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g .7- 1Lo da
loida Anthropological Society
EMBER EASTERN STATES ARCHEOLOGAL FEDERATION
S e A Nw
Robert Anderson, Editor
Editorial Office at the Florida State University, Tallahassee.
Published at the University of Florida, Gainesville, for the
Florida Anthropological Society.
94Et 9[ aoi da c ,ntI 1tofoLoygt
Vol. VII March, 1954 No. 1
A CULTURAL EXPLANATION OF GEOPHAGY ...... Nancie L. Solien 1
ARTIFACTS FROM THE BLUFFTON MIDDEN,
VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA ................ .Wilfred T. Neill 11
EXCAVATIONS AT LA FINCA DE DOS MARIAS,
CAMAGUEY, CUBA .........................Hale G. Smith 19
SOME INCISED POTTERY FROM CUBA AND FLORIDA
....................... Ripley P. Bullen and D. D. Laxson 23
HISTORIC METAL PLUMMET PENDANTS ........... John M. Goggin 27
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE ................. ......... ... 29
A CULTURAL EXPLANATION OF GEOPHAGY
Nancie L. Solien
The subject of geophagy, or the custom of earth-eating among humans
and animals, has received little attention in recent years from students of
physiology or anthropology. Most of the literature has been concerned with
isolated cases pathological in origin, and this paper will not attempt to
deal with such forms of geophagy.
In the past the subject has been viewed by various scholars who have
offered diverse explanations for its presence among certain tribes and
countries in the world. In the light of out-of-date physiological data, most
ethnologists have either dismissed it as unimportant, or interpreted it as a
sign of a dietary deficiency. The latter was the opinion of Deniker (1906,
p. 145) and F. W. Krickeberg (Laufer, 1930, p. 106, quoting Krickeberg,
Vergl. Volkerkunde, I, 1922, p. 146). Laufer himself opined that it must have
a physiological basis because it was found in so many widely separated
areas of the world, which precluded the possibility of diffusion. (Laufer,
1930, p. 108).
Determinants such as race, geographical location, or economics are ruled
out of any explanation of geophagy by its worldwide distribution. The phys-
iological explanation must be examined in the light of present knowledge of
hunger and appetite.
Older theories concerning the physiology of hunger and appetite indi-
cated that the behavior of the organism is oriented toward food of a certain
kind by deficiency of a certain constitutent in the tissue juices which alters
the composition of the blood and through it acts upon a "hunger center."
A. J. Carlson, one of the pioneers in the field, felt that appetite is the ex-
pression of an inherited mechanism which leads us to prefer certain foods
over others (Carlson, 1912). No distinction had as yet been made between
hunger and appetite by anyone at that time. The two were held to be identi-
cal for all practical purposes. In spite of a great deal of work in this area,
no one succeeded in formulating a basic and utilizable definition of each
until 1949, when Janowitz and Grossman published a new proposal based on
recent writings. They stated that "the hunger state is the physiological
state resulting from the privation of food of a specific or general type, and
is abolished by the ingestion of these foods" (Janowitz and Grossman, 1949,
p. 232). This state was considered to be unlearned and independent of con-
ditioning. Appetite is defined as the desire to eat, and specific appetites
are desires to eat specific foods ibidd., p. 235).
Here, then, lies the key. The state of hunger seems to be definitely
physiological in origin, common to all forms of life. This state, through
still unknown mechanisms, sets up a craving for the proteins, carbohydrates,
fats, and other elements present in food and required by the body for survi-
val. In other words, this craving is for food with no special emphasis on
preference for one kind over another. When under the influence of extreme
hunger, the organism will eat not only such foods as it is accustomed to,
but even foreign substances, foods or otherwise, in order to still this crav-
ing. For example, shipwrecked or marooned persons will eat items the
thought of which would nauseate them in their own cultural surroundings. It
is perfectly conceivable then that primitive peoples, with their insufficient
knowledge of food constituents, might take to eating clay or earth along with
other substances, such as tree bark and grass, in times of famine.
This idea has been presented by some ethnographers in the past such as
H. Schurtz (Katechismus der Volkerkunde, 1893, p. 21, quoted by Laufer,
1930, p. 107) and Hooper and Mann (1906, p.270),who said they thought the
cause for geophagy was "primarily the purely mechanical effect it seems
to have in comforting gastric or intestinal irritation."
Bash (1939, p. 150) has stated that hunger may be stilled for short peri-
ods by ingestion of substances not nourishing to the body. Janowitz and
Grossman (1949, p. 233) cite experiments which show that signs of hunger
are diminished by placing non-caloric bulk in the crop of decerebrate pigeons.
