Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Editor's Page
 The Case for Prehistoric Culatural...
 The Naples Canal: A Deep Indian...
 Florida Paleoindian (Lanceolate)...
 Early Archaic Point Data Form---Attribute...
 Book Reviews
 About the Authors

Group Title: Florida anthropologist
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00091
 Material Information
Title: The Florida anthropologist
Abbreviated Title: Fla. anthropol.
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Anthropological Society
Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Publisher: Florida Anthropological Society.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Frequency: quarterly[]
two no. a year[ former 1948-]
Subject: Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Summary: Contains papers of the Annual Conference on Historic Site Archeology.
Dates or Sequential Designation: v. 1- May 1948-
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027829
Volume ID: VID00091
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01569447
lccn - 56028409
issn - 0015-3893
notis - AAA9403

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Editor's Page
        Page 2
    The Case for Prehistoric Culatural Contact Between the Maya on the Yucatan and the Indians of Florida
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    The Naples Canal: A Deep Indian Canoe Trail in Southwestern Florida
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Florida Paleoindian (Lanceolate) Point Data Form
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Early Archaic Point Data Form---Attribute Key
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Book Reviews
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    About the Authors
        Page 56
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r:6 367

MARCH 1998

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THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGIST is published by the Florida Anthropological Society, Inc., P.O. Box 82255, Tampa, Florida 33682.
Subscription is by membership in the Society. Membership is NOT restricted to residents of the State of Florida nor to the United States
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NOTE: In addition to the above Editorial Review Board members, the review comments of others knowledgeable in a manLcript's
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Volume 51 Number 1
March 1998


Editor's Page. Robert J. Austin


The Case for Prehistoric Cultural Contact Between the Maya on the Yucatan and the
Indians of Florida. Douglas T. Peck

Aboriginal Canoe Canals of Cape Sable. Ryan J. Wheeler

The Naples Canal: A Deep Indian Canoe Canal in Southwestern Florida. George M. Luer


Metal Ceremonial Tablet Reported in Naples. Arthur R. Lee
Paleoindian Projectile Point Recording Project: A Call for Data. Brinnen S. Carter, James S. Dunbar, and
David G. Anderson


Marion Spjut Gilliland. Barbara A. Purdy
William R. Royal. George M. Luer


Fagan (Editor-in-Chief): The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Roger T. Grange, Jr.
Gremillion (Editor): People, Plants, and Landscapes: Studies in Paleoethnobotany. Lee A. Newsom

About the Authors

Cover: Reflections by Elizabeth Neily

Copyright 1998 by the
ISSN 0015-3893


I want to begin 1998 by thanking those of you who took lthe
time to convey to me your opinions regarding the last issue of
The Florida Anthropologist (Vol. 50. No. 4). which featured
language and culture as a central theme. In general, the re-
sponse was positive. This was particularly gratifying since
much ofthe core readership of the journal is interested primar-
ily in archaeology. Consequently. I thought it might be
interesting to share with our readers excerpts from a letter I
received from Julian Granberry in which he offers a historical
perspective on why a journal entitled The Florida
Anthropologist came to be devoted ahnost exclusively to

I eel constrained to let out a heart-felt YIPPE!! in response to
your brief but pertinent remarks on the Editor Page in the last
issue of FA. As a kind of peripheral guest of John Goggin. I was in
on the initial meetings which established the FAS back in the dark
ages 50 years ago. and I can well recall the insistence of a number of
the members Jonl Goggin and Gordon Wille\ in particular -
that the newl society devote attention mi its pursuits and publications
to all the branches of anthropology. though-be-it that the need then
was to develop a full-tledged. data-backed statement on Florida
prehistory from tie perspective of archaeology.

In the earlier days after 1948 almost no ethnographic. linguistic.
and physical atthropology submissions were made to FA as a result
of the simple fact that there were so few professionals in the state
interested in these topics other than Adelaide Bullen in physical
anthropology. and. not surprisingly, the journal rapidly became a
journal of archaeology. Over the years. the suggestion of pluralism.
so strongly made by Goggm. Willey. and others. w as. I think simply
forgotten. The result has been the gradual development of a tine
journal of archaeology. but of archaeology ahnost alone.

As one of those vestiges of the earlier days of our field of anthro-
pology. I was brought up irom the time of my childhood interest in
the field to understand that one could not become competent in any
of the subdisciplines unless one developed some facility in all of
them. .As a youngster I had the pleasure, through my family of
knowing the late Franz Boas during the last years of his life. and I
can still remember Dr. Boas asking me when my parents let him
know I was interested in becoming an anthropologist xhich area
or areas of the field interested me most. I told him both linguistics
and archaeology, an answer which seemed to please him. for. as I
recalL he launched into a longish lecture on the need for interrelated
studies on almost all of the world's peoples involving all aspects of
their cultures. In essence he told me to concentrate in both linguistics
and archaeology, but never neglect the whole. It was a viewpoint 1
found reflected thoroughly at Yale in the 1940s and earl\ *50s. and
one strongly encouraged during my MA years at the University of
Florida...and my PhD) ears at the old University of Butfalo.

Dr. Cranberry's views on the desirability of a holistic interest

in the field resonated with me since I too graduated from
academic programs that emphasized the "four-tield" approach.
As a result, mi personal philosophy is that to be a good
archaeologist one necessarily also has to be a good anthropolo-
gist. So. while the prniary focus of the journal will no doubt
alIways be archaeology. I will attempt to do my best to fulfill
the goal of the Society's founders by presenting more articles
related to non-archaeological topics in the fixture.
Now on to this issue. We start the new year with several
interesting papers. I-istorian Donald Peck's contribution tackles
a controversial subject. but one that is thought-provoking
nonetheless. Peck uses Spanish documents and Mayan art to
support his argument for water-borne contact between the
Yucatiin and Florida during the late prehistoric period. 'This
view is not new. but it has generally been discounted by much
of the archaeological establishluent. I however. as one reviewer
of Peck's paper noted. "Mr. Peck's thoroughly researched
article is relevant to Florida anthropology and archaeology ...Not
everyone will agree with Mr. Peck's conclusions, and indeed I
have my doubts about a number of them. but I reconumend
publication in order to stimulate further research."
The nelx two papers by Ryan Wheeler and George Luer
continue these authors' interest in prehistoric canoe canals in
south Florida. Ryan's article focuses on canals in the Cape
Sable area while George describes the better-knowni Naples
Canal and hypothesizes on its functioning. Both papers make
important contributions to our understanding of these under-
appreciated resources.
Two brief reports follow these papers. Art Lee describes a
newly identified metal ceremonial tablet from southwest
Florida. expanding the catalogue of these fascinating artifacts
that was begun by David Allerton. George liuer. and Bob Carr.
Next. Brinnen Carter. David Anderson. and James Dunbar
request infonnation on Paleoindian and Early Archaic projectile
points in collections around the state. Their projectile-point
survey represents the first of its kind in the state. and is similar
to those that have been conducted in other states. Importantly.
to succeed. this survey will require the cooperation of both
professional and avocational archaeologists alike. Book reviews
by Roger Grange and Lee Newsom finish out the issue. I hope
you enjoy it.



MARCH 1998

Vol. 51 No. 1



626 Casa Bella Drive, Bradenton, Florida 34209
E-Mail: peckd@mail.firn. edu

In the prehistoric period, well before the coming of Colum-
bus, both the Taino Indians in the Caribbean and the Maya
in the Yucatan were seafaring trading peoples who made
long voyages in large canoes holding up to 30-40 people.
This raises questions of how far these canoe trading ventures
reached, whether there was cultural or trading contact be-
tween the Taino in the islands and the Maya in the Yucatan,
and if contact extended to the Calusa in south Florida.
There is only limited archaeological evidence available on
the subject, but there is valuable ethnological, geographical,
and navigational data contained in documents from the early
Spanish explorers. These early explorers recorded not only
what they observed, but also the words and art of the indige-
nous peoples, thereby giving us valuable evidence with
which to begin developing answers to these questions
concerning prehistoric cultural contact.

Observations by Columbus
Providing Evidence of Taino Canoe Voyages

Columbus was the first European to report on this subject
in the Diario or log of his 1492 voyage. He reported the
Taino Indians roamed throughout the islands in large trading
canoes, and reported seeing several of these large canoes on
Cuba and Espafiola (Beckwith and Farina 1990:133, 137,
139, 315; Dunn and Kelley 1989:187, 189, 193; Jane
1960:78, 79, 81-82, 197).
Columbus's log indicates that the Indians on Cuba were
well aware of the fact that Florida was part of a large main-
land and that it was inhabited by a warlike people. Martin
Alonso Pinz6n, the captain of the Pinta, when on the north
shore of Cuba made this report:

The Indians said that behind that cape there was a river, and
that from that river to Cuba it was four day's journey. He
[Pinz6n] said he understood that this Cuba was a city and that
land was a very extensive mainland, which stretched far to the
north, and that the king of that land was at war with the Gran
Khan, whom they called 'Saba' and by many other names [Jane
1960:49, emphasis added].

At this early stage the Spaniards were confused over
whether the Indian's Cuba was a city or another land, but
the "very extensive mainland, which stretched far to the
north" is an accurate description of Florida. The four-day
canoe trip is a very reasonable figure for the voyage across

the straight between Cuba and Florida and the description of
a warlike people fits the Calusa in south Florida (Goggin and
Sturdevant 1964; Hann 1991; True 1944; Widmer 1988).
Many historians have refused to believe the Taino Indians
could have had any knowledge of the mainland (Florida) so
they have colored their translations and interpretations of this
log entry to report that the Indians must have been talking
about some city or king on Cuba (e.g., Bradford 1973; Dunn
and Kelley 1989; Granzotto 1985; Morison 1942, 1974).
The Indians knew full well the meaning of mainland, Tierra
Firme, since later they were to describe the mainland as "not
surrounded with water" as distinct from one of their home-
land islands (Beckwith and Farina 1990:159; Dunn and
Kelley 1989:217; Jane 1960:92). Also the report of a king
named Saba on Florida is significant as the Freducci map,
considered one of the earliest maps of Florida, shows a town
named Sababa in south Florida (Milanich and Milanich
Later, when on the northwest coast of Espafiola (Haiti),
Columbus had his first indication from the Indians that he
was close to the mainland and an advanced people (the
Maya), but he failed to recognize it. When speaking of a
distant land they called Bohio the Indians reported:

They [the Indians] told him [Columbus] that the island [Bohio]
was very great and had very large mountains and rivers and
valleys, and they said the island of Bohio was larger than that
of Juana, which they call Cuba, and that it is not surrounded
with water. It appears that they meant it was the mainland and
that it is here, behind this Espafiola, which they call Caritaba,
and it is of infinite extent, and it appears like they are harassed
by an intelligent race [Jane 1960:92, emphasis added].

At this point the paragraph picks up on a long discussion of
the Caribs and their unsavory habits and implies that
Columbus thought these were the people and land that the
Indians were talking about.
Columbus was not the only one that did not understand that
the Indians were describing a different land; that is, a
mainland distinct from their known islands. Even today,
most Columbian scholars believe (without valid foundation)
that the Bohio the Indians were describing in this instance
was Espafiola. The reason for this misunderstanding can be
found in a reading of Columbus's log. The first mention of
the word Bohio, which the Indians used to refer to Espafiola,
was in the November 4, 1492 log entry. This was followed


VOL. 51 NO. 1

MARCH 1998


by three other instances in the log where the word Bohio was
used in a similar fashion (Dunn and Kelley 1989:133, 149,
151, 167; Jane 1960:52, 61, 68). Las Casas placed a
marginal note at the first mention of Bohio that reads: "The
Indians of those islands called their houses bohio. The
Admiral [Columbus] did not understand it well" (Jane
From this we can see that Bohio was a generic term
meaning "house" or "dwelling place" rather than a geo-
graphical place name for one particular island. In the
passage cited above, the Indians were on Espafola (which
they had previously called Bohio when they were on Cuba)
and were referring to another and distant Bohio that they
said was not surrounded by water, was of infinite extent, and
was behind this Espauiola (i.e., it was the mainland).
Later, when still on Espafiola, Columbus reports the Indians
told him

that the island of Espafola or the other island of Yamaye
[Jamaica] was distant from the mainland ten days journey in a
canoe, which must be 60 or 70 leagues, and that there the
people were clothed [Beckwith and Farina 1990:233; Jane
1960:140, emphasis added].

In both of these instances the Indians were talking about the
mainland of Mexico, and even Las Casas realized that when
he inserted the words: "It appears that they meant it was the
mainland." A ten-day canoe trip is a reasonable figure for
the voyage to the YucatAn, which is the closest point of land
from the islands to the mainland.
Here again we have historians who do not believe the
Indians in the islands could have had any knowledge of the
Maya on the YucatAn, and so rather than give the literal
translation of exactly what Columbus reported the Indians
told him, their translations and interpretations are colored to
reflect their biased views of what they believe Columbus
intended to say about the Indian's report. The recent Dunn
and Kelley (1989) translation of Columbus's log is the worst
offender in this respect.

The Evidence of Carib Canoe Voyages

There also is evidence of long-distance canoe travel by the
Caribs from farther south in the islands. Diego Alvarez
Chanca, a physician on Columbus's second voyage, in
speaking of the Caribs wrote:

One and all make war against all the neighboring islands,
traveling by sea a hundred and fifty leagues to attack with their
many canoes, which are like small fustas of a single piece of
wood IFarina and Triolo 1992:93; Jane 1930:1. 65].

The Spanish leagues reported by Chanca equal 480 nautical
miles (889 km), which would indicate that the Caribs were
every bit as competent in long-distance travel by canoe as
the Tainos farther north.
There is evidence that these long-distance canoe passages
by Caribs reached the Maya on the YucatAn. The report of

a Carib landing on the shores of the Yucatan is contained in
the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, the most accurate
and best preserved of the sixteenth-century Maya historical
documents. This report reads:

Five Ahau there came the foreigners who ate people, and
foreigners without skirts was their name. The country was not
conquered by them [Edmonson 1986:62; Roys 1967:55].

The chronological position in the text would place the
Carib incursion between A.D. 1200-1380, probably in the
latter part of this period, around A.D. 1300. Roys (1967:142)
has suggested that this incursion was by the Miskito (Mos-
quito) Indians, but the historical facts do not support such a
conclusion. Roys may have felt compelled to offer this
unfounded comment because of the consensus of opinion that
the Caribs were incapable of making such a voyage.

Evidence of Contact Between the Maya on the
YucatAn and the Calusa in Florida

We next find evidence, in the log of Ponce de Le6n's 1513
voyage, that his Indian guides had knowledge of the Yucatin
and its wealth. When he left Puerto Rico, Ponce de Le6n
was seeking the wealthy island of Beniny (also spelled
Beimeni or Bimini), which he thought lay northwest of the
Lucayans (Bahamas). Following that course he discovered
Florida (Davis 1935; Kelley 1991; Peck 1992, 1993; Scisco
1913). On departing the Tortugas, Juan Ponce laid a course
of southwest by west to investigate some islands his Indian
guides had told him about. There are no islands southwest by
west from the Tortugas, so his Indian guides, which he had
picked up in Florida, must have convinced him that the
wealthy and exotic land he was seeking lay not to the
northwest, but to the southwest and they pointed out a course
that led straight for the YucatAn (Peck 1992:150-151,

The Development, Construction, and Use
of the Seaworthy Maya Trading Canoe

While these examples indicate contact by canoe between
the Caribbean islands, Florida, and the mainland, they do
not indicate in which direction these canoes traveled. This
brings us to the primary thesis of this study that this
contact by canoe most probably originated in the Yucatin
and traveled east to the islands and north to Florida.
As adept as the Island and Florida Indians were in con-
struction and use of long-distance trading canoes, the Maya
on the Yucatan were far more advanced in both construction
of the canoes and establishing well-organized trade routes
(Morley 1994:54-58, 453-463). The importance of trade is
reflected strangely enough in their religion. The Maya had
many gods who represented things or activities that were
vital to their life. One of the most prominent among their
gods was Ek Chuah, the merchant or trade god. Another
prominent god which can be related to canoe travel is the

1998 VOL. 51(1)



paddler god, who carried the deceased into the otherworld
or Maya heaven in a canoe.
During the Preclassic and early Classic periods (ca. 2000
B.C. A.D. 500), most of the trade routes were confined to
inland or coastal plain travel using human porters since
beasts of burden or wheeled vehicles were not available. In
the late Classic and Postclassic periods (ca. A.D. 500 -
1500), this inefficient form of transportation was largely
replaced with large trading canoes along the Gulf of Mexico,
Yucatan, and Caribbean coasts. This change occurred with
the decline of the large Maya centers in the jungles of the
Pet6n lowlands, and the subsequent rise of the Itza or
Chontal Maya in the YucatAn (Morley 1994:453-463;
Sabloff 1977:73-82, 1990:157-158).
The Chontal Maya (so called because they spoke the
Chontal dialect) were a seafaring mercantile and warrior
group who conducted and controlled the canoe trade routes
along the lower Gulf coast, around the perimeter of the
Yucatan, and as far south as Belize and the Bay Islands of
Honduras on the Caribbean coast. It was during this period
from about A.D. 500 to the arrival of the Spanish with
Cordoba in 1517, that the mercantile- and seafaring-oriented
Chontal Maya would have been most likely to have ventured
across the seas to enlarge their trade routes. But did they?
And were their canoes capable of such long over-water
passages in the open sea?
The Maya left their written history in hieroglyphics on
their stone monuments and buildings and in their paper
codices. The hieroglyphics carved into stone on their
buildings and monuments record in detail the accomplish-
ments of their kings in war and provide a vivid picture of
their religion, but there is no mention of such a mundane
subject as canoe trade or the merchants who pursued and
pioneered this trade. Also, while their stone buildings and
monuments have survived, there is not one single intact
example of their perishable, large, seaworthy canoes.
Here we must look to their pictorial art in their paper
codices, their painted murals, and their incised or low-relief
sculpture to piece together a picture of what the Maya
canoes looked like and how they were constructed (Ham-
mond 1981). In Chichen Itza there are two separate works
of art that depict canoes. One is a large painted mural on the
wall of the temple of the warriors, the other is a low-relief
sculpture found in a small temple in the city. These two
works of art not only present a vivid picture of the seafaring
heritage of the ItzB or Chontal Maya, but the canoes that are
pictured give us a clue as to their size and shape and how
they were used (Figure 1).
There are several things to note that will give us an insight
into their construction and use. First, the high prow and
stern would preclude the entire canoe being carved out of a
single tree trunk (as is often reported by early historians).
The extended prow and stern must have been fashioned from
a separate plank and fastened on the main hull which was
carved from a single tree. Building this appendage would
have been well within the capability of the Maya since they
had bronze axes and chisels with which they also fashioned

intricate carved wooden door lintels and building roof beams
(Leshikar 1982). These added appendages on the canoe were
not just for decoration since they have several functions
which constitute good boat-building practice, as any naval
architect would be quick to recognize. The extended bow
and stern appendages would have provided the necessary
displacement in the ends to allow the vessel to rise to a head
or following sea without being pooped or swamped. Another
function of the appendage is to provide a safety factor in the
event of a capsize (a not uncommon happening in a narrow,
unballasted vessel). The displacement (or flotation) of the
appendages would stop a capsize at 90 degrees preventing a
complete rollover. The appendage also provided an arm to
push up on which would make righting the vessel easier.
Another item to note is the pointed paddle. The pointed
paddle also was common to Indians of Florida, the Carib-
bean, and even as far south as Peru (Bass 1988; Cushing
1973; DeBooy 1913; Leshikar 1988). The pointed paddle
was no doubt developed from experience by all Indian
peoples throughout Mesoamerica, as it makes entry into the
water at the forward end of the stroke easier, as well as
easing the force necessary to retrieve the paddle at the end
of the stroke. The fact that the men are standing in the
canoe would indicate that the vessel had considerable
inherent athwartship stability. For a round-bottom vessel
(commonly associated with log canoes) to obtain this same
built-in stability would require a considerable amount of
heavy ballast. The alternative would be to flatten the bottom.
This would provide a hard chine displacement configuration
of the bottom, giving the same athwartship stability without
the use of ballast. This again would have been well within
the building capability of the Maya with their copper
(bronze) cutting tools.
This inherent stability of the flat chine bottom would have
been learned by experience during the some thousands of
years that these canoes were in use. Just the fact that a
round-bottom canoe would have a tendency to roll over
(spilling its contents) when pulled up onto the beach would
have induced some attempt to flatten the bottom, after which
the increased stability at sea would have been noticed.
Other drawings of Maya canoes were found in the Ruins of
Tikal in the Peten region of southern Yucatan. These
drawings on incised bones (Figure 2) precede the Chichen
Itza drawings by about 500 years. The drawings are of
interest because they show the freeboard of the canoes
extended with a separate attached shaped-wood cap rail. This
addition follows good boat-building practice in providing a
hull that is not only drier, but adds a safety factor in provid-
ing the needed righting displacement to prevent swamping in
the event of a broach. A vessel "broaches" when it is turned
at a right angle to a large wave which tends to roll it over.
This is a common event in a narrow unballasted vessel such
as a log canoe. This freeboard extension cap rail was again
well within the capability of the Maya with their demon-
strated ability to work wood to any desired shape.
The odd-shaped, one-sided paddles shown on the drawings
in Figure 2 are troublesome, because they would twist in the


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Figure 1. Mayan canoes as depicted in artwork at Chichen Itzi: top) detail from a wall mural in the Temple of the
Warriors; bottom) detail of a low-relief carving found in a small temple near the outer wall of Chichen Itza. Redrawn
from Frederick Catherwood's sketches in Stephens (1963).

hands of the users and be quite ineffective. They are not
mistakes of the artist as the styles of the drawings indicate
two different artists who drew the paddles with identical
shapes. The answer is quite simple. They are not paddles at
all, but steering oars used much like a rudder to keep the
canoe on the desired course. The paddler in the lower
drawing is shone correctly using the steering oar while the
paddlers in the upper drawing are holding them backwards.

