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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST
Volume XXIV, No. Z
Stranahan: last Seminole trader by Alan Craig and David McJunkin
The Weeden Island Site, St. Petersburg by William H. Sears .
A Florida Paleo-Indian Implement by Wilfred T. Neill . .
Bird Effigy Dredged from Tampa Bay by Lyman O. Warren .
A Leister Point from the Itchetucknee River by Gary Allen .
Carved Bone Artifacts from Dade County by Wesley F. Coleman
The Two Egg Quarry Site by D. W. Sharon and T. C. Watson
The Fletcher Davis Site, Florida by Lyman O. Warren . .
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
President Carl A. Benson
3400 East Grant Ave. Orlando, Fla. 32806
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3400 East Grant Ave., Orlando, Fla. 32806
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Florida State Museum, University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Three years: Wilma B. Williams
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At large, for one year
James Varner, Winter Park
J. Anthony Paredes, Tallahassee
STRANAHAN' S: LAST OF THE SEMINOLE TRADING POSTS
Alan Craig and David McJunkin
Indian trading posts have existed in Florida since the days of Leslie,
Panton, & Co. when the English used these settlements as a means of con-
solidating their position with the Indians after acquiring Florida from Spain
in 1763. From descriptions by contemporary travelers such as Bartram
(1955: 100) we know something about their general appearance and manage-
ment. Another perspective is offered by Goggin (1949) who published results
of his excavations at Spaulding' s Lower Store, an English trading post on the
St. Johns River dating from this early period. References to various other
stores that specialized in trading with the Indians can be found scattered
throughout the literature describing pioneer days in Florida. However, these
accounts rarely provide any specific information concerning actual trading.
Much of the following data on the establishment and activities of the
Stranahan Trading Post were furnished by his widow, Mrs. Ivy J. C. Strana-
han during a series of interviews conducted in 1970. Additional details are
contained in the historical biography by Burghard (1968). This article des-
cribes in varying detail some of the more important reciprocal trade rela-
tionships as they existed at Stranahan' s.
This trading post was established in 1893 on the north bank of New
River at Ft. Lauderdale. Figure 1 is an early view of the original building
as it was constructed adjacent to wooden docks and boat landing facilities.
In the background of this photograph there is a roughly built shed with canvas
roof and sidings; it was built as a dormitory and shelter for visiting Seminoles.
Figure 3 was taken about 1894 and illustrates a group of young men dressed in
black vests, watch fobs, and caps fashionable at that time.
As Stranahan' s ventures prospered he was soon able to erect a more
imposing structure (Fig. 2) with living quarters and veranda occupying a
second story above the store itself. This building has survived intact down
to the present where it remains as an outstanding example of South Florida
architecture. Seminole Indians continued to trade at this store until Frank
Stranahan's death in 1929.
In some respects it is evident that not all of Stranahan' s activities can
be considered typical of merchants dealing with the Seminole during the early
part of the present century. For example, Stranahan refused to sell patent
medicines, vanilla extract, or any other item containing alcohol. Furthermore,
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
Fig. 1. Stranahan's original trading post, north bank of New River 1896.
Fig. 2. View of
newly built combination store and residence as it appeared
This building survives as "The Pioneer House. "
CRAIG AND MCJUNKIN
1 A0 W.
Fig. 3. Some of Stranahan's first visitors 1894
Fig. 4. Frank Stranahan surrounded by a group of visiting Seminoles.
he was well-known for his fairness to the Seminoles (Nash 1931: 54) and it is
said that in return he was never cheated nor did he incur any bad debts. This,
however, can be partially attributed to the fact that his business dealings were
conducted for the most part on a cash basis.
The bulk of Stranahan' s trading activities took place during the winter
season when large parties of 50 to 100 Seminoles from the Big Cypress area
would make an appearance at approximately six week intervals. They usually
arrived at the store about sunset and would camp along the bank of a nearby
slough (now in Stranahan Park). Here they would remain from perhaps four
days to a week together with their entire families, chickens, pigs, and dogs.
Such a group with Frank Stranahan in the center is shown in Figure 4. Other
families of Indians from nearby Everglades camps traded more frequently and
did not stay so long. Both groups were in the habit of terminating their visit
by boarding the train (earlier the stagecoach) and travelling to West Palm
Beach where they debauched themselves at Zapp's, a local grogshop. Follow-
ing long established Seminole custom, they would designate certain members
of their party to function as sober chaperones during these sprees. Stranahan
wisely insisted that they leave their weapons at his store until they were ready
to return (Nash, 1931: 49).
Some impression of the scope of trading activities can be gained from
the fact that some groups brought in as much as $1200 to $1500 in material to
be sold to Stranahan although generally the amount involved was much less,
usually $50 $75. In total, the Seminole trading volume was of a substantial
nature, adding a significant amount to the economy of South Florida.
After abolition of the egret plume trade in 1901, otter pelts became the
most valuable trade item with a single skin priced from $7 to $8 during the
winter season. By the 1930's the value of an otter pelt had increased to $12
(Nash 1931: 37). In summer, alligator hides brought $1.80 to $2.00 for speci-
mens 6 to 8 feet long, but only 50 to 75 cents each for smaller hides. Newly-
hatched alligators and alligator eggs were also important. The Indians would
place moist leaves around eggs and hatch them at the store for Stranahan who
in turn sold them to tourists for 25 cents to $1.00 each, depending upon size.
Garden produce in the form of corn, pumpkins (of the special Seminole
variety), and beans were often offered to the store as were huckleberries and
wild grapes. But the old custom of bartering preserved quail, doves, parra-
keets or live turkeys seems to have died out, although deerskins remained a
common trade item.
Kunti (koonti, compete) the famous Seminole starch and famine food,
constituted a significant item of commerce at Stranahan' s store well into the
1920's as Indians continued to dig up these tubers (Zamia sp. ) in the Coral
CRAIG AND MCJUNKIN
Ridge and Victoria Park districts. Commercial production of this so-called
Florida arrowroot had long since been given up by white settlers around Bis-
cayne Bay as an economically unrewarding activity.
In contrast to this rather limited stock of resources, the Seminoles'
wants were great so that they always remained fundamentally handicapped in
this respect as have all aboriginal groups on becoming progressively more
acculturated. With money just received, Seminoles bought new pots and pans,
traps, good-quality shotguns, ammunition, an occasional rifle, "books" of
calico (this is a 10-yard bolt folded so as to resemble pages of a book), some
canned goods (particularly peaches), flour, a small amount of grits, much salt
(for salting alligator hides), jewelry in general (especially watches, fobs, and
beads) axes, hatchets, saws, knives, hammers, and large amounts of nails.
This latter commodity was extensively used in the construction of their chee-
kee' s and other structures.
In addition to lard and butter used for cooking oil, they bought canned
milk. Kerosene was not used for cooking but rather for illumination and as a
mosquito repellant. Cheesecloth was purchased for mosquito netting. Chewing
tobacco, pipes, and snuff were not popular with the clientele of Stranahan' s
store but they did buy cut tobacco and cigarettes in quantity.
The closing of Stranahan' s trading post coincided with the entry of many
Seminole families into the effective economy of South Florida. With the es-
tablishment of livestock herds, especially cattle, the Seminoles have finally
returned to an ethnoecologic pattern (Craig and Peebles 1970) that formerly
made them relatively wealthy. During the latter half of the 18th century
various groups of Seminoles and Mikasukis were often in an advantageous
position with respect to the traders who supplied them with the manufactured
luxuries of that era (Bullen 1965: 337-39).
Today trading between Seminoles and peripheral business firms has,
for all practical purposes, virtually disappeared. The Indian families now
have various methods of access to employment so that they are able to pur-
chase whatever goods and services they choose to select. Stranahan' s
function has been forgotten but his name endures as a tribute to his respect
for these proud people.
1955 Travels of William Bartram (Mark van Doren, ed.).
Bullen, Adelaide K.
1965 Florida Indians of Past and Present. Chapter 24 in Florida
from Indian Trail to Space Age, vol. 1, pp. 316-50 (Tebeau,
Carson; Chauvin, Bullen, and Bullen). Delray Beach.
Watchie-Esta, Hutrie (Mrs. Frank Stranahan: Pioneer).