Appetite, according to the definition given above, is something quite
different from hunger. Much research has been done recently on the subject
of relation of desire to need or the relation of appetite to specific defi-
ciencies in the tissues. Work done with animals (usually rats) and infants
under one year has resulted in wide disagreement among observers. Davis
(1928), working with infants, found that the uncultured human being was able
to pick out a balanced and nourishing diet from a wide array of foodstuffs
presented. She observed that the children often went on a "binge", eating
one certain food for several days to the exclusion of others, then changing
the preference to another food. She hypothesized that the infant is unable
to consume enough foods of correct quantity and quality for optimal growth
at each meal, so as each nutrient is depleted, an increased appetite for it
results. At any rate, the children showed themselves to be omnivorous,
with resulting normal growth and progress during their first year. Of course,
it is possibly significant that only nourishing foods were offered in this
Richter (1942) also considered appetites as the direct expression of in-
ternal organic states of need and stated that self-selection works independent-
ly of experience. Even as late as 1944, Hoelzel indicated that the funda-
mental appreciation of food, or the basal appetite, depends on need and one's
physical condition, particularly the condition or readiness of the digestive
tract to use food. This latter statement appears to refer to hunger rather than
appetite as defined by Janowitz and Grossman.
However, Cannon, as early as 1912, doubted the validity of this instinc-
tive theory. lie felt that appetite is dependent upon previous experience
which is of such agreeable character that there is a desire for repetition of
it. Later experiments have shown this early hypothesis to be true. Harris
(1933) showed that animals seem to be able to choose diets with vitamins in
them, yet education to a certain flavor may be accomplished so that the de-
pleted rat will eat even a vitamin free diet in preference to a nutritious one
with an inferior flavor. lie concluded that palatability is defined through
learning, not through instinct. This supports the view of Mursell (1925, p.
326) who said, "Any attempt to explain the food preferences of humanity on
the basis of inherently pleasant or unpleasant tastes and odors is doomed to
break down hopelessly ." Finally, Young (1941, 1945, 1946) and Scott
(1946) have shown that often no direct relationship between need and intake
can be demonstrated. Thus, preferences for particular foods, or food habits,
are formed in agreement with palatability, a culturally defined thing, and only
indirectly with need. Then, once a food habit has become established, the
consumption of the article may continue contrary to the needs of the organism.
Keeping the physiological picture in mind, an examination of the distri-
bution of the practice of geopha y is illuminating. Laufer finds its existence
in every continent of the world. However, if its distribution is plotted on a
map we will find that the trait exists in certain definable areas and is defi-
nitely absent in others.
The primitive tribes of northeastern Siberia from the Tungus to the Chuck-
chi and Koryak eat earth because they like its flavor. They consider it a
delicacy, and eat it much as we eat candy. It is thought to aid digestion and
cure diarrhea and dysentery. No evidence of this custom has been noted
among other Asiatic peoples to the south and west. However, ancient docu-
ments indicate that geophagy was practiced in times of famine in China and
that earth-eating played some part in the Taoist religious activities. Peoples
in Siam and on the Malayan Peninsula have also been known to eat earth, but
in these areas it was consumed mainly by the women, especially during preg-
nancy, when it was thought to ensure health of mother and child. Men also
ate it occasionally as a tonic.
Laufer, 1930. In this monograph Dr. Laufer reported all the then-known instances of
earth-eating found in the world. He examined ancient documents and legends, ac-
counts of missionaries and ethnographers, and came up with many interesting facts
concerning the local reasons for consumption of earth, as well as reports on the
kinds of earth eaten. This paper will use Laufer's monograph as the authority and
source for all instances of geophagy named unless stated otherwise.
Throughout Indonesia and Melanesia, earth-eating was quite common
among primitive peoples. Here again pregnant women ate it habitually, be-
lieving it had magical properties such as making the-expected child strong,
wise and beautiful. In Torres Straits, pregnant women ate lumps of greasy,
chocolate-like earth to make their babies light colored. Children up to the
age of seven ate it to make them strong, brave, and hardy (Haddon, 1912,
In Borneo, its consumption was believed to increase fertility and induce
conception. In New Guinea and in the Philippines, earth was the remedy for
constipation, yet the aborigines of Queensland, Australia, ate it to relieve
diarrhea. Although the reasons for geophagy vary in this area as shown
above, the usage was in general medicinal, in accordance with a belief in
the magical power of the earth as prescribed by shamans.
Geophagists may be found throughout India, especially along the south-
western coast. During times of famine, the practice was particularly wide-
spread, and among the lowest and poorest castes many habitually eat certain
clays. In some instances, certain religious sects incorporated the practice
of eating earth in some of their ceremonies.
