the faunal remains, and made
available to me his library of Florida archaeology. He also permitted me
to preview several chapters of his forthcoming book (Neill, in press) ma-
terial particularly relevant to Seminole archaeology. David R. Ferguson,
William A. Sherrill, Robert Leslie, David Mitchell, and W. T. Neill assis-
ed in the investigation of the site. Larry W. Gage made the photographs.
1876 The Oklawaha. Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 52, No.
308, p. 172.
Boyd, Mark F.
1951 The Seminole War; Its Background and Onset. The Florida Histor-
ical Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 2-155.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1950 An Archaeological Survey of the Chattahoochee River Valley in
Florida. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 40, pp.
1968 Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile Points. Florida
State Museum, Gainesville.
Coe, Charles H.
1898 Red Patriots: The Story of the Seminoles. The Editor Publishing
1936 Notices of Florida and the Campaigns. Charleston, S. C., and New
Davis, T. Frederick
1929 The Seminole Council, October 23-25, 1834. The Florida Histor-
ical Society Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 330-350.
Goggin, John M.
1958 Seminole Pottery. In Prehistoric Pottery of the Eastern United
States. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Reprinted in Goggin, 1964. pp. 180-213.
1964 Indian and Spanish Selected Writings. University of Miami Press.
Lazarus, William C.
1965 Effects of Land Subsidence and Sea Level Changes on Elevation of
Archaeological Sites on the Florida Gulf Coast. The Florida Anthropol-
ogist Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 49-58.
Mahon, John K. ed.
1966 Reminiscences of the Second Seminole War by John Bemrose.
University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
McCall, George A.
1868 Letters from the Frontiers, Written During a Period of Thirty
Years' Service in the Army of the United States. Philadelphia.
McReynolds, Edwin C.
1957 The Seminoles. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Moore, Clarence B.
1903 Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Florida Central West Coast.
Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Vol. 12.
Neill, Wilfred T.
1958 The Site of Osceola's Village in Marion County, Florida. The
Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 33, Nos. 3-4, pp. 240-246. In
In Press. Archaeology and a Science of Man. Columbia University Press.
Niles National Register.
1841 Jan. 16, pp. 307-308: April 3, pp. 71-72. Baltimore.
1836 The War in Florida, Being an Exposition of Its Causes, and an
Accurate History of the Campaigns of Generals Clinch, Gaines and
Schoolcraft, Henry R.
1851-1857 Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History,
Conditions and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States,
Vol. 1-6. Philadelphia.
Sprague, John T.
1848 The Origin, Progress and Conclusion of the Florida War.
D. Appleton and Co., New York.
Sturtevant, William C.
1953 Chakaika and the "Spanish Indians". Tequesta, No. 13, pp. 3-41.
Swanton, John R.
1946 The Indians of the Southeastern United States. Bureau of Amer-
ican Ethnology, Bulletin 137.
Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian Miscellaneous
Collections, Vol. 113.
Port Richey, Florida
May 6, 1976
Fig. 4. 1, olive jar neck; 2, wooden
disc with a central perforation; 3, an
iron chisel; 4, an iron axe blade; ]
5, a china doll; 6, a bit of carved
MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES OF MAXIMO
James D. Knight
For some time William J. Webster and I have been collecting mi-
crolithic tools from a section of intertidal beach on Boca Ciega Bay in
an area of St. Petersburg, Florida, called Maximo Point. The intent here
is to report on a manufacturing technique which we have defined from our
Maximo Point collections; not to present a complete report of the site and
its artifacts, which we will present later.
Most of the microlithic tools from Maximo Point are drills, others are
perforators and engraving tools. The smallest drills, tentatively called micro-
drills, range from 8.3 to 14.8 mm in length and 3.0 to 5.5 mm in width.
A number of Maximo microliths show definite rotary wear. On a few spec-
imens the working tips are worn smooth and cut by rotary wear rings. The
drilled shell beads and sharks teeth from the Maximo Point land site could
easily have been drilled with most of the recovered microliths (Fig. 4).