The Historical Society of Ft. Lauderdale. Ft. Lauderdale.
K., and Christopher Peebles
Changing ethnoecology among the Seminoles:
Geoscience and Man, vol. III (in press).
Goggin John M.
1949 A Florida Indian trading post ca. 1763-1784. Southern
Indian Studies, vol. 1, pp. 35-37. Chapel Hill.
1931 Survey of the Seminoles of Florida. Senate Document 314,
71st Congress, 3rd Session. Washington.
THE WEEDEN ISLAND SITE, ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
William H. Sears
The name Weeden Island is well known to archaeologists in eastern
North America. Most of them know the culture and ceramic complex out-
lined by Gordon Willey (1949) and can roughly describe the culture area. The
type site (on the west shore of Tampa Bay), from which the periods or com-
plexes take their names, was excavated in part by Fewkes (1924). His des.
cription of the site and its environs, summarized by Willey (1949: 105'-12), is
adequate and readily available. Hence it need not be reproduced here.
Before our 1962 work, digging by qualified personnel producing data
available for use in studies of prehistory was limited to the excavations made
by Fewkes. Unfortunately, although he excavated in midden areas, no speci-
mens from the middens were saved for analysis. Therefore, we have only
Willey' s analysis of the vessels from the burial mound (Willey 1949: 108) as
Since the Smithsonian work in 1924, the site has been subjected to in-
tensive uncontrolled digging, primarily by St. Petersburg residents. Between
my first visit to the site in 1956 and a visit to plan excavations in 1961, a great
deal of the burial mound was destroyed. In 1956 most of the original contours
were perceptible, and the trench excavated by Fewkes, with its spoil piles,
was quite obvious. In 1962, when we started work the area looked like a
training ground for mechanized moles. At one time in the interval, three
family groups were observed combining picnicking with healthful outdoor
Fortunately, heavy plant growth and the disillusionment produced by
shell midden digging combined to save much of the midden east of the burial
mound. Major disturbances resulted from grading for access roads by the
Florida Power Company and some pothunting in the lower, less densely over-
grown, midden to the north and further east (Fig. 1).
Our excavation in part resulted from the concern of the Florida Power
Corporation for the site which they had purchased. Our work was designed to
salvage as much information as possible, but could not be scheduled until after
some midden had necessarily been removed in building access roads.
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
The Florida State Museum, my employers at that time, join me in ex-
pressing appreciation for the many courtesies extended by the Florida Power
Corporation and for their help in many specific situations. We would also
like to thank, one of the many times we have done this, the boys and leaders
of Tampa Troop 4, BSA, for excavation assistance.
Operationally at least, there were two separable problems at the site.
Fewkes data suggest that the burial mound could be classified in the "continu-
ous use" category (Sears 1958: 276-7). There is, in the ceramic assemblage
illustrated by Fewkes, the specimens in the U. S. National Museum, and
Willey' s classification, no suggestion of a really long period of time. All of
the materials, excepting 31 sherds of Fort Walton and Safety Harbor types, are
part of a normal Weeden Island burial assemblage in this area. This is clear
from the ceramic assemblages described at other sites by Willey (1949) and
Bullen (1952). The classification of Fewkes illustrations, mostly whole pots,
by Willey gives the same results.
Fewkes presents no data on sequence, excepting for a "sub-mound" layer
discussed below, and I doubt that any such data existed. Generally, the burials
in the body of the mound accumulated during the Weeden Island period. Judging
by Fewkes' comments, I think that check-stamped pottery appeared throughout.
Some of it at least, as indicated by Willey, was St. Johns Check-Stamped. Most
of the mound then, and I suspect all of it, accumulated after A. D. 1, 000, the
approximate time of the introduction of St. Johns Check-Stamped vessels., It
seems to me that this same late period applies to all of the Weeden Island
mounds in the Tampa Bay area, i. e. Weeden Island ceremonialism did not
reach there until that late date.
Fewkes' map outlined a tremendous midden area, very little disturbed
at that time. He recognized several kinds of structures aside from the burial
mound. His "types" included cooking mounds, middens, house mounds, and
temple mounds. With Willey (1949: 106) I could not, either in 1956 with little
disturbance or in the 50 per cent or so remaining and mapped in 1962, see any
trace of these. Instead, irregular midden accumulations, more or less uniform,
cap and spill over the sides of a normal sand dune system.
Our problems then were, roughly: 1, To check by excavation the possible
presence of anything other than normal midden accumulation. 2, To determine
ceramic sequence in the midden area. More sophisticated techniques, which
should have been used, such as stripping and floor isolation were beyond our
means; and, probably, in this type of loose shell midden, beyond my technical
ability. Inspection, including road cuts, pot holes, etc., suggests uniform
midden type for all of the area.
..... %41 \ -------" -----
S. Disurbed --
Fig. 1. Contour map of part of -eeden Island site locating midden tests.Pt
After contour mapping, a series of test pits and trenches were laid out
(Fig. 1). Our intent was to get a miximum sample in terms of size, areal
distribution, and time depth. Trench 1, near the burial mound is intended
particularly to provide data on burial mound-midden relationships. Profiles
were self-explanatory, showing only an alternation of clean and dirty shell,
except in the burial mound area. There it was quite clear that the burial
mound had been in considerable part built over a rather thin midden layer
which appeared in Trench I. It does not necessarily represent a different
culture. Rather, it probably represents the culture of the mound builders a
day or so before they built the mound. The first burials, if in pits, were then
of course made through this layer. But, the different cultural phases were
the sacred and secular components of a single whole, not two distinct, entities.
A minor point on excavation technique. Sifting is useless in these mid-
dens which have 90-95 per cent of their bulk made up of whole or broken
shells each with at least one dimension over 1 inch. One ends up filling the
screens with shell and then taking it out again. I used a technique here, as I
have elsewhere, originally devised by Ripley P. Bullen. All material exca-
vated is deposited by shovel on large sheets of plywood and is there sorted
with trowels. This enables rapid, continuous discard of useless shell.
Results can be summarized, in advance, very quickly. All artifacts of
any real significance were potsherds. These were all plain except for several
check stamped examples which came from the top levels of a cut (Trench 1)
near the burial mound and are certainly spill from the fill of that mound. Two
bundle burials also came from these same levels. Unfortunately, they were
stolen. The only part of the site with decorated pottery was the burial mound.
Other units, as shown in Tables 1-3 had plain pottery and a few sherds of
Dunn' s Creek Red.
Faced with about 1500 plain potsherds from test pits and trenches, I
attempted a necessarily somewhat subjective analysis to derive some measure
for temporal change from their relative locations. Except for the few St. Johns
and Pasco sherds, all specimens are sand tempered. The few Belle Glade
Plain were identified solely on the basis of the pitted, scratched surface. Ex-
perience in the Lake Okeechobee area has demonstrated conclusively that this
is the only useful sorting characteristic.
Sorting of the bulk of the collection, the sand-tempered plain sherds, was
done on the basis of several characteristics. One was exceptional thickness.
It was hoped that this would provide a link with Bayshore Homes, where this
C C C C cc- CC CC-
CC C CC ccccc C c c
s x Small, crushed, misc.
CY ^ X x
lus 1X Small, crushed, misc.
chs -pugilis VjV Crushed,dirty shell
ed shell and ash l Sand
Fig. 2. Profile from Test A.
was indicative of temporal, and probably cultural, change (Sears 1960). An-
other category was lamination. Since the protohistoric-historic ceramic end
point in the Tampa Bay area is the heavily laminated Pinellas Plain, it was
felt that we might, again as at Bayshore Homes, be able to pick up the begin-
ning of the manufacturing tradition. A third characteristic was a contorted,
angular fracture, a variant recognized at Bayshore Homes and a few other
sites referred to there (Sears 1960). It seems to develop before lamination,
and, as a manufacturing technique, to lead into it.
The picture of ceramic development from Level 7 up through Level 3 of
Test A is quite satisfactory (Table 1, Fig. 3). The steady decrease in sand-
tempered plain and the related increases in the contorted and laminated wares
VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SHERDS TEST A
Level Belle Sand Pinellas Pinellas Pasco St. Johns Fine lime- Totals
Glade tempered laminated contorted Plain Plain stone temp.