On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the practice of eating earth has
been observed among the Arctic Eskimos (Stefansson, 1914, p. 395) and
among the northern Athabaskans of Canada, though no mention seems to have
been made of it among the Northwest Coast tribes or in the Plains and Wood-
The practice is quite common among tribes in the southwestern United
States. Hough (1907, p. 465) notes that in some localities clay was eaten,
either alone or mixed with wild potatoes to mitigate the griping effect of the
acrid tuber. The Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, and Apache peoples may all be classed
as one-time earth-eaters. Analyses of the earth used in this area show that
it has the peculiar property of absorbing water and swelling to a greater
volume when in the stomach. Thus it could have played the part of a "stretch-
er" when mixed with other foods, giving a false sense of satiety. The Pomo,
Papago, and other Californian tribes mixed earth with acorn meal to counter-
act the tannic acid of the acorns.
Early Spanish accounts of Mexican tribes indicate that geophagy was
practiced mainly for religious reasons among the Zapotecs, Tarascans,
Mayans, and neighboring peoples. Indians of Guatemala and the Sambo of
Costa Rica prized certain kinds of earth as a condiment which they sprinkled
over their other foods. Continuing down into South America, we find that
the Otomac and Jarure and other tribes in the Orinoco region ate clay mixed
with maize and fat and formed into balls. Apparently, they had no reason for
eating it other than the fact that they liked its taste, and it possibly again
had the effect of making what food they had go farther. Other South American
tribes among whom the practice has been reported include the Cayenne Carib,
the Rucuyennes of Guiana, the Botocudo of Brazil, and the interior Bakairi
and Bororo. It has also been observed in Paraguy, Peru, Bolivia and northern
Chile, where the custom is associated with religious practices.
Geophagy has been noted in the Greater Antilles and in the southeastern
area of the United States, though no record has been found attributing the
practice to early Florida natives. The Pamunkey and Catawba Indians in
Virginia are reported to eat the same clay they use in making pottery. Ap-
parently they merely like its flavor, but it is possible that there is a magical
connection between eating the clay and making pottery. This is the opinion
of Dr. Frank G. Speck, who has made extensive studies of these tribes
(Laufer, 1930, p. 171, quoting personal communication from Speck). The
Redbones of Carolina and some tribes in Georgia also ate clay (Lawson, p.
465), although the practice is seemingly unknown among the more northern
tribes of eastern United States.
In Africa, geophagy is found all along the Guinea Coast and in the Congo,
especially among the Baluba and Batanga. Here again the reason given for
the consumption of earth is medicinal, in many cases as a general tonic
Geophagy is not strictly limited to primitive peoples by any means.
Several instances have been reported from Europe in the last few centuries.
During the Thirty Years War people in Germany ate what has been referred to
as "mountain meal" to relieve hunger pains. In ancient Rome priests of the
goddess Diana prescribed a red earth to cure poisoning. This antidote was
used as late as 1848, although it contains no medicinal property now known
to man. In Spain and Portugal women ate earth in the belief that it would
improve their complexions.
Wherever geophagy is found and for whatever reasons the people give for
the consumption of earth, one fact stands out. Those who eat this earth gen-
erally like it. In some cases they are willing to pay high prices to obtain a
certain kind which is not found in their own territory, but usually they eat
and like a local soil. Naturally, no two soils or clays contain the same ele-
ments, and there is wide diversity in the physical characteristics of the
favored soils. Ehrenberg, a German geologist, analyzed many samples of
edible earths from different parts of the world and found that the most popular
are ferruginous clays (Ehrenberg, C. G., I. Mikrogeologie. Das Erden und
Felsen schaffende Wirken des unsichtbar kleinen selbstandigen Lebens auf
der Erde. Leipzig. 2 vols. folio., quoted by Laufer, 1930, p. 107.) However,
the analyses showed that in most cases there was little or nothing present in
the earth which could be utilized by the body as food. One typical example
would be that of a clay found in Richmond County, Georgia. This clay con-
tained silex, oxid of iron, alumina, magnesia, and water, none of which is
absorable or decomposable in the body (Laufer, 1930, p. 176, quoting J. R.
Cotting, "Analysis of a specimen of clay found in Richmond County which
is eagerly sought after and eaten by many people, particularly by children."
Southern Medical and Surgical Journal, Augusta, 1: 288-292, 1837).
What, then, are the effects which are seemingly valued by the peoples
who eat such clays? It has been observed that continual and excess indul-
gence in the practice inevitably leads to sickness and death, regardless of
the type of clay eaten. Moderate dosages may indeed give one a feeling of
satiety for a short period of time and thus still hunger pains. Eventually,
however, the clay tends to block the gastro-intestinal tract, producing con-
stipation, and reducing the power of absorption of other food materials by
the body. Other symptoms noted by ethnographers include swollen, puffy
face, distended abdomen, shrunken limbs, and painful joints. These last
characteristics are not necessarily specific results of clay-eating, but may
be secondary symptoms of malnutrition caused by the consumption of clay.