At Poverty Point (Ford and Webb 1956), Jacktown, and other Florida sites
(Morse and Tesar 1954, Watson 1954) the basic microlith manufacturing technique
is quite different from what we found at Maximo Point. The Maximo Point
method was to knock a true blade from a core then modify that blade into
a tool (Fig. 1); which often simply meant to sharpen the distal end. These
tools exhibit one or more dorsal ridges ( arrises) which are parallel to the
longest dimension. A few of the microliths from Maximo Point were made
by this one-blade one-tool technique, but many more were made by the Max-
imo Technique, a one-blade several-tools method. Random flakes were al-
so used to make microliths at Maximo Point, either by direct modification
or by applying the Maximo Technique.
The Maximo Technique refers to the production of microlithic blanks
from true blades, sometimes flakes, and their modification into tools.
Though flakes were also used in the Maximo Technique, I will be refer-
ring mostly to blades to avoid repetition and because the use of blades clas-
sically represents the technique. Blanks are snapped out sections and snap-
ped off ends of blades or flakes (Fig. 2). Both proximal and distal blade
ends were utilized. Blades, commonly bearing longitudinal ridges, were
snapped across at angles of 90 to 450 to the bulbar axis (i.e. the long axis).
Blade-section blanks range from parallel sided cross sections to sections
with their snapped edges meeting at a 450 angle. Most blade-end tools are
made from the bulbar end. Only a few examples of distal-end tools were
found. Most unmodified distal ends found are not suitable for making the
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 29, no. 2, pt. 1, June 1976
i I I
Fig. 1. One-blade one-tool technique as used at Poverty Point and at other Florida sites.
DORSAL I _
Fig. 2. Basic blade characteristics of classical Maximo type microlith as discussed in text.
OAf LA MO
Fig. 3. One-blade several-tools, illustrating the advantages of the Maximo technique.
MAXIMO POINT MICROLITHS
type of distal-end tools recovered. They are generally too thin. Technique
for applying the snapping force will not be speculated on. However two ob-
servations can be made. No evidence of notching blade edges at snapping
points has been observed; and no bulbs of applied force are seen on the
Maximo-type microliths are those identifiable as produced by the Max-
imo Technique (Figs. 2 and 3). Remnant parent-blade attributes and their
orientation on microliths are used in identifying the Maximo Technique
(Fig. 2). Remnants of parent-blade dorsal ridges trend across the long or
working axis of the tool. Remnant lateral blade edges are often seen as
bases of tools. This is the origin of the wedge-base tools found at Maximo
Point and possibly other sites.
A brief discussion of ventral-surface blade characteristics is given
here because their comprehension is pertinent to understanding and inter-
preting the Maximo Technique (Fig. 2, right). The force applied to a
core that removes a blade ripples through the core along a semi-cone-
shaped path in ever widening circle segments. Thereby arcs of ripple marks
are left on the ventral, or core side of the blade. The ventral blade surface
represents a semi-cone of applied force. When evident on microliths, the
arc of ventral side ripple marks can be used to approximate a tools posi-
tion in the parent-blade it came from, and thereby aid in attributing that
tool to the Maximo Technique. One other blade feature can be used. Force
lines showing as very narrow splits on the ventral surface of a blade are
sometimes visible radiating from the direction of the striking platform and
subparallel to the long axis of the blade. These surface splits will trend
across the long axis of a maximo type microlith. Though not often noticed
on microliths these surface splits could be the deciding factor in attribut-
ing a tool to the Maximo Technique. No one of these features will neces-
sarily prove the use of the Maximo Technique, but anyone could be the
Maximo blanks were produced from blades with triangular, trapezoidal
and irregular cross sections. Triangular cross section blades with a single
longitudinal ridge ( arris) seem to have been a common form of parent-
blade. A Maximo type blank taken from a triangular cross section blade,
being thicker in the middle and thinner on the ends; is a natural for making
double ended drills, and could have precipitated their invention at Maximo
Point. The blank would require only vertical-edge retouch.
A classical Maximo-type microlith would be made from a section of
a true blade with a triangular cross section and a single longitudinal, dor-
sal ridge ( Fig. 2). The microlith will have a thicker central section taper-
ing toward thinner ends. The basal edge of the tool will be a section of a
Fig. 4. Maximo type microliths oriented relative to their position in the parent blade.
Lines a-b, proximal blade-end tools, striking platform remnants at top; lines c-h,
center blade-section tools (note arrisses across tools); line i, distal blade-end tools.