This is understandable since the artists, although familiar
with what the canoes and steering oars looked like, had
probably never been in one and may have been completely
unfamiliar with how they were rowed and steered.
Directional control of a flat-bottom vessel is extremely
difficult, which is why ancient builders as early as the
Phoenicians and Egyptians provided flat- (or nearly flat)
bottom boats with a keel augmented by either a rudder or

1998 VOL. 51(1)





steering oar (Bass 1972:26, 27, 43, 46, 141). There is no
indication that the Maya canoes had a keel, but they would
have been forced to develop the steering oar to maintain
directional control of their flat-bottom canoes.
I have stated that the Maya had bronze cutting tools to
build their elaborate and finely constructed canoes, but
archaeologists have yet to uncover a single bronze cutting
tool. Pure copper is a soft, malleable metal that will not hold
a sharp cutting edge. And unfortunately the early Spanish
historians used only the generic term "copper" when
describing the tools of the Maya.
Ferdinand Colon gives us a truer description of the hatchets
Columbus obtained from the Maya when he states they were
made of "good copper rather than just "copper. Columbus's
account (related by Ferdinand) of this encounter reads: "He
took aboard hatchets resembling the stone hatchets used by

the other Indians, but made of good copper, and hawks bells
of copper, and crucibles to melt it" (Keen 1959:232). It
should be noted that a soft copper bell will not ring, but a
hard bronze bell will, indicating that the Maya had the
ability to produce bronze with their "crucibles."
Sahagun (1963:235) reported that the early Mexica (from
whom the Maya received their metals) mined both copper
and tin. When smelted with just a small amount of tin,
copper becomes a bronze alloy which is harder and can
maintain a sharp edge although still keeping the appearance
of copper. There are many reports that the Indians through-
out Mesoamerica mixed copper with their gold to make a
metal which they called guanin. Bernal Diaz (1956:217)
reported that in the Maya market "there are for sale axes of
brass and copper and tin." Even though no archaeological
finds have confirmed that the Maya had bronze tools, it is

Figure 2. Canoe drawings found on incised bones in tombs in Tikal, in the Pet6n region of southern YucatAn. The
drawings show a deceased ruler being carried down into the watery otherworld (heaven) by paddler gods. Redrawn from
Morley (1994).



rather inconceivable that for the thousands of years the Maya
smelted copper, they would not have discovered (even if
accidently) that a small amount of tin would harden their
copper tools.

Evidence of Maya Offshore Voyages
to the Islands of the Caribbean

I have shown that the Maya produced large seaworthy
canoes which incorporated many of the desirable features of
modern vessels. Columbus saw one of these large Maya
trading canoes on his fourth voyage (1502) when anchored
at the island of Guanaja in the Bay of Honduras. Columbus
(as related by Ferdinand) describes it thus:

There arrived at that time a canoe long as a galley and 8 feet
[2.44 meters] wide, made of a single tree trunk like the other
Indian canoes; it was freighted with merchandise from the
western regions around New Spain. Amidships it had a palm-
leaf awning like that which the Venetian gondolas carry; this
gave complete protection against the rain and waves. Under this
awning were the children and women and all the baggage and
merchandise, crucibles for smelting ore, gourds full of beer
made from the Hubo fruit, and cacoa beans as currency. There
were 25 paddlers aboard but they offered no resistance [Keen

Judging by the reference to a "galley." the number of
paddlers, the beam, and the amount of passengers and
merchandise, I would estimate the length of the canoe at
around 14-15 meters.
The odd number of twenty-five paddlers reported is
significant. The canoe could not possibly be paddled in a
straight line if there were twelve paddlers on one side and
thirteen paddlers on the other side. And here it should be
noted that Columbus elsewhere in his writings was very
precise in noting mathematical numbers in describing
dimensions, distances, or numbers of people or animals
encountered (no doubt from his training as a navigator). The
even number of twenty-four paddlers would have been
seated twelve to a side while the one extra paddler would
have been at the rear with a steering oar. Columbus would
have simply counted him in with the other paddlers.
Columbus reported that the canoe had apparently come
from the mainland, and after trading with the Bay Islands,
was bound for Coronel (Cozumel) island off the coast of
Yucatan (Keen 1959:232). Since this large canoe was filled
with products of the mainland and was returning to Coz-
umel, it would fix it as one of the Chontal Maya trading
canoes, confirming the fact that they engaged in long-range
trading voyages to shores and islands far distant from their
home waters.
Not only did the Indians in the islands have knowledge of
the Maya on the mainland, but the Maya were equally
informed about the Spaniards' presence in the islands. The
Friar Juan Diaz with the 1518 Grijalva voyage to the
Yucat6n wrote:

The Indians [the Maya] assert that people were near who used
ships, clothes, and arms like the Spaniards, and that a canoe
could go where they are in ten days, a voyage of perhaps 300
miles [483 km] [Diaz 1942; Wagner 1942].

The fact that the Maya knew of people in the Caribbean
"who used ships, clothes, and arms like the Spaniards," is
not surprising since the Spaniards at this time had been
firmly entrenched in Espafiola, Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto
Rico for over twenty-six years.
The fact that the Taino Indians in the islands and the Maya
on the Yucatan not only gave accurate descriptive details of
the indigenous people of the other lands, but also gave the
identical distance (ten-day canoe trip) between the two
points, is a strong indication that canoe travel and contact
between the two peoples was a reality. Here it is interesting
to note that Charles Beeker, in a recent archaeological
excavation in the Dominican Republic, found a prehistoric
Taino village that had a deep cenote filled with sacrificial
objects, several large plazas, and a large ballcourt lined with
tall limestone columns. These artifacts, and the sacrificial
cenote and ballcourt are tied to Maya, not Taino, tradition
(Beeker 1997).
This evidence from several different sources supports the
conclusion that the Maya in their voyages had traveled to the
northern Caribbean islands. What about the possibility of
travel to Florida? For this we must first examine Maya
mythology related to canoe travel.

Maya Mythology Related to Canoe Voyages

The fact that the Maya knew that lands existed in the sea
east of the Yucatan may have inspired their myth of the
fabled land of Tlapallin. This mystical land that existed cast
of the Yucatin is common to both Mexica and Maya
mythology, and was the destination of an apocryphal priestly
ruler whose symbol was the feathered serpent. In Maya lore
this priestly king bore the name Kukulcan and in Mexica
(Aztec and Toltec) lore (the better known of the two) he was
called Quetzalcoatl (Prescott 1969:39, 171).
In the Mexica myth, the priestly ruler Quetzalcoatl, a holy
man with fair skin, long dark hair, and flowing beard,
instructed the Mexica in the use of metals, in agriculture,
and in the arts of government. For some reason, Quetzal-
coatl incurred the wrath of the gods and he had to leave.
When he reached the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, he took
leave of his followers and promised that he and his descen-
dants would some day return. Then he entered his vessel
made of serpent skins and departed for the fabled land of
Tlapallan. This basic version of the Maya and Mexica myth
varied in details when obtained from different locations and
different time periods.
The myth is related to this study only to show that the
Maya and their Mexica neighbors accepted the fact that there
was land east of them and travel to that land was possible.
This fact could very well have inspired some enterprising
Chontal Maya ruler or merchant to send a canoe expedition


1998 VOL. 51(1)


in search of that land. It also is symbolic that the patron
deity of the Chontal Maya was the feathered serpent (identi-
fied in Maya art as a rattlesnake) related to the myth.
Mythical lands beyond the horizon have inspired sea
voyages throughout history from Jason to St. Brendan and
even Columbus who sought the mythical isle of Antillia in
the Atlantic on his way to the Indies. So it would seem quite
reasonable to postulate that the Chontal Maya with their
highly developed seaworthy canoes, and backed by their
demonstrated drive to expand their mercantile market, would
have sent canoes to Cuba and Florida. But did they?
Admittedly there have been no archaeological finds to
confirm that such voyages by the Maya took place. But
cultural knowledge can be exchanged between diverse
peoples without necessarily leaving artifacts to be found by
archaeologists. This is demonstrated by the fact that both the
Taino in the islands and the Calusa in Florida were aware of
the Maya on the Yucatan, based on verifiable historical
documents cited earlier and independent of archaeological
confirmation. Not only were they aware of the Maya, but
they knew they were an advanced "intelligent" people who
lived on the "mainland" and "were clothed." The question
is, what else had they learned from the Maya and did it
affect their cultural lifestyle?

The Evidence of Cultural Contact between the Maya
on the Yucatan and the Indians of Florida

Now we must consider if the Maya journeyed to Florida
and influenced the cultures of the Indians of Florida and the
southeastern United States. This possibility was first voiced
in the late 1800s when Frank Hamilton Cushing embarked
on the first serious archaeological investigation of the
prehistoric Indian culture in southwest Florida (Cushing
1973). The primary historic sites that Cushing investigated
were in the realm of the Calusa Indians on the west coast
from Charlotte Harbor south to Key Marco. Cushing
uncovered many significant artifacts and remains which
indicated that the prehistoric Calusa were not primitive,
nomadic, hunter-fisher-gatherers, as previously believed, but
had a well-established society living in settled villages ruled
by a highly organized, political hierarchy of nobles and
chiefs (Gilliland 1975, 1989; Goggin and Sturdevant 1964;
Hann 1991; Widmer 1988).
In Cushing's analysis of his finds on Key Marco, together
with his comprehensive study of Indian culture of the entire
Mesoamerican area, he saw signs that the Calusa Indian
culture had been strongly influenced by the northward
movements of peoples through the islands and from the
mainland through Central America and the Yucatin. Cush-
ing initially received considerable support for this theory and
stated in his 1896 paper presented to the American Philo-
sophical Society that: "I am not alone in thus having found
a decided correspondence between the arts of the ancient
Floridians and other southern Indians and those of ancient
Yucatan" (Cushing 1973:409). Cushing's views that the
culture of the prehistoric south Florida Indians could have

been influenced by canoe travel from the south were recently
supported by Clifford Lewis who stated:

This leads to the inevitable conclusion that Mound Key,
like Key Marco, demonstrates a long period of prehistory
and possibly fulfills Cushing's speculation on thousands
of years of continuous occupation. Cultural borrowing
was possible, however, for people to whom the sea was
a highway [Lewis 1978:39].

To support this theory, Cushing included in his paper a
chart of the strong northerly flowing currents of the Carib-
bean flowing past the Yucatan and into southern Florida.
However, Cushing's theory soon lost favor among anthro-
pologists who pointed out some rather glaring (but isolated)
errors in the dating and validity of some of the findings.
Following this, the consensus of the academic community
soon fell back on the previous stand that contact by sea was
virtually impossible, and if there was contact it had to come
by way of the long land trail around the western and north-
ern shores of the Gulf of Mexico.
Whether by sea or a land trail, there is strong evidence for
cultural contact and influence revealed by the similarity of
the religious totems, ceremonial garments, burial customs,
and the raised pyramidal temples and burial mounds of the
Florida Indians to those of the Maya on the Yucatan. Figure
3 shows this similarity of the ceremonial garments and their
hand-held totems. Note the similarity of the face masks,
which left the mouth and lower part of the face uncovered
and provided a protruding beak for the nose. The capes of
the Maya and the Indian figures also are similar in providing
representations of wings. The figure from the Florida Lake
Jackson mound has on sandals that are patterned after the
Maya sandals (rather than being barefooted or wearing the
usual soft moccasins).
Another similarity lies in the totem of a winged rattlesnake
(so unusual that it could hardly be coincidental) common to
both the Maya and Florida Indians. The Maya nobles in
Figure 3 hold ceremonial scepters that depict a stylized
winged rattlesnake, and a similar totem of a winged rattle-
snake with a plumed topknot (Figure 4) was common to the
southeastern Indian mystical tradition (Spinden 1975:33-34,
In his comprehensive study of the history of Maya art,
Herbert J. Spinden documented this similarity of the serpent
totems in Maya art and the art of the prehistoric Indians of
the southeastern United States (Spinden 1975). Spinden
noted that not only are feathers and wings added to the
snake's body, but the head contains the plumed topknot
typical of the Maya Quetzal bird (not native to Florida or
points north), which played such a prominent role in Maya
mystical religion (Spinden 1975:33-34, 243). Here it should
be noted that the Maya mythical priestly lord Kukulcan
(Quetzalcoatl), who is associated with lands across the sea
east of the Yucatin, was symbolized by the feathered
But the most striking similarity between the Maya and




Figure 3. Comparison of Indian nobles in ceremonial dress from the southeastern U.S. and the Yucatin: top left)
embossed on sheet copper, Lake Jackson Mound, Florida; top right) embossed on sheet copper, Etowah Mound, south
Georgia; bottom) bas-relief sculpture in a temple at Chichen Itzi. Note the strong similarity of the Maya dress, face
masks, and emblems to those of the Indians from Florida and Georgia. Top figures are redrawn from Brown (1994);
bottom figures are redrawn from rubbings made by the author.


1998 VOL. 51(1)


Figure 4. Feathered and winged rattlesnake emblems, typical of those found in Indian mounds in the southeastern U.
S. (top) and the Yucatin (bottom). The top figure was redrawn from Brown (1994) and the bottom figure was redrawn
from Spinden (1975).

Figure 5. The prehistoric Indian mounds at Lake Jackson, Florida, showing the close similarity to the stone pyramidal
temples of the Maya on the YucatAn. A typical Maya temple at Chichen ItzA is shown in an inset on the right. The
drawing of the mounds at Lake Jackson are from Brown (1994:56).




Florida Indian cultures is their construction and use of the
four-sided pyramidal temple and burial vault as illustrated in
Figure 5. While the Maya constructed their temples of
limestone, the Florida Indians used what building material
was available shells in coastal Florida, sand and clay in
the higher ground of the interior. While the Florida temples
(or mounds) were necessarily less imposing in size and
appearance in comaprison to those of the Maya, their basic
method of construction and use was similar. In both cases
the small original temple and burial vault were left intact and
the next generation built a new structure on top of the old
one. Thus, with succeeding generations, the temple and
burial mound grew in size but retained the same four-sided,
pyramidal configuration. Other features common to both
Maya and Florida Indian construction were a flat top
surmounted by a roofed building and broad steps on one or
more sides leading from the ground to the building on top.
Fray Lopez described this identical type of construction for
the Calusa temple mound in Carlos's village (Hann
1991:159). Here it should be noted that similar mound
building was practiced by Indians of the Mississippian
culture who peopled the entire Mississippi River valley plain
as far north as Illinois and Ohio (Swanton 1946). Robin
Brown treats this relationship of the Mississippian culture to
that of the prehistoric Florida Indians in his Florida's First
People (1994:117-118).
How were these features and traits of the advanced Maya
civilization passed on to peoples farther north? Was it by
sea, as proposed by Cushing and this study, or was it by
land, in accordance with the general consensus? Both
theories have their problems.

The Case for Cultural Influence Traveling by Sea
Rather than by Land

Proponents for the land route see these cultural traits
progressing north from Mexico through Texas and Louisiana
to the Mississippi River valley, then east and south to
Florida. At first glance this theory is compelling, but just a
superficial study of how ancient cultures have spread from
an initial flowering shows that deserts and inhospitable
terrain can be just as great an obstacle as the barrier of the
sea. Early reports of the Spanish historians Bernal Diaz and
Gonzalo Fernindez de Oviedo indicate that the northernmost
extent of the Mexica culture (the western relatives of the
Maya) did not extend far beyond the present day Tampico,
where one encounters the arid and inhospitable western
desert of north Mexico and southwest Texas (Diiz 1956;
Weddle 1985). It is over 1126 km (700 mi) from this
northern outpost of the Mexica to the Mississippi River
plain, home of the Mississippian peoples.
One would think that some vestiges of the Mexica language
and cultural traits would have been left behind to influence
the peoples of this intervening land-bridge area, but such is
not the case. A detailed description of the Indians who lived
in this area in the early historic period is contained in the
report of Alvar NUinez Cabeza de Vaca who made an eight-

year trek through the area following Pinfilo de Narvdez's
ill-starred expedition to North Florida (Bandelier 1922;
Bishop 1933; Morison 1974:518-525; Weddle 1985:185-
207). Cabeza and three others were the only survivors of
this eight-year, 1600 km (1000 mile) trek in which they lived
with the Indians along the way, at times as unwanted guests
and at other times as captives. The Indians Cabeza encoun-
tered west of the Mississippi Delta and into the southwestern
desert were primitive and barbaric peoples speaking many
different tongues. In the extensive southwestern desert area,
Cabeza describes the land as largely "uninhabited and
offering little sustenance," and the few primitive peoples to
be found were nomadic with no settled villages (Weddle
1985:200-201). It is quite apparent that the peoples of this
area showed no cultural traits that could be traced to Mexica
or Maya influence. Herein lies the weakness of the land-
bridge theory.
But what of Cushing's theory (supported by this study) that
Mexica or Maya cultural influence traveled by sea across the
strait separating the YucatAn and Florida? In this regard I
have shown that in prehistoric times the Taino Indians had
knowledge of the peoples of Florida and the Yucatan, that
the Calusa had knowledge of the Maya, and the Maya had
knowledge of the islands and peoples of the Caribbean. This
exchange of knowledge could only have been derived by
planned passage of canoes carrying articulate passengers of
some substance (as opposed to simple fishermen accidentally
blown by storm).
Who was it that provided this early cultural contact
between these several groups separated by the barrier of the
sea? The Taino and Carib Indians in the islands and the
Calusa in Florida had the capability for this long-distance
travel, but their relatively crude, round-bottom canoes were
far inferior to the large, well-built canoes of the Maya on the
Yucatan. Accordingly, the precocious Chontal Maya from
the Yucatan with their more stable and seaworthy canoes,
backed by centuries of documented interest and experience
in long-distance trading voyages, and favored by the strong
northerly flowing ocean currents, are the most likely
candidates to have provided this early cultural contact
between the Caribbean islands, the Yucatan, and Florida.
Admittedly this limited history of prehistoric cultural
contact by canoe between the peoples in the islands, the
YucatAn, and those in Florida has not been directly support-
ed by archaeological finds of such canoe voyages. Instead,
we have for historical evidence the oral (and later written)
reports, together with the descriptive art, of both the
aboriginal peoples and the first European explorers. These
reports, with the accompanying descriptive art, supply
strong evidence that such limited cultural contact was
feasible and suggest that it did in fact occur. Yet, while we
have evidence that the Florida and southeastern Indian
cultures were influenced by Maya travelers, there is no
evidence in the limited available Maya written history that
these travelers, whether explorers, adventurers, or traders,
ever returned to the YucatAn.
The reason for this lack of evidence to indicate the return

1998 VOL. 51(1)


of the Maya seafaring travelers to the YucatAn can be
explained from two different standpoints. The first is that
Maya written history is woefully incomplete due to the
wholesale destruction of ancient Maya codices by Bishop
Diego Landa and other clerics in the early days of Spanish
occupation (Landa 1941, 1978). The second and most
plausible answer is that the prehistoric Maya seafarers did
not return because they were absorbed into the Florida, and
eventually the southeastern, Indian cultures. These exotic-
clothed people appearing out of nowhere in large, gayly
painted canoes may have been looked upon and treated with
respect and reverence. This, together with the fact that there
was no need to return since they had not discovered any
valuable trading items, might have induced the travelers to
remain in Florida and forego the long journey back south to
the YucatAn.