In spite of these ill effects, confirmed geophagists continue their indulgence.
It is highly possible and probable that in most cases the people did not con-
nect their ills with their habit of eating clay, or if they did, their religious
beliefs were strong enough to overcome the dread of ill effects. Also, it
has been noted by Laufer that nowhere does clay assume the importance of a
staple in the diet. Probably most persons did not eat enough to bring about
In conclusion, the physiological explanation of geophagy no longer seems
acceptable to this writer. First of all, the organism apparently eats what it
is used to eating, whether or not the substance is nutritious. Secondly, most
clays or earth do not contain nourishing elements in amounts or forms utiliz-
able by the body. It is only a short step from here to theorize that the
reason behind the practice of earth-eating, though once based on the physio-
logical phenomenon of hunger, has survived in various groups as an expres-
sion of appetite, a culturally defined and culturally determined condition.
Also, the physiological explanation presents too many unanswerable
questions. For instance, if people eat bizarre substances because of some
hidden physiological craving for them, why do they not resort to eating such
things when there actually is a deficiency in their diet? People who have
beri-beri do not crave foods containing thiamine. If they did we would not
have widespread occurrences of such diseases. It has long been accepted
that culturally defined tastes exclude the use of certain foods in every
society. Thus Herskovits (1950, p. 280) says, "We have seen how, even
among peoples living on the subsistence level, they do not utilize all avail-
able food-stuffs, either because of patterned concepts of what is fit for
human consumption, or of special taboos of a religious or sociological
Another point to be considered is the fact that this practice is not, and
apparently never has been, universal. It exists only in certain definable
areas, which indicates spread of the trait through processes of diffusion.
Although some studies indicate that the body at birth may be equipped
to choose its food according to need, these studies do not consider the im-
portant role played by culture in determining the behavior of the adult.
Therefore, it seems entirely plausible that the custom known as geophagy
could have had its beginning during times of famine when ingestion of earth
led the people to a false sense of satiety and it was continued as a custom,
when food was again plentiful, through an acquired appetite for earth. In
other areas, magico-religious practices concerning the earth as a source of
life and power could have led to its consumption during ceremonial rites as
was observed in ancient Mexico. Whatever and wherever the origins were,
the trait apparently became part of a cultural tradition in many places and
existed as such rather than as a sign of any community-wide condition of
Bash, K. W.
1939. "Contribution to a Theory of the Hunger Drive." Journal of
Comparative Psychology, vol. 28, no. 1.
Cannon, W. B. and A. L. Washburn
1912. "An Explanation of Hunger." American Journal of Physiology,
vol. 29, no. 5.
Carlson, A. J.
1912. "Contributions to the Physiology of the Stomach. II. The
Relation between the Contraction of the Empty Stomach and
the Sensation of Hunger." American Journal of Physiology,
vol. 31, no. 4.
Davis, C. M.
1928. "Self-Selection of Diet by Newly Weaned Infants." American
Journal of the Diseases of Children, vol. 36, no. 4.
The Races of Man. London.
Haddon, A. C.
1912. Reports of the Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to
Torres Straits, vol. 4. Cambridge.
Harris, L. J., J. Clay, F. J. Hargreaves, and A. Ward.
1933. "Appetite and Choice of Diet: The Ability of the Vitamin B
Deficient Rat to Discriminate between Diets Containing and
Lacking the Vitamin." Proceedings of the Royal Society of
London, series B, no. B781. London.
Herskovits, Melville J.
1950. Man and His Works. New York.
Hodge, F. W. (editor)
1907. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, pt. 1. Washington.
1944. "An Explanation of Appetite." American Journal of Digestive
Diseases, vol. 11, no. 3.
Hooper, D. and H. H. Mann
1906. "Earth-Eating and the Earth-Eating Habit in India." Memoirs
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. 1. Calcutta.
Janowitz, H. D. and M. I. Grossman
1949. "Hunger and Appetite Some Definitions and Concepts."
Journal of Mt. Sinai Hospital, vol. 16, Nov.-Dec., 1949.
"Geophagy." Anthropological Papers of the Field Museum of
Natural History, vol. 18, no. 2. Chicago.
"History of Carolina." In Hodge.
Mursell, J. L.
1925. "Contributions to the Psychology of Nutrition. I. Hunger and
Appetite." Psychological Review, vol. 32, no. 4.
Richter, Curt P.
1942. "Total Self-Regulatory Functions in Animals and Human
Beings." The Harvey Lecture Series, vol. 38.
Scott, E. M., et al.
1946. "The Self-Selection of Diet. I. Selection of Purified Compon-
ents." Journal of Nutrition, vol. 31, no. 4.