MAXIMO POINT MICROLITHS
lateral edge of the parent-blade. The thicker central part of the microlith
will have a segment of the parent-blade's dorsal ridge perpendicular to its
short axis. Arcs of ripple marks on the ventral surface of the microlith
will be seen to have come in from one side of the tool. The ventral sur-
face of the microlith will have minute splits crossing its long axis.
The term parent-blade is being used here rather than referring to the
source blade as a core. Basically a core is a rock to which force is ap-
plied to remove a piece which is modified into a tool. Usually the blade
or flake so removed has a bulb of applied force and the core a negative
bulb. In the Maximo Technique force is applied and pieces of the blade ob-
tained to become tools. But there are significant differences. Rather than
removing pieces of the blade, the blade is broken transversly or obliquely
into pieces, with all pieces being potential blanks. Also no bulbs and neg-
ative bulbs of applied force are produced in creating Maximo type blanks.
If the removal of the small flakes thatshape their edges is properly
called retouch, then, in contrast to many lithic tools, retouch on Maximo
type microliths is tool specific rather than being simply finishing flake re-
movals. Near vertical edges seem to have been desired for drills and other
perforators. A rectangular or square cross section gives a working tip
strong cutting edges desirable for penetrating hard materials. Therefore re-
touch producing or contributing to such edges is tool specific. Where invas-
ion of blank edges is not required to shape a tool, near vertical edges
formed when snaping the parent-blade can be integrated into a tool without
Here I am using the term vertical-edge retouch to refer to retouch ap-
plied to microlithic tools to create a near vertical edge or to modify an
existing edge toward the vertical. I am not using the term exactly and allow
some deviation from the vertical. This allows inclusion of examples intent-
Initial vertical-edge retouch leaves transverse or near transverse flake
scars on the edge. Additional pressure along the edge applied from the same
side invades the initial flake scars and produces multiple abbreviated and
stepped scars which result in a crushed appearance. A hard knapping tool
placed at the edge under pressure and rolled into the edge will produce the
crushed appearance. Ford and Webb (1956) in reporting on Poverty Point
microliths have suggested the crushed appearance results from a scraping
action in tool use. This does not seem to apply to Maximo Point microliths.
The edge "crushing" on Maximo Point specimens seems to be tool specific
and to serve at least two purposes. It refines vertical-edge retouch towards
the vertical and flattens the edge to provide the desired working tip; and
on hafted specimens improves the hafting area. Hafting areas are improved
in at least two ways by this "crushing". Edge corners are dulled for bind-
ing; and certain specimens are provided with flat sides that increase hold-
ing power in a haft. (A square nail holds better than a round one.) The
"crushing" is almost always applied from the same surface as the initial
All vertical-edge retouch on many specimens was applied to both edges
from the same surface. On others the retouch is unidirectional on each
edge but from opposite surfaces. On yet others one edge will be unidirect-
ionally chipped from one surface up to a point and then unidirectionally
chipped from the other surface along the rest of the edge. In the last case
the edge "crushing" also changes direction with the initial vertical-edge re-
touch. This is an important point to consider when judging whether or not
the "crushing" is intentional or from scraping.
The "crushing" on Maximo Point microliths may have a simpler ex-
planation. It could be a result of, rather than a method for, producing the
desired edge. Experimental production of vertical-edge Maximo type micro-
liths yielded edges identical to those found at the site. The experimental
parent blades and the tool for applying retouch were taken from the same
piece of high quality silicate rock that was dredged from an agatized coral
bed. The small size of Maximo Point microlithic tools and the control
needed for working their edges would have required pressure retouch rath-
er than percussion. The experimental tool blanks were obtained by leaning
the parent blades at a low angle against a hard object on a flat surface,
and applying pressure to the blades at the point where it was desired to
snap them across. The modest experiments showed that a single applica-
tion of pressure to a snapped edge will often push off a flake that crosses
the width of the edge as well a removing several abbreviated flakes that
cut into the larger flake scar. Retouch flake scar characteristics will de-
pend on the characteristics of the knapping tool and the blank, and the
method of application of the knapping tool. Therefore the crushed appear-
ance can be a natural result, not necessarily anticipated, of applying vert-
ical edge retouch.