1 12 (16.4*51 (69.9) 3 (4.2) 5 (6.1) 2 (2.7) 73
2 3 (25.0) 6 (50.0) 3(25.0) 12
3 1 (2.9) 14 (40.0) 12 (34.3) 8 (22.9) 35
4 1 (2.4) 19 (46.3) 7 (17.1) 9 (21.9) 4 (9.8) 1 (2.4) 41
5 7 (12.1)40(69.0) 1 (1.7) 7 (12.1) 2 (3.4) 1 (1.7) 58
6 77 (85.0) 3 (3.3) 6 (6.6) 2 (2.2) 3 (3.3) 91
7 38 (92.6) 2 (4.9) 1 (2.4) 41
Total sherds 351
*Figures in parentheses are percentages per level.
Levels are 12 inches
Fig. 3. Histogram of sherds from Test A.
are reasonable. They suggest that the typology is indeed adequate for mea-
surement of culture change at this site. Levels 1 and 2, however, do not make
concurrent sense. Reference to the profile (Fig. 2) makes the problem here
quite clear, a classic case of reversed stratigraphy. The material above the
old humus line, which slants up from the base of Level 2 to the base of Level 1
represents a time period about the same as that represented by Level 5, well
below it. I do not know how this older midden got to this location. In the 50-
year history of development and casual digging at this site anything could have,
and probably did, happen.
A C-14 date on carefully selected charcoal (Sample M 1598) from Level 7
of Test A dates to A. D. 400 + 130. Unfortunately, the chemical treatment of
the specimen was inadequate. For what it is worth, it suggests that the total
process of midden accumulation in the Test A area took a long time if, as I
believe is the case, the top few feet of in place midden are as late as, or later
than, the burial mound.
VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SHERDS TEST B
Level Belle Sand Pinellas Pinellas Pasco St. Johns Fine lime- Totals
Glade tempered laminated contorted Plain Plain stine temp.
1 1 (7.0) 8 (57.2) 2 (14.3) 1 (7.0) 2 (14.3) 14
2 28 (82.4) 1 (2.9) 5 (14.7) 34
3 15 (65.0) 1 (5.0) 4 (20.0) 20
4 33 (67.4) 6 (12.2) 8 (16.3) 1 (2.0) 1 (2.0) 49
5 83 (75.5) 6 (5.4) 19 (17.3) 2 (1.8) 110
6 45 (76.3) 3 (5.1) 11 (18.6) 59
Total sherds 286
No change of any significance is apparent through the 6 feet of midden
accumulated at the location of Test B (Table 2, Fig. 4). This might appear
to contradict the results of Test A. A comparison with Test A suggests very
strongly, however, that the entire Test B midden accumulated during the same
period of time as Levels 5 and 6 of Test A. The two tests rather neatly de-
monstrate two rather interesting theoretical points: 1, there can be reversed
stratigraphy which is not obvious on inspection of the profile; 2, there is not
any direct relationship between midden thickness and time.
Levels are 12 inches
Fig. 4 Histogram of sherds from Test B.
VERTICAL DISTRIBUTION OF SHERDS TRENCH 6
Level Sand Pinellas Pinellas Pasco St. Johns Dunns Totals
tempered laminated contorted Plain Plain Creek Red
1 143 (93.0) 14 (8.6) 17 (9.8) 174
2 75 (71.4) 11 (10.5) 19 (18.1) 105
3 41 (91.0) 2 (4.4) 2 (4.4) 45
1 66 (70.3) 2 (2.0) 22 (23.4) 3 (3.2) 1 (1.1) 94
2 59 (76.0) 18 (23.0) 1 (1.0) 78
Total sherds 172
Trench 6 was dug to provide data on stratigraphic relationships between
the high midden ridge, with Test B at its center, and the lower area which
held the burial mound. In our cut into the end of the ridge, all of the layers
sloped, since the midden accumulated on a natural sand dune and followed its
slope. Sherd distribution is given in Table 3.
Although confused because of the slopes, it can be seen that the upper
foot of the midden (measured at the low end of the cut with a horizontal floor
produced at that point), contains a complex much like the lower part of Test A,
about at Level 5 or Level 6. The complex is consequently like all of the Test
B levels. Significantly, the barely perceptible natural stratigraphy differen-
tiates only an upper level, with a lot of small gastropods, and a lower layer
with a great deal of small, often crushed, oyster shell. This stratigraphic
division coincides reasonably well with the change in sherd percentages de-
rived from our arbitrary stratigraphy (Table 3). Since a similar layer oc-
cupies the lower part of Test A and is the source of the C-14 date of A. D. 400,
it may well be that this layer and the ceramic complex present actually dates
thusly. This is of some importance in the interpretation of the very little data
we have from Trench I.
Trench I, the erratic pattern of which was determined by problem sol-
ving attempts on the ground, does give us some data which may, with care, be
used in reaching some understanding of this site. The upper 12-18 inches was
badly disturbed everywhere. As far as I could tell, it had been the same loose
midden with a high component of gastropod shell characteristic of upper levels
throughout the site. It was also, apparently, "patchy" in this area, probably
actually missing in spots before disturbance.
In the western 20 feet, closest to the burial mound, we did find 2 flexed
burials, both adult. They were certainly intrusive into the lower layer des-
cribed below. They may have been dug from or through the loose, disturbed
upper layer. Presumably, almost certainly, they relate to the burial mound.
Both were stolen by visitors. In this disturbed upper layer, and thus probably
contemporaneous with the burials, we found our only decorated pottery. It
consisted of 12 Wakulla Check-Stamped, probably all from one vessel, and 4
St. Johns Check-Stamped sherds. The presence of these sherds makes it
quite certain that we were, as with the related burials, dealing with the outer
edge of the burial mound. The remaining 58 sherds, a really inadequate
sample for 20 feet of trench, distribute in a fashion like those in Levels 3 and
4 of Test A.
In the lower levels, under the disturbed material and disturbed signifi
cantly only by the two burials, were occasional patches of the normal, for this
site, crushed oyster shell midden. We averaged only a half dozen sherds per
5 by 10 foot collection unit. These samples do appear to have very few Pin-
ellas laminated and contorted sherds, as expected.
It appears highly probable to me that the "lower layer" found sporadically
through the site, C-14 dated with some probability at A. D. 400, does generally
represent the first occupation here at Weeden Island. It seems probable that
it was in place when the burial mound was built, after A. D. 1, 000 as docu-
mented by the check-stamped pottery. This early layer then was the lower
level of the burial mound referred to by Fewkes and Willey. To repeat a
statement made earlier, the pottery from this layer is not a different kind of
pottery in terms of the burial mound. It is different because it is utilitarian
rather than ceremonial pottery.
The Weeden Island site, terminologically at least the type site for the
Weeden Island culture, had a continuous use type burial mound accumulated
during some centuries after the introduction of St. Johns Check-Stamped pot-
tery about A. D. 1, 000. It also was a village site with extensive midden accu-
mulations consisting entirely of common bay species of shells. Occupation
started about A. D. 400 or perhaps a bit earlier and lasted up until late in the
period classified as Weeden Island II. Since all of the pottery from the mid-
den was plain, there would be no reason, on the basis of midden excavation
alone, to believe that the villagers here had ever seen a decorated pot of the
Weeden Island series. There appears to be a developmental trend in the village
ceramics from sand-tempered plain bowls with fair surfaces and well compacted
paste toward similar bowls with a very laminated paste. Contacts with the
Lake Okeechobee, the St. Johns, and the Crystal River areas are indicated by
Belle Glade Plain, St. Johns Plain, and Pasco Plain sherds.
I have pointed to a similar divorce between village and mound ceramics
with respect to the Safety Harbor period in the Tampa Bay area (Sears 1967).
As I suggested there, this divorce between village (secular) and mound (sacred/
ceremonial) ceramics, extends back into Weeden Island. It now appears quite
evident that culture development in this area must always be appraised in two
traditions--sacred and secular.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1952 Eleven archaeological sites in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Report of Investigations No. 8. Florida Geological Survey.
Fewkes, Jesse Walter
1924 Preliminary archaeological explorations at Weeden Island,
Florida. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, vol. 76,
no. 13, pp. 1-26. Washington.