1914. "Edible Earth." In Stefansson-Anderson Arctic Expedition of
the American Museum of Natural History. Anthropological
Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. 14,
pt. 1. New York.
Young, P. T.
1946. "Studies of Food Preference, Appetite and Dietary Habit.
VI. Habit, Palatability and the Diet as Factors Regulating
the Selection of Food by the Rat." Journal of Comparative
Psychology, vol. 39, no. 3
1941. "The Experimental Analysis of Appetite." Psychological
Bulletin, vol. 38, no. 3.
Young, P. T. and J. P. Chaplin.
1945. "Palatability and Appetite in Relation to Bodily Needs."
Comparative Psychology Monographs, vol. 18, no. 3.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
ARTIFACTS FROM THE BLUFFTON MIDDEN,
VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA
Wilfred T. Neill
The Bluffton site (Vo 22) lies on the north shore of Lake Dexter, in
Volusia County, Florida. It is, or was, one of the most imposing shell
heaps in the state. Originally the midden covered many acres, and in places
the shell was piled to depths of 20 feet or more. Even at time of low water,
the deeper levels of the shell seem to be four or five feet below the present
For many years, loads of shell have been carted away from the Bluffton
site, to be used as road fill, paving, and the like. Recently the removal of
the midden was accelerated. Day after day, trucks shuttled back and forth,
carrying the shell to various nearby towns. Eventually most of the midden
was leveled, and its rich burden of artifacts and skeletal remains was lost.
In 1952 a number of archaeologists visited the site in an effort to salvage
as much data as possible. The activities of the scientists stimulated local
residents to hunt for artifacts in the shell removed from the midden. Relic
collectors also investigated the spread shell. I was able to locate and exa-
mine about 500 artifacts definitely known to have come from the Bluffton
locality. A few of the more interesting specimens are described in the
The accompanying drawings were made by tracing the outline of each
item, and then filling in surface details by free-hand sketch.
Pendants from Bluffton are shown in Fig. 1, A-H. Specimen A is made
from the columella of a marine shell; B and G are of polished shell; C, D,
and F are of baked clay (chalky ware); E is of sandstone. Specimen H is a
stone artifact of unusual shape; two views of it are shown. Other pendants
were recovered, but the ones figured suffice to indicate the range of form and
material. Specimen C is in the collection of Jerry Allen; the remaining pen-
dants were accumulated by Henry Price.
A flat clay disk, the property of Sonny Royal, is shown in Fig. 1, I. One
side of the disk bears a circular depression, neatly centered. There is also
a central perforation. The artifact was originally covered with red paint, and
appears to be of Dunn's Creek Red ware. The perfectly circular outlines
suggest the use of simple dividers.
Fig. 1. Pendants, Disc, and Cylinder from the Bluffton Midden.
An unusual object, found by Henry Price, is depicted in Fig. 1, J. It is
a cylinder of clay, broken at both ends; there is a loop of clay, like a jug
handle, on each side. The material is chalky ware. At Key Marco, Frank H.
Cushing found a wooden atlatl, the handle of which resembled the present
A clay effigy, belonging to Henry Price, is shown in Fig. 2, A. The
prominent eyes, hooked beak, and pose of the head suggest certain "bird-
stones" that occur farther north. The neck has been broken off.
An unidentified artifact of hard, black stone appears in Fig. 2, B. It is
in the possession of Henry Price.
A broken spoon-like implement, found by Henry Price, is illustrated in
Fig. 2, C. It is made of shell. The shape suggests the horn spoons of his-
toric western tribes, but the resemblance must surely be fortuitous.
A polished stone tablet or gorget was found by Sonny Royal. Two views
of this specimen are shown in Fig. 2, D. Perfect when discovered, the arti-
fact now lacks two corners. I was assured that all four corners originally
bore perforations. The material appears to be limestone.
A broken bannerstone, the property of Sonny Royal, is shown in Fig. 2,
E. Two views of the artifact are presented. The material is an unidentified
Another bannerstone is shown in Fig. 2, F (three views). It is from the
collection of David Leonard. The specimen is made of shell, and is perhaps
the only bannerstone of this material to be reported from the region. It is
smoothly polished and remarkably symmetrical. The central perforation
tapers, being large at one end and quite small at the other.
Bannerstones from the Northern St. Johns area have been classified into
five general types (Goggin, 1952). Curiously, the two specimens from the
Bluffton site do not fit any of the previously erected categories.