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1967 The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel. University of Oklahoma
Press, Norman.
Sabloff, Jeremy A.
1977 Old Myths, New Myths: The Role of Sea Traders in the Develop-
ment of the Maya Civilization. In The Sea and the Pre-Columbian
World, edited by Elizabeth Benson, pp. 73-82. Dumbarton Oaks,
Washington, DC.
1990 The New Archaeology and the Ancient Maya. Scientific American
Library, New York.
Sahagun, Bernardino de
1963 The Florentine Codex: Earthly Things. Translated by Arthur
Anderson and Charles Dibble. The School of American Research
and the University of Utah, Santa Fe.
Scisco, L. D.
1913 The Track of Ponce de Le6n in 1513. Translation from Herrera's
Historia and commentary. Bulletin of the American Geographical
Socie't 45:721-735.
Spinden, Herbert J.
1975 A Study of Maya Art: Its Subject Matter and Historical Develop-
ment. Unabridged republication of the original 1913 edition. Dover
Publications Inc., New York.
Stephens, John L.
1963 Incidents of Travel in Yucatln. Unabridged reprint of the 1843
edition (two volumes). Dover Publications Inc., New York.
Swanton, John R.
1946 Indians of the Southeastern United States. Bureau of American
Ethnology, Bulletin #137, Washington DC.
True, David O.
1944 Memoir of D. d'Escalante Fontaneda Respecting Florida.
Translated by Buckingham Smith (1854), commentary and notes by
David O. True, University of Miami and Historical Society of
Southern Florida, Miami.
Wagner, Henry R.
1942 The Discovery of New Spain in 1518 by Juan de Grijalva. Transla-
tion of the original texts with an introduction and commentary. The
Cortes Society, Berkeley.
Weddle, Robert S.
1985 Spanish Sea: The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery,
1500-1685. Texas A & M University Press, Fort Worth.
Widmer. Randolph J.
1988 The Evolution of the Calusa: A Nonagricultural Chiefdom on the
Southwest Florida Coast. The University of Alabama Press,

1998 VOL. 51(1)



Bureau of Archaeological Research, C.A.R.L. Archaeological Survey, 5932 NW 28th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32653
E-mail: rwheeler@mail. dos.state.fl. us

This paper focuses on the Mud Lake and Snake Bight
canals of Cape Sable (Figure 1). Like other long distance
canoe canals in Florida these features were dug by Indians,
and may have been designed to provide safe passage, easy
access to aquatic resources, and courses for exchange or
tribute (see Luer 1989; Wheeler 1995). The placement of
canals on the landscape provides clues about the significance
of natural and artificial watercourses in the world view of
southern Florida Indians. Using the descriptions of previous
researchers, data collected in the field, and remote sensing,
the cultural and natural contexts of the Cape Sable canals are

The Cape Sable Region and the Ancient Canals

John K. Small (1919), pioneer botanist of southern Florida,
described the unique character of the Cape Sable region,
noting that in many ways it combined elements of the
Everglades and the Florida Keys. Small was not only
interested in the native vegetation of Florida, he was
fascinated by the extinct Indian inhabitants and the complex
relationship that had existed between flora and aborigine.
For this reason he often recorded valuable information on
archaeological sites and their vegetation.
Archaeology at the Bear Lake Mounds (8M033, 8MO34,
and 8M035) has produced most of our knowledge of the
Cape Sable Indians (Goggin 1950; Griffin 1988:181-226; see
Figure 2). It is likely that these people shared many of the
cultural attributes of the Tequesta of southeastern Florida, as
well as the inhabitants of the Ten Thousand Islands and
Florida Keys. On a broader scale, the Indians of Cape Sable
shared an aquatic-based lifestyle, mound-building, and canal-
building tradition with the Calusa of the Estero Bay/Char-
lotte Harbor area and the Mayaimi of Lake Okeechobee.
Ceramic seriation and radiocarbon dates demonstrate
occupation at Bear Lake throughout much of the Glades I
and II periods (A.D. 1-1200), and zooarchaeological
analysis indicates that marine resources were a dominant
part of the diet (Griffin 1988:207, 219).
The ancient Indian canoe canals of Cape Sable are perhaps
the most enigmatic features of the area (Figure 3). The Mud
Lake Canal (8M032) has been mentioned by numerous
writers (e.g., Brookfield and Griswald 1949:13, 16; Goggin
1949:185-186; Griffin 1988:182-183; Hrdlicka 1922:47;
Tebeau 1963:26; Will 1959:29, 1984:60-61), including
several descriptions by Small (1924, 1929, 1931). The Snake
Bight Canal (8MO29) is less well known and more difficult

to trace across the landscape. The canals were dug by hand,
probably with wood and shell implements, with the spoil
probably loaded in baskets and dumped on either side of the
channels to create symmetrical embankments. Both canals
were fed by the freshwater lakes behind Cape Sable and cut
across marl prairies, salt marshes, and mangrove forests,
effectively linking Florida Bay with Whitewater Bay. Parts
of each canal, where they approached the coast, may have
been tidally influenced. All the terrain they crossed was
essentially flat and very close to sea level.

Mud Lake Canal (8MO32)

The Mud Lake Canal was first scientifically examined by
Small (1924:82) during his botanical collecting trip across
Florida in 1921 (Figure 4). The canal also came to the
attention of engineers and dredgemen working on the
construction of the modern Homestead Canal at about the
time of Small's visit (Will 1959:29, 40-41). Apparently the
canal had largely escaped attention until the construction of
roads and drainage channels brought easier access to Cape
Sable, though "old settlers" of the Ten Thousand Islands
reported its existence to Hrdlicka in 1918 (Hrdlicka
Small provides the best descriptions of the Mud Lake
Canal and discusses the importance of the feature to the
Indians of Cape Sable:

In addition to the twin mounds back of Flamingo [the Bear Lake
Mounds], there is an aboriginal canal connecting Mud Lake with
the Bay of Florida. This now abandoned channel once made the
Cape Sable region an island. By means of it the aborigines could
travel from the southern part of the Ten Thousand Islands to
Mud Lake and through their canal to the Bay of Florida without
going into the exposed and frequently rough waters of the Gulf
of Mexico [Small 1924:83].

It is true that the channel is mostly filled in, but in periods of the
greatest drought the former ditch is always wet. Thus its vegeta-
tion differs from that in the region through which it runs. The
natural growth is less dense and ferns do not grow there, as the
soil is too continuously wet. The canal that is now filled in has
small kitchen-middens on its banks. These consist mostly of the
shells of the oyster, clam, and conch [Small 1929:54-55].

As Small (1931:93) further notes, the Indian settlement
represented by the Bear Lake Mounds all but required the
canal, since there is not a natural outlet from the mounds to


VOL. 51 NO. 1

MARCH 1998


Figure 1. Map of southern Florida showing the locations
of the Cape Sable canals.

Florida Bay.
Regarding the physical attributes and course of the Mud
Lake Canal, Goggin provides some information:

The canal apparently originates at Mud Lake, but first clearly
appears east of Bear Lake 3, and from there runs southeast
cutting across Ingraham Highway and still further along crosses
the Flamingo road .95 miles south of the Ingraham Highway.
The area traversed by the canal is largely mangrove swamps and
marl prairies. It is 20 to 30 feet wide and 1 to 2 feet deep
[Goggin 1949:185-186].

Despite Goggin's description, and Tebeau's (1963:26)
statement that the course of the canal can be followed on
aerial surveys, the exact location of the channel is difficult
to ascertain. The Mud Lake Canal was included in the
original archaeological base-mapping project of the Ever-
glades National Park, and excellent oblique aerial photo-
graphs were produced during that research (Sears 1966; see
Figures 2 and 5). Griffin (1988:182-183) notes that the east-
ernmost portion of the canal was visited by National Park
Service personnel during the archaeological survey of
Everglades National Park, and he presents a map showing
the course of the canal, probably made from aerial photo-
graphs. The canal position delineated by Griffin (1988:182)
is similar to an obvious aboriginal canal signature evident on
a 1984 aerial infrared photograph (National High Altitude
Photography [NHAP] 1984). Older aerial photographs
(United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] 1953)

Figure 2. Oblique aerial photograph (ca. 1965) looking to the northeast at 8MO33, the Bear
Lake site (distinguished by taller trees). The Homestead Canal, dug earlier this century, is
visible curving to avoid the site. The aboriginal Mud Lake Canal (8MO32) is visible just in
front of the Bear Lake mound and crossing to the southeast (lower right corner of photo).
Courtesy William J. Kennedy, Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University.

1998 VOL. 51(1)


Figure 3. Cape Sable region showing the courses of the Mud Lake and Snake Bight canals.



Figure 4. Opening to ancient canal. This photograph of the Mud Lake Canal was made by John K. Small in
1921. The road to the Flamingo settlement is the most obvious feature, but the canal can be seen as a low swale
(with different vegetation) crossing near the center of the photograph (identified with white arrows). Small
(1931:94) noted that "where the embankment of the new Cape Sable highway crosses the old canal the roadbed
continues to settle into the former channel." Negative No. Sm1665 from the John K. Small Collection, Florida
State Archives, Tallahassee.

Figure 5. Oblique aerial photograph looldng to the northwest directly down the course of the Mud Lake
Canal (ca. 1965); the waters of Mud Lake and Coot Bay are faintly visible at the horizon. Courtesy
William J. Kennedy, Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University.


1998 VoL. 51(1l


Figure 6. Enlarged portion of aerial photograph showing the Mud Lake Canal (USDA 1953). Note the distinctive embayment, which is white in the photograph,
that the canal passes through. This embayment separated the freshwater lakes and sloughs to the north from the brackish and salt waters of the mangrove forest
and Florida Bay.


were examined, and these also show the course of the canal,
which was holding water in most places in the 1950s (Figure
6). Measurements from these photographs show that the
Mud Lake Canal crosses an area 4.3 km (2.7 mi) in length.
However, the total length of the canal feature is 6.3 km (3.9
mi) in length, if each of the six distinct segments is mea-
sured separately.
Like other aboriginal canals in Florida (Wheeler 1995:273-
274), the Mud Lake Canal links natural bodies of water and
uses existing drainages or waterways as a source of energy.
It also is likely that ground water provided some water for
the canal. Craighead (1971:6) notes that Coot Bay and other
lakes behind Cape Sable were freshwater ponds prior to the
construction of modem drainage canals in the 1920s and
1950s. These freshwater ponds were used to charge the Mud
Lake Canal. The embayment, labeled on Figure 3 and
clearly visible on the aerial photograph in Figure 6, divided
the freshwater lakes and sloughs from the brackish and salt
waters of the mangrove forest and Florida Bay. Will
(1984:76, 78) describes dramatic changes in this freshwater
system that occurred as the drainage canal progressed further
along the cape, allowing the once freshwater to become
The Mud Lake Canal has several distinctive curved
segments, as well as a long straight segment. The sharply
curved segments are most obvious in the vicinity of the Bear
Lake Mounds. Research on another canal (Luer and Wheeler


Figure 7. Mud Lake Canal in 1966. Photograph from
reproduced with the permission of The Glades Historical Socie

1997:122) indicates the aboriginal builders curved parts of
its channel to avoid low areas or steep areas that could
interfere with retaining water in the channel. At one point
the Mud Lake Canal crosses a gap in a natural levee or
embayment. Two distinct drainages are on either side of this
natural levee; one flows south toward Flamingo, the other
flows east toward Snake Bight. The exact place where the
canal enters Florida Bay has not been determined, and it is
possible that it terminates in the innumerable small inlets and
passages that characterize the mangrove coast of the area.
The serpentine course of the canal and its apparent prema-
ture end in the mangrove channels may have been intended
to protect the freshwater sources of Mud Lake and Coot Bay
from the extreme tides of the region and possible contamina-
tion by salt water.
On a recent visit to Cape Sable, I observed that the canal
is well preserved at several points where it is bisected by the
Homestead Canal. The embankments are covered with red
and black mangrove, cacti, saw palmetto, cabbage palm,
stopper, gumbo limbo, mahogany, and strangler fig. The
bed of the channel is carpeted with the pneumatophores of
the black mangrove, and holds water in some places. As
Small (1931:94) notes, the graded road bed built by the
dredge has sunken in where it crosses over the place where
the canal once ran. Will (1984:60-61, 66) illustrates the Mud
Lake Canal as it appeared in 1922 and 1966 (Figure 7),
noting that the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 destroyed the
giant red mangroves leaving only whit-
ened trunks. This damage is clearly
evident on the photographs taken by
Goggin in 1950 (Figure 8). Due to the
regrowth of vegetation, the current ap-
pearance of the canal is most like that
figured and described by Will (1984:60)
Sfor 1922. In following the course of the
canal on the ground, several small ham-
mocks were encountered and these may
contain the middens that Small
(1929:54-55) mentions, although no
shovel tests were made to confirm this.
These hammocks are most apparent
where the canal passes near the high
ground of the natural levee.

Snake Bight Canal (8M029)

As noted above, the Snake Bight Canal
has not received as much attention as the
Mud Lake Canal, and there are few
published references to the site. Goggin
recorded the site and presents the fol-
lowing description:

The exact course of this canal is unknown
but it is crossed by the Rowdy Bend road
Will (1984:61), .55 [miles] westward from Snake Bight
ty, Belle Glade. Canal Road. At this contact point the


1998 VOL. 51(1)


~ 7
i i"'
r; s-?-I bi- ` ~1)1

Figure 8. Photograph of the Mud Lake Canal by John M. Goggin, 1950. Note the whitened trunks of the red mangroves
destroyed by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Slide No. 197 from the collection of the Anthropology Department,
Florida Museum of Natural History.

Figure 9. Photograph of the Snake Bight Canal by John M. Goggin, 1950. Anthropology student Nanci Golden is in
the channel. Slide No. 196 from the collection of the Anthropology Department, Florida Museum of Natural History.




canal extends in a straight line approximately NW and SE. It is
about 20 feet wide and 1 to 2 feet deep and in the rainy seasons
[dry season?] it holds moisture in contrast to the surrounding
area. Irwin Winte [of Everglades National Parkj reports that it
can be traced for 1.5 to 2 miles [Goggin 1949:185].

Goggin (1949:185) further notes that the canal cross-cuts
salt marshes, marl prairies, and mangrove swamps, and may
have been designed to link deeper bodies of water. As with
the Mud Lake Canal, the Snake Bight Canal is dug through
marl and passes through an area where the coastal levee is
sporadic and disjoined. The segment described by Goggin at
Rowdy Bend Road is visible on the 1984 infrared aerial
photographs (NHAP 1984). From this point the canal can be
traced to the northwest where it meets a slough or creek in
a perpendicular fashion and then turns sharply to the west
toward Coot Bay. At present only .85 km (.53 miles) of the
canal are evident. Neither the entrance into Coot Bay nor
Snake Bight is evident. It is also unclear what aboriginal
sites may be associated with the Snake Bight Canal, though
the Bear Lake Mounds are only 4 km (2.5 mi) to the west.
Figure 9 is Goggin's photograph of the Snake Bight Canal
taken near where it crosses Rowdy Bend Road.
Observations I made during a recent field trip indicate that
the Snake Bight and Mud Lake canals share similar profiles
and vegetation characteristics, though the Snake Bight Canal
is smaller in width (Figure 10). Both had shallow, wide
channels. The portion of the canal examined at Rowdy Bend
Road is in excellent condition and has caused the road bed
to sink, as noted for the Mud Lake Canal.


Canal building in the Cape Sable region likely allowed the
Indians better access to the aquatic resources of Whitewater
Bay to the north, Florida Bay to the south, and the fresh-
water ponds sandwiched between them. The canals also may
have served the larger social and political interests of the
Cape Sable Indians, who could have used the canals to
control travel through their territory. This may help explain
the long occupation of the Bear Lake Mounds and the
concentration of habitation in this one place. A similar
function might have been served by the canals at Ortona
(8GL35) in Glades County which, coupled with a river ford
and trail, allowed the Indians at this site to control east-west
travel along the Caloosahatchee River, as well as north-south
foot traffic.
Perhaps the most mysterious aspect of the Cape Sable
canals is why two canals were constructed in close proximity
to one another and with essentially the same effect, namely
to link Whitewater Bay and Florida Bay. Is it possible that
one of the canals was built first and eventually replaced by
the second? Several clues in the archaeological and natural
histories of the area may help explain this mystery. Craig-
head (1971:17) describes the devastating effects of hurri-
canes in the Cape Sable region, including the redeposition of
marl from Florida Bay over large areas. Griffin (1988:188-
190, 191) notes the presence of marl layers between midden

zones at the Bear Lake Mound, and suggests that this marl
may have been storm deposited or represent evidence of a
higher water level. Is it possible that a storm event, such as
those described by Craighead, could have seriously impacted
the Cape Sable canals? Considering the condition of each
canal, it is hypothesized that the Snake Bight Canal is the
older of the two, with the Mud Lake Canal constructed more
recently. In this hypothesis, the Snake Bight Canal would
have been built during the Glades I period (ca. A.D. 250),
shortly after intensive occupation of the area began, and
would have continued in service for several hundred years
before being damaged beyond repair. The Mud Lake Canal
would have been built to replace the older canal during the
Glades II period (A.D. 700-1200). This second channel was
probably used until the Bear Lake Mounds were no longer
the settlement center of the region, circa A.D. 1200. In this
scenario the Cape Sable Indians would have been using
canals throughout their lengthy occupation of the area.
Further research on the Cape Sable canals should focus on
locating and testing the small middens that occur along the
embankments of the canals. This may help in determining
when the canals were in use. The channels of the canals
should be tested for the presence of wet-site deposits. Wet-
site preservation in the channels could provide excellent
materials for radiocarbon dating, which would provide
information on the dates of construction and abandonment
for each of the canals.
As a final note, archaeologists at the Southeast Archeoiog-
ical Center, National Park Service, have recently nominated
the Bear Lake Mounds and Mud Lake Canal to the National
Register of Historic Places (Schwadron 1996). Perhaps this
designation will help further interest in the aboriginal canals
and lead to their public interpretation along with the natural
history of the Everglades.