Sears, William H.
1958 Burial mounds on the Gulf Coastal Plain. American Antiquity,
vol. 23, no. 3.
1960 The Bayshore Homes site, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum, Social Sciences,
1967 The Tierra Verde Burial Mound. Florida Anthropologist,
vol. XX, nos. 1-2, pp.
Willey, Gordon R.
1949 Archaeology of the Florida Gulf Coast. Smithsonian
Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 113.
A FLORIDA PALEO-INDIAN IMPLEMENT OF GROUND STONE
Wilfred T. Neill
Although Wyman (1875) was the first to figure an early lanceolate point
from Florida, J. Clarence Simpson (1948) was the first to report such points
along with an indication of their probable age. Simpson' s artifacts, today
called Suwannee points, were termed "Folsom-like. Simpson noted the
occurrence of Suwannee points with the bones of extinct Pleistocene animals
in Florida, and suggested that the association was not fortuitous. He provided
certain stratigraphic data: a Suwannee point was found "resting on clay beneath
five feet of seemingly undisturbed surface sand. He drew attention to beveled
shafts of ivory and of bone, found in stream-bed association with Suwannee
points. Jenks and Mrs. H.H. Simpson, Sr. (1941) had already discussed the
similarity of these beveled shafts to artifacts from Clovis, New Mexico.
Subsequent work has revealed Suwannee points to be widespread in
Florida. New evidence; while not conclusive, does suggest contemporaneity
of Suwannee points and extinct animals (Neill, 1964a). In peninsular Florida,
Paleo-Indian and certain Early Preceramic points have been found to occupy a
predictable position with reference to soil stratigraphy: at the bottom of the
"recent sands" and atop some other soil stratum (Neill 1958, 1964b).
Thus J. Clarence Simpson was remarkably prescience in his brief analy-
sis, made two decades ago. However, one of Simpson' s observations has
gone unremarked. He stated (Simpson 1948: 14), "Another object which
occurs at the Folsom-like localities in Florida, and is. not known from es-
tablished later horizons, is an unusual type of clubhead. These clubheads,
of sandstone, limestone, or quartz, are about the size and shape of a hen' s
egg, and have a shallow indentation in the smaller end, presumably for fitting
a handle. "
Simpson' s term, "clubhead, may conveniently be retained for these
artifacts although their function is uncertain. No one has specifically refuted
his contention that the clubheads are of Suwannee, and, therefore, of Florida
Paleo-Indian, age. However, during the 1950's, several authors declared
that stone implements, made by the peck-and-grina technique, were lacking
from Paleo-Indian artifact assemblages. George A. Agogino (1962: 246-
247) pointed out the existence, in various Paleo-Indian contexts, of ground
stone artifacts: beads, milling stones, and "bolas balls. John L. Cotter
Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
bZ PALEO-INDIAN IMPLEMENT
(1962: 262) also drew attention to grinding and abrading techniques used by
makers of fluted points.
It is significant that the clubheads have not been reported in Florida from
any of the numerous excavated sites that post-date Suwannee points. Great
middens of the St. Johns River drainage, dating mostly from the Late Pre-
ceramic and the succeeding Orange (fiber-tempered pottery) Period, have
been dug away and spread as land fill, without revealing a clubhead. Recently,
one of these artifacts was found under circumstances suggesting that the
"Suwannee clubhead" is indeed of Paleo-Indian age.
The Cavern Site
Elsewhere I have described the Cavern site, beneath the waters of Silver
Springs, Marion County, Florida (Neill 1964a). When explored by divers, the
floor of this cavern was littered with bones of extinct Pleistocene animals,
among which mammoth and mastodon predominated. Also from the cavern
came charcoal or charred wood, a fragment of human skull, and a broken flint
artifact suggestive of the knife that accompanies Suwannee points at several
sites. Additional material was found, now under water but presumably in
situ, in the sand atop a ledge at the cavern mouth. Specimens from the ledge
included ten chert spalls; one bifacially retouched and one unifacially retouched
flake; a utilized flake; the tooth of a large horse; a thin sheet of elephant ivory
(possibly worked); a worked bit of horn-like material; and a lanceolate pro-
jectile point, fluted on one face. I have figured these specimens (except for
a few spalls) previously (Neill 1964a: Figs. 4-5).
In Paleo-Indian times, sea level should have been roughly 100 to 200 feet
below its present stand (Lazarus 1965). The water table must also have been
much lower than at present. A 45-foot drop in the water table would today
leave the Cavern site quite dry, and it is felt that the cave was a habitation of
The projectile point from the Cavern site ledge was classified as Su-
wannee, but its Clovis-like appearance was noted. Actually, this point is
closely matched by only two other reported specimens from Florida. One of
these was figured long ago by Wyman (1875: Pl. 2, Fig. 6) and refigured by
Goggin (1952: P1. 7, R-S). The other was illustrated by Bullen (1962: Fig. 4).
Since my report on the Cavern site, a diver has recovered additional ob-
jects from within the cave itself. Through the courtesy of Richard A. Martin,
I was able to examine the finds and to obtain photographs of them.
New Material From The Cavern Site
Three of the newly recovered items merit description. One is a bone
from a giant ground sloth. The bone had been much gnawed by small rodents,
a circumstance suggesting that the cave had been above water when the bone
was fresh. The other two items are a projectile point and a clubhead of
ground stone (Figs. 1-2).
The projectile point, from within the cave is more Clovis-like than the
one from the ledge. However, it shows a slight approach to the Suwannee in-
curvate outline, and is fluted on one face only. The specimen is slightly over
three inches in length (Fig. 1, a-b). It finds its closest counterpart, locally,
in a fragmentary point from the Scrub Jay site, in scrubby flatwoods about two
miles northeast of the Cavern site. The Scrub Jay artifact has been figured
(Neill 1964b: Fig. 5, 13) but the site has not been discussed. The Scrub Jay
point was found in situ at the bottom of the "recent sands" and atop the hard-
pan. Almost equally Clovis-like are points from the Silver Springs site, on
(or rather under) sandhills bordering the spring run about a half-mile below
the Cavern site (Neill 1958: Fig. 3, A-C; 1964a: Fig. 1, lower row).
The clubhead from the cavern is roughly ovoid in shape, with a con-
cavity in the smaller end (Fig. 2). I did not measure the artifact, but it is
very close to five inches in length, and nearly that in its greatest diameter.
It is made of a coarsely crystalline material, apparently a silicate with much
calcite impregnation. Although a source of this material cannot be pin-
pointed, it need not have been out of state. The surface of the artifact is
remarkably well smoothed, considering the refractory nature and granular
texture of the stone.
While supposed bolas-balls, hammerstones, and milling stones have
been reported from several Paleo-Indian sites west of the Mississippi, these
artifacts do not exhibit the skilled workmanship of the Suwannee clubhead. The
maker of this clubhead was capable of grinding and polishing even the most re-
fractory silicate rocks. The clubhead is probably a part of the Suwannee arti-
fact complex. This circumstance raises a question: Does the association of
the clubhead with Suwannee points mean that the peck-and-grind technique is
older in the Southeast than has generally been realized, or does it mean that
the Suwannee artifact complex is younger than has generally been assumed?
The topic of Suwannee age may be reviewed here briefly.
Differences between Clovis and Suwannee points are modal, with some
overlapping. A good many Florida specimens, included within the Suwannee
category, would be classified as Clovis if found in some other state. Examples
Fig. 1. Clovis point from Cavern Site, slightly over twice size.
Fig. 2. Club head or bola stone from Cavern Site, about 5/4 size.
include three points from the Silver Springs Site (Neill 1958: Fig. 3, A-C),
one of Simpson' s specimens from the junction of the Santa Fe and Suwannee
Rivers (Bullen 1962: Fig. 2, second from left), and at least one point found
by C.E. Burkhardt at the Bolen Bluff site (Bullen 1958: P1. 1, L).