Goggin (op. cit.) noted that 27 bannerstones are known from the Northern
St. Johns area, and 11 from the remainder of Florida. Probably the con-
centration of these artifacts along the St. Johns would appear even more
marked if archeologists were able to examine all the numerous private col-
lections in the area. Jerry Allen has a bannerstone, of Goggin's Type 5,
from Silver Glen Springs midden (La 2); David Leonard has an example of
Type 4 from the Woodruff Pasture site (Vo 53); a collector in Sanford has a
specimen found locally; and I discovered a bannerstone of Type 5 in spread
shell, probably from a midden on Salt Springs run (Ma 1).
Fig. 2. Effigy, Gorget, Bannerstones, and Unidentified Objects.
Fig. 3. Miscellaneous Artifacts from the Bluffton Midden.
A gorget from David Leonard's collection is shown in Fig. 2, G. In shape
it closely resembles the slate gorgets found much farther north. However, it
is made of shell. It probably was perforated in four places when entire.
Fig. 2, H portrays a shell object from the Leonard collection. It is flat
on the side that is not figured. The artifact somewhat resembles a broken
projectile point, but it could scarcely have been used as such, for the edges
are all bluntly rounded.
A celt from Jerry Allen's collection is shown in Fig. 3, A (two sides).
The material is a hard, gritty stone. A fragment of a greenstone celt (not
illustrated) was found by me in shell from the Bluffton site.
Shell implements, including dippers, picks, celts, gouges, and chisels,
occurred in abundance in Bluffton.
On one occasion a drag-line was loading trucks with shell from levels
below the present water table. One of these truckloads yielded a broken
projectile point, two views of which are shown in Fig. 3, B. This point is
of especial interest in suggesting Paleo-Indian forms. The base has been
thinned by the removal of a large spall from one side, and four spalls from
the reverse side. Patination is greater than in any other projectile point
from the site. I examined about 300 other points from the Bluffton locality;
most of them were stemmed, triangular forms and none of them particularly
suggested Paleo-Indian artifacts. The present specimen belongs to Henry
A bit of deer bone is portrayed in Fig. 3, C. It is neatly incised around
its circumference. The incising tool evidently was used with considerable
force in a sawing motion, for in several places the tool had slipped, scoring
the bone. This specimen is in the collection of Jerry Allen, along with two
similar examples from the vicinity of Silver Glen Spring.
A flint drill, found by Henry Price, is shown in Fig. 3, D.
In shell from the site, I discovered a scraper of amethyst-colored glass.
It is illustrated in Fig. 3, E. Its surface appears to be somewhat patinated
or eroded. Goggin (1951) reported glass scrapers from four localities in
Florida; and I also have a specimen of dark green glass from a field site
near Silver Springs, Marion County.
J. E. Price, owner of the Bluffton site, procured a complete bowl of
Orange Plain ware (not illustrated). Rude and thick, it apparently had been
made from the bottom of a larger, pot-like vessel. When the leveling of the
midden was in its earlier stages, sherds of fiber-tempered and of chalky ware
littered the ground.
It is hoped that the foregoing information may be of use to archeologists
who are contemplating a report on the Bluffton site.
Jerry Allen of Dunnellon and David Leonard of Sanford granted permission
to examine material in their respective collections. Mr. Allen also guided me
to several private collections, including those of Sonny Royal and Henry
Price, both of Barberville. HI. James Gut called my attention to Mr. Leonard's
specimens. J. E. Price granted access to the site, and permitted examination
of the fiber-tempered bowl in his possession. All these individuals have my
thanks for their cooperation.
Goggin, John M.
1951. "Fort Pupo: A Spanish Frontier Outpost," The Florida Histori-
cal Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 2.
1952. "Space and Time Perspective in Northern'St. Johns Archeology,
Florida," Yale University Publications in Anthropology, no. 47.
ROSS ALLEN REPTILE INSTITUTE.
SILVER SPRINGS, FLORIDA
EXCAVATIONS AT LA FINCA DE DOS MARIAS,
Hale G. Smith
The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology of the Florida State
University was invited by the Junta Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia
and the Grupo Guama to conduct research in Cuba as part of its Antillian
Research Program. These groups and others are vitally interested in the
prehistory of their country.
Our expedition to Cuba had a twofold aim: to do archaeological research
and to collect mosses. The latter work was done by a Florida State Univer-
sity botanist, Dr. Kenneth Wagner.
The archaeological work designated to be done was on La Finca de Dos
Marias, located four miles northwest of Jatibonico, Camaguey, Cuba. We
had planned originally to do our research in the Bayamo area of the province
of Oriente. However, upon reaching Havana, Dr. Oswaldo Patino, former
president of the Junta Nacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia, told us of a
newly discovered Indian site at Jatibonico and urged us to test this site.
The site is a prehistoric Indian village on land that is now owned by
Senor Arturo Diez and was discovered by Sefor Evelio A. Echevarria.
The Indians who had picked this particular spot for a village site were
able to command a view of nearly all of the surrounding area. The village
was placed atop and on the upper slope of a large hill whose base was
about 200 meters west of a small river.