The Snake Bight and Mud Lake canals are fascinating and
integral components of Cape Sable's archaeology and natural
history. Interpretation of aerial photographs, review of
existing literature, and field observations indicate that the
Mud Lake Canal crosses an area 4.3 km long, though the
curving segments make the actual length of the canal 6.3
km. A width of 8.8 m and a depth of 60 cm makes the Mud
Lake Canal one of the broadest and most shallow of the
Florida aboriginal canals. Only .85 km of the Snake Bight
Canal could be traced on aerial photographs and on the
ground. The channel of the Snake Bight Canal also was 60
cm deep, but slightly narrower at 6.0 m, when compared to
the Mud Lake Canal.
These canals, possibly built at different times, served to
link the local Indians with the food resources of Whitewater
Bay and Florida Bay. On a larger scale, the canals provided
safe passage away from the treacherous waters of the Gulf
of Mexico and allowed the Cape Sable Indians to control
travel between the Ten Thousand Islands, southeastern
Florida, and the Florida Keys.

1998 VoL. 51(1)

Tnllr o IIumA ATmIIIP~ n II "mT


18 m

50 cm


Mud Lake Canal (8M032)
Profile 17 507280 2784010

-- 14.5 m ---

50 cm



Snake Bight Canal (8M029)
Profile 17 511790 2784990

Figure 10. Cross-section profiles of the Cape Sable canals (vertical scale exaggerated) made in 1997: a) Mud Lake Canal
(8M032); b) Snake Bight Canal (8M029). Thick black areas represent muck accumulation in the channels.

The control of artificial and natural watercourses is
important in understanding aboriginal settlement patterns and
the larger systems of native expression and cosmology. As
noted in an earlier paper (Wheeler 1995), the building and
use of canals points to the significance of water in the world
of southern Florida Indians. Radically different from our
own culture's desire to drain away water, the Indians used
their engineering skills to extend the courses of natural
drainages or to create complicated channels fed by ground
water. Water was not only a primary source of food and raw
materials, it provided highways upon which one could travel
to access these natural resources. Perhaps more importantly,
watercourses served as physical links to the world of social
and political relationships that would be accessed when
traveling through neighboring areas.


I would like to thank George Luer for his help and encouragement in
writing this article. Joanna Norman, Photographic Collection, Florida State
Archives, helped me find and obtain a print of John K. Small's photograph
of the Mud Lake Canal. Elise LeCompte, Florida Museum of Natural
History, pointed me toward John Goggin's vast collection of slides and
photographs, where the visual record of his 1950 visit to Cape Sable was

found. William J. Kennedy, professor of anthropology at Florida Atlantic
University, graciously loaned me the valuable oblique aerial photographs
of the Mud Lake Canal that he made in 1965 during the original base-
mapping project in Everglades National Park.

References Cited

Brookfield, Charles M., and Oliver Griswald
1949 They All Called It Tropical: True Tales of the Romantic Everglades
National Park, Cape Sable, and the Florida Keys. The Data Press,
Craighead, Frank C.
1971 The Trees of South Florida, Vol. 1. University of Miami Press,
Coral Gables.
Goggin, John M.
1949 Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida. Unpublished
typescript on file, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History,
University of Florida, Gainesville.
1950 Stratigraphic Tests in the Everglades National Park. American
Antiquity 15:228-246.
Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park. A Synthesis.
Prepared for the National Park Service, Southeast Archeological
Center, Tallahassee.
Hrdlicka, Ales
1922 The Anthropology of Florida. Publication No. 1. Florida State
Historical Society, Deland.



1----8.8 m -----


Luer, George M.
1989 Calusa Canals in Southwestern Florida: Routes of Tribute and
Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist 42:89-130.
Luer, George M., and Ryan J. Wheeler
1997 How the Pine Island Canal Worked: Topography, Hydraulics, and
Engineering. The Florida Anthropologist 50:115-131.
National High Altitude Photography
1984 Color infrared photograph, 49-81 258009, dated 3-8-84. Agri-
cultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, Aerial Photography
Field Office, United States Department of the Interior, Salt Lake
City, Utah.
Schwadron, Margo
1996 Archeological Resources of Everglades National Park. National
Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form.
National Park Service, Southeast Archeological Center, Tallahas-
Sears, William H.
1966 Everglades National Park Archaeological Base Mapping, Part 1.
Typescript on file, Department of Anthropology, Florida Atlantic
University, Boca Raton.
Small, John K.
1919 The Cape Sable Region of Florida. Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
1924 The Land Where Spring Meets Autumn. Journal of the New York
Botanical Garden XXV:53-94.
1929 From Eden to Sahara, Florida's Tragedy. The Science Press,
Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
1931 Botanical Crossroads, Historic and Prehistoric. Journal of the New
York Botanical Garden XXXII:92-94.
Tebeau, Charlton W.
1963 They Lived in the Park: The Story of Man in Everglades National
Park. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables.
United States Department of Agriculture
1953 Aerial photographs DSN-3L-151, dated 3-9-53. On file. Map and
Imagery Library, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Wheeler, Ryan J.
1995 The Ortona Canals: Aboriginal Canal Hydraulics and Engineering.
The Florida Anthropologist 48.265-281.
Will, Lawrence E.
1959 Digging the Cape Sable Canal. Tequesta XIX:29-63.
1984 A Dredgernan of Cape Sable. Glades Historical Society, Belle
Glade Originally published in 1968 by Great Outdoors, Tampa.

1998 VOL. 51(1)




3222 Old Oak Drive, Sarasota, Florida 34239-0519
E-mail: gluer@grove.ufl.edu

The Naples Canal (8CR59) was an Indian canoe canal that
ran for approximately 1.3 km (.8 mi) between the Gulf of
Mexico and Naples Bay. Though destroyed by modem land
development, the canal was a prominent feature in the late
1800s when a number of travelers described it. This article
reviews previous descriptions of the Naples Canal and traces
its course. The area's topography and soils are evaluated in
order to speculate about the canal's hydraulic functioning. It
is suggested that the Naples Canal had a closed channel that
was charged primarily by ground water. It appears that the
canal's central stretch was the deepest of all known Florida
Indian canoe canals, apparently because it was dug through
a sandhill with a relatively deep water table.


The Naples Canal crossed a narrow, sandy strip of land
that was unusual in southwestern Florida because it was a
naturally high, dry portion of the Florida mainland bordering
the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 1). This sandy strip of land
interrupted a series of shallow bays to its north and south.
For Indians in dugout canoes who used the bays when
traveling the coast, the land was an obstruction that required
a considerable detour in canoe travel. This apparently was
a stimulus for the Indians to construct the Naples Canal,
probably for the purposes of shortening the canoe route as
well as controlling who and what passed through Naples Bay
and along the coast.
Today the area once traversed by the Naples Canal is a
neighborhood, called "Old Naples," in the City of Naples.
The neighborhood has a grid of streets and avenues origi-
nally platted in 1887 (Jamro and Lanterman 1985:20). A
number of old, historic houses are in the area (Cook and
Werndli 1986), as well as several blocks of upscale shops,
known as "Third Street South." Another neighborhood
landmark is the Naples Municipal Pier jutting into the Gulf,
which affords fishing and a magnificent view of the beach,
its mansions, and exotic palms and other vegetation.


The Naples Canal is in the Ten Thousand Islands archae-
ological area or district. It is near the area's northwestern
edge, approximately 10 km (6 or 7 mi) south of a boundary
with the Caloosahatchee archaeological area. Boundaries of
archaeological areas are typically approximate and some-
times debated, but several archaeologists have drawn one in

this vicinity between Doctor's Pass on the south and Estero
Bay on the north (Carr and Beriault 1984:4, Figure 1;
Griffin 1988:116-121, 1989:183-186). Given this boundary,
the Naples Canal is assumed to have been dug by local
Indian inhabitants of the Ten Thousand Islands district or by
neighboring Calusa Indians from the north (see Griffin
1988:135-137, 1989:195-197, for a discussion of ethnic
affiliation and archaeological remains in this area).
In southern Florida, archaeologists have viewed large
works, like the Naples Canal, as evidence of chiefdom-level
political organization (e.g., Griffin 1988:307-308). Luer
(1989:124) believes that canoe canals were one consequence
of complex sociopolitical development, and has hypothesized
that they functioned in the movement of resources for tribute
and exchange, as well as shortcuts in canoe travel. Ongoing
research shows that canoe canals were not restricted to
southern Florida, with one in the Florida panhandle
(Wheeler 1997).
The general appearance of the Naples Canal, especially its
channel flanked by raised embankments (Figure 2), resem-
bled other Indian canoe canals in southern Florida, such as
those at Ortona and Pine Island (Douglass 1885; Durnford
1895; Kenworthy 1883). Recent studies by archaeologists
suggest that the latter canals may be approximately 500 to
1000 years old, and possibly as much as 1800 years old
(Carr et al. 1995:259-260; Luer and Wheeler 1997:115).
Assuming similar ages for the Naples Canal, it would date
to the Glades II and III periods (ca. A.D. 700-1750), and
perhaps as early as the late Glades I period (ca. A.D. 200-
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Naples Canal was an
object of curiosity and awe for winter visitors. It was one of
the original attractions at the new town of Naples where the
first hotel, houses, and pier were built close to it. The
interest it inspired is shown by the following excerpt from a
letter sent home by one winter visitor:

It is impossible to imagine the object of so vast and laborious an
undertaking. There is no history or tradition about it and it is
simply an object of wonder...[It] is an enormous work for even
modern times and must have been undertaken when there were
numerous inhabitants and when labor was abundant, and when
could that have been? [Douglass 1881-1885:126-127, 129].

Descriptions of the Canal

The Naples Canal was in good condition in the late 1800s.


VOL. 51 NO. 1

MARCH 1998



ii Scrub
/:~:::~ -

Naples Canal

Big Cypress Swamp

Gordon's '

Key Marco'


Figure 1. Map showing the location of the Naples Canal in western Collier County. Stippling shows the main north-
south area of the Naples Sandhills, which are truncated by the Gulf of Mexico at their southwestern tip (based on
U.S.D.A. 1953).

1998 VOL. 5 1(1)




Figure 2. Approximate cross-sections of the Naples Canal. At the top is a sketch by Kenworthy (1883). The middle
drawing shows Kenworthy's dimensions more clearly. The bottom drawing illustrates the dimensions reported by
Douglass (1885).

By the early 1950s, only a remnant portion was visible, and
by the 1960s, it was erased. In the following historic
accounts, I have selected passages that most accurately
describe the Naples Canal.
The canal was observed in 1874 during one of the original
U.S. Government land surveys that established the area's
township, range, and section lines. It was sketched on a map
(United States Deputy Surveyor 1874) and described in a
field book by surveyor Timothy Steams who wrote:

...I discovered a Canal...connecting this lake [Naples Bay] with
the Gulf of Mexico. At the highest point of land a ridge
which is equidistant from Lake [Naples Bay] and coast [Gulf of
Mexico] it is about 12 or 15 ft deep and has apparently been
partially filled up, as it is a work of great antiquity [Stearns

In 1877, Charles Kenworthy of Jacksonville, Florida,
observed the canal while sailing along the coast. He drew a
rough map of its course and a cross-section of its channel
(Figure 2). Kenworthy (1883:631) apparently saw the canal
at its western end, writing: "The canal is at present 12 feet
wide at the bottom, and about 40 at the top. The embank-

ment on each side is about 4 feet higher than the original
In 1885, Andrew E. Douglass of New York City, visited
the canal while sailing from Key West to Tampa Bay.
Douglass first visited its western end where it was "buried"
by a "levee" or beach ridge, which was "about eight feet" in
height, "at least one hundred feet in breadth," and covered
with cabbage palms. From the ridge, the canal ran eastward
and its "bottom was moist and full of tall grass, the sides and
summit of the embankments covered with a dense chaparral
of oak scrub and scrub palmetto" (Douglass 1885:278).
Douglass and two companions walked a short distance inland
and took measurements:

The width from the summit ridge upon each bank was 55 feet,
and the depth from that summit level to centre of the excavation
is 12 feet. At the bottom the width was 12 feet, the banks being
almost perpendicular for some 5 feet, and then receding on an
easier angle at the summit. This summit was about eight feet
above the level of the meadow, through which ...it was exca-
vated, till it reached the higher level of the sandy pine land
beyond [Douglass 1885:278-279].

A few days later, Douglass visited the eastern end of the

10 feet
I -





canal. From his anchorage in Gordon's Pass, he rowed a
small boat up the bay:

...on landing among the mangroves we came out upon a swamp
and saw at last the lagoon end of the canal. It proves not to be
straight in its whole length, but within 200 yards of the lagoon
bends to the South just before entering the lagoon. The land
here being very low, the canal is not as imposing as at the other
end, the banks are only moderately high, yet very marked and
definite. Just at the turn it opens on each side to admit water
channels which show at least that the swamps now there were
allowed for at the time the canal was constructed [Douglass

At this eastern end, Douglass saw cabbage palms growing
on the canal's embankments, and he noted that the embank-
ments increased in "size and height" as the canal ran
westward toward the higher "pine barren." Douglass did not
observe the central stretch of the canal as it cut through the
higher pineland, but he did speak with a local settler who
said that it was deep there. Moreover, the settler reported
that its bottom had "...a trench about four feet in breadth,
and at present, two feet deep, running along the center,
leaving a breadth of about four feet on each side." Douglass
offered an explanation for such a trench, writing that "...the
tables left on each side may intercept the drifting sands
brought down the sides by heavy weather, rains or wind"
(Douglass 1885:279-280).
In 1887, surveyors for a land development company drew
a detailed plat map for a new, planned town to be named
"Naples." They marked the canal's course on the plat, and
described it as having a width of "fifty feet" (Jamro and
Lanterman 1985:14-15, 20; Tebeau 1966:166). The plat
shows the canal as approximately 1260 m (4150 ft), or 1.26
km (.79 mi), in length. This appears to be accurate, and is
less than Douglass's (1885) often cited figure of "one and a
half miles."
In 1888-1889, the land developers built a dock extending
into the Gulf (at the same location as today's municipal
pier). They also built the Naples Hotel (south of Broad
Avenue between Second and Third streets), just south of the
canal. The canal's entire length should have been visible
from the hotel's observation deck, from which both the Gulf
and bay could be seen. In an unusual step, the developers
tried to preserve some of the canal by setting aside land,
believing that it helped attract tourists and land buyers. At
the same time, however, construction began on several east-
west avenues defined by the plat (Jamro and Lanterman
1985:30-31, 33), probably impacting portions of the canal.
In April 1895, a British Army officer, Lt. Col. C. D.
Durnford, visited Naples while tarpon fishing and wrote:

At Naples there is an ancient waterway now in various stages of
peat muck and stagnant pool an artificial canal, cut with the
clearly deliberate purpose of forming a canoe or boat pass from
the sea to the lagoon or bay. It is cut large and well for a
distance of considerably over half a mile...[Durnford


The next month, Durnford visited Philadelphia where he
mentioned the Naples Canal to ethnologist Frank Cushing.
Two weeks later, in late May 1895, Cushing was on his way
to Key Marco. En route, at noon on June 3rd, he disem-
barked for just an hour to glimpse the western end of the
Naples Canal (Cushing 1897:330-331, 348; Gilliland
In the early 1900s, Naples began to grow. One man who
came in 1904, recalled that playing boys "had to scramble
up the sides of the canal" and that "the bay end held water
and was bridged at what is now Twelfth Avenue" Tebeau
1966:166). In the 1920s, Rob Storter, a pioneer fisherman,
and other local men were employed to fill some of the
Naples Canal. They used shovels and "...made homemade
Model T dump trucks to move sand from the beach to the
canal site." Around this time, the Storter family had a dock
and small frame house on pilings at the bayside mouth of the
canal (Briggs 1980:47, 48, 52).
In 1936, archaeologist John M. Goggin heard of the Naples
Canal when he investigated the Gordon's Pass shell mound
(8CR58) near the northern side of Gordon's Pass, approxi-
mately 3.5 km (2 mi) south of the Naples Canal. He re-
ported that some of the canal had "...recently been filled in
because it was a breeding ground for mosquitoes" (Goggin
1939:35). In the 1940s, Goggin again visited the Naples area
and saw remnants of the canal. He wrote:

The end of the canal at the ocean side has filled in to
behind the beach, and it is hard to see how the Indians
could have prevented the shifting beach sand from filling
the canal mouth. It is probable that no serious attempt
was made to keep the mouth open as it would have been
easier to haul canoes over a short bar at the mouth
[Goggin 1949:264].

Goggin (1949:266) also wrote, based on accounts by
Cushing (1897:348) and Hrdlicka (1922:20), that a midden
was at each end of the Naples Canal. However, both
Cushing's and Hrdlicka's information was second-hand, and
other writers do not mention middens. Today, both areas
have been altered so greatly by land development that any
possible middens have been destroyed.'
In 1952, a remnant portion of the Naples Canal was
recorded on an aerial photograph (United States Department
of Agriculture [U.S.D.A.] 1952). It ran through three blocks
between Third and Sixth streets, between Broad and Twelfth
avenues south (Figure 3). It followed the same course
depicted on the 1887 plat, thus supporting the route on the
plat as accurate.
In 1986, Old Naples was proposed as a historic district for
listing on The National Register of Historic Places, and the
Naples Canal was noted as formerly running through the
area. Based on the 1887 plat, the route of the western
portion of the canal was shown on the district nomination
map (Cook and Werndli 1986).


1998 VOL. 5 1(1)

Figure 3. Portion of a 1952 aerial photograph showing a remnant portion (see arrows) of the Naples Canal (U.S.D.A. 1952).


Topography and the Canal

In 1997, I inspected the area in Old Naples where the
Naples Canal once ran. Though now covered by streets,
buildings, and manicured lawns, the land still appeared to
have its original topographic character. Indeed, as an old
neighborhood, it seemed that it had not undergone massive,
widespread earthmoving. Much of the area was naturally
elevated and had not needed substantial alteration to improve
drainage. However, low-lying areas had been filled and
modified. For example, the land bordering Naples Bay had
been dredged and filled, but it still was lower than the
natural high ground.

Mapping Methods

My inquiries at county, city, and private engineering
offices in May, 1997, revealed that detailed contour maps of
Old Naples were not available. Thus, I compiled one from
various sources. First, I obtained large bluelinee" copies of
recent aerial photographs of the area, showing streets,
buildings, trees, and other detailed features, from the Collier
County Property Appraiser's Office (Florida Department of
Transportation 1994a, 1994b). Next, in a city office, I
consulted a map showing the Coastal Setback Line as well
as locations of coastal engineering monuments along the
crest of the beach ridge fronting the Gulf. Each of these
monuments marked a "range line" running perpendicular to
the shore, for which measured elevations were available. I
could use such known elevation points for starting a contour
map of the area.
Next, after finding these monuments in the field, I marked
their locations on the blueline aerials. Then, I obtained data
for the range lines from the web site of the Florida Depart-
ment of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Beaches and
Coastal Systems (F.D.E.P., B.B.C.S.) (1996). These
provided elevations (in feet with respect to the National
Geodetic Vertical Datum) for a line extending landward
from each monument for 30 to 75 m (about 100 to 250 ft)
and from which I drew contour lines for the landward side
of the beach ridge paralleling the Gulf.
Then, from the appropriate topographic sheet (United
States Geological Survey [U.S.G.S.] 1958a), I transferred
the 5 ft contour line to the blueline aerials. From the 1887
plat (Jamro and Lanterman 1985:20), I added the original
shoreline of Naples Bay, as well as its upland edge of
rimming mangrove swamp (0 and 2 ft contours), to the
aerials. With this evidence marked on them, I was ready to
take the aerials back to the field.
In July 1997, I spent a day and a half walking around Old
Naples, carefully "eyeballing" and sketching contours
between known ones. The coastal engineering monuments,
their landward points, and their known elevations were at the
western ends of several east-west avenues. Looking back at
these points, it was easy to use them for reference as I
walked eastward, sketching approximate 1-foot contour
lines. In turn, I could connect these lines by sighting along

Table 1. Some hydraulic properties of the soils traversed by the
Naples Canal, in sequence from east to west (based on U.S.D.A.
1954:Sheet No. 3). Soil characteristics are based on U.S.D.A.
1959:Table 7. Also see Table 2 and Figures 4 and 5.