On the other hand, the Clovis projectile points from the Lehner Mam-
moth site in Arizona included one unifacially fluted specimen typologically
indistinguishable from the second Cavern site point (Haury, Sayles, and Wesley
1959: Figs. 12, K and 13, K); and another unifacially fluted specimen (Haury,
Sayles, and Wesley 1959: Figs. 12, D and 13, D) that could be matched
closely by artifacts from several Florida localities. Three of the Lehner
points, made from crystalline quartz, are no more than basally thinned and
are less Clovis-like than the norm of Suwannee points. Other examples of
Clovis-Suwannee overlap could be cited. The characteristic Suwannee point
outline, incurvate and with basal "ears, is suggested in many Clovis points;
and so is unifacial fluting or thinning, of the kind noted in a majority of Su-
wannee points from Marion County, Florida ( Greenman 1962: 253).
Some workers hold the more easterly fluted point sites to be the oldest;
and some look not toward central Siberia but toward western Europe for a base
from which to derive Paleo-Indian lithic traditions (Chard 1962: Greenman 1962).
Greenman has drawn attention to the Old World antiquity of unifacial fluting and
an incurvate outline. On typological grounds the Suwannee point need not be
substantially younger than the Clovis.
If the water table were to fall, most or all of Simpson' s localities, with
Suwannee points and the bones of extinct Pleistocene animals, and sometimes
clubheads as well, might be kill-sites as impressive as those of the Southwest.
The fauna of the presumed Florida kill-sites is a Late Pleistocene (Ranchola-
brean) one, as might be expected to accompany projectile points of Clovis-
The Cavern site affords a most impressive evidence of the association
of Clovis-like points, the Suwannee clubhead, and the bones of extinct Pleis-
tocene animals. Objects found inside the cave, from animal bones and char-
red wood to the projectile point and the clubhead, could only have come in
through the cavern mouth; for other entrances into the cave are mere fissures
that lead deeper into the Ocala Limestone (a marine formation of Eocene age).
Even dismissing the strong current that flows from the 'cave, objects could
not fall into the site for the cavern extends horizontally back from its rather
small entrance. The entrance is in fact not visible from directly above,
being somewhat overhung by limestone.
It is worth mentioning that, of North American Pleistocene predators,
only one is known to have had the habit of littering a cave floor with the bones
of large animals: this one is man. And it is difficult to believe that any
wild animal would have brought into the cave the huge mammoth tusks that
were found there.
The animals identified from the Cavern site -- mammoth, mastodon,
and ground sloth from the cave, large horse from the ledge -- are typical
members of a Late Pleistocene fauna with which the makers of Clovis points
Fig. 3. Broken blade tool
S (a, left) and broken Suwannee
point (b, right) from Snyder
There never was any scientific merit to the suggestion that the Pleis-
tocene animals survived longer in Florida than elsewhere (Bullen 1963, Neill
1957, and Neill, Gut, and Brodkorb 1956). Invoking ecological principles, one
could, in fact, make out a case for their survival in the north and west, well
after their disappearance from the southeast.
The Silver Springs and Snyder habitation sites make it possible to list
a sizeable percentage of the Suwannee artifact assemblage. Included are
well-made, bifacia] elongate knives with weak, unifacial fluting, snub-nosed
end-scrapers; choppers, unifacially and bifacially retouched flakes; utilized
flakes; flake-based gravers; graver-perforators; sandstone abraders; and
possible small ornaments; along with lanceolate projectile points, basally and
laterally ground, and sometimes unifacially fluted. Representative material
has been figured in earlier papers (Neill 1958; 1964a; 1964b). Thus the Su-
wannee artifact assemblage, viewed in toto, has a strongly Paleo-Indian as-
pect. It is impressively similar to the Clovis assemblage, and should not
be substantially younger.
One important component of the Suwannee artifact complex has not been
illustrated, and I remedy the omission here (Fig. 3, a). This is a large,
thin blade with roughly the outline of a Suwannee point. It is a unifacial
implement with a steep retouch along one edge, and either a retouch or use-
spalling along the other edge. Both edges are blunted as though by much
use. The figured specimen is three inches long. It was recovered from
the Suwannee point level of the Snyder site, on high ground overlooking the
St. Johns River in Lake County, Florida, near Crows Bluff. In a European
context the specimen would probably be called a "blunted back blade" of
Late Paleolithic age.
Although I have previously illustrated a knife (Neill 1964a: Fig. 4, 5)
and two end-scrapers (Neill 1964b: Fig. 4, 1-2) from the Snyder Site, I have
said little of the accompanying projectile points. These, three in number, are
close to the Suwannee norm, being well-made, unfluted, and with well-de-
fined basal "ears" (Fig. 3, b).
Also worth mentioning, in connection with a Suwannee artifact complex,
is an elephant pelvis recovered by the late John M. Goggin and his students
from a submerged site in the Suwannee drainage. The object had been
modified by man. On one side of the pelvis, part of the bone had been neatly
and entirely cut away. A similar cut had been started on the opposite side
of the pelvis, but had been abandoned. The cut areas are as blackened and
mineralized as the rest of the fossil.
The Suwannee clubhead may be the oldest ground stone implement in
eastern North America. Willey (1966: 266) emphasizes the impossibility
of tracing grinding techniques back to Old World sources. He suggests
some originated in the New World around 5000 B.C. The Suwannee clubhead
substantiates this view, but pushes the origin much farther back in time.
Paleo-Indian cultures of the New World quite naturally invite compari-
son with Old World Paleolithic cultures. The general absence of ground
stone implements from the Old World Paleolithic is in part responsible for
the lack of attention given to such implements in a Paleo-Indian context.
Further investigation will probably reveal the Suwannee clubhead, or some
close counterpart thereof, to be of much wider distribution than published
records now suggest.
Agogino, George A.
1962 Comments on Mason, "The Paleo-Indian Tradition in Eastern
North America. Current Anthropology, Vol. 3, No. 3,
pp. 246-247. Chicago.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1958 The Bolen Bluff Site on Payne's Prairie, Florida. Contribu-
tions of the Florida State Museum, XX Social Sciences, No. 4.
1962 Suwannee Points in the Simpson Collection. The Florida
Anthropologist, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 83-XX 88. Tallahassee.
1963 Artifacts, Fossils, and a Radiocarbon Date from Seminole
Field, Florida. Quarterly Journal of XXX the Florida Academy
of Sciences, Vol. 26, No. 4, X pp. 293-303. Gainesville.
Chard, Chester S.
1962 Comments on Mason, "The Paleo-Indian Tradition X in
Eastern North America. Current Anthropology, Vol. 3,
No. 3, pp. 250. Chicago.
Cotter, John L.
1962 Comments on Mason, "The Paleo-Indian Tradition X in
Eastern North America. Current Anthropology, Vol. 3, No. 3,
pp. 252. Chicago.
1962 Comments on Mason, "The Paleo-Indian Tradition X in
Eastern North America. Current Anthropology, Vol. 3
No. 3, pp. 252-254. Chicago.
Goggin, John M.
1952 Space and Time Perspective in Northern St. Johns Archeology,
Florida. Yale University Pub-X locations in Anthropology,
No. 47. New Haven.
Haury, EmilW., E. B. Sayles, and William W. Wasley.
1959 The Lehner Mammoth Site, Southeastern Arizona. American
Antiquity, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 2-30. Salt Lake City.
Jenks, Albert E. and Mrs. H.H. Simpson, Sr.
-/1941 Beveled Artifacts in Florida of the Same Type as Artifacts
Found near Clovis, New Mexico. American Antiquity, Vol. 6,
No. 4, pp. 314-319. Menasha.
Lazarus, William C.
1965 Effects of Land Subsidence and Sea Level Changes on Elevation
of Archaeological Sites on the Florida Gulf Coast. The Florida
Anthropologist, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 49-58. Gainesville.
Neill, Wilfred T.
1957 The Rapid Mineralization of Organic Remains in Florida, and
Its Bearing on Supposed Pleistocene Records. Quarterly Journal
of the Florida Academy of Sciences, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 1-13.
1958 A stratified Early Site at Silver Springs, Florida. The Florida
Anthropologist, Vol. 11, No. 2 (misprinted No. 1 on the cover),
pp. 33-52. Tallahassee.
1964a The Association of Suwannee Points and Extinct Animals in
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 17-32.
1964b Trilisa Pond, an Early Site in Marion County, Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 187-200.
Neill, Wilfred T., H. James Gut, and Pierce Brodkorb.