We noted that the whole area had been cleared of underbrush, and a
grass, which grew very thick, had been planted for cattle feed.
The 38 mounds that are present are not in any discernible pattern, but
are scattered at random over about ten acres. They range in height from
about one foot to five feet. Upon excavation, we found thatthese were
house mounds, or areas where refuse from domestic activities had
Because our time and funds were limited, we did not do any full scale
excavations. We picked out various areas of the site and dug test squares
and trenches. We discovered that only one culture was represented here,
and it apparently had not been present for a long period of time.
The appearance of this site before excavation was like the Indian sites
found in the states of Illinois and Iowa. The larger mounds are identical in
shape with burial mounds found in the mid-western United States. However,
upon making a test excavation in one of these mounds, it was found that
Indian refuse formed only a thin mantle of about one-half meter over the
surface. The core of the mound was a weathered limestone boulder that had
disintegrated long before the habitation of the site. This came to light
after we painfully dug a test hole into the center of the mound. The mate-
rial that was uncovered by our excavation indicated that all the mounds were
The Sub-Taino Indians at the site of La Finca de Dos Marias were mainly
a manioc-producing people. Their villages in the central and eastern sections
of Cuba ranged from those occupied by a few families to large ones that were
made up of many families. One of the largest villages excavated to date is in
the Banes area. Here an archaeological site called El Mango (Rouse, 1942)
covers about fifty acres and is eight kilometers from the sea. The Finca de
Dos Marias site is not as large as El Mango and is further inland, being about
forty kilometers from the sea.
Since the site of La Finca de Dos Marias is at such a relatively greater
distance from the sea, there is not much evidence of sea foods in the refuse.
Probably the Sub-Taino Indians who settled in this area initially came inland
from the coast via the Rio de Jatibonico del Sur. Rio de Valle, which flows
about one-half of a kilometer from the Indian village, joins the Rio de
Jatibonico del Sur, so it would have been relatively easy for the Indians in
canoes to come into this area.
In the refuse left by the Indians were found large amounts of huti bones.
The huti is a large rat-like animal, and was used by the Indians as a good
source of food. Land snails of various types were fairly abundant, although
they were not found in quantities to warrant the supposition that they were
used for more than occasional titbits or flavoring for soups. A large number
of cracked bird bones of various types indicates that birds were captured in
quantities. These bones have not yet been identified, but it is believed they
represent remains of both land and water birds. The only remaining direct
evidence of the diet of the Indians was fish bones.
Sections of griddles, or burins, occurred in abundance. The Indians made
their griddles out of clay which they fired. Yuca (manioc) cakes or "bread"
were cooked upon these griddles.
The pottery from this site is of the same type which occurs in the Banes
area. The sherds came from boat shaped and globular vessels with flattened
bottoms. Around the rim of the vessels various types of decorations often
were placed. The decoration might take the form of sculptured anthropo-
morphic or zoomorphic lugs and/or incised or punctated lines running around
the perimeter of the vessel. Generally, both the inside and outside of the
vessel were smoothly polished.
Seashells found were of several species, the most numerous being the
olivella and the scallop. The olivella shell was made into beads and the
scallop was used as a scraper for working wood and skins. Carved shell
head(?) ornaments and pendants, sharks tooth pendants, and stone balls
also were found.
In summary, it might be said that our excavations at La Finca de Dos
Marias revealed a culture of an Arawakan people who settled in this area
about 1300-1400 A. D. It is possible that this site was occupied until 1500,
or a short time later, and became extinct as a village due to European dis-
ruption of the native groups.
1942. "Archeology of the Maniabon Hills, Cuba," Yale University
Publications in Anthropology, no. 26. New Haven.
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
SOME INCISED POTTERY FROM CUBA AND FLORIDA
Ripley P. Bullen and D. D. Laxson
Irving Rouse, in his excellent summary of relationships between "The
Southeast and the West Indies", in The Florida Indian and His Neighbors
(1949), illustrated incised pottery from Cayo Ocampo, Cuba, and compared
it with incised pottery from Upper Matecumbe Key, Florida. The similarity
consisted chiefly of incised loops or arcades beneath the rim. We wish to
point out some slightly closer similarities which have come to our attention
The upper part of Fig. 1 illustrates six sherds recently excavated by
Laxson from a midden at Hialeah, Florida. Specimens A and B represent
Key Largo Incised; C and D are classified as variants of Matecumbe Incised,
and E and F as unique incised (Laxson, 1953, p. 4). The lower part of Fig. 1,
taken from Rouse's paper (1949, p. 131, Fig. 8), shows sherds from the Cayo
Ocampo site in Cuba.