Soil Type and Depth in feet to Natural
Abbreviation Seasonally High Drainage
Water Table

Mangrove Swamp Inundated Very poor
(Mb) or Tidal

Pompano fine sand Inundated Poor

Blanton fine sand 3-6 Somewhat poor
(Ba) to moderately

St. Lucie fine sand 5+ Excessive

Blanton fine sand 3-6 Somewhat poor
(Ba) to moderately

Immokalee fine 0-2 Somewhat poor
sand (la)

Coastal Beach (Cb) 0-2 Good to exces-

intersecting north-south streets.
This method was effective because contour lines were few,
differences in elevation were not great, and lines of sight
were clear. I considered precision within a range of approxi-
mately 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) acceptable since the area's
original land surface already had been altered by human
activities, such as land clearing and road building.

Checking the Map

On the resulting contour map, I then added the course of
the Naples Canal as depicted on the 1887 plat (Figure 4).
With that accomplished, some interesting correlations were
detected. For example, behind the beach ridge, the western
portion of the Naples Canal crossed a swale that must have
been the "low intervening morass" or "meadow" described
by Douglass. Proceeding eastward, the canal's turn to the
southeast took it through higher ground that corresponds to
the "ridge" noted by Stearns and Douglass. Near the
canal's eastern end, a slight turn to the south (again noted by
Douglass) is visible. The bend's location behind the man-
groves suggests that it corresponded with a zone of high
marsh2 that Douglass (1885:279) described as "a swamp of
saw grass and water." Thus, there are close correlations
between the modern contour map, the plat's canal course,
and eye-witness descriptions.
The present-day contour map also can be compared with a

1998 VOL. 5 1(1)

S9 5- .

Figure 4. Contour map of an area of Old Naples. Heavy black line represents the course of the Naples Canal, based on the 1887 plat. Contours are
approximate. Contour map of an area of Old Naples. Heavy black tion of streets and avenues have been omitted anal,d the affected contour lines smoothed.
approximate. Some "notches" cut into contours by the construction of streets and avenues have been omitted and the affected contour lines smoothed.

1998 VOL. 5 1(1)


JL I FL RD- ------

Table 2. Approximate elevations (in feet) of the land traversed
by the Naples Canal, from east to west (derived from Figure 4).
The soils are listed by abbreviation (see Table 1) and based on
U.S.D.A. 1954 (Sheet No. 3). The assumed natural vegetation
is based on comparison with similar soils and settings.
Distance in feet Approximate
tan f elevation in Soil, vegetation, or
from feet from mean other comments
east endlevel
sea level

-1 Bayward edge of
mangrove swamp

+2 Mb, landward edge of
mangrove swamp

+3 Pa, bend in canal,
high marsh

+4 Ba, bottom of sandhill

+5 Sa, slope of sandhill,
beginning of scrub

+8 Sa, near top of slope

+8 Sa, slight bend in ca-

+8 Ba. near top of slope

+7 Ba, slope of sandhill

+6 Ba, slope of sandhill

+5 Ba/la. bottom of
sandhill, end of scrub

















Ia, bend in canal.
swale. grassy

Ia, swale behind
berm, grassy

+5 la/Cb, landward edge
of berm

+6 Cb, landward slope of
berm. beginning of
cabbage palm

+8 Cb, approximate end
of canal, near crest of

40-to-50-year-old soils map (U.S.D.A. 1954:Sheet No. 3).
For example, the area corresponding to the central high
ground on the contour map is identified as having St. Lucie
and Blanton fine sands, which are characteristic of elevated,
well-drained, sandy knolls (Table 1). The more level, low-
lying area to the east of these soils is identified as having
Pompano fine sand, which is poorly drained and inundated
seasonally. Thus, the soil map is consistent with the general
land forms on the contour map.

The soil map also shows that the sandy knoll crossed by the
Naples Canal was the southern end of a strip of sandy hills
that ran from Old Naples northward to Lee County. They
comprised an unusual geologic and ecologic zone, sometimes
called the "Naples Sandhills."3 Figure 1 shows that the
southern end of the sandhills are truncated by the beach at
Old Naples, forming the headland of high ground between
Doctor's Pass to the north and Gordon's Pass to the south.
Originally, the sandhills supported scrubby vegetation,
including pines, scrub oaks, and saw palmettos (Beriault
1973). Presumably, the sandy knoll traversed by the Naples
Canal supported scrubby vegetation.

The Water Table and the Canal

The soils and elevations crossed by the Naples Canal
provide insights into the area's water table and its apparent
influences on the canal. The soils are, in sequence from east
to west: Mangrove Swamp, Pompano fine sand, Blanton
fine sand, St. Lucie fine sand, Blanton fine sand, Immokalee
fine sand, and Coastal Beach (Table 1). These are based on
the soils map (U.S.D.A. 1954:Sheet No. 3), except that I
have added a small area of Immokalee fine sand.4
As noted above, the soils are consistent with the topogra-
phy of the area. Using the present-day contour map (Figure
4), the soils were correlated with an approximate profile of
the land surface along the route of the former canal to
produce Table 2 and Figure 5. Using data in Table 1, the
approximate level of the seasonally high water table5 was
traced on the profile map (Figure 5). Since the area is very
near sea level, it is assumed that the water table did not drop
severely (no more than 1 m [3 ft] and probably less) during
droughts and the dry season.
Despite the area's varied elevations, these data suggest that
it had a relatively level water table. In the case of the
sandhill, it apparently lacked a local ground water "high" or
"mound" in which the water table tended to follow surface
contours. This may be attributable to the sandhill's relatively
small size and its porous, highly permeable, drought soil
(St. Lucie fine sand) (U.S.D.A. 1959:34).
A fairly level water table would have required the bed of
the Naples Canal to lie at approximately the same level
along most of its course. This would mean that the canal's
channel had to be deeper as it cut across the sandhill, and
this agrees with descriptions by Stearns, Douglass, and
others. Thus, a fairly level water table across the Old Naples
area is consistent with historic descriptions of the Naples

Some Engineering Considerations

The Naples Canal had to have a channel that was ('eep
enough to penetrate the water table and hold enough water
for the passage of dugout canoes (a water depth in the
channel of at least 15 to 30 cm [6 to 12 in]). Allowing for
some seasonal fluctuation in the depth of the water table, it




appears that the Indians needed to dig the deepest stretch of
the channel to a depth of approximately 2.1 to 2.4 m (7 to 8
ft) below the ground surface to reach ground water and hold
enough water in the channel on a continuous basis. As noted
above, this maximum depth would have been reached as the
canal cut through the highest portion of the sandhill. Else-
where, the channel did not need to be so deep (Figure 5).
Thus, it appears that the channel could have been charged
primarily by ground water with, of course, some inputs from
rainfall and surface runoff. From standpoints of maintenance
and hydraulics, it would have been advantageous for the
Indians to control these inputs. That is, by holding water in
the channel, the Indians could have minimized seepage and
flow in the channel, thus protecting it from unnecessary
It is hypothesized that the Indians controlled water in the
channel by making it a closed system. They could have done
this by keeping each end of the canal closed. At the western
end, they could have let the channel be closed naturally by
the beach and its berm.6 Indeed, they probably had little
choice (as Goggin indicated, above). Thus, the beach at the
western end would have served as a natural dam, keeping
water in the channel behind it.7
Near the canal's eastern end, the Indians could have
installed a control structure to retain water in the canal's
channel (Figure 5). Such a speculative control structure
might have been built of wood or some other durable
material.8 If placed at the slight bend near the eastern end of
the canal, it would have impounded water in the channel to
the west. To the east of the bend, the short portion of the
canal running through high marsh and mangroves would
have been tidal. To the west of the bend, such a control
structure would have protected the channel from changing
tides, preventing unnecessary flow and seepage from eroding
the channel. This threat was substantial given the range of
normal tides, with today's spring tides ranging up to 85 cm
(2.8 ft) (United States Department of Commerce IU.S.D.C.]
From the perspective of surface hydraulics, it can be
speculated that the gaps in the embankments at the canal's
easternmost bend (described by Douglass) might have
allowed excess water to escape. This can be envisioned if
a control structure had been located there. For example, if
heavy rainfall caused water to build up behind the structure,
it might have discharged laterally through the gaps. Con-
versely, if the poorly drained, swampy land outside the
embankments became flooded, water might have drained
through the gaps and then via the canal's tidal portion to
Naples Bay.
In sum, what appears to have been a fairly level water
table across the Old Naples area suggests that the Naples
Canal could have held a shallow impoundment of freshwater
in its channel. Considerations of maintenance and efficient
functioning also suggest that the Indians might have held
water in the canal's channel in a long impoundment, closed
at each end of the canal.


The Naples Canal allows some interesting speculation
about aboriginal canal building, transportation, and society.
In the first case, why did the Indians select the location they
did for the Naples Canal? Why did they not chose a shorter,
sea-level route, such as through the mangrove swamp and
beach strand only 900 m (3000 ft) to the south (U.S.D.A.
1954:Sheet No. 3) of where they built the Naples Canal?
Instead, the Indians chose to dig the canal through the first
available sandhill north of Gordon's Pass. Why?
A functional reason may be that the Indians chose to dig
through a sandhill in order to tap its ground water, thereby
securing a more consistent source of water for the canal's
channel. That is, the water table fluctuated much less than
did the tides. Indeed, ground water in a closed channel
would have been much less subject to lateral and vertical
movements than tidal water, which would have eroded the
channel. The decision to access ground water rather than
tidal sea water suggests that the Indians had an excellent
understanding of the land and its hydraulic properties, and
that they were confident enough in their knowledge to spend
labor on a large project such as the Naples Canal. It may be
that they already had experience with digging canals and
managing water elsewhere in southwestern Florida when
they chose to build the Naples Canal.
It should be noted that the Naples Canal apparently was the
deepest of all Florida Indian canoe canals. This is because of
the landform that it went through; no other known canoe
canal was dug through a sandhill. While most Florida Indian
canoe canals share certain attributes, such as paired embank-
ments and a central channel, each also displays specific
responses to the landscapes (especially hydraulic conditions)
where they were built, and thus each differs from the others
in important ways. For example, the depth of the Naples
Canal contrasts with other canoe canals at Ortona, Pine
Island, and near Cape Sable. These other canals had shal-
lower channels because they were charged by shallow
ground water in flat or gently sloping terrain.
Regarding transportation, why was it worth building 'he
Naples Canal in the first place? The most obvious reason
was to shorten the distance of canoe travel in the Gulf,
which can be rough and windy, and thereby dangerous to
canoe paddlers and their goods and possessions. Indeed, the
Naples Canal would have shortened the distance between
Gordon's Pass (to the south) and Doctor's Pass (to the north)
by half, from 9.7 km (6 mi) to 4.8 km (3 mi).
Another reason could be that there was enough canoe
traffic along the coast to make building a canal worthwhile.
A less obvious reason might have been the canal's role in a
larger system of transportation routes. That is, the Naples
Canal was located at a strategic juncture of three major
areas, and would have been a crossroad for canoe traffic
from one area to another. The canal was at the northwestern
end of the vast Ten Thousand Islands; it was close to the
western edge of the enormous Big Cypress Swamp; and it




o o o o o o o o o 0>-
o TT o ^o (N oo o o 'o o'
00 0 r (N r- I
M ( N C c --



Figure 5. Profile of the land traversed by the former Naples Canal (see Tables 1 and 2). The heavy line shows the
approximate land surface. The long dashes show the estimated level of the seasonally high water table. The short, angled
dashes show the estimated maximum depth of the canal bed. The arrow indicates the location of the hypothesized coni. ol
structure, which would have extended into the canal bed.

was a short distance south of a series of estuaries stretching
northward to Estero Bay, the Caloosahatchee River, Pine
Island Sound, Charlotte Harbor, and beyond. Funneling
canoe travelers through the Naples Canal might have been an
effective way of controlling who and what passed through
this important crossroad.
Finally, the aboriginal society that built the Naples Canal
must have been able to organize, command, and support the
labor needed to accomplish such a large project. Such
organization would include the production, redistribution,
and consumption of food surpluses needed by the laborers
who built and maintained the canal. Moreover, social
considerations might have influenced where the canal was
built (besides the functional reason of tapping a sandhill's
ground water, mentioned above). That is, cutting a canal
through a sandhill was a dramatic achievement, and could
have been identified with a particular leader or group. From
this perspective, the canal (like some of southern Florida's
large burial mounds) might have been a reflection of social
power in the landscape. This fact was not overlooked by
Douglass more than a century ago when he wrote:

But by whomsoever constructed and for whatever purpose, it is
a work of great, and, we must suppose, well organized and
intelligent labor, and well calculated to excite astonishment and

admiration... [Douglass 1885:280-281].

Public Interpretation

The Naples Canal deserves to be known and appreciated by
citizens of Naples and surrounding communities. Since it ran
through an area that is now well inhabited, one step could be
for the City of Naples to place a plaque or historical marker
in a conspicuous location to help inform residents and
visitors about the canal.


The Naples Canal once ran for approximately 1260 m
(4150 ft), or 1.26 km (.79 mi), between Naples Bay and the
Gulf of Mexico. In the late 1800s, it was reported to have
(near its western end) a bed that was 3.7 m (12 ft) across,
and a width of 12 to 16.8 m (40 to 55 ft) between the crests
of its embankments. The embankments were reported to be
approximately 1.2 to 2.4 m (4 to 8 ft) in height, with the
partially filled channel reaching a depth of 1.2 m (4 ft)
below ground level. The channel was deeper as it passed
through a sandhill where it is estimated to have originally
reached maximum depths of approximately 2.1 to 2.4 m (7
to 8 ft) below ground level.



1998 VOL. 5 1(1)



Investigation of modern landforms and soils suggests that
the Naples Canal was charged primarily by ground water,
and that its channel was closed at the ends to form a long
impoundment. Where the canal was cut through a sandhill,
the channel had to be dug more deeply to reach a deeper
water table. As a result, one stretch of the Naples Canal was
the deepest among all known canoe canals in Florida.


Cushing (1897:348) also was told of "ancient shell works out in the inner
bay beyond." These apparently were near the eastern shore of Naples Bay,
such as a now mostly destroyed shell mound, the Gateway Harbor site
(8CR515), on the shore of the bay and approximately 3.2 km (2.0 nmi) to
the south-southeast of the Naples Canal. Another significant site was the
Kirkland Mound (8CR57/CR227) situated slightly inland and approximately
4.0 km (2.5 mi) to the south-southeast of the Naples Canal, dating to the
Glades II and III periods (ca. A.D. 700-1750) (Beriault 1971; Mitchem
2 High marsh or high swamp (Montague and Wiegert 1991:490; Odum and
McIvor 1991:Figure 15.6) is an irregularly flooded zone of low-growing
vegetation that once occurred commonly at the landward margin of
mangrove swamps in this area of Florida. The zone can be flooded by
unusually high tides and by rainfall runoff and ground water seepage front
adjacent upland. Today, the habitat is rare due to land development,
especially ditching and filling.
3 The Naples Sandhills reached maximum elevations of slightly more than
4.5 m (15 It) (U.S.G.S. 1958a, 1958b). They were roughly 1.6 km (1 mi)
in width, and stretched northward from Old Naples for approximately 13.7
km (8.5 mi), with discontinuous patches extending to the Estero area in
southern Lee County as well as for approximately 6.5 km (4 mi) to the
southeast of Old Naples, east of Naples Ba,.
The Naples Sandhills, some of which are circular or arc-shaped in plan
view, appear to be relic dune formations. They may date to the late
Pleistocene and may he coeval with similar features scattered along the
Florida Gulf coast, including relic dune ridges on Marco and Horr's islands
located approximately 24-28 km (15-17.5 mi) to the south-southeast of Old
Naples (Lee et al. 1997:11-15: Widmer 1988:178-179). It should be noted
that the Naples Sandhills supported the most extensive scrubby habitats in
southwestern Florida. This included areas of sand pine (Pinus clausa),
rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), and scrub oaks (Quercus spp.) (see Myers
1991 for a discussion of Florida scrub).
In the Naples Sandhills, xeric vegetation was interspersed with freshwater
marshes, and the area was important for hunting and gathering by Archaic
and Glades period Indians. When Glades Indians entered the Naples
Sandhills, they carried shellfish with them, leaving numerous shallow shell
middens throughout the area (e.g., Beriault 1971, 1973; Craighead
1971:177-179; also see Luer 1995:208, Table 1). Tragically, during the last
decade, unrestrained land development has destroyed these sites and the last
portions of this valuable ecosystem.
SI have added a small area of Immokalee fine sand based on interpretation
of the soil map (U.S.D.A. 1954:Sheet No. 3) and on my field observations
of local topography The soil map shows an extensive strip of Immokalee
fine sand behind the Coastal Beach soil to the north, but stops it a short
distance before reaching the area traversed by the canal. Field inspection
shows that this area is a low-lying swale, like the area to the north, which
was designated as Immokalee fine sand. Thus, the U.S.D.A. map appears
to terminate this narrow, southward strip of Immokalee soil prematurely.
SIt should be noted that it is likely that artificial drainage and increased
runoff (from streets, parking lots, and buildings) have resulted in a present-
day water table that is lower than the historic one.
6The beach along the Gulf presumably has receded somewhat since the
Naples Canal was dug. This is suggested by the steepness of the beach
profile at Old Naples, and by the lack of older beach deposits in a landward
direction from the present-day beach ridge. Historic accounts suggest that
the beach receded during the late 1800s. For example, Douglass (1885:278)
described the western end of the canal as "buried" in the beach ridge. He
also saw cabbage palm "stumps" just offshore that apparently had eroded

from the ridge and washed seaward. Because they decay fairly rapidly,
these palm trunks should not have been more than 10 or 20 years old. In
this regard, high-energy storms are a prime agent in beach recession, and
the area from Fort Myers to Marco Island did experience a powerful
hurricane in October, 1873. It flooded Punta Rassa, about 45 km (28 mi)
to the north of Old Naples, with a storm surge of 4.3 m (14 ft) (Gentry
1984:513, 516; Simons 1884:796). The same storm surge was "disastrous"
for coastal settlers at least as far south as Marco Island (Douglass 1881-
1885:125). Presumably, such a high storm surge would have caused
considerable geomorphic change along the coast, such as erosion and
possible beach recession at the Naples headland.
7 It is interesting to speculate that, although closed at the level of the beach
face and adjacent lower berm, the Indians nonetheless could have cut a
notch in the higher, more landward beach ridge to facilitate dragging
dugouts hack and forth between the Gulf and the western end of the canal.
8 Similar structures have been hypothesized for the Pine Island Canal
(Luer and Wheeler 1997). However, no remains of such structures are
known. It should be noted that Tebeau (1966:166) mentions a "Lucien
Beckner, who spent the winter of 1889-1890" in Naples and who "recalls
that at about its middle course there used to be some timbers standing in it
[the canal], probably the remains of a gateway." The origin, nature, and
location of these "timbers" are unclear. They do not seem to be related to
a report by Goggin (1939:35) that "according to local residents it [the canal]
was lined with the trunks of cabbage palms...." If Goggin's report was
true, however, such palm trunks should not have been more than 10 or 20
years old (because they decay rapidly) and might have been installed in the
late 1800s or early 1900s to shore up the canal's banks.