1956 Animal Remains from Four Preceramic Sites in Florida.
American Antiquity, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 383-395. Salt Lake
Simpson, J. Clarence
1948 Folsom-Like Points from Florida. The Florida Anthropologist,
Vol. 1, Nos. 1-2, pp. 11-15. Gainesville.
Willey, Gordon R.
1966 An Introduction to American Archeology. Vol. 1. North and
Middle America. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood, N. J.
1875 Fresh-water Shell Mounds of the St. Johns River, Florida.
Peabody Academy of Science, Memoirs, No. 4. Salem.
New Port Richey, Florida
[Editor' s Note: For another example of a Florida club head or bola stone see
Waller Fig. 2, last item, on p. 39 of The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 20, nos.
1-4, 1969. Neill's article, published above, was written before Waller's.
Readers will also be interested to note that smaller (about 3 in. ) but otherwise
duplicate implements have been found in Massachusetts surface collections and
several examples are in the Simpson Collection at the Florida State Museum
while over 30 others have been found in the Santa Fe-Suwannee rivers in recent
years. The ones referred to by Neill on p. 61 are those in the Simpson Collec-
UNIQUE BIRD EFFIGY DREDGED FROM TAMPA BAY
Lyman O. Warren
Oyster shell from submarine deposits dredged from Tampa Bay is widely
used in Pinellas County as road fill, particularly for driveways and private
roads. Occasionally, Indian projectile points and other artifacts belonging to
the Paleo-Indian and Archaic cultures of Florida are found in or on such road-
The wooden artifact depicted in Figure 1 was discovered by John Warren,
son of the author, in a most unconventional manner. John was driving the
family Volkswagen on an oyster shelled road near the St. Petersburg Junior
College. Suddenly, there was a sort of "pfft" sound as the air left a new 40
dollar tire. Getting out of the car, John found that the tire had been punctured
by an object which had been lying on or partly in the shell and which was now
sticking out of the tire. The shell had been dredged from Tampa Bay.
The object unfortunately exhibited old breaks, and was incomplete. We
thought at first to mentally reconstruct it as an asymmetric projectile or har-
poon point. A more likely reconstruction, suggested by Ripley P. Bullen, was
that its asymmetry and general contours were more consistent with a bird effigy.
The effigy has two faces, both flat, the one incised with three straight
lines in three locations, as depicted; the reverse side, not shown, is unadorned.
It is made of wood which is hard and has a "ring" to it, as if mineralized.
Doctor John Ferrell of St. Petersburg made several x-rays using different
voltages, and, for comparison, x-rays of modern day shell and wood. He was
able to demonstrate that the density of the object lay between that of shell and
wood and was, therefore, consistent with mineralized wood. In the x-rays
the grain of the wood shows more clearly than in the picture.
We do not know the nature of the wood nor can we be sure of the age of
this remarkable object. Both the mineralization and the place of origin of the
shell suggest respectable antiquity.
St. Petersburg, Florida
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
UNIQUE BIRD EFFIGY 72
A DECORATED LEISTER POINT FROM THE ICHETUCKNEE RIVER
In January 1970, while diving in the Ichetucknee River a little down
stream from Blue Hole, I found the multi-barbed, carved bone fragment pre-
sented in the accompanying illustration. It is 4. 8 cm. long, triangular in
cross section and socketed in the lower end. It is believed to be one of the
points or barbs which are fastened together to form a three pronged leister
for catching fish.
As shown in the illustration, this specimen was decorated on all three
sides with fine line incision to form an interlocking or fret design. The
workmanship is excellent and evidently great care was used in the manu-
facture of this specimen.
Unfortunately, I can give no clues as to the age of this decorated tool.
It has been darkened by immergence in the water of the Ichetucknee River
but it does not approach the degree of discoloration found in some bone pins
and other objects from this river. A very nice, blackened, wide Pinellas
triangular point and a number of slotted bone points have come from the same
area but I would not suggest that the illustrated specimen was contemporaneous
It probably recently was eroded into the river as the stream at this
location is fairly swift and a large nearby sand bank has with recent high
water disappeared. The bed at the find spot is very rocky and the swift
water undoubtedly caused some of the rocks to break the specimen as may
be noticed at one end.
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
Fig. 1. Decorated leister point from Ichetucknee River, Florida.
CARVED BONE ARTIFACTS FROM/DADE COUNTY
Wesley F. Coleman
The two incised bone specimens illustrated in this article are prime
examples of the uniqueness of aborigine Indian carvings found in the South
Florida area. As the incising of their ceramics is crude, these carved bone
pieces lead us to believe that specialists did the carving of bone and wood.
Figure 1 is a pendent. It still retains much of its original polish which
made it extremely difficult to photograph. The basic bone was a piece of
rib, evident because of the concave center, running full length, on the re-
verse side from the carving. There are two holes drilled and smoothed
out at the upper end, 1/8 inch from the edge. The tool used to carve an
artifact of this intricacy is conjectural but probably was a small, sharp,
shark' s tooth.
Figure 2, 2 1/2 inches in length, is also a pendent, but, after close
inspection, it appears that it was probably intended to be used as a hairpin.
The workman, while carving, broke the tip. Instead of disposing of the
item he later drilled a hole through the butt end, or top, converting the
hairpin to a finely carved pendent.
The artifacts referred to here were recovered at a depth of 9 inches
in the same level and section as Cane Patch Incised sherds at site Da-140.
This places a Glade II date on these artifacts.
Field work at site (DA-140) has been completed, and a full report is
being written for future publication. In the meanwhile we decided to publish
these remarkable artifacts for comparitive students. It is hoped closely si-
milar objects will be brought to our attention.
Appreciation is expressed to members of the Miami West Indies Archaeo-
logical Society who worked at the site, to D. D. Laxon who helped in the
identification of pottery and, James Shaffer for the photographs.
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
CARVED BONE ARTIFACTS
Figs. 1 and 2. Carved bone artifacts from site Da-140.
THE TWO EGG QUARRY SITE
D.W. Sharon and T. C. Watson
The source of lithic materials utilized by early man in Northwest
Florida is still largely a mystery to both professional and amateur archae-
ologists. One identifiable source of such raw material has been located in
Jackson County in the Panhandle area. The site was first brought to the
attention of the writers by M. C. Bartlett and Charles Lauderdale, both re-
sidents of Panama City, Florida. Recent harvesting of planted pines and
subsequent burning of the underbrush to clear the site for plowing and re-
planting exposed an extensive chert quarry site. The replanted area was
examined after it had been compacted by rainfall, thus making conditions
for surface observation especially good.
The site is located 2. 9 miles west of the community of Two Egg,
Florida, and a few hundred feet south of State Road 69 (Fig. 1) on property
owned by Mr. Robert A. Willis, Sr., of Greenwood, Florida. It covers an
area estimated to be at least 15 acres in extent and is composed of chert-
limestone modules and waste percussion flakes left on the surface of the
ground. This waste material resulted from early man' s activities while
exploiting the lithic potential of the site. According to the property owner
and two other lifelong residents of the Two Egg area, the site has not been
utilized as a source of stone during their lifetimes. Prior to being planted
in pine trees the land had been used for row crops. This type of land usage
could not have contributed greatly to the quantity of chipped, flaked, and
broken stone material observed at the site. In general, the material fits
the description of remains found in other lithic workshops (Bullen and Dolan
The chert material at Two Egg varies in color and includes gray, pink,
and lavender, with gray-colored material predominating. The most dense
concentration of the workshop material is concentric about an uncleared area
where the stone outcropping has prevented historic cultivation. Another
feature of the site is the presence of several large holes which range in size
from 5 to 15 feet in diameter and from 3 to 10 feet in depth. The absence
of spoil material around some of the holes would preclude them being the
result of quarrying activity. A more likely explanation is that they are
sink holes resulting from natural action in a region famous for its Karst
The evidence that early man utilized the resources of the Two Egg
quarry site is enhanced by artifacts found there. Six projectile points and
a fragment of another point recovered from the surface at the site are shown
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
FLA. SR 69
1 in. = appx. 100 yds.
1 in. = appx. 100 yds.