The direction of retouch application, i.e. from which face, may simply
be a function of the chance slope of each blank edge. If the microlith makers
were skilled enough they could have anticipated edge slope and snapped out
their blanks so that vertical edge retouch could usually be applied from a
flat side. Most edges of Maximo Point specimens are retouched from the
ventral side. When edges were retouched from the dorsal side it was usu-
ally a flat surface.
The Maximo technique seems to be primarily a method for producing drills
and other perforators. Study of wear characteristics and comparison with speci-
MAXIMO POINT MICROLITHS
mens having little or no wear easily gives the impression that most of the
perforators are drills. The small size of many of these tools and very nar-
row tips on some should preclude their use as side scrapers. Most scrap-
ing jobs can be easily handled by sturdier tools of simpler technology.
Some gravers are made on Maximo Blanks.
I want to thank my wife Anita for making drawings for the illustrations.
Special thanks go to Ripley P. Bullen for his interest and for providing
comparative reference material.
Ford, James A., and Clarence H. Webb
1956 Poverty Point, A Late Archaic Site in Louisiana. Anthropolog-
ical Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Volume 46,
Part 1. New York.
Ford, James A., Philip Phillips, and William G. Hoag
1955 The Jaketown site in west central Mississippi. Anthropological
Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 45, part 1.
New York City.
Morse, Don F., and Louis D. Tesar
1974 A Microlithic tool essemblage from a northwest Florida site.
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 27. No. 3, pp. 89-106.
Watson, Thomas C.
1974 The Microlithic West Bay Site. Florida Anthropologist. Vol. 27.
No. 3, pp. 107-118.
May 5, 1975
Back issues of the FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST, if available, may
be purchased from the Treasurer at $6.00 per volume ($1.50 for single and
13.00 for double numbers). Volumes 25:2, pt. 2 (Publication No. 6) and 28:3,
pt. 2 (Publication No. 7) are 12. 00 each. Volumes 1; 2:3-4; 5:1-2; 6:1, 4; 7:2, 3;
8:1, 2, 4; 10; 11:1, 2;12:1; 13:1, 2;17:1; 18:1; 21:1-2; 24:1; and 26:1 are out of print.
Copies of the FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS,
a mongraph series, may be purchased as follows: Numbers 1, 5, 6, and 7 at
$2. 00 each. Numbers 2, 3, and 4 are out of print.
Orders with remittances for any of the above should be sent to the
Treasurer whose address is given on the inside of the front cover. The
Society has no reale discount for dealers or resale agents.
INFORMATION FOR AUTHORS
THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST publishes original papers in all
subfields of anthropology with an emphasis on archaeology. Contributions
from allied disciplines are acceptable when concerned with anthropological
problems. The journal's geographical scope, in order of importance, in-
cludes Florida, Southeastern United States, Caribbean, and related regions.
Manuscripts should be double spaced and typed on one side only of an
8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet leaving at least a 1 inch margin on all sides. Contri-
butors are referred to American Antiquity and the Chicago Manual of Style
for matters of style and reference. Textual references should be similar to
"Smith 1964: 78-80; Jones 1969: P1. II, b). No footnotes. In the "Refer-
ence Cited" section, at the end of an article, do not abbreviate names of ser-
ies or journals. Books need full title, publisher's name, and place.
All illustrative material-line drawings (in India ink) aid photographs-
should be included in one numbered series of "Figures" suitable for a maxi-
mum reduction to 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. Parts of figures are designated by
lower case letters. Figures must be accompanied by brief descriptive cap-
tions. All tabular material must be included in separately numbered "Tables. "
Twenty-five reprints without covers of each article are furnished free
to each author or group of authors.
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY CHAPTER DIRECTORS
Northwest Florida Chapter
Thomas C. Watson
203 Carolyn Avenue
Panama City, FL 32401
Northeast Florida Chapter
Jerry J. Hyde
4233 Oristano Road
Jacksonville, FL 32210
Central Florida Chapter
Arthur F. Dreves
2414 Summerfield Road
Winter Park, FL 32789
Tampa Bay Chapter
1020-4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Indian River Chapter
Cliff E. Mattox
P.O. Box 521
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Broward County Chapter
Joan E. Lynn
5430 S.W. 36th Street
W. Hollywood, FL 33023
Palm Beach County Chapter
Joel M. Baskin
204 N.W. 1st Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Dade County Chapter
Fredrick T. Huna
3031 N.W. 171st Street
Opa Locka, FL 33055