In learning about Naples and its Indian canoe canal, I owe much to the
friendship and interest of Art and Lynn Lee, Naples residents and members
of the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) and the Southwest Florida
Archaeological Society (SWFAS). I also am grateful to John G. Beriault,
also of FAS, SWFAS, and Naples, who generously shared his great
knowledge of the area's archaeology and natural history.
Historic preservation planner Gladys Cook and archaeologists Robert S.
Carr, Ryan J. Wheeler, and Ryan Williams provided helpful information.
Archaeologist Jerald Milanich, geonorphologist Joann Mossa, and canoeist
Charles Blanchard furnished comments. Coastal engineer Subarna Malakar
helped obtain beach profile data. Irene Wilson of the Florida Bureau of
Survey and Mapping provided surveyors' field notes and related informa-
tion. Charles Branham of the Florida Site File assisted with site locations.

References Cited

Beriault, John G.
1971 Doctor's Pass Archaeological Site. Unpublished report on file,
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Miami.
1973 A Preliminary Report on the Area Known as the Collier-Coral
Ridge Tract, Southwest Florida. Unpublished report on file,
Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, Miami.
Briggs, Betty S.
1980 Cracker in the Glades: A Portrait of Robert Storter, Fisherman,
and His Family. Privately published, Naples, Florida.
Carr, Robert S., and John G. Beriault
1984 Prehistoric Man in South Florida. In Environments of South
Florida: Present and Past II, edited by Patrick J. Gleason, pp.
1-14. Miami Geological Society, Coral Gables.
Carr, Robert S., David Dickel, and Marilyn Masson
1995 Archaeological Investigations at the Ortona Earthworks and
Mounds. The Florida Anthropologist 48:227-263.
Cook, Gladys, and Philip A. Werndli
1986 Old Naples Nomination Proposal to the National Register of
Historic Places. Copy on file, Florida Site File, Florida Division
of Historical Resources, Tallahassee.
Craighead, Frank C., Sr.
1971 The Trees of South Florida, The Natural Environments and Their
Succession. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables.
Cushing, Frank H.
1897 A Preliminary Report on the Exploration of Ancient Key Dweller




Remains on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Proceedings of the
American Philosophical Society 35(153):329-448.
Douglass. Andrew E.
1881-1885 Florida Diary and Letters. Typescript (ca. 1960), on file, P.
K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida,
1885 Ancient Canals on the South-West Coast of Florida. American
Antiquarian 7:277-285.
Durnford, C. D.
1895 The Discovery of Aboriginal Netting, Rope, and Wood Imple-
ments in a Mud Deposit in Western Florida. American Naturalist
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Beaches and
Coastal Systems
1996 Beach and Offshore Profile Data for Collier County, Range 72
through Range 76 for March 22, 1973 and March 29-30, 1988.
Tabular data obtained from F.D.E.P. Bureau of Beaches and
Coastal Systems web site (http://www.bcs.tlh.fl.us).
Florida Department of Transportation
1994a Aerial photograph of Collier County, T50S, R25E, Section 9.
Sheet 1C, scale: 1 inch to 200 feet. On file at Collier County
Property Appraiser's office, Naples.
1994b Aerial photograph of Collier County, T50S, R25E, Section 10.
Sheet 11D, scale: 1 inch to 200 feet. On file at Collier County
Property Appraiser's office, Naples.
Gentry, R. Cecil
1984 Hurricanes in South Florida. In Environments of South Florida:
Present and Past II, edited by Patrick J. Gleason, pp. 510-519.
Miami Geological Society, Coral Gables.
Gilliland, Marion S.
1989 Key Marco's Buried Treasure, Archaeology and Adventure in the
Nineteenth Century. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
Goggin, John M.
1939 A Ceramic Sequence in South Florida. New Mexico Anthropolo-
gist 3:35-40.
1949 Archeology of the Glades Area, Southern Florida. Unpublished
manuscript on file, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History,
University of Florida, Gainesville.
Griffin, John W.
1988 The Archeology of Everglades National Park: A Synthesis.
National Park Service, Southeast Archeological Center, Tallahas-
1989 Time and Space in South Florida: A Synthesis. The Florida
Anthropologist 42:179-204.
Hrdlicka, Ales
1922 Anthropology of Florida. Florida Historical Society, DeLand.
Jamro, Ron, and Gerald L. Lanterman
1985 The Founding of Naples. Friends of the Collier County Museum,
Kenworthy, Charles J.
1883 Ancient Canals in Florida. Smithsonian Institution Annual Report
for 1881:631-635.
Lee, Arthur R., John G. Beriault, Jean Belknap, Walter M. Buschelman,
Annette L. Snapp, and John W. Thompson
1997 Salvage Excavations of an Archaic Period Special-Purpose Site
in Collier County. The Florida Anthropologist 50:11-24.
Luer. George M.
1989 Calusa Canals in Southwestern Florida: Routes of Tribute and
Exchange. The Florida Anthropologist 42:89-130.
1995 The Brookside Mound, Sarasota, County, Florida: Notes on
Landscape, Settlement, Scrub Habitat, and Isolated Burial
Mounds. The Florida Anthropologist 48:200-216.
Luer, George M., and Ryan J. Wheeler
1997 How the Pine Island Canal Worked: Topography, Hydraulics,
and Engineering. The Florida Anthropologist 50:115-131.
Mitchem. Jeffrey M.
1989 Redefining Safety Harbor: Late Prehistoric/Protohistoric
Archaeology in West Peninsular Florida. Ph.D. dissertation,
Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Montague, Clay L., and Richard G. Wiegert
1991 Salt Marshes. In Ecosystems of Florida, edited by Ronald L.
Myers and John J. Ewel, pp. 481-516. University of Central

Florida Press, Orlando.
Myers, Ronald L.
1991 Scrub and High Pine. In Ecosystems of Florida, edited by Ronald
L. Myers and John J. Ewel, pp. 150-193. University of Central
Florida Press, Orlando.
Odum, William E., and Carole C. Melvor
1991 Mangroves. In Ecosystems of Florida, edited by Ronald L.
Myers and John J. Ewel, pp. 517-548. University of Central
Florida Press, Orlando.
Simons, M. H.
1884 Shell Heaps of Charlotte Harbor, Florida. Smithsonian Institution
Annual Report for 1882:794-796.
Stearns, Timothy S.
1874 Field notes, United States Survey of Township 49 South. Range
25 East. Volume 225, pp. 846a-846b. Microfilm copy at the
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of
State Lands, Bureau of Survey and Mapping, Title and Records
Section. Tallahassee
Tebeau, Charlton W.
1966 Florida's Last Frontier: The History of Collier County. Univer-
sity of Miami Press, Coral Gables.
United States Department of Agriculture
1952 DSM-1L-16, dated 29 DEC '52. Black and white aerial photo-
graph showing Old Naples, Collier County, Florida. On file,
Map and Imagery Library, University of Florida, Gainesville.
1953 Aerial photographic index, sheet 3, Collier County, Florida.
Scale: 1 inch to 20,000 feet.
1954 Soil Survey (Detailed-Reconnaissance) of Collier County,
Florida. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service and Florida
Agricultural Experiment Station. Series 1942, No. 8.
1959 Soil Survey, Sarasota County, Florida. U.S.D.A. Soil Conserva-
tion Service and Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. Series
1954, No. 6.
United States Department of Commerce
1979 Tide Tables 1979, High and Low Water Predictions, East Coast
of North and South America, Including Greenland. National
Ocean Survey, Rockville, Maryland.
United States Deputy Surveyor
1874 Untitled map showing sections surveyed in 1873-1874 under
Contract and Bond No. 15. between Surveyor General's Office
and Timothy S. Stears, dated October 1, 1873. Microfilm copy
at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division
of State Lands, Bureau of Survey and Mapping, Title and
Records Section, Tallahassee.
United States Geological Survey
1958a Naples North, Florida. Photo-revised, 1987. 7.5 minute
topographic-bathymetric sheet.
'1958b Bonita Springs, Florida. Photo-revised, 1987. 7.5 minute
topographic-bathymetric sheet.
Wheeler, Ryan J.
1997 Walker's Canal: An Indian Canal in the Florida Panhandle.
Manuscript submitted to Southeastern Archaeology.
Widmer, Randolph J.
1988 The Evolution of the Calusa, A Nonagricultural Chiefdom on the
Southwest Coast of Florida. The University of Alabama Press,

1998 VOL. 5 1(1)



Metal Ceremonial Tablet Reported in Naples

Southwest Florida Archaeological Society, P. O. Box 9965,
Naples, Florida 34101
E-mail: arlee@naples. net

Ceremonial tablet MT#53 (Figure 1) is here added to the
inventory of such objects found in Florida. The tablet is
made of what appears to be thin sheet silver and is 33.5 mm
long, 21.3 mm at its greatest width, which is at the lateral
projections, 19.5 mm wide above those projections, and 21.4
mm at the widest part of the lower section. Thickness is
about a half millimeter.
The upper part of the tablet's obverse side shows distinct
incisions, but the lower portion is partially covered with a
patina that obscures the decoration. The reverse is blank and
covered with a patina broken only by what looks like a crack
at its waist, where the tablet has been bent. The reverse of
the object is slightly concave. The tablet is pierced at the top
by what apparently had been a suspension hole, the upper
side of which has been worn through.
Of the figures illustrated in a comprehensive running
catalog of such tablets (Allerton et al. 1984; Luer 1994), this
specimen most closely resembles MT#8 found at the Thomas
Mound (8HII) in Hillsborough County, although it lacks that
specimen's detailing at the waist and is notably smaller (cf.
Allerton et al. 1984:Figure 8a).
Presently, the tablet is in the possession of Clarence
Lobenthal of Naples, who told the author he located it with

Paleoindian Projectile Point Recording Project:
A Call for Data

'Florida Museum of Natural History, Museum Road, Gaines-
ville, Florida 32611-7800
E-mail: bcarter@grove. ufl. edu
2Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, 500 South
Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250
E-mail: jdunbar@mail. dos.state.fl. us
'Southeastern Archaeological Center, National Park Service,
Johnson Building, Innovation Park, Tallahassee, Florida
E-mail: danderson@seac.fsu. edu

This paper is a plea to the avocational and professional
archaeologists of Florida to participate in a Paleoindian and
Early Archaic projectile point recording project. Such
projects are underway in many states around the country,

a metal detector on a mound in Charlotte Harbor. Suffering
from Alzheimer's Disease, he said he does not remember
exactly where, nor when, he found it, although it was many
years ago.

References Cited

Allerton, David, George M. Luer, and Robert S. Carr
1984 Ceremonial Tablets and Related Objects from Florida. The
Florida Anthropologist 37:5-54.
Luer, George M.
1994 A Third Ceremonial Tablet from the Goodnow Mound, High-
lands County. Florida; with Notes on Some Peninsular Tribes
and Other Tablets. The Florida Anthropologist 47:180-188.

Figure 1. The newly reported ceremonial tablet has
sharply defined engraving, but it is obscured in the lower
right corner by a heavy patina. The patina-covered re-
verse has no visible design. Drawing by Jean Belknap.

and are proving to be a major source of information about
early human settlement. Avocational archaeologists have
made impressive contributions to these projects and in most
states they have contributed by far the greatest quantity of
information. For example, the oldest continuous Paleoindian
projectile-point survey in the country was started in Virginia
in the late 1940s by Ben C. McCary, an avocational archae-
ologist. McCary directed the Virginia survey for over 40
years, and he and his successors compiled information on
almost 1000 fluted points (Johnson and Pearsall 1996;
McCary 1984). Without question, the Virginia survey is the
best Paleoindian projectile-point sample collected anywhere
in the United States. It illustrates the positive and lasting
contributions that can come from cooperation between
avocational and professional archaeologists.

An Appeal for Data

The primary goal of this project is the documentation of
diagnostic Paleoindian and Early Archaic projectile points


and the locations where they were found. This task can be
done through detailed measurements, careful drawings or
photographs, and descriptions. The first Floridians used a
variety of diagnostic projectile points ranging from classic
Clovis through side-notched Bolen and corner-notched Kirk
styles. Information about fluted and unfluted lanceolate
projectile points spanning the interval from Clovis to
Suwannee/Dalton will be gathered using a standardized
recording form similar to those used in many other states.
Fluted as well as non-fluted lanceolate points should be
recorded, including fluted Clovis points, as well as weakly
fluted to basally thinned, or unfluted, Suwannee and
Simpson types. We also include a new recording form based
on archaeologically derived criteria for documenting side-
and corner-notched types (Bolen, Big Sandy, Taylor,
Palmer, and Kirk styles; see Bullen 1975). The condition of
the point is largely unimportant; complete, broken, and
reworked points should be recorded.
We ask that members of the Florida Anthropological
Society (FAS) who have Paleoindian or Early Archaic
projectile points in their collections, or who know about
people who have such points, fill out copies of the recording
forms provided in this issue of The Florida Anthropologist
for each artifact. Send the completed forms, or any other
information about Paleoindian and Early Archaic points, to:

Mr. James Dunbar
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research
500 South Bronough Street, Room 312
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250

The forms record the same information that is recorded in
other state surveys, so the Florida data will be comparable
to those collected from across the country. Fill out the forms
to the best of your ability, but do not worry if some of the
information is left blank or if your drawings are fairly crude.
At this juncture we just want to get some idea of what kinds
and numbers of points are out there. Once we know that a
point exists, getting complete information about it will be a
matter of taking time to more completely record it. In most
surveys, preliminary information is brought to the attention
of avocationals or professionals participating in the survey.
One of the participants then makes an effort to visit the
owner and record the artifact more completely.
The most important information to record is the artifact
owner's name and the location where the artifact was found,
if this is known. In many cases it may only be possible to
record the general location of a find, but even this is
important. Many of these artifacts were collected long ago,
and a township or a county may be all that is known about
where they came from. Even this level of locational infor-
mation is better than nothing. However, we emphasize that
the more accurate the locational data is, the more accurate
will be our subsequent statements about the first Floridians.
Drawings, photocopies, or photographs of each artifact are
equally important. Ideally, it would be nice to have photo-

graphs of both sides of each point, with a scale and excellent
shading of the flake scars. This is a difficult and time-
consuming task for most people (including professionals), so
most survey participants draw their specimens. A good way
to draw projectile points is to photocopy each side, then
trace from the copy. Even an outline, with the photocopies
attached, is sufficient to begin the artifact documentation
process. Once basic descriptive and locational information
about a point are documented, the artifact can be photo-
graphed to scientific standards.
Attribute data should be compiled to the best of a person's
ability. Locations where measurements are to be taken are
illustrated on the Attribute Key for each type of point, which
are contained on the recording forms. Measurements should
be taken to the nearest millimeter using calipers, if at all
possible. Answer questions about the non-metric attributes
(i.e., raw material, color, presence or absence of basal
grinding, etc.) as best you can. Remember that once you
record these artifacts, it will be possible to go back and
collect more detailed data about them later. At present, since
we know little about the Paleoindian Period in Florida, any
information you can provide is important.
If you are uncertain how to fill out these forms, but know
about lanceolate and side- or corner-notched points that
should be recorded, let us know. We will either assist you or
try to get other members of FAS to help. Once this project
gets underway, there probably will be quite a number of
people around the state recording these artifacts in each
chapter. Special efforts will be made on the part of project
participants to record all points that we hear about. We are
already beginning to record projectile points in public
collections across Florida.
As forms are received, we will assign them specimen
numbers. Copies of the forms will be returned to the
recorder. Dunbar and Carter will maintain the originals on
file and Carter will develop a database that can be analyzed.
To keep all participants up-to-date, the survey's progress
will be reported in future issues of The Florida Anthropolo-
gist. We need your help for this project to succeed. With it,
we will soon know far more than we do now about the first
occupants of Florida.

Why is a Paleoindian Point Survey Needed?

At present, comparatively little is known about Paleoindian
occupations in Florida or, for that matter, in most parts of
the country. A few famous sites have been excavated, such
as Silver Springs, Harney Flats, Little Salt Spring, and
Page-Ladson. Isolated Paleoindian artifacts also are found
from time to time during archaeological projects. However,
Paleoindian and Early Archaic artifacts are typically few in
number and widely dispersed. Most of the information to
date has been compiled by dedicated avocationals working
with professionals (Dunbar 1991; Dunbar and Waller 1983),
but all too little primary data (e.g., detailed measurements
and drawings) have been collected on many of the points

1998 VOL. 51(1)


found in Florida.
When such data are compiled, they can tells us important
things. Fluted and other lanceolate-shaped projectile points are
currently the most widely recognized indicators of Florida's
Paleoindian occupation. Information about their occurrence is
one of the few ways, short of excavation and chronometric
dating techniques, that we can recognize these earliest occu-
pations. Additionally, side- and corer-notched points are the
only diagnostic projectile-point types dating to the Early
Archaic Period. By recording information about Paleoindian
through Early Archaic projectile points, including enough
descriptive data to enable us to recognize subtypes or varieties,
we should eventually accumulate enough information to
document local settlement patterns and recognize changes in
these patterns over time. Equally important, we may come to
better recognize the landform types that were important to these
people or specific sites where undisturbed assemblages may
The quality and quantity of our regional information continues
to improve, increasing the types of analyses we can do. In 1982,
Louis Brennan and members of the Eastern States Archaeo-
logical Federation gathered information on 5820 Paleoindian
projectile points (mostly fluted) from 17 states and 2 Canadian
provinces located primarily along the Atlantic Seaboard. He

Figure 1. The distribution of fluted projectile point
square miles for the eastern United States (ada
Anderson and Faught 1998:165).

published these data in the 1982 issue of Archaeology of
Eastern North America (Brennan 1982). In the late 1980s,
David Anderson (1990a, 1990b, 1991, 1996) began compiling
projectile-point data from across the Eastern Woodlands,
gathering data on over 9000 artifacts. He used this information
to develop a model of Clovis colonization and settlement in the
Michael Faught joined Anderson in the mid-1990s with a
compilation of fluted-point data from the western United States
(Faught 1996; Faught et al. 1994). The most recent update on
this work is based on a sample of 11,257 Paleoindian projectile
points, 11,103 with county-level provenience data, compiled
from 44 of the lower 48 continental United States (Anderson
and Faught 1998). The county-level data have been used to
produce maps of fluted point incidence across the eastern
United States (Figure 1).
What are we learning from these distributional studies?
First and foremost, we have found that the vast majority of
fluted points found to date come from the eastern United
States and Canada. In fact, of the current sample of 11,257
points, 8827 (78.4%) are from states east of the Mississippi
River. Only 2430 (21.6%)'are from states to the west of the
Mississippi. The density of fluted points in the East per
thousand square miles is almost seven times higher than in






s per 1000
pted from 0.00


the West.
It also is likely that the concentrations of fluted points that
have been documented in various parts of the landscape are
in areas where people first settled and from which subre-
gional cultural traditions emerged. A number of fluted point
concentrations in the East have been interpreted as the
territorial ranges of Paleoindian social groups, staging areas,
or the nuclei of subsequent subregional cultural traditions
(Anderson 1990b, 1995; Dincauze 1993). The patchy
distribution of these artifacts suggests that overall population
density was low and was generally concentrated in highly
favored areas or near specific resources. A leap-frog pattern
of movement by fairly small groups appears to have been
most common, rather than massive migrations.
Measurement data from individual artifacts have tremen-
dous value as well. We still have a long way to go before we
can claim to have documented the frequency and distribution
of major stylistic and technological variants of Paleoindian
and Early Archaic projectile points. However, analyses are
starting to appear that are directed toward understanding
variation in Paleoindian projectile-point morphology (e.g.,
Meltzer 1984; Morrow and Morrow 1997). As more and
better measurement data are compiled, we probably will be
able to discern significant patterning. Data from recording
projects are absolutely critical to the success of such efforts.
Within a few years it should be possible to produce accurate
distribution maps of some of the more unambiguous point
types, such as Suwannee, Clovis, and Bolen/Big Sandy. We
urge all members of FAS to participate in this project and
thank those who do in advance.