2.9 Miles to Two Egg, Fla.-
////=Holes and areas in which chert nodules
and flakes are concentrated
FIG. 1. SKETCH MAP, TWO EGG QUARRY SITE
SHARON AND WATSON
Fig. 2. Projectile points from surface, Two Egg site, except for
e recently made from Two Egg quarry material. e is 75 mm.
Fig. 3. Chert tools and quartz hammerstone
c is 180 mm. in length.
fragment from Two Egg site.
TWO EGG QUARRY
in Figure 2. All these artifacts are manufactured of chert. Item e is a
point of material acquired on the site and recently made by one of the authors.
In addition to the projectile points, three large tools made of chert (Fig. 3,
a-c) and a fragment of a quartz hammer (d) were recovered.
None of the surface finds indicate that the quarry site was a living area.
Early man apparently mined the raw material, roughed it out or made com-
plete artifacts on the spot, and then transported the bulk of his worked ma-
terial away. There is no fresh water source near the site at the present time.
The authors have noted artifacts made of material similar to that found
at the Two Egg quarry site in Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay Counties. It is
likely that early man lacking closer sources of suitable lithic material would
not have found the 50 to 75-mile journey too great to have undertaken.
Stone material deposits are sufficiently rare in Northwest Florida that
the Two Egg quarry site should be of interest to both professional and amateur
archaeologists. The source of lithic artifact material is one area of Florida
archaeology that needs more attention. It is hoped by the authors that this
modest paper will help to simulate interest in this problem.
Bullen, Ripley P., and Dolan, Edward M.
1959 The Johnson Lake Site, Marion County, Florida.
The Florida Anthropologist, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 77-94.
Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
Panama City, Florida
THE FLETCHER DAVIS SITE, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
Lyman O. Warren
In 1964 Mr. Bradley Coley of Gibsonton showed me a number of 4-5
inch long "spear heads" in his collection and called my attention to similar
points in the collections of David Coker of Plant City and Gene Swindell of
Dover. These points were said to have been excavated from a depth of about
2 or 3 feet in yellow sand on a farm between Thonotosassa and Sefton in east-
ern Hillsborough County. The points were well made, rather thin, averag-
ing about 3/8 inch in thickness, and aesthetically very pleasing. They were
made of a silicified cherty limestone, often yellow in color as from a yellow
sand matrix, and not uncommonly red and brownish. None were of silicified
coral, although smaller points were sometimes of this material, and silici-
fied coral heads can be mined all over the area. Mr. Coker had excavated
a cache of these points at waist depth.
These long points were consistent in a degree of asymmetry quite un-
usual to me from the experience with sites dredged up in the Tampa Bay area.
This asymmetry was notable in the blade edges, one tending to be more con-
vex than the other, and in the shoulders, where one tended to be sloping or
"weak," while the other or "strong" shoulder might angulate at the long
axis of the stem to as much as 90 degrees. We felt that the asymmetry could
not be an accident of design, but that they had been purposely made a little
"lop-sided" to borrow Claflin' s (1931) term for certain points at Stalling's
Island, Georgia. The purpose of the asymmetry has been obscure. Possibly
it suggests a knife function.
There had also been found long, thick points, averaging about 5/8 inch
in thickness, which seemed to exist only as basal sections. They were
crudely made, the stems indented or notched -- but not bifurcate -- the
notching effected by removal of a short longitudinal flake. This pseudo-
fluting, so to speak, had been interpreted by local amateurs as evidence of
considerable antiquity, and these thick points were referred to as "Arrodondo-
like. Their thickness and broken status also suggested that they might have
been unfinished points (blanks), fractured in manufacture.
The points were eventually found to have been excavated from the pro-
perty of Mr. Marvin Me sser, who, because he was farming the land, could
not give permission to dig, but kindly permitted a surface collection to be
made. Just to the west of his land was a sand pit, where sand had been pre-
viously removed for commercial purposes to a depth of about 3 feet. The
floor of this pit was strewn with small spalls, and on occasion would yield an
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 24, no. 2, June 1971
FLETCHER DAVIS SITE
artifact or two. A shallow pond in the center of the pit provided drinking
water for neighborhood horses. Because of the disturbed nature of this area
controlled digs did not seem feasible, but a number of test squares and tren-
ches were put into the floor of the pit and slopes with equivocal findings.
Several months later, Mr. Fletcher Davis, owner of the property ad-
jacent to and south of the sand pit and just to the southwest of the Messer
farm, very kindly allowed us to put in a series of controlled squares along
the east and north edges of his garden. This garden measured about 300
feet north-south by about 100 feet east-west. It was generally quite level,
but declined gently to a small slough on the west edge and a low wooded ham-
mock and swamp to the south. The garden was about three feet higher than
the bottom of the commercial excavation and about three feet lower than the
contiguous Messer farm to the east. The east border had been shallow
ditched to allow surface water to run off to the wooded hammock to the south.
About 200 yards to the north, the land rose rather steeply to a height of about
40 feet and was planted in citrus.
The dig, consisting of 31 5- by 5- foot squares, was plotted using the
north east fence post of the Davis garden as reference point. The excavation
extended to the west about 60 feet, and to the south for a similar distance.
The squares were excavated in the fall and winter of 1965 over a period of
several months, during which over 1800 cubic feet of sand were excavated
and back-filled. Taking part in the work were Thomas Dunn, Dwight Fer-
guson and son David, Frank Bushnell, Gerald Spence, John Stokes, and
John, Bill, Kai, Helen, and Christian Warren.
The profiles of the squares had an over all similarity. The top 4-8
inches were of a dark, humic sand containing earthworms. The next 12-
22 inches were of yellow sand, free of humus and worms, but rich in mole
crickets, and criss-crossed by burrows measuring about 3 inches in dia-
meter. Some were filled with dark humus soil from the top layer, some
with yellow sand, while others were empty and gave way at times to the un-
wary foot. Rarely they would converge into large spaces, possibly galler-
ies or nests.
The yellow sand layer, fairly sharply delineated from the overlying
humus, merged imperceptibly at depths varying from about 18 to 24 inches
with an underlying layer of a clay-like, fine, milky sand which continued on
down to a depth of about 28 to 36 inches or more below the surface. Here
were encountered features which made deeper excavation unfeasible, the
water table moving up and down with the rains, and sandy bog iron concre-
tions in such profusion that trowelling and shovel-shaving were next to im-
possible. However, artifacts became sparse before this layer was reached,
and occasional test holes at the bottom of a square, into the underlying bog
iron, were culturally sterile.
For purposes of analysis the squares were grouped into three groups.
Group I, with 13 contiguous squares (A, B, C, D, E, etc.), lay on the eastern
edge of the garden close to a road leading to the house of Mr. Davis. Group
II, with 4 squares (R, S, T, U), was 60 feet away, on the north edge of the gar-
den. Group III, 5 squares (Alpha through Epsilon), also was on the northern
periphery of the garden, but 50 feet west of Group II. A fourth group, con-
sisting of 3 squares (X, Y, Z), at the extreme south west edge of the garden
in somewhat wet soil near the slough, was archeologically uninteresting, had
an obscure stratigraphy, and will not be reported on here.
Artifacts were bagged by 6 inch levels and diagnostic items marked in
situ by pencil and their depth, description, and a rough sketch recorded in
field notes. It was obvious, both from the vast number of spalls and the pre-
dominance of broken points or knives, that we were dealing with a workshop
rather than a living site. We did not observe any post molds, fire pits,
midden material, or skeletal remains. Meaningful artifacts have been de-
picted in Figures 1-3 by groups, and have been arranged in these illustra-
tions by relative depths for each group.
Documenting the observed impression of disappearance of artifacts at
lower levels is a spall count for one square, yielding the following values:
0-6 inches, 32 spalls; 6-12 inches, 73 spalls; 12-18 inches, 180 spalls;
18-24 inches, 61 spalls; and 24-38 inches, 24 spalls.
The spalls were small, measuring 2 inches or less for the most part,
and were, to our observation, unworked. The small size contrasted strik-
ingly with the large (4 inches and larger) spalls of the Caladesi Fill in St.
Joseph's Sound, where large choppers, knives, and planes were so common
and projectile points so rare.