The similarities Rouse mentioned may be noted by comparing the Key
Largo Incised sherds (Fig. 1, A and B) with the last two in the illustration,
which are from Cuba.
We wish to point out the similarities between the other Hialeah sherds
(Fig. 1, C-F) and the top two in the illustration used by Rouse. Both groups
exhibit incised lines forming triangular areas pendant to the rim. This simi-
larity is heightened in one case (Fig. 1, D) by the presence of an incised
line simulating the thickened rims found on the Cuban sherds.
It is of interest to examine the chronologies of both places. The Hialeah
material came from a Glades II horizon, stratigraphically below Glades Tooled
sherds (Laxson, 1953). Goggin (1950, p. 10) has placed a date of about 1125
A. D. for the close of Glades II times. Rouse (1949, p. 121) suggests 1200
A. D. as about the time when the Sub-Taino tradition (in which he would place
the Cuban examples) started in Cuba.
These dates are merely accepted estimates and cannot be used to indicate
the direction of any possible influences. The dates are, however, too close
to each other to throw out the possibility of communication between Florida
and Ciba at about 1200 A. D. At least, the local chronologies do not rule
out such a possibility.
Fig. 1. Comparison of incised pottery from Hialeah, Florida (top, A-F) and Cayo
Ocampo, Cuba (bottom, ().
A-F, Florida State Museum; G, upper part of Fig. 8, The Florida Indian
and His Neighbors.
Goggin, John M.
1950. "Florida Archeology 1950." The Florida Anthropologist,
vol. 3, nos. 1-2. Gainesville.
Laxson, D. D.
1953. "Stratigraphy at a Hialeah Midden." The Florida Anthropolo-
gist, vol. 6, no. 1. Gainesville.
1949. "The Southeast and the West Indies." In The Florida Indian
and His Neighbors, John W. Griffin, editor. Winter Park.
THE FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM
HISTORIC METAL PLUMMET PENDANTS
John M. Goggin
Contact between two different cultures often results in one losing many
of its distinctive features. Less common, but occurring sometimes in the
field of technology, is a cross-fertilization of ideas resulting from the im-
pact of new materials and new techniques. This often happened in Florida
when the Europeans had contact with the Indians. One interesting result
can be illustrated.
A distinctive artifact type of aboriginal Florida was the plummet form
pendant. It was usually made of local materials, such as limestone, coral,
and shell, as well as from exotic stones like quartz, pumice and various
metamorphic rocks. During one early period, at least, the Santa Rosa-Swift
Creek, when copper was being traded into Florida in abundance, that metal
was extensively used for making plummets at Crystal River.
Many hundreds of years later, in the sixteenth century, when the Spanish
introduced metal, it was eagerly used again, and stone forms were copied in
gold, bronze, lead, and copper. Figure 1 illustrates various types of these
ornaments found in the middle and southern part of the state.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Fig. 1. Metal Plummet Type Pendants (approximately full size).
A, 'West Apopka (La 62), gold (American Museum of Nat.
ural History, 1/4662); B, Seven Oaks (Pi 8), bronze
(Florida State Museum, 2850); C, Punta Rassa (L 7),
copper (University of Pennsylvania Museum); D, Punta
Rassa (L 7), lead (University of Pennsylvania Museum,
8229). Drawings by Ted Davidson.
CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE
Nancie L. Solien, who wrote "A Cultural Explanation of Geophagy," was
a graduate student in dietetics in Florida State University when she developed
a concomitant interest in anthropology. She is now doing graduate work in
anthropology at the University of Michigan.
Wilfred T. Neill, who is director of the research division, Ross Allen
Reptile Institute, Silver Springs, was elected president of the Florida Anthro-
pological Society at Miami in February.
Hale G. Smith is head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology,
and director, University Museum, Florida State University.
Ripley P. Bullen is curator of social sciences of the Florida State Museum
Gainesville. lie was reelected treasurer of the Florida Anthropological
Society in February.
D. D. Laxson, of Hialeah, is associated with Eastern Air Lines in Miami.
lie is an active member of the society, and has served as executive commit-
John M. Goggin is associate professor of anthropology in the Department
of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Florida, and a former
editor of this journal.
FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY
President: Wilfred T. Neill, Silver Springs.
First Vice President: Leigh M. Pearsall, Melrose.
Second Vice President: Charlton W. Tebeau, Miami.
Secretary: Glenn T. Allen, Jr., Clearwater.
Treasurer: Ripley P. Bullen, Gainesville
Editor: Robert Anderson, Tallahassee.
Executive Committeemen: Frederick W. Sleight, Mount Dora.
H. James Gut, Sanford.
J. E. Dovell, Gainesville.
Membership in the Florida Anthropological Society is open to everyone
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Address items for the Newsletter to the President, Research Division,
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