The authors are indebted to other investigators across the Southeast who
have initiated and followed through on Paleoindian projectile-point surveys
over the past 40 years. The text and figures used here albeit much
revised and appended were derived from the announcement of the
Georgia Paleoindian projectile-point survey (Anderson et al. 1986).

References Cited

Anderson, David G.
1990a A North American Paleoindian Projectile Point Data Base.
Current Research in the Pleistocene 7:67-69.
1990h The Paleoindian Colonization of Eastern North America: A View
from the Southeastern United States. In Paleoinidian Economies
of Eastern North America, edited by Kenneth B. Tankersley and
Barry L. Isaac, pp. 163-216. Research in Economic Anthropol-
ogy, Supplement 5, JAI Press, Greenwich, CN.
1991 Examining Prehistoric Settlement Distribution in Eastern North
America. Archaeology of Eastern North America 19:1-21.
1996 Models of Paleoindian and Early Archaic Settlement in the
Lower Southeast. In The Paleoindian and Early Archaic South-
east, edited by David G. Anderson and Kenneth E. Sassaman,
pp. 29-57. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
Anderson, David G., and Michael K. Faught
1998 The Distribution of Fluted Paleoindian Projectile Points: Update
1998. Archaeology of Eastern North America 26 (In press).
Anderson. David G., Jerald Ledbetter, and Lisa D. O'Steen
1986 Georgia Paleoindian Recordation Project: Towards A Descriptive
Inventory of Georgia Paleoindian Fluted and Lanceolate Projec-

tile Points. Newsletter of the Society for Georgia Archaeology
Brennan, Louis A. (Editor)
1982 A Compilation of Fluted Points of Eastern North America by
Count and Distribution: An AENA Project. Archaeology of
Eastern North America 10:27-46.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1975 A Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile Points (2nd
Edition). Kendall Press, Gainesville.
Dincauze, Dena F.
1993 Pioneering in the Pleistocene: Large Paleoindian Sites in the
Northeast. In Archaeology of Eastern North America: Papers in
Honor of Stephen Williams, edited by James B. Stoltman, pp. 43-
60. Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Archaeo-
logical Report No. 25, Jackson.
Dunbar, James S.
1991 Resource Orientation of Clovis and Suwannee Age Paleoindian
Sites in Florida. In Clovis: Origins and Adaptations, edited by
Robsen Bonnichsen and Karen L. Turnmire, pp. 185-213. Center
for the Study of the First Americans, Corvallis, OR
Dunbar, James S., and Ben I. Waller
1983 A Distribution of the Clovis/Suwannee Projectile Points of
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 36:18-30.
Faught, Michael K.
1996 Clovis Origins and Underwater Prehistoric Archaeology in
Northwestern Florida. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of
Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson.
Johnson, Michael F., and Joyce E. Pearsall
1996 The Dr. Ben C. McCary Virginia Fluted Point Survey: Nos.
942-951. Quarterly Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of
Virginia 51:178-185.
McCary, Ben C.
1984 Survey of Virginia Fluted Points. Archaeological Society of
Virginia Special Publication #12. Richmond.
Meltzer, David J.
1984 Late Pleistocene Human Adaptations in Eastern North America.
Ph.D dissertation, Department of Anthropology. University of
Morrow, Juliet, and Toby Morrow
1997 Geographic Patterning in Fluted Point Morphology in the New
World. Paper presented at the 62nd annual meeting of the
Society for American Archaeology, Nashville.

1998 VOL. 51(1)


Type Name

Florida Paleoindian (Lanceolate) Point Data Form




Recorder's Name and Address:
Negative Number:

Location of Find:
River Drainage:
Method of Recovery:

Nearest Water Source:
Slope of Find Location:


Maximum Width
Basal Width
Length of Basal Grinding
Width at end of Basal Grinding
Length (Actual)
Length (Complete)
Max. Thickness
Depth of Basal Concavity
Flute #1 Length Width
Flute #2 Length Width
Flute #3 Length Width
Flute #4 Length Width
Flute #1 Length Width
Flute #2 Length Width
Flute #3 Length Width
Flute #4 Length Width
Beveling Angle (if applicable)


Edge Shape
Edge Retouch
Basal Grinding
Fluting Technique
Manufacturing Notes

Sketchs/Tracings/Xeroxes of Point (Attach additional sheets):

Reworking Notes


Specimen #

Florida Paleoindian Point Data Form---Attribute Key

a. Max. Width
b. Basal Width
c. Max. Length
A d. Max Thickness
0- e. Length of Basal
a. Grinding
f. Depth of Concavity
SCALE g. Flute Length
e Ih. Width at end of
b. Basal Grinding

For the following fields, record the following information:
Location of Find------Locate as exactly as possible. Surface-collected points should be located to
within 1/4 mile of actual location. Archaeologically-recovered points should be located both
horizontally and to depth below surface, with publication references, and artifact disposition.

Nearest Water Source----Name the nearest water source and distance to that source

River Drainage----Name the larger river drainage system where the site is located

Slope of Find Location----Describe which way the slope of the find location faces

Method of Recovery----Examples include "Surface collected in plowed field. Surface collected on
eroded bank, Shovel-test recovery, Archaeological excavation, etc."

Material---------Record raw material, preferably to chert quarry (for example: Coastal Plain Chert/Upper
Suwannee River Chert Quarry Cluster or Silicified Coral/Withlacoochee River Quarries)

Patination--------Note whether the point is patinated or not. If there is evidence of post-discovery
chipping, attempt to gauge thickness of patination.

Edge Shape-------Note the shape of the working edges of the point (for example: straight/excurvate/

Edge Retouch-----Describe the reworking of the point's edges. Note pressure flaking/resharpening.

Color---------Give Munsell Color Value, where possible.

Basal Grinding-------Note presence/absence, describe as "heavy or light"

Fluting Techniques-----Describe any special fluting features. For example, note if flute scars do not
terminate near the end of the point. In other words, most of the fluting scar has been removed by
subsequent flaking.

Reworking Notes-----Describe any special features that might have effected the point's use

Type Name

Early Archaic (Notched) Point Data Form




Recorder's Name and Address:
Negative Number:

Location of Find:
River Drainage:
Method of Recovery:

Nearest Water Source:
Slope of Find Location:


Max. Width
Basal Width
Length of Basal Grinding
Width at end of Basal Grinding
Width at V2 projected length
Length (Actual)
Length (Complete)
Max. Thickness
Depth of Basal Concavity
Beveling Angle
Notch width (right side/obverse)
Notch width (left side/obverse)


Edge Shape
Edge Retouch
Basal Grinding__

Manufacturing Notes

Sketchs/Tracings/Xeroxes of Point (Attach additional sheets):

Reworking Notes

Specimen #_

Early Archaic Point Data Form---Attribute Key

REMEMBER a. Max. Width
b. Basal Width
c. Max. Length
d. Max Thickness
e. Length of Basal
A a. Grinding
bH Yf. Depth of Concavity


For the following fields, record the following information:
Location of Find------Locate as exactly as possible. Surface-collected points should be located to
within 1/4 mile of actual location. Archaeologically-recovered points should be located both
horizontally and to depth below surface, with publication references, and artifact disposition.

Nearest Water Source----Name the nearest water source and distance to that source

River Drainage----Name the larger river drainage system where the site is located

Slope of Find Location----Describe the slope angle and which way the slope of the find location faces

Method of Recovery----Examples include "Surface collected in plowed field, Surface collected on
eroded bank, Shovel-test recovery, Archaeological excavation, etc."

Notch Features----Note the width of each notch at its mouth

Material---------Record raw material, preferably to chert quarry (for example: Coastal Plain Chert/Upper
Suwannee River Chert Quarry Cluster or Silicified Coral/Withlacoochee River Quarries)

Patination--------Note whether the point is patinated or not. If there is evidence of post-discovery
chipping, attempt to gauge thickness of patination.

Edge Shape-------Note the shape of the working edges of the point (for example: straight/excurvate/

Edge Retouch-----Describe the reworking of the point's edges. Note pressure flaking/resharpening.

Color---------Give Munsell Color Value, where possible.

Basal Grinding-------Note presence/absence, describe as "heavy or light"

Reworking Notes-----Describe any special features that might have effected the point's use


Marion Spjut Gilliland

Marion Spjut Gilliland grew up on a farm on Spjut Lake,
near Birchwood, Wisconsin. After graduating from high
school, Marion began working summers as a waitress on the
SS South American, a Great Lakes cruise ship belonging to
the Georgian Bay Line. Her father was an officer with the
same line. That first summer she met the ship's assistant
photographer, Herb Gilliland, "a mighty handsome sight in
his uniform." She began college at the University of Iowa,
where Herb was a medical intern, but shortly thereafter
America entered World War II. Marion and Herb were
married March 6, 1942, and he began active duty in the
Navy two months later. Only decades later, after 28 moves
and five children, would Marion resume her college educa-
In 1954, after 13 years with the Navy, Marion and Herb
settled for good in Gainesville. While Herb established a
practice in obstetrics and gynecology, Marion devoted
herself to home and children, and became involved in many
service and medical auxiliary organizations at the local,

state, and national levels. She was a multitalented person.
In 1962, she resumed her college education, this time at
the University of Florida, completing a bachelor's degree in
anthropology in 1964. In 1965 she completed her master's
degree in anthropology. Her master's thesis on the material
culture of Key Marco subsequently was published as a book,
and it remains a standard in the field. She continued, after
completing her formal academic studies, to make significant
scholarly contributions. Her many publications include the
books The Material Culture of Key Marco, Key Marco's
Buried Treasure, Dearest Daught and Popsy Wells, and The
Calusa of Florida. This last book was nominated for the
Florida Historical Society's 1997 Charlton Tebeau Award.
Marion curated the special Centennial Exhibit on Key Marco
and the Calusas at the Collier County Museum in 1995 and
1996, and frequently lectured on Florida archaeology.
Marion was president of many service organizations
including the Alachua County Medical Society Auxiliary,
Florida Medical Association Auxiliary, Friends of Music,
Alachua County Children's Committee, Florida State
Museum Associates, Gainesville Women's Forum, and
various PTAs. She also was active in various capacities in
scores of other community, professional, and university
groups. For the American Medical Association Auxiliary she
was at various times secretary, historian, regional vice
president, liaison to the HEW High Blood Pressure Pro-
gram, and member of the board of directors and the execu-
tive committee.
Honors include Phi Kappa Phi, Alachua/Bradford Woman
of Distinction in 1993, Mortar Board Outstanding Graduate
in 1977 (the first time the award was bestowed), Peggy
Wilcox Service Award (state award) in 1985, award from
the Florida Chapter of the National League of American Pen
Women in 1997, listing in various Who's Whos, and many
Marion enjoyed being on or near the water. Habitually
swimming a mile a day in her pool, she also was a certified
scuba diver. An avid traveler, she visited 87 countries and
Antarctica. In 1995, with two companions, she traveled the
entire length of the Trans-Siberian Railway. In 1997, she
and Herb visited Uzbekistan.
Marion leaves her husband of 55 years, Dr. Charles H.
Gilliland; five children: Herb, Jr. of Annapolis, Maryland,
Marion, Jr. of Adamsville, Ohio, Patricia of Gainesville,
Norman of Madison, Wisconsin, and Cynthia Catlin of
Gainesville; her brother, John Spjut of Agora, California;


and nine grandchildren. A celebration of the life of Marion
Spjut Gilliland was held at a memorial service on Sunday,
December 7, 1997 at the Gainesville Women's Club.


The information used in the preceding paragraphs was compiled by
Charles H. Gilliland, Jr., U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis. The picture of
Marion was taken when she and Herb celebrated their 50th wedding



William R. Royal

Bill Royal died on May 8, 1997, at the age of 92 years. He
was best known for helping to bring ancient human remains
from Warm Mineral Springs (8S019) and Little Salt Spring
(8S 18) to the attention of scientists and the public. He was
an extraordinary underwater diver, as well as an experienced
Bill was born on March 16, 1905, in Bay City, Michigan.
After eighth grade, he began work with his father in construc-
tion. By the age of 21, he was flying small airplanes. With the
onset of the Great Depression, he moved to Florida, surviving
the hard times in Manatee County on the Gulf coast. In the
late 1930s, he resumed flying and operated a passenger
service in the Bahamas and Cuba. During World War II, he
delivered military aircraft to England, Africa, Iran, and India
for the U.S. Army Air Corps. In 1945, when Bill was 40, he

retired from active duty with the rank of Major, remaining in
the Reserve. He then worked as a building contractor in
Detroit, later moving to Venice, Florida, in 1949.
In 1951, during the Korean War, Bill was recalled to active
duty. During the next seven years, he worked as a civil
engineer at Air Force bases in Colorado, Kansas, Texas,
Johnston Island (in the mid-Pacific Ocean near Hawaii),
Turkey, West Germany, and France. While on Johnston
Island, he began sport diving, and he continued diving around
the coast of Turkey in the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara,
Aegean, and Mediterranean.
Bill left active duty in 1958 at the age of 53, with the rank
of Lieutenant Colonel. He moved to Venice, Florida, where
he worked as a builder. Bill continued diving and met Dr.
Eugenie Clark, an ichthyologist who worked at Cape Haze
Marine Laboratory. For a brief time, Bill fished for sharks
that were needed for research purposes at the marine lab.
With Clark, Bill dove in nearby Warm Mineral and Little Salt
springs where they discovered stalactite and columnar
dripstone formations showing that the water in the cenote-like
springs had once been much lower. To their surprise, they
also found human bones, some of which Bill dug from soft
sediments on submerged ledges around the sides of the
In July, 1959, on a ledge around 10-13 m below the surface
of Warm Mineral Springs, Bill uncovered a number of bone
artifacts and a human skull containing well-preserved brain
material, an unprecedented discovery at that time in Florida
and long before similar finds at Little Salt Spring and
Windover Pond. He and Clark then worked together to
research and report these finds. For the skull, they obtained a
radiocarbon date suggesting that it was ca. 8000 years old (ca.
7400 uncalibrated years B.P.). They also obtained a second
radiocarbon date suggesting that human bones from deeper
sediments were ca. 10,000 years old (Clark 1969:169-176;
Royal and Clark 1960). Such antiquity also was unprece-
dented in Florida. However, it would remain hypothetical
until adequate stratigraphic and chronometric data could be
In 1960, Bill moved again, working as a contractor for the
Air Force, first in Texas and later in New Mexico. He retired
from the Air Force Reserve in 1965, moving back perma-
nently to Florida in 1970 at the age of 65. Since he still was
fascinated by Warm Mineral Springs, Bill resumed diving
and digging in the spring, and he worked through local,


county, and state channels to bring scientific attention to the
In response, the State of Florida sent underwater archaeolo-
gist Carl Clausen to Warm Mineral Springs in 1971 and 1972.
Bill showed him one of the last undisturbed areas on the 13-
meter ledge where Clausen conducted a controlled excava-
tion. Clausen recovered significant stratigraphic data as well
as human bones, and he obtained a number of radiocarbon
dates confirming that the bones and sediments dated to the
Paleoindian period, ca. 10,000 years ago (Clausen et al.
1975a, 1975b).
In 1973, additional work was conducted on the 13-meter
ledge. Bill helped remove several boulders and broken
stalactites from over a human skeleton he had partially
uncovered. Underwater archaeologists Wilburn Cockrell,
Reynold Rupp6, and others then removed the skeleton, which
was interpreted as an intentional, flexed burial with an
associated carved shell atlatl spur. Radiocarbon samples from
the immediate vicinity of the burial yielded numerous uncal-
ibrated dates of ca. 10,000 years B.P.(Cockrell and Murphy
1978:1, Figures 2-4; Royal and Burgess 1978:242-245;
Ruppe 1980a:33).
Soon after, in early 1974, Bill was awarded a special
commendation by Florida Secretary of State Richard Stone
for his role in identifying the Warm Mineral Springs remains.
Additional archaeological work followed at both Warm
Mineral and Little Salt springs in the 1970s and 1980s
(Clausen et al. 1979; Purdy 1991:139-158, 186-197).
Meanwhile, Bill's diving in the nearshore Gulf of Mexico
west of Venice piqued the interest of Rupp6. In 1973, Bill
showed Rupp6 underwater midden deposits at the Venice
Beach site (8S026). Rupp6 returned with students, including
several from Arizona State University, and conducted
investigations of the midden as well as areas offshore (Rupp6
1980a, 1980b, 1988).
During these years, Bill continued to dive in Warm Mineral
Springs, attracting media attention and co-authoring a book
about his adventures (Royal and Burgess 1978). He gave two
of the huge, columnar dripstones removed from the springs
to Mote Marine Laboratory for public display in Sarasota. He
also provided a human bone fragment, reportedly from the
deeper 20-meter ledge in Warm Mineral Springs, to the
University of South Florida for amino acid racemization
dating, obtaining a date of ca. 10,000 years B.P. (Lien 1983).
In 1986, at the age of 81, Bill became interested in Salt
Creek, a drainage leading from Warm Mineral Springs to the
Myakka River. He worked there with volunteers to recover
fossils and artifacts, the latter leading to a site designation,
8SO447, in the Florida Site File in Tallahassee.
In 1995, Bill celebrated his 90th birthday (Brown 1995;
Reed 1995). Well into his ninety-first year, Bill continued to
swim daily. In his lifetime, Bill said that he logged over 3,000
hours diving in Warm Mineral Springs, and an equal amount
in the Gulf near Venice.
Today, Bill is remembered widely by many people. He is
survived by his wife, Shirley, and a number of children and


Sources for this account of Bill Royal's life include Shirley Royal (via Paul
Lien) and referenced books and articles. Photograph of Bill Royal was
provided by Barbara Purdy.

References Cited

Brown, Robin C.
1995 William Royal's 90th Birthday Celebrated: A Photo Montage. The
Florida Anthropologist 48:152.
Clark, Eugenie
1969 The Lady and the Sharks. Harper and Row, Publishers, New York.
Clausen, Carl J., H. K. Brooks, and A. B. Wesolowsky
1975a Florida Spring Confirmed as 10,000 Year Old Man Site. Florida
Anthropological Society Publication No. 7, Gainesville.
1975b The Early Man Site at Warm Mineral Springs, Florida. Journal
of Field Archaeology 2:191-213.
Clausen, Carl J., A. D. Cohen, Cesare Emiliani, J. A. Holman, and J. J. Stipp
1979 Little Salt Spring, Florida: A Unique Underwater Site. Science
Cockrell, Wilburn A., and Larry Murphy
1978 Pleistocene Man in Florida. Archaeology of Eastern North
America 6:1-13.
Lien, Paul M.
1983 Amino Acid Racemization Dates from Paleo-Indian Sites in
Florida. The Florida Anthropologist 36:106-107.
Purdy, Barbara A.
1991 The Art and Archaeology of Florida's Wetlands. CRC Press, Boca
Reed, Stephen G.
1995 Royal not blue about turning 90. Sarasota Herald-Tribune,
March 18, page IB, continued on 4B.
Royal, William R., and Robert F. Burgess
1978 The Man Who Rode Sharks. Dodd, Mead, and Company, New
Royal, William R., and Eugenic Clark
1960 Natural Preservation of Human Brain, Warm Mineral Springs,
Florida. American Antiquity 26:285-287.
Ruppe, Reynold J.
1980a Introduction. Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties Bulletin
1980b The Archaeology of Drowned Terrestrial Sites: A Preliminary
Report. Bureau ofHistoric Sites and Properties Bulletin 6:35-45.
1988 The Location and Assessment of Underwater Archaeological
Sites. In Wet Site Archaeology, edited by Barbara A. Purdy, pp.
55-68. The Telford Press, Caldwell, New Jersey.



1998 VOL. 51(1)


The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Brian M. Fagan,
Editor-in-Chief; Charlotte Beck, George H. Michaels,
Chriss Scarre, Neil Asher Silberman, Editors. Oxford
University Press, New York, 1996. xx + 844 pp., maps,
tables, index, $55.00 (cloth).