Our impression was that these squares had an over all similarity in
stratigraphic and matrix features, so that any depth level in one square would
be roughly comparable to the same depth in any other. That this concept is
not completely valid can be seen in Figure l(h) where we see reconstructed
two fragments of the same artifact, one from J square at 6 inches and the
other from E square at 15 inches. These two fragments were about 10 feet
The outstanding features of the diagnostic items were as follows:
(1) broken points or knives comprise the vast majority of the formulated
artifacts; (2) shorter points tend to be at superficial and longer points at
FLETCHER DAVIS SITE
deeper levels; (3) considerable variety in point typology is present; (4)
symmetrical points were in a small minority; (5) asymmetry is superim-
posed upon points or knives of various shape quite consistently from higher
to lower levels; (6) marked or grotesque asymmetry, truly "lop-sided"
points, seem to be a superficial rather than deep feature; (7) diagnostic
chipped stone tools of the scraper, chopper, large knife, and hammerstone
categories were uncommon, and those tools that were found were, for the
most part, so crude as to suggest blanks; (8) four ground stone objects were
found; (9) pot-sherds, one sand-tempered plain, and one Perico Plain, were
found in the 12-16 inch level, but no sherds were found above or below that
level. One ground some specimen, of dubious function, possibly a primitive
metate or shaft straightener, is shown in Figure 2(j).
Projectile points are of considerable diversity and of these some may
be knives or spatulas rather than points. Six types are depicted from the
(1) "Sumter points" are of distinctive formulation: about 2 inches in
length, gracile, blades with lanceolate outline, one blade edge more convex
than the other, blade edges nicely retouched, one shoulder weaker than its
mate, the stems gently tapering with squared off stem bases. The blades
are lenticular in cross-section, averaging a shade over 3/8 inch thick.
Three were found: in Squares B at 10 inches, S at 7, and I at 8 inches. The
average depth, 8 inches, makes Sumter points in this assemblage rather su-
perficial. They are depicted in Figures l(d-e) and 2 (a).
(2) Three short, awkwardly asymmetric or lopsided points were found
in Squares K at 2 inches, J at 3 inches, and D at 4 inches. They look as
if they had been made by a trickster or novice. One is shown in Fig. l(a).
The superficial location suggests a late provenience.
(3) Thick (3/8 in. to 7/8 in.), longish (4 in.), percussion-flaked points
with squared stems and indented or concave stem bases number nine in all
and congregate at 10-15 inches (Figs. 1, h; 3, c).
(4) Broad knives are by far the most numerous diagnostics. They have
a characteristic shape: the blade is broad with one blade edge more convex
than the other; the outline is lanceolate but asymmetric; the shoulders are
narrow, one weak, one strong; the stem is wide and tapers to a convex stem
base. Mostly they exist as basal portions (Figs. 1, o; 3, a, g). ,). Figure
l(a-b)show the entire objects with the rounded distal end suggesting a knife-
like or spatulate function. Fifteen in all were found. They occurred at all
levels but concentrated at the 8-19 inch level zone where the spall concentra-
tions were strongest. They tie in the most superficial and deepest levels and
suggest that at Fletcher Davis we are dealing with one homogeneous assemblage.
Fig. 1. Points from Group I squares arranged by depths.
a-e, Z to 10 inches; f-j, 12 to 18 inches; k-o, 22 to 24 inches.
FLETCHER DAVIS SITE
c d a
Fig. 2. Points from Group II squares
ground stone fragment, and a sherd of
arranged by depths, a
Perico or Pasco Plain.
a-e, 7 to 13 inches; f-i, 16 to 18 inches; j, ground stone; k,
limestone tempered sherd.
Fig. 3. Points from Group III squares arranged by depths.
a-d, 8 to 12 inches; e-g, 17 to 19 inches; h-j, 20 to 24 inches.
FLETCHER DAVIS SITE
These well defined, easily recognizable objects were found at Bolen Bluff
(Bullen 1958) in a late preceramic context although with considerable vertical
(5) Long "spearheads" measuring over 3 inches in length, with lanceo-
late blades, narrow shoulders and tapering or parallel sided stems, at times
with indented stem base, were characteristic of the site. Three such points
are depicted (Figs. 1, m-n, 3, d). These have, in my opinion, typological
similarity to the broad knives. Their average depth was about 19 inches.
(6) "Elongate points" two thick points (Fig. 3, h-i) with square stems,
asymmetric shoulders, and blade edges nearly parallel, were found in Gamma
Square at 20 inches in a cache of chips. They call to mind "Eden Points"
(Wormington 1957) in typology with, of course, no contemporaneous implica-
tions intended. In cross section the blades are somewhat between lens and
diamond shape. Their stems are reminiscent of category 3 above in that the
ends of the stems are squared off in similar fashion. These points, were
they entire, would be by far the longest of the assemblage. They are also
the deepest stratigraphically.
Discussion and Summary
Excavations at the Fletcher Davis site reveal variations in artifact
typology as indicated earlier. Some of these seem consistent over the
excavated area. For example fairly heavy, long, and relatively narrow
points concentrate at lower levels. Such points are not reported in equiv-
alent quantities at Interstate 75 sites (Bartlett 1964), the Johnson Lake
site (Bullen and Dolan 1959), and the 12- to 18- and 18- to 24-inch levels
at Bolen Bluff (Bullen 1958). Hence, it seems probable the Fletcher Davis
workshop site was chiefly used during middle or early middle preceramic
Archai times; i.e. before the complete dominance of the common typical
Archaic stemmed points but after the wane of Bolen Beveled and other
points having rubbed bases.
From out of state, the Eva Site in Benton County, Tennessee (6) is
called to mind. There, in a preceramic context, occurred points
termed "Ledbetter" and characterized by asymmetry of blade, narrow un-
equal shoulders, and a wide stem that is straight or slightly tapered. Also
at the Eva Site was a Morrow Mountain I category of point with short, rudi-
mentary, highly tapered stem; this type was thought to have an age of about
6 to 7 thousand years, with a generally lower distribution than Ledbetter
points. Both types possess typologic similarities with the Fletcher Davis
broad points or knives.
The "conscious asymmetry" of projectile point blades and shoulders
at the Davis site is in marked contrast to the generally symmetric features
of the dredged up points from the Tampa Bay area. This is perhaps because
most of these dredged up sites represent an earlier time in the Florida Pre-
ceramic Archaic period.
It should be emphasized that, in general, shorter points are more su-
perficial than long ones at the Fletcher Davis site. The paucity of large
choppers and scrapers, although it may indicate a specialized stone industry
with an implied division of labor, is probably a late Archaic feature, or,
possibly, the relatively small sample we took of the total workshop was in-
sufficient. Ground stone objects at the Davis site (and non-existent in the
dredged up sites) are admittedly difficult to assess. Perhaps they were used
to grind local seeds and nuts, primitive manos and metates, so to speak.
The few pot sherds are probably best considered, at least for the pre-
sent, as intrusive. One has a sort of intuitive feeling that pottery (usually
made by women) at a projectile point workshop (presumedly a men' s place)
might be as inappropriate as cut glassware at a modern day hunting lodge.
Pottery was not found in the deeper layers, that is below 16 inches, nor in
the superficial humus layer. Its nature is not a sort to provide a good time
marker, although the Perico Plain might suggest the Transitional Period.
In closing I wish to acknowledge the kindness of Mr. Fletcher Davis.
Bartlett, Marion G.
1964 Collections from disturbed sites on IR-75 in Alachua and Marion
Counties. Florida Anthropologist, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 187-200.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1958 The Bolen Bluff site on Paynes Prairie, Florida. Contributions
of the Florida State Museum, Social Sciences, No. 4 Gainesville.
Bullen, Ripiey P. and Edward M. Dolan
1959 The Johnson Lake site, Marion County, Florida. Florida
Anthropologist, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 77-94.
FLETCHER DAVIS SITE
Claflin, William H.
1931 The Stallings Island mound, Columbia County, Georgia. Papers
of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology,
vol. 14, No. 1. Cambridge.
Lewis, Thomas M. N., and Madeline Kneberg Lewis.
1961 Eva, an Archaic Site
University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.
Wormington, H. M.
1957 Ancient Man in North America.
Denver Museum of Natural History, Popular Series No. 4.
St. Petersburg, Florida
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