301 Beachway Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32169

This encyclopedic reference book, commissioned by the
Oxford University Press, is a remarkable achievement and
is successful in its goal of providing an up-to-date survey of
world-wide archaeology from 2.5 million years ago to the
present. It provides details about hundreds of archaeologists,
sites, and cultures, as well as field methods, laboratory
methods, theory, history of archaeology, and the relevance
of the discipline to contemporary life.
The Editor-in-Chief, Brian Fagan, is well known as the
author of numerous texts and books of popular interest, and
that unusually broad experience made him exceptionally well
qualified to supervise the production of this complex
volume. He also authored many of the articles. A volume of
this scope requires a team effort. Four section editors
divided broad regional responsibilities and were contributors
as well. Twenty-three archaeologists were members of an
advisory board, 374 world-wide contributors are listed,
while reviewers and others who helped are acknowledged
but too numerous to be listed by name. Many Oxford
University Press staff members also contributed to the
production of this volume.
The topical items making up the book are presented in
alphabetical order. Some entries discuss a specific site or
archaeologist, while others may deal with a large area such
as North America. The reader might make a direct alpha-
betical search or utilize the index as a starting point. Some
entries lack text but refer the reader to an appropriate topical
article. Within each entry asterisks indicate cross reference
items so that the reader can expand a search, while the end
of most articles includes a cross reference listing of related
entries. Many articles also include bibliographical references
to relevant books and articles so that the reader may extend
a topical search. Each article identifies the individual who
contributed the entry.
The Companion is organized to achieve a general exposi-
tion of several themes (pp. vii-x) and subthemes: How
archaeology began and developed; How archaeology works;
How archaeologists explain the past; Archaeology and the
human past; World prehistory; The origins of civilization;
States and Civilizations; Historical Archaeology; and
Archaeology in the late twentieth century. These themes are
evident in the text but are dispersed by the alphabetical

presentation. Through selective search the reader may follow
these broad themes or find a great deal of information about
a large number of specific topics.
There are 27 continental or subcontinental maps showing
the locations of some sites and/or cultures. Not all of the
sites shown on the maps appear in the text, and the maps
would be very cluttered at best if they had attempted to show
all of the sites discussed in the text. The maps are useful to
the reader but somewhat disappointing because they are not
cross indexed. An article about the Silk Route is a good
example. There is one map devoted to the Silk Road and
part of the road appears on one of the maps of Chine, but
neither the article nor the index refers to these maps.
There also are 13 chronological tables showing cultural
periods by continental or large regional scale. But as with
the maps, the tables are mentioned only in the Introduction;
their use is left to the ingenuity of the reader.
The usefulness of the Companion will depend on the user's
needs. Although many sites of cultures are discussed in
detail, in other cases the articles are presented at a very
general level. There is no specific cultural detail, for
example, at the level of the State of Florida. North Ameri-
can culture periods like Woodland and Mississippian are
described in general. If a reader has a need for a quick
reference to prominent sites and cultures on a world-wide
basis, outside his or her normal sphere of interest, the
Companion will do the trick. A reader seeking up-to-date
exposition of archaeological methods, theory, or history also
will find this an excellent source. Should you encourage
your local library to acquire this reference volume? Abso-
lutely yes! Should you purchase it yourself? It may or may
not serve your research needs, but it contains a wealth of
information and extensive browsing will upgrade almost any
reader's personal understanding of the field. With this
volume, the authors, editors, and publisher have made a
magnificent contribution to archaeology.

People, Plants, and Landscapes: Studies in Paleoethno-
botany. Kristen J. Gremillion, Editor. The University of
Alabama Press, 1997. xvii + 271 pp., figures, references,
index, $29.95 (paper).

Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University,
Carbondale, Illinois 62901.

Richard Yarnell is widely recognized as one of North
America's most influential paleoethnobotanists. In reflection
of this he was selected as the 1992 recipient of the Society
for American Archaeology's Fryxell Award for Interdisci-


plinary Research. Working from his lab at the University of
North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Yarnell energized and galva-
nized the analysis of plant remains from archaeological sites
across North America. He has inspired generations of
paleoethnobotanists, who have benefitted from his wide-
ranging and insightful research, and he has trained an
impressive group of students who share his broad geographic
and taxonomic interests. Yarnell, along with Hugh Cutler
and Leonard Blake, is among the first persons to analyze
plant remains from Florida sites, having examined Spanish
mission and other remains for Jerald Milanich. Those of us
working with Florida archaeobotanical materials have been
fortunate to have the benefit of Yarnell's freely-given advice
and expert direction.
It is to Richard Yarnell that People, Plants, and Land-
scapes is appropriately dedicated by its contributors, many
of whom were Yarnell's students and close colleagues. The
book consists of a series of case studies that examine the
relations between past cultures and their environments. Ten
chapters are divided into two primary sections, with Part I
centered on paleoethnobotany as a discipline, taxonomy, and
domestication issues, and Part II on human communities in
view of landscape, culture, and resource dynamics. The
volume is of interest to Florida archaeologists for several
reasons. A number of the chapters involve assemblages of
plant remains including, for example, nuts, maize,
gourd/squash, and various ruderal taxa that are very
similar to assemblages from different parts of Florida, and
to some extent demonstrate similar trajectories or develop-
ments in plant use. Several chapters are focused on theoreti-
cal questions and models that are clearly applicable to
research in Florida, and a number draw directly on archaeo-
botanical data from Florida sites.
Paleoethnobotany as a discipline has undergone a rapid
fluorescence in recent years. An array of new techniques
and methods have been developed, and the various special-
ists tackle diverse questions from environmental and land-
scape dynamics, to human diets and nutrition, the evolution
of plant production systems, and more. The introductory
chapter by Kris Gremillion provides a thoughtful summary
of these developments, placing them in the context of
Yarnell's career and those of other influential individuals in
American archaeology. Patty Jo Watson's chapter provides
an excellent overview of the emergence and growth of the
discipline since the so-called "flotation revolution" of the
1960s and 1970s. She compares parallel developments in the
three broad geographic regions the Near East, eastern
North America, and the American Southwest where the
most progress has been made, and shows how the various
innovations and developments in general are strongly linked
to the popularity of different theoretical approaches in both
American and European archaeology. The following two
chapters by Gremillion and by Gayle Fritz complement
Watson's nicely, as they are case studies which demonstrate
very effectively how new approaches and methods have
enhanced and expanded the capabilities of archaeobotanical
research. Gremillion focuses on plant remains from Newt

Kash Shelter, tracking analyses by different researchers over
a 60-year period and culminating with her own reexamina-
tions and new analyses of the museum-curated remains.
Likewise, Fritz analyzes plant remains that were first
excavated in 1934, drawing also on new data from sites
across eastern North America. Using AMS dating and
refined techniques for sample recovery and analysis, these
researchers were able to provide critical new evidence in
support of the hypothesis that the midcontinental Eastern
Woodlands of North America was an independent center of
plant domestication.
Wes Cowan's chapter takes another approach, which is to
synthesize and closely examine current evidence on a single,
very important economic species, Cucurbita pepo or
gourd/squash. His focus is on remains from Kentucky, but
like the preceding two chapters, he examines also new data
from throughout the region and tracks through time and
space the transformation of what were originally small,
bitter, hard-shelled forms into the diverse cultivars known
today. Cowan considers how and why such a plant came to
be an integral part of plant production systems among
prehistoric cultures in eastern North America, and makes a
case for the protein-rich seeds being the original attraction
for human groups.
Chapter 5 by Gary Crawford is a study of anthropogenesis
- defined by the author as the process by which human
beings impact their environment using archaeobotanical
data from prehistoric Japan. In biogeographic terms (size,
area, distance, isolation, etc.[island biogeographic theory]),
Japan is actually very similar to the Florida peninsula.
Indeed, Crawford's chapter illustrates a number of similari-
ties with what we know of Florida paleoethnobotany,
including the relative presence of cultigens, nuts, and
various weed species, and an early emphasis on weedy
grasses like foxtail millet (Setaria spp.), rather than grass
domesticates (rice in the case of Japan, maize in the case of
Margie Scarry and Vincas Steponaitis coauthored the next
chapter in which they very effectively employ archaeo-
botanical data from a series of Mississippian sites in the
Moundville area to examine social dynamics in relation to
the Mississippian center. Through the types and relative
quantities of different classes of plant remains, Scarry and
Steponaitis were able to identify developmental trends in
plant production in conjunction with the emergence of the
chiefly society. Moreover, through creative use of their data,
it was possible to clearly portray alternating periods of
relative autonomy for outlying farmsteads and other times
during which provisioning occurred between farmsteads and
the center.
Chapter 7 by Bruce Winterhalder and Carol Goland is a
captivating analysis of plant use, risk factors, and the
possible avenues leading some cultures to plant domestica-
tion. They draw from evolutionary ecology and foraging
theory to model the domestication process and address
related questions of dietary risk, resource management,
social relations, and more. Reading this chapter, it becomes

1998 VOL. 51(1)



very easy to envision why prehistoric groups living in the
Florida peninsula seem never to have embraced agriculture
and fully domesticated crops. Paul Gardner's contribution
likewise is very thought-provoking, as it takes a concerted
look at nut foods and mast exploitation strategies, which are
too often ignored or understated by researchers. He employs
biological and ecological data to examine yields, mast
cycles, nutritional factors, inherent constraints on nut
exploitation, and the potential of nut foods to serve as a
storable surplus and/or as an important buffer during periods
of food shortage. The chapter has considerable relevance to
sites in north Florida, particularly those associated with the
Archaic Period, from which hickory nuts and acorns are
frequently identified.
The final chapters are by Gregory Waselkov and by Julia
Hammett. Waselkov uses maps and other documentary
sources to elucidate subtle details concerning historic
Southeastern Indian garden and field locations. He goes on
to demonstrate, among other things, how agricultural
production was eventually transformed from matrilineage-
controlled, communally worked lineage fields and within-
town gardens, to relatively autonomous, individual-family
plantings. The changes are interpreted to have occurred as
traditional systems of property and inheritance were de-
graded and altered under the influence of European traders
and a market economy. Hammett's chapter is focused on
human perceptions of landscapes and their active and
sometimes inadvertent roles as factors in ecosystem develop-
ment. She provides a wonderful series of interregional
comparisons between eastern and western North America,
looking at Native American wildlife management practices,
gardening, arboriculture, and, in general, anthropogenic
landscapes. Hammett begins with ethnographic and ethno-
historic examples, then turns to archaeobotanical records
from both regions, emphasizing on the one hand commonali-
ties in plant use (for example, the consistent representation
of a narrow range of economically valuable plant families;
genera and species may change, but the family groups are
predictably present), and on the other, interregional differ-
ences in the timing and scale of plant introductions.
As a whole the chapters in this volume are very well
written and researched, and highly innovative. People,
Plants, and Landscapes is a distinct credit to Dr. Yarnell
and the field of paleoethnobotany. I recommend this book in
the highest possible terms to students, specialists of all
stripes, teachers of general method and theory courses and
certainly, of paleoethnobotany. The book should appeal to
anyone interested in plant domestication, agriculture origins,
paleoethnobotany, evolutionary ecology, foraging theory,
social complexity, sustainable land use, and landscape



The Florida Archaeological Council is making available a maximum of $500.00 per year to
be awarded to archaeology graduate students (M.A. or Ph.D.) who are currently enrolled
in a Florida university. The grant money will assist students conducting archaeological
research in Florida. Grant funds can be used to cover the costs associated with
archaeological field work, special analyses (e.g., radiocarbon dates, faunal or botanical
analyses, soils analysis, etc.), or travel expenses associated with presenting a paper based
on the student's research at a professional meeting. The entire amount may be given to a
single individual or it may be divided up among several applicants at the discretion of the
FAC's Grant Committee.

Students who are interested in applying for the grant should submit a 2-page letter
describing the project for which the funds are being requested; what research questions)
or problems) are being addressed; how the funds will be applied to these problems; what,
if any, additional funds will be used to accomplish the research; and how the research will
contribute to Florida archaeology. Accompanying the letter should be a budget indicating
the amount requested and describing how the money will be spent along with a letter of

Applications for 1998 are now being accepted and can be sent to: Robert Austin, FAC
Griffin Student Grant, P.O. Box 2818, Riverview, FL 33568-2818. The deadline for
applications is May 1.


A profe.iondl orgdn11Zdtion for the benefit and advdancemreIt of archaeology, especially in Florida.


Donate a minimum of $100 to The
Florida Anthropologist Endowment and
receive a signed, limited edition print
by renowned artist, Dean Quigley,

Choose from one of the following
prints in Quigley's Lost Florida series.

HOLOPAW depicts a middle Archaic campsite in north
Florida. Hunters are returning frol ~~ cessful bear hunt; a
woman grinds tubers to nd small child is in awe
of a giant alligator;l dQ~an converses with traders from a
distant place. tLe foreground, a flintknapper works on
finishing his finely made projectile point.

THE HUNTERS illustrates a Paleoindian hunting party in
combat with a juvenile mastodon.

THE KILL depicts two Archaic period hunters preparing to
spear a large alligator in the depths of a southern cypress

The Kill CLOSING IN depicts a group of Paleoindian hunters closing
in on a mastodon and her calf.

CALUSA depicts the large village site at Pineland, Florida ca.
A.D. 900-1100. Featured on the cover of Florida's First

TATAMAHO depicts an Indian gigging a garfish while his son
playfully loads the catch in a basket. Nearby, a panther waits
for a free meal and a raccoon eagerly awaits leftovers.

THE RETURN depicts two tattooed Indians returning from a
day of fishing. Their canoe is loaded with fish and shellfish.
In the distance, smoke rises from a campsite hidden amidst
the mangroves and shaded by cedar trees.

BOSKITA depicts the Green Corn Ceremony, one of the most
important rituals of many southeastern Indian cultures. Boskita

SOLITUDE is based on t s of early European Also available: Florida Indian Artifacts, a 16 x 20 inch poster
explorers and de s i hunter returning to his canoe showing the wide range of artifacts made and used by the
loaded with fi U native peoples of Florida.

Mail your donation to: The Florida Anthropologist, 11203 Tralee Dr., Riverview, FL 33569. Only a limited number ofprints are available. Please specify
first and second choices.

Join the Florida Anthropological Society (FAS)!
A non-profit organization founded in 1947, with chapters throughout Florida

Florida Indian (
This Bird-man
Dancer is the
main illustration
of an attractive
and informative
poster depicting
the major tribes
that once in-
habited Florida.
Available for a
$6.50 donation
to FAS, this 18 by
36-inch poster is
printed maroon
and purple on a
heavy paper.

Join the F

Anthropology is the study of people and their cultures. Join FAS and help
save and enjoy Florida's heritage! FAS holds an annual meeting and banquet
featuring renowned speakers. FAS members receive a newsletter and informa-
tive journal four times a year. The journal features interesting articles on
Florida archaeology, history, folklore, and preservation.

F ------------ ----------------------
: ] YES! I want to join FAS!
I Membership is only $25 per year (individual) and is tax-deductible.
Other rates: $25 institutional, $35 family, $35 or more, sustaining,
: patron $100, and life $500.
OI YES, I would like to donate an additional $6.50, also tax-deductible,
and receive a poster by mail (allow 3-5 weeks).

I Name:

City: State: Zip:

Telephone:( )

FAS Membership, c/o Terry Simpson, CGCAS, P.O. Box 82255,
I Tampa, FL 33682
lorida Anthropological Society (FAS)!
A non-profit organization founded in 1947, with chapters throughout Florida

Anthropology is the study of people and their cultures. Join FAS and help
save and enjoy Florida's heritage! FAS holds an annual meeting and banquet
featuring renowned speakers. FAS members receive a newsletter and informa-
tive journal four times a year. The journal features interesting articles on
Florida archaeology, history, folklore, and preservation.

r ---- - - -- - - --
SO YES! I want to join FAS!
S I Membership is only $25 per year (individual) and is tax-deductible.
I Other rates: $25 institutional, $35 family, $35 or more, sustaining,
patron $100, and life $500.
I YES, I would like to donate an additional $6.50, also tax-deductible,
and receive a poster by mail (allow 3-5 weeks).

I Name:
I Address:

I City: State: Zip:
Telephone:( )

FAS Membership, c/o Terry Simpson, CGCAS, P.O. Box 82255,
ITampa, FL 33682


Indian River Anthro. Soc. 3705 S. Tropical Terrace, Menitt island, FL 32952 ---

Volusia Anthro. SOC. P.O. Box 1881, Ormond Beach, FL 32175

St. Augustine Arch. Assoc. P.O. Box 1987, St Augustine, FL 32085-

Northeast FL Anthro. Soc. 10274 Bear Valley Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32257

S ensa-olaAh Sf ~
l g *o e i
*^ 0" - "* .. ..^T -i
LSs~ll: ^rUI^)r ; :LM.A;g 'L ^
AYt .j. I CLA* .
S*.C 'UA UTNA --.
Pensacola Arch. Soc. P.O. Box 13251, Pensacola, FL 32591 : LC

Central FL Anthro. Soc. P.O. Box 261, Odando, FL 32801-0261

Central Gulf Coast Arch. Soc. P.O. Box 82255, Tampa, FL 33682

Kissimmee Valley Arch. & Hist. Cons. 13300 U.S. 98, Sebring, FL 33870-

Time Sifters Arch. Soc. P.O. Box 2542, Sarasota, FL 34277

Southeast Florida Arch. Soc. P.O. Box 2875, Stuart, FL 34995/

Southwest FL Arch. Soc. P.O. Box 9965,Naples, FL 33941

Broward Co. Arch. SOC. 481 S. Federal Highway, Dania, FL 33004

Arch. Soc. of Southern FL 2495 NW 35th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142



About the Authors:

Douglas T. Peck is an independent historian residing in Bradenton. He has published several books and
articles on the history of early Spanish exploration and encounters with native peoples in the New World.

Ryan J. Wheeler was raised in Fort Lauderdale where he developed an interest in Natural History. He has
academic degrees from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida, and has authored or co-
authored a number of articles focusing on Florida archaeology. Dr. Wheeler works for the Florida Bureau
of Archaeological Research conducting surveys on state lands purchased through the Conservation and
Recreation Lands Program

George M. Luer is doing graduate work in archaeology at the University of Florida. He continues to
investigate Florida Indian cultures through studies of ceramics, shell tools, metal ornaments, and other topics.
Luer also works and volunteers in archaeological preservation projects.

Arthur R. Lee is past President of the Florida Anthropological Society and has written several articles of
southwest Florida prehistory. He currently is Director of the Southwest Florida Archaeological Society's
Craighead Laboratory in Naples.

Brinnen S. Carter is a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida. He has a master's degree in nautical
archaeology from Texas A&M University. He works with the Aucilla River Prehistory Project and is writing
his dissertation on the Paleoindian and Early Archaic periods in Florida.

James S. Dunbar is an archaeologist with the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research where he continues
his research on the Paleoindian and Early Archaic periods in Florida.

David G. Anderson received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1990 and is
presently an archaeologist with the Southeast Archaeological Center, National Park Service. He has conducted
fieldwork in the southeastern, southwestern, and midwestern United States and the Caribbean.

Roger T. Grange, Jr. earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and his
Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His archaeological field work has included
excavations and surveys in South Dakota, Nebraska, Michigan, Newfoundland, Quebec, and Florida. From
1964 until his retirement in 1994 he was Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. He
now lives in New Smyrna Beach.

Lee A. Newsom is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Curator at the Center for Archaeological
Investigations at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She received her Ph.D. from the University of
Florida in 1993 following research conducted on the paleoethnobotany of a series of Caribbean sites. She
continues to work with archaeobotanical assemblages from Florida and the Caribbean islands.


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